Liberty v. Security: A Short Review

Learning Objectives

  • Review a few basic terms from the text.
  • Discuss basic terms and general questions about balancing liberty protections and security concerns.

Questions for Open Discussion

  1. Who is in charge of the government of the United States and why is this idea so important?
  2. Should any individuals or groups receive special treatment under the laws and regulations of the United States?
  3. How does the governmental structure of the United States balance the competing interests of the people’s liberty and security?
  4. Does a republic or a democracy better serve the needs of the people?
  5. Should groups of individuals today pay the price for discrimination in the past?
  6. How should the government provide for protection against external threats?
  7. Is it acceptable to collect massive amounts of public data without probable cause?
  8. How do you decide what is acceptable behavior between individuals?
  9. How do you decide what is acceptable control by the government?
  10. Do people working in the government know better than the American people what the people’s safety needs are? healthcare? education? business and economic concerns?

Terms to Remember for Review

consent of the governed = people consent to government; the people control the government

unalienable rights = rights people have not from government or law

liberties = freedoms possessed by people because they are human

rights = how much freedom is given up by the people for security

equal rights = all persons are treated equally under the law

basic functions of good government = unite the people; provide a system of justice to hold people accountable; provide protection for domestic safety and security; provide protection against foreign threats & for defense; provide for the general welfare of all the people/stable economy; protect the people’s liberties

republic = form of government balancing power over and control of the people with protecting the liberties of the people

federal = structure of government balancing power between various levels of government (national/state/local) and between branches of government (legislative/executive/judicial)