The only way to make a government tolerant, and hence genuinely free, is to keep it weak…Thomas Jefferson, the greatest of all American political philosophers, saw this clearly, and so he was in favor of keeping the government as weak as possible. He believed that in any dispute between a citizen and an official, the citizen ought to have the benefit of every doubt. But Jefferson was too intelligent a man to believe that the sweet could not be obtained without also taking in a certain amount of bitter. He knew that a weak government was very likely to be an unstable one – that its very mildness would be no more than a symptom of sickness. He swallowed this fact bravely and even went to the length of arguing in favor of frequent revolutions. But not many men of today would go with him so far.
Most men incline in the other direction. They like a strong government because, so long as they do not offend it, it gives them protection and security; they are quite willing to give up some of their liberty, and even a great deal of it, in return for those boons.