Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Safety versus Freedom

The old Soviet Union was probably one of the safer countries in the world. The only thing one feared was the government. As far as terrorism, crime, etc., I am sure it was very low. The question facing Americans is: do we want to be free or do we want to be safe? The Washington Times reports that sleeper cells of Islamofascists may exist in 40 states in this country. How did this come to be? We do not live in a police state. Therefore, we will never be totally safe. It is up to us to keep ourselves safe.

Although the allure of being kept safe by our government is great, the federal government can never keep us totally beyond harm. The best way the government can protect its citizens is to take out those that mean to do us harm. Saddam Hussein may never have been a direct threat, but he did try to assassinate a former President, aided terrorism, threatened his neighbors and sought WMDs. We may never find WMDs in Iraq. This does not mean invading was unjustified. The world is a better and safer place without Saddam. Taking out the Taliban, who harbored al-Qaida, was a good way to make sure we are safe.

This country is the most prosperous and most powerful country the world has ever seen. The reason: freedom. The countries with poverty, famine, pestilence are invariably repressed. The tragic earthquake in Iran shows how freedom saves lives. Comparing that earthquake with upwards of 40,000 dead to earthquakes we have, we see that prosperity brought about by freedom makes the difference. Our country was rich enough to construct buildings to withstand earthquakes.

Many in the world are jealous of our prosperity and seem to think we got it through evil deeds. It is very simple: we are free. This country still allows people to get ahead by using their talents rather than their birth. Again, freedom. In this post 9/11 world we think that giving more authority to the federal government will somehow protect us more. How can it? Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty (Benjamin Franklin).