Security issues on both the national and local levels have been responded to in different ways by both the citizens and state leaders. In several instances, it has been argued that most leaders respond irrationally to insecurity issues. The articles; Trading Liberty for Illusions by Wendy Kaminer and “If Looks Could Kill” from the economist compare and contrast the different reactions on security matters. Wendy argues that most political leaders tend to be defensive on matters affecting national security and will therefore attack a given group of people who are believed to be behind the insecurity issues. On the other hand the article “If Looks Could Kill” clearly discusses some of the steps taken by the government to curb insecurity and how citizens respond to these strategies.
The introduction of surveillance cameras comes out as one of the issues under contention. For instance, a school of thought argues from the point of view that this strategy is not in accordance with the constitution. The approach that there is a need for handling the matter in a more diplomatic way and argues as a human activist. However, according to the current events in relation to security demand more proactive as well as reactive measures that mitigate the challenges and outcomes. On the other hand, there is a school of thought from the economist side and uses a different approach to the matter. Linking the prospects of having a stable community as an avenue for the prowess of markets as well as the development of the economy comes out as the focus of this assertion. Thus in the process of bringing people to understand security aspects of the economy is brought forth as a tenet for communication.
The main persuasion that comes out as an emergent source of conviction for both the citizens and other security stakeholders is the reasoning behind logical linkages. The use of security tenets as a basis for decision-making in surveillance and data collection lies in the balance between consideration of security and privacy. Thus with the aim in mind, the logical conclusion emerges as lying on the understanding of the law, personal privacy, and surveillance as key considerations.
In their attempt to address the topic of insecurity, the authors use rhetoric questions aimed at the readers’ minds. The discussion carried out in the two articles seeks to answer the question as to whether America is fully prepared to deal with insecurity matters. Consequently, the discussion carried out in the article by the economist tries to answer this question. This is achieved through the author’s ability to carefully evaluate the impact that electronic surveillance has had on the social wellbeing of American citizens. However, Wendy’s tone and opinions can be seen as a way that she affirms that both the American government and its citizens are not ready to deal with insecurity issues. She is derived from some of the examples of how the government and the public have previously reacted to insecurity.
One major weakness identified in Wendy’s article is that the author tends to major on the problem. She does not suggest any solutions on how the government can address this issue in a more idealistic approach in order to avoid trampling over the primary civil rights of citizens. Instead, she continuously attacks the government on their approach back and forth. Despite this, she is able to fight for the rights of many American citizens including immigrants who are often punished either directly or indirectly. Hence tackling a subject that is often neglected by many while addressing insecurity issues, the author here acts as the spokesperson of the innocently accused foreigners.
The strength in the article derived from the economist is that the author extensively explains the shortcomings of surveillance systems. The author manages to slowly but well explains to the reader the advancements done on each consequent technological gadget tested. He or she makes use of testimonies and statements from different officials who have had a chance to closely examine the camera surveillance system. However, the weakness in this article is that the author fails to include the past reactions of citizens towards these gadgets and merely makes assumptions. It would have been much fulfilling if the author also included views from the common citizens on the streets.
As the American citizens and the government embark on preparing for any future security threats, it is important that first, they evaluate the problem. The entire country needs to go back to the drawing board and analyze the steps that need to be taken in order to effectively fight insecurity. These two articles act as a reminder that America does not have an effective response and preparedness plan that will deal with future calamities. Thus the authors have taken it upon themselves in allowing the government to reexamine the whole issues all over again. Wendy has also reminded the citizens of their basic rights and uses this platform to warn the government against fighting insecurity while it goes against the constitution.
Kaminer, W. (2004). Trading Liberty for Illusions. Free Inquiry Magazine, 2.
Weggins, B. (2008). “If Looks Could Kill”. The Economist, 22.