Should Freedom be sacrificed for Security?
The date is 1944. A boy alongside his best friend charge up the beaches of Normandy. Around him men fall like ragdolls thrown to the ground. As he advances to the high ground he hears the “pop!” of bullets whizzing passed his head. Then the boy hears the sound no man should hear, the cry of their best friend. His lifelong friend falls to the ground, lifeless. Immediately the boy drops to his side and holds him like a mother swaddling her child. The cruel voice of reality screams inside his head: “Why am I fighting?” and ”What am I doing here?”. In the moment, the answer is not clear; however, later it will become clear. This soldier fights for freedom, fights for those who are weak, fights to free the enslaved , and fights to speak for the voiceless. Because people were not concerned about their freedom nor the safety of others, they were promised momentary safety in the absence of their liberties. History has repeatedly shown that when freedom is sacrificed for security over time the security dissipates and the people are left stripped of what they once had.
The American people see the flaws of sacrificing freedom for security especially demonstrated throughout their own history. When the United State was but a colony of Great Britain the King would often send soldiers known as red coats. Now, it was first believed that this was to maintain order in the colonies, protect the colonies from Native American attacks, and promote safety; However, as time progressed the colonists found this “security” burdensome. Then the soldiers began to enforce the will of the crown over the will of the people. Enforcing taxes, impressing civilian sailors, and riot control was the job of these so called protectors.
Our Founding Fathers fought and revolted for one major reason, so that their children may live in freedom. A quote by Ben Franklin states “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”. When an offer of safety is proposed many will not hesitate even if it is at the cost of certain rights. This is against what the Land of the Free was built on. The Constitution has a list of inalienable rights which are known to many as the Bill of Rights. This guarantees many liberties such as the freedom of speech, right to bear arms, and freedom to a fair and just trial. These are but a few of many given rights. The moment these liberties are amended or infringed upon in the name of safety is the moment the citizens of America strip away what many men and women have died for, freedom. This is when the politicians abuse their power and step on the Constitution, the building block of this Nation. Such an act is similar to President Obama infringing the second amendment and bypassing congress through executive orders.
Others who differ in view from this stance will more than likely state the chance of history repeating itself in modern day is ludicrous. That in no possibility will a tyrant arise once more. History will not occur once more, but as Mark Twain once stated “History doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes.”. Security is nothing without the freedom to be secured. The thought process behind many was often opposing throughout history, such as the loyalists in Colonial America. The Loyalists believed that if security is intact there is no need for freedom. America’s founders disagreed and fought for justice. A very distinguished founder of the United States known as Thomas Jefferson once said, “I prefer dangerous Freedom over peaceful Slavery.”. There is a reason we are the Land of the Free because of the Brave and not Home of the Safe because of the Freedom Deprived.
The boy lived to fight another day. Sustaining wounds both physically and mentally. Hardened by the cruelty of war and its suffering. Let us not disgrace those who fought for peace, rights, and freedom of all. Remember that safety is comfortable but is nothing in the absence of freedom. Without the liberty to do as one would please within a certain jurisdiction there is nothing to protect. The Constitution States that every citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If this social contract is truly and righteously upheld we need not give more power to the already powerful. History is a memory we must not forget, for it is one thing to make a mistake once but another to make it twice. Now, ponder this, if an option arose to either live in a prison with guaranteed protection or an open plain with blue skies, which of the two would appear more appealing?