What does the quote mean: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."?
If We The People would have liberty, we must have a government that is strong enough to keep our liberties from being taken away from us by foreign predators, but at the same time constituted so that it is not itself able to take away our liberties.
Such constitutional restraints upon the federal government in Washington (or the imperial government in London) may be 1) The federal government may not tax the people directly for any purpose but defense against foreign predators. All other monies must be raised by requisitions upon the states (which the states can reduce or delay or deny all together). 2) Any state government may veto any commerce regulation that it does not want to be under. 3) The federal government may not use its armed forces against any American citizen and it may use the state militia against American citizens only if it has the permission of the governor(s) of the state(s) from which the militia are coming and the permission of the governor(s) of the state(s) into which the militia are going. 4) Any state may seceed from the union if it finds the federal government to be too oppressive. And other such restraints upon federal power.
Restraints upon the government, which make it too weak to take the liberties of We The People, also make it to weak to protect us from every criminal or rebel that might arise within our country. Ocassionally we will have to protect ourselves, that is to say, ocassionally we we be at risk of injury or death. If we the people decide to make our government strong enough to keep us completely secure, then it will also be strong enough to take our liberties, and what can happen, sooner or later will happen.
The speaker meant that people who give government this power, are either fools or ignoramuses who have no appreciation of liberty so they don't deserve either liberty or security.
I like the answer by debllo above.