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

George Washington's picture

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 …

Postscript: What is the actual risk that the government versus terrorists will harm us?  That's an interesting question.

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Neo1's picture

Your children's children will live under Communism. You Americans are so gullible. No you won't accept Communism outright; but we'll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won't have to fight you. We'll so weaken your economy until you fall like ripe fruit into our hands. –Nikita Krushchev, 1959                                                                       Search: The Communist Takeover Of America - 45 Declared Goals Search: Cultural Marxism – The Corruption of America

luckylongshot's picture

The only issue I have with the headline is it assumes Government and Terrorists are two different groups.

Longtermnotreally's picture

V said it all; what if the governement is the terrorist, at whichever level you want, by allowing it to happen, fascilitating it, sponsoring it or even organizing it.

It's such a tried and tested method throughout history, but people are naive and nicely conditioned into believing the MSM bullshit.

Next comes paytime; a fascist regime, ohmygod, didn't see that one coming

whether underground's picture

"It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf."

--Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, 1776

whether underground's picture

Each of us who read this article have been tagged by google and we are all on the no-fly watchlist and should head out to Ruby Ridge now to take our medicine.

Winston Churchill's picture

Duck duck go ,and a TOR browser extension will save you from the camps,maybe.

whether underground's picture

No, no, no! No more! Not this time, consiglieri. No more meetings, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give 'em one message: I want Sollozzo. If not, it's all-out war: we go to the mattresses.

madcows's picture

Well of course they do.  The people understand that we are on the debt precipe, and they just keep spending.  We see them as the greatest threat to the Country.

they are buying zillions of bullets for "Homeland Security".

Oh, and I almost forgot, they want to use drones, perform illegal searches, take away the right to bear arms, limit my sugar intake, open the borders to the whole world, allow muslims to blow up the streets in the name of political correctness, burden us with impossible regulations, take over health care, and on and on and on and on.

Time to throw off the shackles.

Disenchanted's picture

We're All Branch Davidians Now


The United States has never lived up to its rhetoric.

cherry picker's picture

There is no reason to trust the government is there?

George W was a former coke sniffer and alcoholic who brought in the Patriot Act and Homeland Security, the outfit that strip searches 90 year old women and children.  Obama was a former pot head who causes medical expenses to soar, carried through with George W's agenda, never closed down Gitmo although he is "Commander in Chief" and has a "kill" list of "suspects" he can drone at will.  The Nobel Peace Price winner never showed his employers the evidence Osama was apprehended or killed.

How can you trust people whose sole purpose is to find ways to take away freedom and pull more money from your wallet at every turn?

They are setting an example the rest of the world is too eager to follow, the world of dictators I mean.

These guys may be worse than Kings of old as in the olden days, they would feel the wrath of those they wronged.

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Funny how the fox news poll indicates half of BOTH rep and dems don't fear the govt, while the others are closer to 42.  

Funny how fox is supposed to be the 'alternate' view point.

Boycott ALL MSM.  

Colonel Klink's picture

You should have just shortened your post to BOYCOTT ALL MSM.

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Well, some might actually still believe that fox is actually an opposition force.   Sad as that is...

Diogenes's picture

There would have been no American Revolution if the rich business interests of that time could have bought politicians as cheap as they do today.

d edwards's picture

One of the Founders said:

When the government fears the people there is liberty,

When the people fear the government there is tyranny.

It's still true today.

Deo vindice's picture

(St. Paul) "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

(Jesus) "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Mathew 10:25-28)

midtowng's picture

So one third of the people will ALWAYS want to give up some of their freedoms.

Wakanda's picture

Government = Terrorists

TuesdayBen's picture

Gubmint = Totalitarians, control freaks

And it'll get worse until such time as the sheeple wake up, which won't happen until they, we, experience severe pain.

q99x2's picture

They should have asked if people have more fear of bankers or terrorists or if they thought there was any difference between the two.

blindman's picture

The Tower of Basel: Secretive Plans for the Issuing of a Global Currency
Do we really want the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issuing our global currency

By Ellen Brown

Global Research, April 17, 2013
..."And that is where the conspiracy theorists come in. Why did the BIS not retract or at least modify Basel II after seeing the devastation it had caused? Why did it sit idly by as the global economy came crashing down? Was the goal to create so much economic havoc that the world would rush with relief into the waiting arms of the BIS with its privately-created global currency? The plot thickens . . . ." e.b.

Parisnights's picture

Standing an hour in line at Gander MTN, a guy told me that the rumour of the gov't buying ammo was false-- said La Pierre said so.  I then asked if the gov't didnt cause the shortage, "why the short supply"?.  Yeah, we trust this gubmint a WHOLE lot.

DosZap's picture

Standing an hour in line at Gander MTN, a guy told me that the rumour of the gov't buying ammo was false-- said La Pierre said so. I then asked if the gov't didnt cause the shortage, "why the short supply"?. Yeah, we trust this gubmint a WHOLE


And I guess the 2,217 MRAPS are VW's also?.

blindman's picture

..linked ....r.m.

Little Feat - Lafayette Railroad ( by Bill Payne & Lowell George) Instrumental
Lowell George Easy Money
" the easier it looks the harder it hooks,
there ain't no such thing as easy money." r.l.jones

johnQpublic's picture

if you have five dollars and chuck norris has five dollars, chuck norris has more money than you.

congress will tax both you and chuck norris at different rates, extracting twelve dollars from the net ten dollars of worth , and will spend 20 dollars, the fed steps in , monetizes that, and voila, 17 trillion in debt.

DosZap's picture

PUTUS has now spent TWICE as much time on vakay, and golfing than he has the economy.

Whazzz zat tell ya?

blindman's picture

" the easier it looks the harder it hooks,
there ain't no such thing as easy money." r.l.jones

Big Boss Man's picture

Early in the year 2000, Social Security changed their rules on income limits for people over the age of 65, enabling them to earn any amount of money without penalty, due to a labor shortage.
Before 18 months passed, 9/11 happened and suddenly we needed a few hundred thousand armed DHS agents to "protect" us.
These protectors were found from the ranks of the hard-core unemployable, or those who still had marks on their heads from their McDonalds hats.

yellowsub's picture

I thought many Americans fear their favorite show on TV will be canceled next season!

Umh's picture

Giving the government the funding they were given after 9/11 was certain to result in sloppy work and abuse of power. We had people sitting in meetings trying to figure out what they could possibly buy with the wind fall of cash.

mickeyman's picture

Maybe they are seeing the excellent results of giving up their first batch of freedoms <sarc>

dick cheneys ghost's picture

''Tens of millions of U.S. dollars in cash were delivered by the CIA in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to the office of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade, according to the New York Times, citing current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

The so-called "ghost money" was meant to buy influence for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but instead fuelled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington's exit strategy from Afghanistan, the newspaper quoted U.S. officials as saying.

"The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan," one American official said, "was the United States."
Read more:

MickV's picture

This government is not of the United States of America. The United States government has been Usurped by an illegal non natural born Citizen President.



'Barack Hussein Obama is a British subject, the son of a British subject, by his own story (SEE "Dreams From My Father" --- he told you that he is not a natiral born Citizen

Barack Obama Sr. is "an improper ascendant" (improper ANCESTOR -see Federalist 68)

The President is the executive head of the government, thus there is no legal goverment if the President is an illegal entity. Look around. Seen any law for the Oligarchy lately?


Pure Evil's picture

Actually, a communist named Frank Davis is O'StumbleBum's father, and he's a US citizen.

Frank Davis

Look at the simularities in the video.

fx's picture

Time for another engineered 9/11, bitchez! Don't ya fear those evil terrorists enough yet? Damn it!

new game's picture

my only fear is too many people really don't fear dis gub-ofa-fuck ofa joke called facism-in your face supported by a cast of thugs called da armed forces underwritten by da banksters and never really giving a fuck about you(anyways).

have a nice say.

we are in the gray merican ages

crumble, baby crumble - slow sur and the 30,000" thunderheads are forming ober dar in da distance.

en erosion til the day of ever so smaller life of reduced property rights and shit you can do.

play chess in the park? hmmm, the thought police are watching...

as dad would say "the bastards".

JOYFUL's picture

And indeed Merikans have good reason to be afraid - very afraid...  of this hollowed-out husk of a Hapsburgian-styled imperial Presidency...which brooks no challenge to nor brake upon it's 'authority' to enforce the mandate dictated to it in turn by the talmudist 'ascendancy' in tel aviv. From '41' to define "is"* to 42 and then right El Robespierre Two!

For no 'accidents' exist in 'random chance' would bring the Boston Shillathon Terror Narrative to it's bloody climax on the ANNIVERSARY of the bloody climax of WACO...and... Oklahoma...together!!!!!!!!! Terror and 'the Government' have merged, Robespierre style, in a leveraged buyout of your remaining rights by the moneychangers...and their eager minions in office.

Demon-strations...of the power of the satanist state to abrogate all rights, rules, and reminders of reckless rampages of irrational blood sacrifice and mayhem against every forlorn flicker of resistance to the real enemy....that kabal of kabbalist kooks whose necromantic num-er-ol-ogies always require that the victim(s) be informed of their fate...and then acquiesce in same by merely staying tame!

Now I have seen from the feedback of those who toggle the vote meters here religiously...that this thesis of talmudist cabbalistic terror is not yet well accepted...however, this be not but expected...because my peeple lie beneath a fog of lying lunacy...unable to clearly see the looters at work amongst them...

this will change. Waco was the signal of the synagogue of take the war against the peeples of the book to full power..."Mt Carmel", where the Baal worshipers were scorned was the scene of their revenge. Blood sacrifice has become the official 'religion' of the monsters in Washington. They believe that they have won for all time...

will you cede them the victory? Or fight back with the fervor of one who knows that the final stand be now?

*"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."

Precious's picture

Government, terrorists?  Who knows.  But I am afraid of roaming, self-rightous fat fucks with low IQs shouting and pointing guns at innocent people under the pretense of safety and security.  

Milestones's picture

First one out of the shut is right on target. These peoplle need to be brought to heel.I've had recent first hand experience with these clowns. Basta es basta.      Milestones 

Transformer's picture

Really, it's no big deal.  You can just shelter in place, until it's safe to go out again.

HD's picture

NBC's Brian Williams seems to have some journalistic integrity, but lost a little respect for the man by his constant use of DHS terms - especially "shelter in place".  When I started rolling my eyes - I just turned it off.

On "Real Time" Friday night, Bill Maher (mind you, this is a man who gave the Obama campaign a million dollars) repeatedly called the US a police state. No one on the panel disagreed - they were debating if the US was simply a police state or a militarized state.

We just keep falling further down the rabbit hole.


therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Bill Maher is a huge stinking pile of shit.  Fuck BIll Maher..after he's spent years fighting ANYONE that disagreed with his leftist view he's now surprised that he got exactly what he was fighting for...dumb fuck that he is.   I hope they put him in the guillotine first.

GetZeeGold's picture



The next million Bill Maher will give away will probably be to Rand Paul.


He's now on the drone strike list. 

TuesdayBen's picture

Front page headline in today's WaPo:

Push to Expand Internet Wiretaps...FBI Focuses onSocialMedia...Panel Proposes Fines for Noncompliance

It won't be Zuckerberg's fault for caving to The Authorities, it'll be his customers' fault for continuing to use his service.

Pure Evil's picture

You can guarantee the good folks inside the beltway don't know how to read much less comprehend the results of these polls.

Because if they could we wouldn't be stuck with Obamacare.

They have an agenda and it doesn't include liberty and a Constitutional Republic.

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Tee hee...simple solution, don't use social media.   :-)   Then we fuck them all at once.  

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Terrorist is to use household appliance make Improvisational Explosive Detonation, kill 10s, maybe 100s. Government is employ resource of nation to manufacture gun, tank, plane, wire fence, toxic gas, weaponized biological agent, camera surveillance system, etc., kill 1000s, maybe millions.

Boris not afraid of puny terrorist, but big government wake Boris in pool of sweat every night.