The greatest, most noble moments in United States history have been based on the granting the rights of dignity, justice, honor, and mercy on others -- the same rights that we hold so dear for ourselves.
Perhaps such ideals are too democratic, too idealistic, or too fundamentally Christian in nature for our country's leaders, however. Their worldview is that everyone should be treated as a potential threat. As such, rather than treating others the way we would treat ourselves, we treat others with suspicion and brutal expediency -- without dignity, without justice, without honor, and without mercy.
Our downfall as a nation will come when we become so cowed, so afraid, and so removed from the ideals of our country's founders that we silently assent to treating ourselves with the same brutal expediency with which we treat others.