It is a primary focus of a democratic government. By enforcing peoples' rights, they are enforcing the law, the Constitution and the principles enshrined within them. What more important purpose could government have? I don't think there are necessarily too many rights. I do think there are probably too many entitlements.
The role of government in ensuring rights: Government (the people who govern) exists off of taxes. In order to get those taxes, government provides protection to the taxpayers so that they can have a stable enough society to produce taxable wealth. People want protection so that they can pursue happiness. Happiness is adequate food, clothing and shelter for self and family, and knowing that no one is likely to come along and take it away from you. People pay taxes to government in order to get protection from government. As long as the taxes are not too high, or the protection too little, a stable, happy society exists.
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