The critics have been hard put to point to any tangible harm that has been done to any particular citizen. But that does not mean that no harm has been done. The harm is civic. The harm is collective. The harm is to the architecture of trust and accountability that supports an open society and a democratic polity. The harm is to the reputation and, perhaps, the reality of the United States as such a society, such a polity.
This is the time to ask ourselves what kind of country we want to live in. Do we want to live in a true democratic society with a government that represents the will of the people or, as is happening, do we gradually and willingly surrender all of our personal freedoms until none are left to give away?