Most Americans Think the Gov’t Threatens Their Rights and Freedoms

John Glaser, January 31, 2013

Politico reports:

Fifty-three percent of Americans believe the government is a threat, and 43 percent do not, according to a Pew Research Center poll. Three-in-ten Americans believe government constitutes a major threat. In a poll conducted October 2003, only 45 percent saw government as a threat to their freedoms. Fifty-four percent do not.

I’m not necessarily one to take public opinion as sacred (majorities of Americans support all kinds of horrible things), but it’s hard to blame the 53% of Americans who think the government is a threat to their liberties. The sectors of the economy in which the government is most involved are also the most dysfunctional (e.g., healthcare, banking, etc.). We live in an age where there is a bipartisan consensus that the government can secretly spy on Americans communications without a warrant from a traditional court; political activists are infiltrated with government agents; the President can wage secret wars with robots and can even kill US citizens without a shred of due process; American citizens may be subject to indefinite detention on the say-so of the Executive branch alone; and so on.

Granted, 70% of those who think the government jeopardizes liberties are Republicans, so many respondents are thinking about Obama taking away their gun rights and their Christianity. But 45% are not gun owners and 55% of independents are in the camp that believe the government is a threat to their liberties. And with the level of encroachment into people’s lives and liberties these days, it shouldn’t be surprising.




20 Responses to “Most Americans Think the Gov’t Threatens Their Rights and Freedoms”

  1. "Granted, 70% of those who think the government jeopardizes liberties are Republicans…"

    That's only because in their twisted minds the "government" doesn't include cops or the military which are sacred and always to be trusted.

  2. [...] Most Americans Think the Govt Threatens Their Freedoms [...]

  3. Wait a minute! You do not see a connection between our 2nd Amendment rights and liberty? Huh!?!

  4. I do, but that's a different animal than what we usually cover here at Antiwar.com (i.e. warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, national security state, etc.).

  5. It doesn’t stop their dumbasses from voting

  6. [...] Most Americans Think [their own] Gov't Threatens Their Rights and Freedoms [...]

  7. Now if we can continue to push that percentage close to 100 maybe more real peace and liberty candidates will come along. Hopefully Ron Paul was not a once in century guy.

  8. Turns out the other 47% haven’t read a news article in 5 years.

  9. "The sectors of the economy in which the government is most involved are also the most dysfunctional (e.g., healthcare, banking, etc.)."

    Healthcare has much more government involvement in other countries (ie canada) and is much better and costs less overall. The banking industry needs government regulation or we get 2008 crashes. Corruption obviously runs rampant in both directions, but to suggest these industries as examples of why people should fear the government, and then to belittle people who fear the government taking their arms, seems off.

  10. In addition to massive surveillance (now, with drones in the act) nationwide, we have TSA committing sexual molestations at the airports and threatening to expand their crimes to other transportation hubs, as well as to sporting events.

    In addition, DHS and other Federal agencies have been buying up ammo – much of it containing hollow point bullets. And, don't forget the foreign contractors who have been training local and state police for paramilitary operations. No wonder the vast majority of the citizenry view the Gov't as a threat to their liberties.

    Most of this distrust came as a result of unconstitutional laws such as the Patriot Acts 1 and 2; and, recently, the NDAA. All three of these "laws" put US citizens at risk of indefinite detention without trial; the NDAA taking this step even further, with indefinite detention in MILITARY prisons, without trial.

  11. Yeah the funniest part is they think things like social spending threaten their "liberty" but an increasing police state is necessary for security.

  12. I thought i also read about a massive military vehicle movement a few months ago too.

  13. I'm liberal and love my liberty. I know of many people on the left who think our police and military are saints. Your "Republicans vs. Democrat" political party finger pointing is inaccurate and gets us no where. Dems are just as at fault as Republicans for challenging liberty. The american people are at fault for buying into the same bullshit ever election cycle. We may not have the leadership we need for purpose of securing liberty, but we damn well have the leadership we deserve.

  14. While good news, how many of these people actually are against statism against all people not just people of their political stripe. I would be willing to bet the results would be different.

  15. [...] SOURCE: ANTIWAR [...]

  16. Maybe for healthcare, but not really for banking, that whole industry is entirely sustained on bailouts and wouldn't exist in it's present form if it hadn't been bailed, it's all taking our money and lending it out to us for interest, that's the entire profit model (well and speculation, which also gets bailed). Some form of healthcare would exist with no government or with socialized medicine but the current banking system would not exist without capitalized profits and socialized losses.

  17. MOZA took permission to invite israelee sportXmen for 2020 Doha fireworks and Nat took Ethn form Bu$hcorpz to occupy Arabia since 1947….indeed rain makes applesauce.

  18. [...] czy i kiedy uda si? mieszka?com III RP wydosta? z szamba, w którym tkwi? po uszy? [i] http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/01/31/most-americans-think-the-govt-threatens-their-rights-and-freedoms/ [...]

  19. [...] http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/01/31/most-americans-think-the-govt-threatens-their-rights-and-freedoms/ [ii] [...]

  20. I totally don't agree with this article because according to my point of view Christianity is that religion, which have strengthen it's roots deeply and raise slogans of capitalism. And this religion give all rights according to them. Sarcastic !!