"Thoughtless people," wrote Emerson, "contradict as readily the statement of perceptions as of opinions, or rather much more readily." The leaders and functionaries who in the past twelve years have imposed on the United States a massive system of secret surveillance are best looked on not as betrayers but as thoughtless people. They have forgotten the moral perceptions that were once felt to make the United States a country exemplary for its freedom. The work of this moment is to compel them to see again what people who understand liberty have never failed to see.
For historical accuracy: The Federalists in the early Congresses did indeed propose the title "His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties" for the president, but it was laughed down by James Madison and others and the simple "Mister President" was accepted instead.