You need to contact your senator. Now.

We must put an end to the police state.

Senate bill S.1035 has just been introduced to renew the Patriot Act for another five years. If passed, government organizations like the NSA will continue to have legal grounds to violate our constitutional rights for years to come. We know from the documents leaked by Edward Snowden that these organizations collect all of our personal data and keep it stowed away. We know that there is a FISA court approving secret laws that Americans do not even know they are breaking. We know that if we do not stop them now, the government will continue to consolidate power at the cost of our personal freedoms. Liberal or conservative, we can all agree that this is not in line with the principles that this nation was founded upon.

Whenever I talk to my peers about voting, there is the ever-present assumption that the government is already a lost cause and thus, voting is an exercise in futility. For a time, I subscribed to this view; it’s no secret that Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court have been bought out by corporate interests. Slowly and systematically, our freedoms and even our rights have been restricted by a government that seeks to impose the will of the highest bidder upon an ever-more-restricted populace.

If this is truly the case — if our government is no longer our advocate and is, in fact, working against our interests — then it is our duty as Americans to use our right to vote to oust those in power and restore this country to the place that our forefathers fought for and generations of our offspring can thrive in.

The Supreme Court justices won’t fix it. Your congressperson won’t fix it. Barack Obama won’t fix it. We have to fix it. If we want to live in a country we can be proud of, if we want our children to live in a nation where the First Amendment still means something, we will have to use our voting rights, the only leverage we have against the government, to remind those in power that they derive their authority from our consent, and we will not stand idly by as our freedom is eroded.

If you don’t want 1984 to become a reality, call, write, email, smoke signal, text, tweet, whatever you need to do to reach your representative, and tell them that if they use their vote to extend the NSA’s mass surveillance Patriot Act, you will use your vote to strip them of their position.

To help, I’ve written a letter for you to send to them:

Hello <senator’s name here>,
I’m writing to you today to implore you not to vote for S.1035. As your constituent, I feel the authorizations in this bill are an affront to the rights of myself and my fellow citizens. A vote against it is a guarantee you will continue to have my vote in the upcoming election; however, a vote in favor of this bill is a guarantee that I will work with my community to ensure you are never re-elected. I thank you for your time and your work, and I hope that you will choose to support the freedom of every American you represent.
<your name here>

Please find your senator and email this to them. This is the last stand. Either we tell them that this is enough, or we watch George Orwell’s dystopian fantasy slowly come true.

Thank you.