The Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln is the most popular American president around the globe due to his remarkable life history. Lincoln was always determined to change the dynamics of American politics and he used to borrow law books from his counselor who was a state legislator at that time. Like any other political leader, it was not easy for Lincoln to succeed in his early political career but these failures taught him wisdom and resilience. At last, he became the 16th president of the United States of America in 1861 after his lifelong struggle. During his presidency, he tried his level best to preserve the nation and end slavery. Lincoln was the greatest democratic of all time who believed the government can get the confidence of its citizens only if it works for their greater good. Lincoln says; “The people will save their government if the government itself will allow them”(Lincoln). In other words, if the government works for the welfare of its citizens then the people themselves will cooperate with their government for its survival. Now a question arises how can a government work for the well-being of its citizens?
The primary purpose of the American government is to maintain law and order, protect its citizens from external and internal threats and promote the general welfare.
The term rule of law is frequently used in the political and economic context. All governments of the world laws according to the guidelines set by the electoral representatives. However, the law-making process may vary from one country to another due to differences in their democratic structure. The rule of law can lead to a prosperous and just society where everyone enjoys equal rights. As an eminent Judge Tom Bingham says; “The rule of law is held to be not only good in itself, because it embodies and encourages a just society, but also as a cause of other good things, notable growth.” Laws perform several functions in society. Firstly, it gives equal rights and liberties to every citizen of the country. For example, the basic purpose of the American “Bill of rights” is to provide the citizen with equal democratic rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and some other liberties. Furthermore, laws create harmony in society by settling disputes among people in federal and local courts. Moreover, the law also brings order to a country by minimizing the rate of crime (Fallon Jr).
Similarly, a government can gain the confidence of the people by protecting them from regional and international threats. Military and security policy has always been an important pillar of the national policy of any country. The military of any country sacrifices their lives to protect the lives of its citizens from foreign invaders and terrorist attacks. Furthermore, national security also includes economic, environmental, and cybersecurity. Economic security involves protecting the nation’s wealth and economic reserves from regional and foreign threats. Furthermore, environmental security can be seen from a different perspective. Some argue that environmental security is associated with protecting the life and property of the people in case of any natural disaster such as floods, water shortage,s, and climate changes. Others claim that environmental security involves the protection of the natural environment of a country from manmade interventions. Lastly, any government must provide cybersecurity to its citizens in this digital world to stop any privacy invasion (Kaganovich and Zilch).
Furthermore, any government should try to raise the living standards of its people by providing proper education and healthcare facilities. Education plays an important role in the growth and development of any country and it is a well-known fact that only countries that focus on the need for education would be able to meet the heightened expectations of society. Many countries of the world are spending a huge amount of their economic reserves to provide free education to their citizens. For example, Japan is progressing by leaps and bounds because education is free at every level for the Japanese. Moreover, so many talented people in the world are unable to seek education due to their poor socioeconomic status so governments should try to lower this financial burden to promote education and learning. Furthermore, it is the primary responsibility of any government to improve the healthcare quality of the country by investing in healthcare centers, diagnostic laboratories, and hospitals (Lock).
However, if the government fails to maintain law and order in the country then it can lead to a chaotic situation where everyone discriminates against others based on their color, race, or financial status. For example, Racism is rooted in virtually all parts of the world, but the most affected country by the curse of racism is the United States of America. African Americans make less money; have lower educational facilities and a higher unemployment rate due to racism. Recently, A police officer murdered George Floyd which fuelled the Black Lives Matter Movement where people showed their rage against the American government. Hence, most of the African American population does not trust the American government. Also, ever since 9/11 happened Americans have lost interest in the security policy of America. Similarly, some argue that instead of raising the living standard of underprivileged citizens the American government is spending millions of dollars on its war against terror in a different part of the world. Furthermore, the recent COVID-19 has badly exposed the healthcare sector of America and a large majority of Americans are questioning the role of government.
In conclusion, it can be interpreted that in the light of Abraham Lincoln’s quote American government is obliged to work for the good of the people to gain their confidence. The idea of the rule of law is critical to any democratic government because it results in equal distribution of rights. Similarly, all governments should maintain order and security to maintain the stability of the regime. Furthermore, protection provided by the government is not limited to maintaining order within its borders but it is the chief responsibility of the government to protect from external threats and terrorism. Besides, the government should also try to work for the well-being of its citizens to help them lead happy life. However, if the government fails to fulfill its duties then they start to criticize their government at every level which can lead to chaos in society. In my opinion, a government can be good or bad based on the behavior of its citizens and stakeholders. A government cannot perform well unless everyone recognizes its duties and responsibilities.