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Ash

United States

Female. Youngest of six. Pretty (?), sarcastic, Tom-boyish, and very much a geek.

Message from Writer

I guess I should say honest feedback is best but nothing crazy brutal. That said, please don't go to the other extreme and try to spare my feelings. Be descriptive and truthful because I really want to improve.

Loss of Both

June 18, 2014

"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” These words were once said by one of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Notice his word choice and phrasing; he isn't saying that we can only have one or the other. In ideal circumstances, we can and should have both. Franklin is telling us though that freedom should be the more valued of the two. As an American citizen, you have the natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Liberty basically means freedom. Freedom from the intrusion of the government, freedom to have privacy. These rights are known as inalienable, meaning no person can take them away from you. Yet on several occasions, the national government has treaded dangerously close to, if not directly stomped on, the people's freedom for the sake of security. Take the discovery of the government listening to the public's phone calls. It can easily be said that it's for their own good. And there is absolutely no doubt that this resource has stopped countless crimes from happening and solved numerous cases. When this information was released, however, there was a huge uproar. What makes America different from anywhere else is the rights of the citizens. We have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In other places if you say you disagree with the government, you end up missing. That's not the case here. Everyone is entitled to certain rights found in the Bill of Rights and several Amendments. Also, the US government has to follow laws, too. A police officer can't barge into anyone's house without a warrant or reasonable cause. The government can't just hold you in a cell for decades without a trial or informing what you're charged with. Doesn't the tapping of cell phones, then, seem a lot like breaking the law? Or maybe did the people feel a lot less safe? Didn't for one second you feel like you couldn't speak freely? Well, one could argue that the first amendment wasn't exactly followed to a tee. The government officials are trying their best to keep the public safe. It's their job. Lately, though, people have been disillusioned by our government. After all, several school shootings, random acts of violence, kidnappings, and other terrorists attacks have happened in the last fourteen years. Take a look at the media's portral of our national leaders in TV shows or recents movies. There's corrupt governors, dirty cops, and anyone interacting with agencies meant to protect us are either anxious or flat out distrustful of them. The simple truth is we look to our government less to protect us and prefer to keep our privacy. However, this issue isn't new. Remember learning about the embargo President Lincoln enforced in the early 1800's? Great Britain was at war with France and the Americans with their neutrality were stuck in between. The blockades set up by Britain resulted in US ships getting taken from both sides. The people on board were forced to fight for the British. Jefferson was concerned for the people's wellfare so he banned exporting. This DIDN'T WORK. Americans from the founding of their nation have always chosen privacy and freedom over security. People have often said that we live in turbulent times. This is the Age of Digital Exploration. The public has access to an immense amount of data, meaning news travels a lot faster. Every few months, some politician manages to get him/herself into a slew of trouble from the latest scandal. One can keep an eye on all the campaign promises an elected official broke or read the breaking news on how they've been skimming off different funds. It's rather simple to find out what the government's doing, to an extant, and everyone gets to decide who the bad guys and good guys are. The general public doesn't really trust the government anymore. This doesn't come as a shock to me. In a utopia, I'm sure there would be a nice balance of the privacy and security, but the real world is messy and imperfect and has far too many blurred lines. It's like they're both on opposite ends of a scale and every time we try to get them equal, we just end up creating a bigger and bigger difference. If we can't have both, I'll always choose freedom. America was built on the basic principle of freedom. Even after all this time, it's still what we're famous for. If the government tries to infringe on our rights, an immediate outburst comes forth. The public has been through a lot recently. Great tragedies have occurred and I'm sorry to add that they'll keep occurring. A country or even a small city can never be a hundred percent safe, but the people inside it can be free. As a result, we're more willing to keep our doors locked when Uncle Sam comes knocking, even at the risk of being a little less safe.

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