Privacy is one of the main American values that is deeply explored in my independent reading book Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy. The main character Christopher Wright is a member of the Idaho State Army and he shows a strong sense of nationalism. He is always willing to do what’s best for his country and is ready to put himself on the line for what he believes is right. But when President Rodriguez issues a new law stating that all citizens must carry around a identification card to show their location, he doesn’t know whether he can trust his own nation. Privacy has always been a highly debated issue in our country and through this book we can see the tensions it can create. President Rodriguez believes that he is doing the right thing because the nation is in a time of crisis. He believes that by issuing the new ID’s, the country will be a safer place and everyone can stay accounted for. According to Doug Linder “The U.S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy” (Linder para 1). Doug is claiming that if the government wanted to pass a tracking system like the ID cards, the constitution wouldn’t be able to stop them. President Rodriguez is making the national IDs mandatory and if any state objects, they will be punished and sent into lock down by the National Guard. The governor of Idaho, Governor Montaine, believes that the ID cards violate basic human privacy and he refuses to accept them. Governor Montaine says “The Idaho house and senate stand with me in opposition to the new federal ID card law. Privacy is a basic right to everyone across this nation and nothing will be able to change my standpoint” (Reedy 103). Governor Montaine is standing up to the national government for what he believes, even if it means getting punished. We can see the difference in opinion of privacy and what values people hold true to themselves.
This book does a wonderful job illustrating the tensions of privacy in a fictional point of view. Our problem in our modern day country is not with ID cards but with our digital privacy. According to Rebecca MacKinnons “similar interception points were set up around the country to gather and analyze the emails and phone calls of Americans who were not suspected of any crime” (MacKinnons para 10). This shows that the government has been looking in and analyzing our data without our consent or knowledge. Divided We Fall shows us a parallel between our nation and the fictional world of Daniel Wright. We see that the government is trying to take care of their country by invading privacy to make sure the people stay safe. The other viewpoint is that the government shouldn’t be able to look into people’s information because it is a basic human right and protected by Article 12 of the UN. But through these viewpoints, we see another question being brought up. What is privacy and what does it protect? We don’t have a standard list for what counts towards privacy. I believe that setting standards for privacy is crucial to stopping this argument and coming to a middle ground. As our nation becomes more technologically advanced we must make sure privacy stays number one priority. I believe that privacy is a god given right to everyone and the government must respect that even if it means losing national security in the process. The government has no right to be snooping in our private digital information and it is unacceptable to be doing it without consent. No matter what the circumstances are, Americans should always have their privacy respected and maintained as a value.
Linder, Douglas O. “The Right of Privacy.” The Right of Privacy: Is It Protected by the Constitution?, Apr. 2018, law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/rightofprivacy.html.
MacKinnon, Rebecca. “We’re Losing Control of Our Digital Privacy.” CNN, Cable News Network, 29 Jan. 2012,
“Page 103.” Divided We Fall, by Trent Reedy, Scholastic Inc., 2015.
Divided We Fall-Trent Reedy
Tags: #Values american Okemos High School privacy