Complete Name of the Professor
The Declaration of Independence guarantees our liberty and security automatically comes with it. The two may co-exist without putting the other in jeopardy for the sole reason that one liberty without security cannot exist and neither can security without liberty.
The proper balance between the two integral human rights will exist when the government implements measures that would compliment each other instead of providing channels that would limit one and reinforce the other. It could be tricky, especially in a country like America, which sometimes has to thread carefully so as not to poke a sleeping bear, so to speak.
The question though is, is it being done right? Legislators are working hard to ensure that constitutional guarantees are not trampled even in the current system. Perhaps what America can do is get back to basics and find out where the threat is really coming from. Looking at it and in my own perspective, I think the Arab Americans are being singled out in the process. There may be a valid reason for it; however, it doesn’t make it acceptable that innocent people are subjected to scrutiny. That is where the question of liberty and security collides. Granted that other “suspected” terrorists are not Americans, to cite an example, the International Human Rights still guarantees their liberty and security, does it not?
It is understandable that America was shaken post 9/11 and it has to get back from the ashes but again, it appeared that only those with Arab bloods were singled out, American citizens or not. What is disturbing about it is that of those who were questioned and detained, barely anyone was charged. One could not help but ask, where is justice in that? Where is security? Where is liberty? Another instance is that even in other countries, women are being subjected to discrimination by being asked to remove their burqa against their will. It is a clear violation of their personal liberty and an indication of oppression.
It cannot be denied that terrorists have the ability to take thousands of innocent lives and could even cause war. Times are changing but one thing that should not change is the balance between liberty and security. Everyone is free to act, provided that no laws are being violated and with such freedom is the security that his own right as a person shall also not be violated. Looking at the Patriot Act, it seems that it is the exact opposite of the constitutional gurantee of liberty and security because the former “Allows the detention of anyone suspected of terrorist connections for “a reasonable amount of time” and “Permits indefinite incarceration of immigrants and other non-citizens without probable cause.” In the latter, a reasonable cause is required before anyone can be detained. But apparently, it is no longer the case.
More liberty does not necessarily mean less security and vice versa because as stated above, these two aspects of freedom and constitutional right must conform with each other in other to have balance between the two. Quoting Mark Neocleous “By the end of the 18th century, then, the terms 'liberty' and 'security' are for liberal thinkers by no means in opposition or in need of balance. 'Liberty' is in fact so bound up with 'security' that, if anything, they are synonyms rather than antonyms (Burchell, 1991, 139). Security became the cornerstone of the liberal mind, which came to identify security with the freedom and liberty to pursue one's individual self-interest.”
One could not have said it any better. It is not a question of existing of one making the other less significant but rather, putting the two in equal standing. It is what the people need, whether American, American Arab, Muslims or any other race. It is what the government can provide in order to guarantee the basic rights of the governed. Once again, it is not a question of superiority but rather of equality in many aspects for the reason that one cannot really exist without the other that is why we seek the balance in both.
It is given that with its military prowess, America can rival if not surpass the rest of the world but the same cannot be reason why its people would be supressed, either residing in the country or otherwise.
The government is given enough power by the Constitution and the governed, therefore, balance must be played to ensure that it is protecting its country and its nation from the aggressive forces from the outside and its own citizens.
One’s faith should not be a basis of discrimination either because at the end of the day, we are all Americans who have pledged loyalty to serve and by that alone, we have equal rights. Liberty and security should be considered as one and not two different things because liberty can only be successfully invoked as a right when not suppressed and security can only be taken as a privileged when it is freely given without a threat to a person, his faith and origin notwithstanding.
Yes, times are changing but it does not mean we are moving backwards. We should accept progress with an open mind and be liberal about it. Our forefathers have ensured that the present generation and the generation yet to come would enjoy the liberty and security in which America was born into war for.
In retrospect, one cannot be liberated without being secured and one cannot be secured without being liberated. It is one and the same. We, as Americans, similar to other peoples of the world, are entitled to both because without them, one cannot truly say that he has lived and he was free in his country.
Work Cited Page
(#13-UA, 2011) The Heritage Foundation, December 9, 2011, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/12)
(Harman, Jane, New Republic, December 19, 2013, www.newrepublic.com)
(Neocleous, Marc, August 9, 2006, http://www.palgrave-journals.com/)