Multiple Polls: Americans Are More Afraid of the GOVERNMENT than TERRORISTS

Washington Post and Fox News Find that – Even Right After the Boston Terror Attacks – Americans Are More Leery of Government Tyranny than Terrorists

WND reports today:

According to a pair of recent polls, for the first time since the 9/11 terrorist hijackings, Americans are more fearful their government will abuse constitutional liberties than fail to keep its citizens safe.

Even in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing – in which a pair of Islamic radicals are accused of planting explosives that took the lives of 3 and wounded over 280 – the polls suggest Americans are hesitant to give up any further freedoms in exchange for increased “security.”

A Fox News survey polling a random national sample of 619 registered voters the day after the bombing found despite the tragic event, those interviewed responded very differently than following 9/11.

For the first time since a similar question was asked in May 2001, more Americans answered “no” to the question, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?”

Of those surveyed on April 16, 2013, 45 percent answered no to the question, compared to 43 percent answering yes.

In May 2001, before 9/11, the balance was similar, with 40 percent answering no to 33 percent answering yes.

But following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the numbers flipped dramatically, to 71 percent agreeing to sacrifice personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism.

Subsequent polls asking the same question in 2002, 2005 and 2006 found Americans consistently willing to give up freedom in exchange for security. Yet the numbers were declining from 71 percent following 9/11 to only 54 percent by May 2006.

Now, it would seem, the famous quote widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin – “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” – is holding more sway with Americans than it has in over a dozen years.

A similar poll sampling 588 adults, conducted on April 17 and 18 for the Washington Post, also discovered the change in attitude.

“Which worries you more,” the Post asked, “that the government will not go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights, or that it will go too far in compromising constitutional rights in order to investigate terrorism?”

The poll found 48 percent of respondents worry the government will go too far, compared to 41 percent who worry it won’t go far enough.

And similar to the Fox News poll, the Post found the worry to be a fresh development, as only 44 percent worried the government would go too far in January 2006 and only 27 percent worried the government would go too far in January 2010.

The Fox News poll found that a bare majority of Democrats (51%) would give up more personal freedom to reduce the threat of terror, while only 47% of Republicans – and a mere 29% of independents – would do so.

This is not entirely surprising.

As we noted in February:

For years, “conservative” pollsters have said that Americans are furious at the government:

Liberals may be tempted to think that this is a slanted perspective. But non-partisan and liberal pollsters are saying the same thing:

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 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.


Majorities across all partisan and demographic groups express little or no trust in government.

Obviously, Democrats are currently more trusting in government than Republicans. For example:

The Pew Research Center’s 2010 study of attitudes toward government found that, since the 1950s, the party in control of the White House has expressed more trust in government than the so-called “out party.”

But given that even a growing percentage of Dems believe that government is a threat to their freedom, things are indeed getting interesting …

It doesn’t help that the government claims the power to assassinate American citizens living on U.S. soil, indefinitely detain Americans without trial, spy on everyone and otherwise intrude into every aspect of our lives.

Postscript: What are the actual risks coming from government versus terrorism?  That’s an interesting question.

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  • Anonymous

    Phew, what a relief that Americans are “getting it” more and more. In regard to the Boston marathon bombing, and police entering homes under the pretext of emergency which, according to Findlaw, cancels the fourth amendment right to be free from undue search and seizure without warrant: The ninth amendment states exactly that ” The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    Therefore, if there is an emergency, the police under the ninth amendment, cannot just randomly break into peoples’ homes or call a curfew either. This is unconstitutional, according to the apparently under-invoked ninth amendment.
    I surely understand the need to hunt down the Boston marathon bombers, but have to say that criminals have been caught without constraining people to their homes and without police entering homes at random and basically saying, “Stick ’em up!” That is, itself, an act of terrorism, if you ask me. Does everybody feel really safe now?

    • nveric

      9th and 10th Amendments are there for a purpose.

      However, Uncle Sam says “Fuck you Joe Six-pack, I can make all the necessary and proper laws I want. Those two amendments are just place holders until I take away all of your rights.”

      But then, Joe Six-pack says, “Sam, your sister wears Army boots to bed. I know, because I’ve seen them. And, as to what you claim you can take away, HA. We the People will take you down as no amount of law can be made to restrain anyone from their right to abolish any government they so choose. We don’t need laws to act, when we choose to act. We need no permission. We need no money. We need no arms. We need nothing you can take away, either. The time will come when you are all alone, sinking in your swamp. Some will want to show mercy and try to save you, but they have failed already.”

    • We aren’t safe, while the following is written in the NATIONAL SECURITY ACT
      of 1947 Section 103 (5) (codified at 50 USC 403(d)(4), creating a strong
      presumption 9/11 OK-City, Boston etc., are false flag:

      “perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence
      affecting the national security as the President or the Director of National
      Intelligence may direct. ”

      Google above phrase read law reviews and scholarly articles warning covert,
      false flag terror operations and assassinations are unfortunately, legal.

  • nveric

    Maybe there’s hope, but don’t count on it or order a cake. Who these people are who get polled is not an accurate reflection of the whole, because they know they’re being polled. Knowing so alters the experiment.

    And, as to their trust in government, it doesn’t mean they’ll want any changes. They’ll cling to a hot poker if it still means safety and security. Burning ’em to the bone hasn’t done anything yet. It’ll take the loss of a few limbs, half the intestines, and a kidney before they give a peep in protest.

    • HS

      So long as the teevee stays on and the organ harvesting is done slowly enough, they won’t say a word until the lights are finally switched off.

  • Contrary Mary

    Do they “fear” their government, or fear the coming Revolution?

  • Warren Celli

    “Multiple Polls: Americans Are More Afraid of the GOVERNMENT than TERRORISTS”

    That’s because aberrant terrorist bankers own and control governments and their institutions. The institutions that ‘educate’ you, take the phony polls, and divide you and distract you from their Xtrevilism.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  • Dredd Blog

    It may be catching on.

    The high court of Iceland ruled in favor of Wikileaks.

  • Washington76

    Where is the change we can believe in? Do not worry the CIA has been on a spending spree on our dime! They are only here to protect you. NOT!

    CIA-funded corruption: Top Afghan officials on secret US payroll Published time: April 29, 2013

  • ralphie44

    welcome to the jue world order

  • Sammy Bonnano

    You’re far more likely to have your wealth, health and futures destroyed by banksters and defense contractors. You know, the people who run and own the Gov’mint.

  • gozounlimited

    Wonder Why?

    The Case of Boston’s Disappearing Bomb Squad…..

    All In The Family: Uncle Ruslan Married to Daughter of Top CIA Official….

    Lab-Altered H5N1 Flu More Infectious to Humans than Birds…..

    Couple Fights to Get Their Baby Back from Authorities……

    Government Funded Phone App Tracks “Vaccine Refusers”…..

    HIV Vaccine Infects 41 Volunteers……

    Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery…..

    Chemical Deception: Multiple Forms of Hormone-Disrupting Bisphenol Found In US Food Supply….

    The worldwide Church of the Evening News……

    Climate scientists come to terms with the lack of global warming…..

    NYT: “Nowhere in Rebel-Controlled Syria is There a Secular Fighting Force to Speak Of”…,

    Afghanistan: CIA’s ‘Ghost Money’….

    60 Minutes: How Congress Trades On Inside Information…..

    Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
    The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There’s no price the big banks can’t fix…..

    Barofsky: “The Market Still Assumes A Bailout…”…..

    Recession and Austerity Good for the Rich…..

    The Rise of the Corporate State…..

    Why We Still Have a Massive Homelessness Problem (Hard Times USA)…..

    Why Does US Govt Need 30,000 Guillotines and over 600 Million rounds of hollow point bullets?….

    Post 9/11 Domestic Security Spending Exceeds Cost of New Deal….

    The worst part about BP’s oil-spill cover-up: It worked…..

  • Washington76

    Lets look at Waco, Twenty Years Later—What Statism Is All About

    Twenty years ago, Americans witnessed the greatest law enforcement atrocity in modern U.S history. On February 28th, 1993, the ATF raided the Branch Davidian home in Waco, Texas. The stand-off finally ended 51 days later, on April 19th, after the building went up in flames, killing 70 civilians and more than 20 children.

  • jayrowland

    Maybe because of this largest victory of gov transparency in decade overshadowed by boston even. Says they lied, big one.

  • GOOD, because when People FEAR something they soon HATE and KILL it.

  • The country is starting to grow up. The “big lie” and the “small lie” are more obvious as we snow ball into more conciousness as a species.

  • Ben_Hall_AU

    you are thousands of times more likely to be killed or lose your freedom and dignity directly from government forces than any terrorist.

  • whiteaglesoaring

    The Constitution is not so much about our rights as a manual limiting government rights. Our rights are inalienable and nonnegotiable. We do NOT receive our rights from the Constitution nor do we receive our rights from government. Government cannot take away what it has not given. WE gave government parameters within which it could function, proscribing where it cannot function.

    The danger, however, is that the Federal Government is not a national government but a private municipal corporation for administering policies of the CEO and the Board of Directors under Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution for the united States of America. Shareholders who vote in the corporate selection process are citizens of the Federal Corporation under the 14th Amendment, which, by the way, was ratified under the occupation of Federal troops in the conquered Confederate States of America and therefore illegitimately extorted under duress.

    Obama is the CEO and Congress is the Board of Directors.of the Federal District and its Possessions. A private, corporate municipal government is operating in cognito inside the form of the Constitutional Republic. The Organic Act of 1871 established a corporate municipal government, FDR illegally modified the Trading with the Enemy Act making Americans enemies of the state unless they subjected themselves to the rule of the District of Columbia and in 1935 began registering their birth certificates as collateral for the US debt. We are all shareholders and we can take back our investment. You are an owner…

  • James fish

    Just ask yourself why these “terror attacks” so conveniently fit this regimes agenda (s).

  • Turkeygobble

    I would suggest that everyone reading this article forward it to all the people in your email contact list and along with this article, explain what you have seen (martial law lockdown of Boston to find one kid) that leaves you very, worried. Be thoughtful and calm in presenting and especially focus on what these transgressions mean for young kids and future grandkids. Show the progression since 9/11 and the continued push for more transgressions. Show the evidence that the FBI/CIA are complicit in these terror attacks. Then ask…..who is the real terrorist here and WHy would they do this? Once you see that after each event the feds make a move to take away more of your rights, it becomes blatantly obvious WHY these events are done and by whom.

  • Washington76

    Boston Bombing: What You Aren’t Being Told

    In this video we are going to demonstrate that at the very minimum the authorities had prior knowledge of the attack and allowed it to happen, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • Piet Van Rensing

    OK boys and girls, this week we are informed (at last) that the NSA, FBI, and probably everybody in Government down to the local dogcatcher have been capturing, perusing, and saving all our communications since Thomas Edison burned down his father’s barn (at age 6) to learn more about how fire works. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but since they have, indeed, been monitoring absolutely everything and we still have such great terrorist concerns and events, what more is there to give up? Do you want sophisticated chips inserted up your rectums, which will have audio capability and also inform Government with all your medical data? I doubt that Obama, even in his heydays as a Hawaiian drug dealer and all-around scofflaw, imagined he’s be sitting upon this upswelling of Government entitlement.

  • Of course we are! Terrorists can only crash planes into buildings–it takes the government to leave New York City and Washington D.C. completely without fighter cover or combat air patrols and allow it to happen.

  • whowaaa

    the only way we can take down this progressiveism and Marxism is to take it out of the local cities first.and the states…then we take out the federal people, they snuck in and we need to pound them out…they want to follow the rules for radicals , i say give it back in anyway that needs to be done.they need to be exposed..we need to teach our kids what communism is and Marxism is..If you dont think they are trying to twist our childrens minds good look at Common core and what it does..Its in the schools NOW,,it was HIDDEN in the first stimulus package..this is a fact…It never went through congress and it never went through the dept of was used as bait for states to take the stimulus money..go look..

  • colinjames71

    I have to wonder- and don’t get me wrong I’m with you- if the polls represent a fair deal of irrational right wing Obama-is-a-Muslim sentiment, and wouldn’t be nearly as large if there was a Republican in office. I suppose more quasi-liberals and dems would have flipped answers in that scenario… But are people REALLY getting it? Just a thought. Yes, more and more are getting it, to be sure. Just not quite time for celebrating the revolution just yet. How to get people out of the hyper-partisanship game is a problem in need of a solution. PR feeds on emotion. I just don’t see Rs as disaffected with the party as Ds, and if they are it’s driving most to the corporate-driven tea party, which doesn’t help at all. Quite the opposite.

  • Robert Barsocchini

    And of course there’s the nagging little fact that the USA is the leading terrorist state in the post WW2 era…

    So really this poll result just shows that Americans are being logical. They know to be more afraid of a herd of rhinos than a few gnats.

  • jhgl hgyi

    I didn’t want to give up any more rights for “security” at least a few years ago, but I’m sure some people caught on way before I did. Yeah, 9/11 should have been where we drew the line (no patriot act).

  • honest

    No doubt, I am also more scared of the “organized” mass police surveillance that disregards the law as advised to do so by the current administration. I am law abiding and the ones who are the screw ups don’t give a damn. I need anxiety medicine after going through a license check as a passenger!!! Why is it that this administration has so disregarded the federal laws it should be enforcing?? I’m all for the terrorist hunt-I hope they catch every damn one of those fanatics. I just don’t think they are going to find one in my house or car??? Makes you wander why the money isn’t spent on watching the real risks here-immigrants and the arabs that own every store on every corner in America. I don’t trust those arabs a bit more than they respect us. I think all of the money being spent on the spying programs ought to be concentrated on making those disrespectful butt-holes as uncomfortable as possible-maybe they will stop worshiping our dollar and go home?? Say? Put an agent in every parking lot and escort them to and from where ever they seem to disappear to-no one in my small town even knows where the sneaky disrespectful muslims live?? I don’t break the law, don’t even go more than 5 over the speed limit. I’m tired of cops with tint so dark they probably can’t see out of it, let alone us see in!!! It’s a tactic, studied and created by the Bush administration for the intimidation factor, but abused widely by the Obama administration as all cars have become this way in the past 5 years, could you imagine driving one on a rainy night?? The idea is, if you can’t see them, you may think they are watching you instead of checking out the hot blonde next to them. I guess I can deal with that, it probably makes the screw ups think twice. What I don’t want is my cell phone calls listened to because me and a friend decide to talk about what a screw up Obama is and then data bank it for a supposed 5 years-probably forever. Don’t want a black box on my car, no thanks that’s going too far, can’t afford a car now and if I ever get another don’t want to pay for that feature hidden in the price, if they want it let them pay for it!! As far as the internet, if I’m looking at something illegal sure data bank, no don’t data bank the porn unless it is illegal, nor the commentary unless it is also illegal, they have the technology to provide privacy without constant monitoring of your conversations and searches. If I want to go on a forum and say I don’t like our racist muslim president, it should not be considered a threat. It is my opinion and in my opinion the truth. Obama has done more to divide the nation politically and racially than anyone in history. He will be remembered for all the wrong things, can’t say I’ve seen any good from increased surveillance-violating the fourth amendment, the failure of obama-care and the weakness he has exhibited in foreign policy. If only we can hang in there until January 2017!!!