It is difficult to achieve a balance between freedom and security.This is because people have the rights of free speech, assembly,religion and information among other rights. However, at times itbecomes necessary for the government to restrict these rights inorder to protect our security. According to Connelly et al. (3),Americans have differing decisions regarding being allowed to havetheir rights and the significance of security. Following widespreadterrorist attacks, many civilians feel that the government shouldmake sure that security is provided, because it is more importantthan rights. On the other hand, others argue that both security andrights have the similar importance.
Every citizen has the freedom of speech. This means that people canexpress themselves in whatever ways they desire. For instance, withthe emergence of technology, it has become possible for people tocommunicate fast and over long distances. The wide array of socialmedia networks and other communication channels makes theavailability of information easy. In regard to the freedom ofassembly, individuals have the right to get together to accomplish atask. For example, because people have the right to religion, theycan assemble in a church or mosque to worship, or individuals cangather together to take part in public rallies, to demonstrate.
At times, the government is compelled to limit rights in order toprotect civilians from external harm, which results in a conflictbetween our rights and personal security. For example, althoughpeople have the right to information, sharing too much informationmay result in identity theft. As a result, the government feels thatit has the right to restrict what people share online. This way aconflict arises from government’s limit on the right toinformation, but on the other hand, the government protects thecivilian. Also, the government can restrict freedom of assembly whensuch freedom poses a threat to the nation. Terrorist groups mainlytarget places where people gather together. Supposing that thegovernment gets to learn about a planned terror attack, maybe in achurch, it has the right to restrict people from assembling in thechurch to ensure they are safe from terrorist hit.
The line on individual rights, in order to protect society, should bedrawn when it poses a risk to the social order. The government shouldrestrict rights, when such an action is aimed at protecting thecountry from external harm. For example, while people have the rightof free speech, when the right is used to expose government actionsaimed at enhancing a country’s security, the right can be withheldto ensure society at large is protected.
The issue on whether the government tends to help or hurt citizensmainly depends on the principle of self-interest. Some people mayview the government as helpful, while others view it as hurtful. Forexample, people who smoke may protest against the ban to smoke inpublic places because they feel that it interferes with their freedomto smoke at any place they desire. On the other hand, non-smokers mayview the ban as helpful and a healthy initiative because it protectsthem from second hand smoking. Hence, it is possible to argue thatgovernment action might help or hurt Americans.
Help towards achieving goals and fulfilling our potential is achievedwhen the government acts in manners that protect civilians. Forexample, the U.S faces many security threats, “particularly frominternational terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of massdestruction, and cyber warfare and espionage” (Clarke, Morell,Stone, Sunstein ans Swire 1). Effective surveillance done byAmerica’s security agency as well as other organizations hasensured that Americans are protected from threats. The country needsand will continue to need government protection. This is because,when civilians are safe, it becomes possible for them to carry outtheir daily tasks, such as going to work, opening and operatingbusiness and travelling from state to state, without fear.
Also, the government funds projects aimed at promoting the wellbeingof civilians. For example, the government is involved in researchconducted by scientists and medical practitioners, which aim atinventing better ways of controlling diseases. Illnesses such ascancer have become widespread, and it is important that effectivetreatment is developed. However, the private market is unable toinvent such treatment alternatives due to the expenses incurred inconducting the research. Government subsidies have proven to be aneffective way of financing such projects. Such actions help Americansby ensuring that cures for illnesses are developed, which in turnmakes it possible for people to achieve their goals.
In conclusion, government action tends to help Americans and as aresult, it becomes possible to attain our goals and fulfill ourpotential. This is because the government provides us with securityand funds projects aimed at enhancing our wellbeing. Security is veryimportant as it ensures civilians can live without fear of terrorattack in their country. Health is equally important as a healthysociety is able to work and improve our society.
The American constitution has managed to hold the country togetherfor many years. Since it was established, very few alterations havebeen made to the constitution, despite the advances and changes insociety. Hence, some elements need to be updated.
One element is the section that restricts individuals not born inAmerica from becoming president. It is only naturally born civiliansthat are capable of contesting for U.S. presidency (Boak 1). Thismeans that immigrants or second-class civilians can never bepresident, regardless of whether they are the most competentindividuals to hold the position. When the constitution was created,the founders were apprehensive about foreign intrigue, since therepublic was still unsettled. As a result, they restricted theposition of presidency to Americans born in the country. But thesection needs to be updated because America now comprises of millionsof civilians who were not born in the country, yet have acquiredsecond-class citizenship. Such civilians should also enjoy the samerights as naturally born civilians.
A second element that needs to be updated is changing the lifetimetenure awarded to those who serve in the federal courts, in specificthe Supreme Court. Currently, the constitution requires that judgeswork for in the courts for a lifetime. This means that theindividuals are chosen when young so that they can spend more yearsin court. The update is important because as Boak (1) argues, it“would reduce the intensity of debate on court nominations”. Toomuch time is wasted debating who should be nominated as a judge forthe federal courts.
By ending the lifetime tenure, the constitution should include atenure based on contract. This way, it ensures that the mostqualified people are chosen and their performance is reviewed priorto ending their contract. It will also be an effective way ofreducing too much authority from judges. Also, the chief justiceshould not work in the position for a lifetime. He or she should workfor a number of years, on renewable basis. As such, it becomespossible to replace an ineffective chief justice with one who is morecompetent.
It is possible to make America great again by introducing freeeducation. The government has done a lot for the education system. Wehave seen the introduction of public schools that run fromkindergarten through to 12th grade. However, not everychild is fortunate enough to access this education. For instance,there are many children who fail to access higher education becausecollege fee is too high. Bursaries are available but limited to aspecific number of students. Additionally, there are those who manageto go to college through education loans. But once such individualsleave the institutions, they are in large debt.
Even those who are financially capable of financing their owneducation or that of their children, they do not get the besteducation. This is because the education system has shown adeteriorating trend over the past few years. When compared to otherdeveloped nations, the U.S. education system lags behind (Ness andLin 4). In the initial stages of introducing formal education in thecountry, reformists had great enthusiasm to meet the pressuringeconomic demand during the era of industrial revolution.
But currently, people are no longer living during the industrialrevolution era yet, our education system does not satisfy the needsof the constantly evolving world and a society that ishyper-connected. Even as the world continues to evolve in terms ofeconomy, technology, and engineering among other fields, the schoolscontinue to feed their students with the same knowledge that was usedby our forefathers to get the country past industrialization (Nessand Lin 4).
The education system lacks innovation thus, the substandard natureof its quality. In order for the nation to move forward and improveits society, measures must be put in place to correct the situationof the education system. The United States has goals that it wishesto attain with time, such as improving its technology. It will becomeimpossible for the nation to move forward towards achieving suchgoals if a majority of the population does not get proper education.In the end, a nation that has proven to be great lags behind since itlacks people who are adequately educated to implement reforms.
Notably, even with education reforms, the country continues to offerthe same quality of education without considering the changingeducation needs of students. If the government was serious about theeducation system, schools would have good and quality teachers andenvironment with the adequate resource, and a diverse range ofcourses and classes available for each child. For education to growin quality and be available to all children, the government has toput in place creative measures of unifying available policies inindividual districts.
Citizens have already experienced the charter schools but it is notgood enough when put into comparison with the current globalchallenges. The education system has generally shamed the countrysince there are many children who fail to attend schools simplybecause they cannot afford it while those who attend schools attainvery little to grasp onto available opportunities. By ensuring thatall children are able to attend school, and they get the best andquality education, it will become possible to make America greatagain.
Boak, Josh. 9 Changes to the Constitution – How Would You ChangeIt? The Fiscal Times, 3 Jul. 2013. Web. 8 Aug. 2016. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/07/03/9-Changes-to-the-Constitution-How-Would-You-Change-It
Clarke, Richard., Morell, Michael., Stone, Geoffrey., Sunstein, Cassand Swire, Peter. Protecting Citizens, and their Privacy. The NewYork Times, 19 Dec. 2013. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/opinion/protecting-citizens-and-their-privacy.html?_r=0
Connelly, Marjorie., Alvarez, Emily., Malato, Dan., Sterrett, David.,Benz, Jennifer., Tompson, Trevor., Ganesh, Nada., Cvarkovic, Ivanaand Swanson, Emily. Americans Evaluate the Balance between Securityand Civil Liberties. The Associated Press-NORC Center for PublicAffairs Research (2015): 1-8.
Ness, Daniel, and Lin, Chia-ling. International Education: AnEncyclopedia of Contemporary Issues and Systems. New York:Routledge, 2015.