I lean right and govt restricts freedom.
I lean left and govt restricts freedom.
I lean right and govt does NOT restrict freedom.
I lean left and govt does NOT restrict freedom.
I am not American and govt restricts freedom.
I am not American and govt does NOT restrict freedom.
Let me ask you this, what besides force can protect your right to a fair trial when accused of a crime? Obviously, even without a government there to conduct the courts, someone will accuse someone else of stealing something. What, besides a civilized government, and the force it wields, makes this story end with an honest and fair trial and not a lynch mob?
Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.
To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue. ... To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality. -- Proudhon
Anyway, addressing the question: A little of both. For the most part, government is restrictive, be definition, I think. Most people wouldn't advocate "anything goes", so by admitting that government is restrictive isn't wholly a bad thing. But, it can be a defender of rights, too.
I've never bought into the concept of "natural rights", at least as a practical real-world concept. Yes, there are things that people should enjoy as rights no matter what, but that's only in theory, not reality. Reality is that somebody and/or something has to defend those rights, or else they simply don't exist in the real world. That somebody may be one self and/or the government, but they still have to be defended... or taken, if you will, from people who want to deny them to you..
If, when defending your support for Donald Trump, and your response is,
"But but but... HILLARY!!!", then you lost the argument before you even began.