I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it
Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791
3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)
The question of the day, of course, is where to draw that line when one of the inconveniences is being blown up by terrorists?
Stephen, this was addressed by Ben Franklin may years ago:
“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.”
So it’s Patrick Henry all the way then?
Or would a better phrasing of the question then be what constitutes essential liberty?
And perhaps more importantly where have we given it up?
The essential liberties of being free to speak our minds, to worship or not worship as we choose, the right to bear arms, etc., are about as basic and essential as you can get.
I don’t think we gave them up, they were slowly and cunningly stolen by our own government.
Government does indeed have a voracious appetite for our freedom and a tendency to nibble at the edges rather than try to take big bites.
It exhibited an unusual bit of gluttony with Campaign Finance Reform and Kelo. So much so that people began to notice. Hopefully people will continue to pay attention and start to notice the nibbles.