Liberty vs. Safety
A quote made by Ben Franklin in 1759 states that in order to obtain a little bit of safety one has to give up their liberty, and the one who is willing to do this does not deserve liberty nor safety.Ben Franklin accurately portrays the priority of safety over liberty, because of the control the
government has in American society. In June of 2012, a report on Denver’s surveillance cameras
came up in an article stating that Denver is the third “most watched” city in America. This was a
concern to many people one of which stated, “ Because these programs were sold as public safety
enhancements but are widely viewed as a cash grab, it undermines public trust to maintain photo
enforcement programs that are profitable but whose safety impact has not been conclusively
shown.” (“ DenverPols”)This shows the unreliability that the government has for its people. The lack
of trust represented by the government brings to mind the question, is this security really for the
good of our safety or is it for the good of the government’s investigations? The domestic spying of the
government just goes to show that high security is more for the good of the government. However,
The government’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks lie in the ability to keep its people safe from
harm. The monitoring of the internet can prove helpful in this case. In September of 2013, CBS news
took a poll to see people’s personal opinion on the government’s security. “Three-quarters said they
approved of the government’s tracking phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity.
Nearly the same number approved of the United States’ monitoring the Internet activities of people
living in foreign countries.” (N.p., n.d. Web.). This demonstrates the useful tactics that the
government uses to prevent harmful situations and monitor suspicious activity. So while the
government’s security can interfere into our privacy, it can also prove to be useful in preventing
terrorist attacks and other threatening situations. One could argue that although the government’s
security is interrupting our privacy, America is still the freest country in the world. This position is
reasonable because America provides liberty that is not available in many other countries, however
this argument raises a fundamental question: What is more important, our liberty or our privacy?
While liberty is a right according to the American constitution, we are giving up liberty as the
government disturbs our privacy. In conclusion, Ben Franklin correctly portrays liberty being more
essential to American life than the safety the government offers.
- "DenverPols.com." Colorado Pols. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
- "What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?" The Learning Network What Is More Important Our Privacy or National Security Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.