The Quote by Benjamin Franklin on Liberty and Safety:
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
Liberty is the most precious of commodities. It will shrink away to nothing if not properly guarded. Sometimes circumstances are dangerous. Recent terrorist attacks and waves of migrants are great examples of those dangerous circumstances. Yet liberty must always be cherished and guarded. I think that this Benjamin Franklin liberty quote and the Ben Franklin quote meme that shows it does a great job of showing that.
Foreign and domestic threats will continue to emerge from time to time. They always have and always will. Yet the American response shouldn’t be one of debilitating fear that leads to increased government control over our lives. That is weakness.
Many Americans clamor for increased government control and surveillance after each terrorist attack or mass shooting. And, with the Chinese flu pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented and unconstitutional surge of federal control over the lives of common Americans. Because of bad events, people push for increased government control. Or, in the words of this Ben Franklin quote meme and the corresponding quote by Benjamin Franklin on liberty, they want to “purchase a little temporary safety.” That safety may be from jihadists or it might be from a plague, but it always leads to the same thing- government control.
What the people that push for their temporary safety from some scary event are forgetting is that they are losing their freedom when they do so. Yes, those attacks are bad and the pandemic is scary.
But many times they were either unpreventable no matter what controls are in place, or would not have happened had the government enforced the laws that are already on the books. We cannot trust China. We should be suspicious of people who have done things that make them seem like they might be terrorists. But we should never push for restrictions on our liberty; whatever safety we gain will be temporary, but government control is forever.
Evil people will continue to do evil things. That is a certainty. But increased government control through a loss of liberty is not the answer. It will not stop attacks, but it will punish the innocent and make the lives of common Americans much harder and more inconvenient. Imagine all the laws that wouldn’t be on the books if people responded rationally to attacks.
Would more gun control have really stopped someone who wasn’t allowed to purchase a gun in the first place from committing an attack? Probably not. Gun control doesn’t work. But will it affect many innocent gun owners? Definitely. The trade-off makes no sense, and if people were rational they would recognize that.
Similarly, have you ever seen TSA find a bomb? I know I have not. But have you had your trip delayed or have you or a family member been groped by an overzealous TSA agent? Almost certainly. Again, the trade-off that is described in this quote by Benjamin Franklin on liberty is not worth it.
However, many people aren’t rational, so they will continue to clamor for increased government control. We conservatives should push back against that and fight for our liberty. Otherwise, we’ll end up like the subjects of the Red Chinese government (which is supported by the anti-American NBA).
They have to deal with constant government surveillance, overbearing and creepy agents of the state, and massive restrictions on their civil liberties in order to preserve “safety.” Is that what Americans want? A police state? I hope not. But, in case they do, we need to start teaching the content of this quote by Benjamin Franklin on liberty much more frequently. A good way to do so would be to spread around the above Ben Franklin quote.
How to push back against agitations for more control:
We can push back by advocating for sensible policies that will enhance liberty. For example, if someone attacks a movie theater, there are three courses of action. One is to push for more gun control and government surveillance. Another is to do nothing. And the final one is to push to increased concealed carry rights and give more citizens the ability to defend themselves. That last option is the one that would enhance liberty, and is most likely to be effective, so we should push for it and others like it.
In this Benjamin Franklin liberty quote, Franklin states that people that give up liberty for safety deserve neither. He is correct; those people are cowards. Instead of hoping the government will protect them better next time, they should advocate for more of a right to defend themselves. According to the 2nd Amendment, they have that right. Yet they have allowed the government to use gun control to take it away. That trend of tyranny should be reversed before it is too late. It is a crucial battle, but one that is very winnable.
We Gen Z conservatives just have to fight for it. Do so by spreading this Ben Franklin quote meme and teaching your peers to fight for their liberty rather than for their safety.
Image at top from AZ Quotes
Read my thoughts on gun control here: https://genzconservative.com/my-thoughts-on-gun-control/
Read more about this quote here: https://www.npr.org/2015/03/02/390245038/ben-franklins-famous-liberty-safety-quote-lost-its-context-in-21st-century
Check out Samuel Adams’ quote about preserving liberty here: https://genzconservative.com/samuel-adams-on-preserving-liberty/