Your right to travel unencumbered is one of your natural rights – inalienable, independent of where you live or where you were born.

It seems that the right to travel unencumbered is always one of the first rights to be violated by governments. It starts subtly enough – how long after the invention of the automobile did governments step in and say you can’t operate the vehicle without paying them to license it, and that you must pay further fees to license yourself? I remember being taught in high school that driving is a privilege, not a right. How did we come to accept the premise that our means to travel from home to work is a privilege granted by government? Government grants no rights, no privileges. Its only function is to recognize and protect rights.

One could map the violation of the right to travel on a continuum from a free republic to a police state. It first shows up as permits and licenses, moves into heavy inspection and personal screening to remind us that the state can harass us at any time, and finally manifests itself as a requirement that we show our papers lest we be jailed.

The Real ID act went into effect earlier this month, unnoticed or unknown to many. It requires that we all carry a national ID card, and that we’re all in the government database. Further, it is planned that the Real ID will hold an RFID chip, so that our movement can be tracked at any point. No one seems to care. Many a reader will bristle at this post, upset that I have the audacity to challenge such important government action designed to protect us from terrorists, keep out illegal aliens, etc. The reality is that a national ID card will do nothing to make us safer, it will only make us less free. Giving up liberty for safety is always a no-win proposition.

Check out the video of motorist Abby Newman. She was pulled over for no reason, so that the police could check her license and registration, a clear instance of unlawful search and seizure. Abby has the temerity to question the agent of the state, and winds up handcuffed and off to jail.

We accept these searches under the guise of protecting us: Protecting us from drunk drivers, protecting us from ourselves neglecting seat belt use, etc. The state spends our tax dollars to threaten us with television and radio commercials, reminding us that we are under its monitoring and control. This is only a conditioning step, it will get much worse.

In time, you will show your identification to move from point A to point B with greater frequency. You will submit to deeper and more intrusive searches by the state, and you’ll be tracked wherever you go. And when it comes time to round you up for your ethnicity or beliefs, you’ll be easier to find and convict of wrongdoing.

Your neighbors will figure you must be guilty of something if the government is taking you in, resting comfortably at first – later with less ease – that they’re not coming for them.