NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies before the House Select Intelligence Committee on the NSA’s PRISM program during a hearing in Washington,
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies before the House Select Intelligence Committee on the NSA's PRISM program during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 18, 2013. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images) (SAUL LOEB)

Obviously, no one wants to live in a totalitarian state, but you know, whatevs.

To me, that's the big takeaway in a recent Gallup poll which showed that 70 percent of Americans think it's always or sometimes OK (or don't care either way) for the government to snoop around whenever and wherever they see fit.

Only 30 percent of Americans were aghast at the prospect.

Now you would think this country of ours, the makeup of the people, everything about us, would scream in the face of a government that listens to phone calls, reads emails, scans live Google searches, implants micro robots in our brains to read our thoughts, etc.

But we're not screaming. There are no marches on D.C., no people's rebellion, nothing outside of some columnists and bloggers getting their froth on.

FILE - In this April 12, 2012 file photo, Google workers ride bikes outside of Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google on Tuesday, June 18,
FILE - In this April 12, 2012 file photo, Google workers ride bikes outside of Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, sharply challenged the federal government's gag order on its Internet surveillance program, citing what it described as a First Amendment right to divulge how many requests it receives from the government for data about its customers in the name of national security. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File) (Paul Sakuma)

So what gives? Why aren't we up in arms? Why aren't you up in arms? Why aren't I up in arms?

I have a few theories, and taken together, they paint a picture of a very different world than the one we used to know.

Anyone can get us

If today's technology existed during the Cold War, I'm confident no American would have had a problem with the NSA or another government agency spying on the USSR, collecting data and doing whatever with it.

Well, things change. It's not states we're scared of anymore, it's small groups of wackos who are already living within our borders. And these small groups of wackos have access to weaponry — like suitcase nukes, like chemical weapons — that only places like the USSR used to have.


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Add this together, and you can make a compelling argument the NSA and other organizations should be doing more data collecting on U.S. soil. The enemy is everywhere and nowhere.

We don't want to get gotten

You can almost guarantee the following is going to happen: In the coming months or years, there will be a major terrorist attack on United States soil. After the immediate period of mourning, we'll demand justice. Eventually, we'll find the people responsible; eventually, we'll find out the guilty parties were Facebook messaging each other plans for the attack and we missed the signals. There will be a public uproar about how our spying apparatus failed us. We'd be outraged, right?

So let's make this a zero-sum game here: Faced with the choices of A) massive terror attack in the United States, tens of thousands dead or B) letting the government do what they deem necessary, even if it means spying on our Facebook account to stop said attack, almost all of us are picking ' B.'

Peace on my third of an acre

Most of the time, I couldn't care less what happens outside of my little suburban spread. And if you ask me, I'm not alone. While it's lovely to have political discourse at the water cooler, at the end of the day — and I mean that cliche to be taken literally — all most of us want is a warm bed, a cold beer and a few friends or family to share it all with. Heck, even the criminals among us probably want that and not much more.

We all just want a little peace in our lives. And so the NSA spying? Doesn't really affect us in the micro sense. Sure, our rights might be getting trampled, but really, what's the big deal? There's a new “Big Bang Theory' on.

Privacy is dead anyway

We may not be actively thinking this, but it doesn't make it any less true. There are cameras everywhere, from the government security apparatus to the iPhone in your pocket. We're posting pictures and updates for all the world to see. Should it be so shocking the government is going to use the same technology we use in order to spy on us in trying to catch the bad guys? Doesn't surprise me. In fact, it would seem downright stupid if they're not.

Domestic spying is an ugly term, very “1984,' Orwellian, all that, but again, we're living in a different time. It's the one radical with a suitcase nuke we're afraid of, not a country. And it's those one radicals we should be doing our best to track down.

We just don't care

This goes back to our simple desire for peace. We may all talk a good “don't tread on me' game, but faced with the choice — zero sum game time again, folks — of a A) happy, simple peaceful-enough life where the government plays fast and loose with privacy or a B) different world, where terror attacks are common and every trip to the mall may be your last, but you can sleep easy at night knowing the government will never accidentally find out you Googled some nutball sex stuff, well ... I choose the former.

So.

Does this mean I'm OK with the scandal? I'm not. I don't like it. But I'm not sure I like the alternative any better.