I had a history teacher in high school, easily one of the best teachers I've ever had. He really put things into perspective: People will always put safety before freedom. What good is freedom if you don't feel safe enough to exercise your freedoms?
So short, so succinct, and so spot on.
Right now we have a government that has either embellished the level of danger we're in OR has completely created an illusion of danger where none should exist (which of those 2 you believe determines how much of a 9/11 conspiracy theorist you are, I suppose) and as such has instituted one of the largest growths in the size of government since at least the 60s if not the 30s!
The government is supposed to be a SERVANT of the people, not a RULER of the people. Under the guise of being a PROTECTOR of the people (our federal parents, if you will), it's slowly but surely becoming a RULER of the people, something our founding fathers were trying to prevent.