Free Markets, Free People

No surprise here: Half of Americans see government as a threat

One of Mr. Obama’s stated campaign goals was to make big government “cool” again.  If the latest Gallup poll is to be believed, he and his administration have done precisely the opposite.

Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,” similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude.

The reasons vary but the top four are telling:


Gallup does a bit of equivocating in its analysis, but finally makes a fairly obvious point about its results:

Still, the persistent finding in recent years that half of the population views the government as an immediate threat underscores the degree to which the role and power of government remains a key issue of our time. As a case in point, a question in this same survey asked Americans to name the most important problem facing the nation, and found that issues related to government were the most frequently mentioned. Plus, numerous other measures show that the people give their government some of the lowest approval and trust ratings in the measures’ history.

In the age of terror, citizens are finally waking up to what its cost in freedom has been.  They’re finally beginning to notice that government has grown much more powerful, intrusive and costly.  There seems to be more corruption and cronyism.  They’ve also noticed it has become much less responsive and efficient.  In fact, in many areas it is downright inefficient and broken.  If you look at the top 4 reasons though, it’s the intrusiveness of government that has most people worried.

The survey deals with government as a perceived threat and it is clear, since 2003, that perception has grown by 19 points from 30% to 49%.  That’s significant and, if I had to guess, will only go higher in the last part of the Obama administration.

The man who planned to make government “cool” again, as he has with so many of his other plans, has failed.   In the long run, that’s a good thing.


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28 Responses to No surprise here: Half of Americans see government as a threat

  • Americans…even those who only vaguely “feel” stuff is wrong…get it.

    The central government has grown past all bounds, and it presents the greatest danger to the people in modern times.

    • I don’t think Americans “get it”…with a few rare exceptions. Having vague bad feelings doesn’t generally lead to coherent action to stop the root cause of those bad feelings. It opens people up to following the lead of politicians, media, etc. who happen to focus stupid people on things that ultimately don’t matter.

  • The funny thing is that the democrats are rallying around a self described socialist who wants to make government bigger and more intrusive.

    • They’re totally convinced that it’s just a matter of getting someone running things who has a pure enough heart.

      They used to think that was the Lightworker himself, Obama. Now it’s scruffy Bernie.

      For most of these quasi-religious lefties, they’ll never give up hope of the arrival of their “I’ll make collectivism work” messiah, no matter how many they think was The One, but who just ended up just making things worse.

  • Who wouldn’t trust a government that breaks it’s own laws at whim and then enforces them on ‘enemies of the ruling party’?
    Who wouldn’t trust a government that can track the emails and communications of average citizens, but seems to conveniently lose those belonging to various branches?
    Who wouldn’t trust a government that doesn’t enforce it’s borders?

    It just goes to prove that whatever percentage of people who don’t trust the government right now are probably racists.


    Imagine this Establishment gutworm in charge of the DOJ.

    Note that he’s also calling for a boycott of FOX news. Just like a Collectivist.

    • The Club for Growth launching an attack on a businessman who has started dozens of businesses and hired thousands of people is what we call irony.

      • You don’t mean crony capitalist Duh Donald, who has owned and lost “businesses” that were the equivalent of owning a mint?

        The CFG is an outfit that fosters SMALL government and free markets. That’s the OPPOSITE of BIG GOVERNMENT and anti-market.T-rump.

        • The Club for Growth is like the college professor in Back to School looking down his nose at Rodney Dangerfield, who turned it around and explained to him what being in business is actually like. Especially in New York City, and that’s the capital of commerce in the U.S. Rough stuff. Not for Beltway think tank pussies.

          • But who CHOSE to be in…and swim in the sewage…of Nuevo Ork City?

            New York is NOT the capital of commerce in the U.S. That YOU think it is is telling.

            I ALSO note you cannot respond to T-rum’s Collectivist and totalitarian urges.

  • Does this blog have a sign somewhere — because I haven’t seen it, but it must, by implication, be somewhere — that says “MORE COWBELL?”

    • I think every blog on the right side of the political spectrum currently has someone who can’t stop complaining that Trump “isn’t a conservative”, even though we all know that and have factored into our opinions.

      I’ve watched this race go from another establishment GOP snoozefest into a three-ring circus. All in all, I prefer the circus to the snoozefest. Even if the elephant steps on someone, chances are very good that they deserved it.

      • ” Even if the elephant steps on someone, chances are very good that they deserved it.”
        From what I can tell, pretty near everyone out on the floor in the arena – and probably a lot of people in various sections of the stands.

      • The issue isn’t that T-rump “isn’t a conservative”. That can be said of several of the GOP candidates.

        The issue is that T-rump lines up with Collectivist positions antithetical to conservatives.

        Plus, the man is possessed of the same pathologies we’ve been victimized by in the LAST narcissist in the White House.

      • The problem is the “fireplace poker through the frontal lobes” dissociative adolescent endless COW BELL sub-rhetoric. It doesn’t really have anything to do, per se, with Trump. I would never tell McQ et al. how to run their blog, but I should have spoken up about it a few years ago before the damage was done. But then Bruce isn’t a conservative and I’m not a libertarian, so my views have always been tangential to the main thrust of this blog. But if “libertarian” means that any slob with a sausage and beer belching disorder…well. I never took comments at my blog but if I had and had good people who were regulars the belcher would be out, fast.

        • Not at all oddly, you only make an attack. No argument.

          I must have committed heresy against your little yellow god.

          Tough shit.

          T-rump is anti-market economics, BIG GOVERNMENT, pro-cronyism, pro-campaign finance “reform”, and pro-Kelo. If you look critically at his crappy immigration paper, you’ll see he seems totally in favor of a “remittance” confiscation plan that seems indistinguishable from “asset forfeiture”, and would require an immense new bureaucracy. If you look critically at his paper on the Second Amendment, you’ll note that a major feature is a call to Federalize law enforcement and prosecutions for state crime, which I thought we were against when Holder did the same things.

          But I will allow as how I do like sausages and beer. Though I do have the manners to not belch, or attack people in lieu of an argument. As here.

          • You’re just a slob and a loud mouth. An adolescent, with problems, among adults. I could not care less whether you agree or disagree with anything I think or care about. But I would never insult a topic by pretending that I could have an argument with something like you about it. This forum was once a hot place. Now it has the aura of a service elevator at a sausage factory.

        • I was going to say when reigned by Obama and the Fakes in the Republican Party Conservatives and Libertarians don’t have much contrast. But then I realized once upon a time Republican meant conservative with a dash of libertarian. And the Fakes ruined the Republican brand and I have realize the Fakes have realized they have and have subtly moved on to calling themselves Conservatives and the Liberal Media and Defenders of the Fakes, FoxNews, are helping them move into that brand and ruin it too.

          • I have long opined against the term RINO for the simple reason that Republicans are NOT…and never were…necessarily conservatives. Colin Powell is a great example of this, as was Teddy Roosevelt (a Progressive). Indeed, MANY leading Progressives of that movement’s heyday were Republicans.

            You can be a Republican and be anything BUT a conservative in terms of philosophy, and that’s always been true.

  • With every dark cloud there is a silver lining, several of them, in fact.
    >Gun and ammunition sales are soaring.
    >More and more people are acquiring shooting skills
    >More people are leaning about the Constitution and the responsibilities and limitation of their government (and how far from the playbook they have strayed)
    >More and more people are far less likely to do what the government demands of them, in fact they are likely to do the exact opposite.

    • While I was troubled by “the government” doing their search and destroy after the Marathon Bombing incident in Boston, I was glad to see the number of people who said “wait a second, how does that fit in the 4th Amendment!”

  • I want to elect people who will weaponize and USE the government against the 50% who don’t see govt as a threat.

    Because they don’t think that power will ever be bought to bear on them. Only against Christians and conservatives and gun owners and all the badthink rubes in flyover land.

    A few jailings or death penalties will slap them back to reality.

    • Hey, when they went through Watertown Mass turning people out of their houses there wasn’t much outcry in a martial law class house to house search.
      Those ‘sheltering in place’ people from certain areas don’t expect to have the government turned loose on them, but when it happens, most of them will be good little sheep about it.
      After all, they’re not ALL being rounded up, and they probably comfort themselves thinking that ONLY people who deserved to be rounded up were actually rounded up and rousted around.

      I recall the videos from Watertown, it looked like it was mostly fuzzy foreigners rudely being turned out of their houses, not good solid center/left of center voters, so, you know, no harm no foul or something.


    Every year since at least 2008, Mar-A-Lago has requested anywhere from 70 to 90 visas to bring foreign workers into the country as cooks, waiters and housekeepers…..A Reuters’ investigation in August found Trump-related businesses have requested more than 1,100 visa workers including workers to till his vineyard and 250 models for his modeling agency.

    Huh. I would have thought there were plenty of beautiful young Americans who would love to have a job as a model. I guess you just live and learn…

    • ” I would have thought there were plenty of beautiful young Americans…”

      They aren’t skinny enough. It takes real third world poverty to get that skin-and-bones look that quality high fashion requires.

    • So few American girls have neat names like Ivana or Melania.
      And the accented English of course (no wise cracks about girls from Georgia, United States)

      Maybe the Donald is looking for a new foreign bride?