Thursday, January 31, 2013

Majority Now See Federal Government as a Threat to Personal Rights...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

I found the chart and article from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press quite interesting. It is indeed true the federal government has become an increasing threat to individual individual freedoms and rights. That being said, what I found most interesting is the year GWB was elected to his first term on the heels of the Clinton presidency only 30% of the people believed this to be true. Every year since 2001 the percentage of the people viewing the federal government as a threat to their rights has been growing. It is easy to understand why when you think about the Patriot Act, TSA, ObamaCare, the current efforts to strengthen firearms control (an effort I support to a point - see prior posts on this issue), and the overall general trend for more government involvement in every aspect of our lives. President Obama seems to be continuing on the trend line started by GBW following his election in 2001. If we are fortunate President Obama will begin a gradual reversal of the trending that begin in 2001.

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, trust in the federal government remains mired near a historic low, while frustration with government remains high. And for the first time, a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13 among 1,502 adults, finds that 53% think that the federal government threatens their own personal rights and freedoms while 43% disagree.

In March 2010, opinions were divided over whether the government represented a threat to personal freedom; 47% said it did while 50% disagreed. In surveys between 1995 and 2003, majorities rejected the idea that the government threatened people’s rights and freedoms.

The growing view that the federal government threatens personal rights and freedoms has been led by conservative Republicans. Currently 76% of conservative Republicans say that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms and 54% describe the government as a “major” threat. Three years ago, 62% of conservative Republicans said the government was a threat to their freedom; 47% said it was a major threat.

By comparison, there has been little change in opinions among Democrats; 38% say the government poses a threat to personal rights and freedoms and just 16% view it as a major threat.

People who say they have guns in their households continue to be more likely than those who do not to say that the government is a threat to their personal rights and freedoms. About six-in-ten (62%) in gun-owning households see the government as a threat, compared with 45% of those without guns; this gap is no larger today than it was three years ago.

The survey finds continued widespread distrust in government. About a quarter of Americans (26%) trust the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time; 73% say they can trust the government only some of the time or volunteer that they can never trust the government. Explore a Pew Research interactive on Public Trust in Government: 1958-2013.

Just 20% of Americans say they are basically content with the federal government; 58% say they are frustrated while 19% say they are angry. For the most part, these views have changed little during Obama’s presidency. However, the percentage saying they are content with government sank to a low of just 11% in August 2011, following protracted negotiations between the president and congressional leaders over raising the debt ceiling. The same survey found that the percentage expressing anger at government had reached 26%, and just 19% said they trusted the government at least most of the time. {Read Much More}

Via: Memeorandunm


  1. The American electorate seemingly doesn't know what it wants. On the one hand they constantly rail against big government and on the other hand they're constantly electing individuals who promise them more of it. "Sacrifice, just not me."

    1. It certainly seems so. What I ponder is why this is so if in fact it is. Americans are a unique and quite peculiar people. Perhaps it is the special brand of diversity the modern era (post 1945) has brought us.

      And the beat goes on...

    2. Les, I think the dichotomy we sense (and see) is driven by the fact that many Americans still don't feel the pain of funding the Leviathan since we are, and have been deficit spending ourselves into oblivion and kicking the can down the generational road. They instinctively know that socialism, the nanny state and big gov't is wrong but weigh that against getting their slice of the pie... and many haven't felt the pain of paying for that slice.

    3. I agree that we have been deficit spending, for many years, and the rEpublicans have earned the title of champion in that affair. Kicking the can down the generational road is something the Congress(es) and President(s) have talked about yet done little to nothing about during this time. I suspect (strongly so) not much will change over the next several years. In part for reasons you cite.

      And the beat goes on...

  2. "federal government has become an increasing threat to individual individual freedoms and rights"
    Please list, explain, and define.

    1. No, you please list and define the reasons why you think this statement is not in fact correct.

      Please do not respond with, It is your responsibility to defend your statement." I have already done so in over 2160 posts.

      If you cannot do this I ask why. If you have no response I say do not bother to return to this site.

    2. PS: Anon, if you decide not to answer you must hit the tip jar going forward for publication of your comments followed by a response from me.

  3. Of course they believe it. It has been pounded into them by Republicans for decades.
    Drown government in the bathtub and live by anarchy. That's intelligent?

    1. No it is not. Nobody I know (conservative libertarian) is suggesting anarchy.

      There exists a HUGE difference between RESPONSIBLE limited government and Anarchy. Unless one is complete fool they understand this.

      Government has a purpose and a place. It is not however omnipoint. Balance, Balance, Balance. See the point Anon?

    2. Anon; You won't find anything like that message from anyone.

      RN: You are correct. Anon is just making up this statement because it sounds good to him/her.

      All: Since the government is in fact a threat to personal rights, and the Founding Fathers realized this when they wrote such things as the Bill of Rights, it would be a lot better if 100% of the people believed this.

  4. Talk to YOUR Republican leaders, they are the ones calling for killing off the government

    1. Are you dull or dense? They are not MY rEpublican leaders.

    2. He is dull and dEnse. The other reason is because there are no Republican leaders calling for killing off the government. In fact, none are calling for anything like a significant reduction in government. Almost all of them, like Paul Ryan, are proposing growing government.

      What you get is typically you have Democrats calling for a massive increase in the size of govenrment, and Republicans calling for a slightly less massive increase.

      "Still waiting Anon." indeed. He won't back up his claim, you think?


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