More than half of Americans view the Federal government as a major threat to individual liberty and a growing number express outright fear of the Nation’s governing apparatus.
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 37 percent of likely U.S. voters say that they are afraid of the Federal government and 54 percent say that it is a threat to individual liberty. That’s compared to 47 percent who don’t fear the government, 17 percent who aren’t sure and 22 percent who feel government protects their liberty.
Rasmussen reports that America’s decline in comfort with government has been rapid:
As recently as December 2012, voters were evenly divided on this question: 45% said the federal government was a protector of individual rights, while 46% described it as a threat to those rights.
According to the poll results, men and all Americans over the age of 40 are more likely to fear the Federal government than young voters and women.
Support for the 2nd Amendment may have some bearing on how Americans feel about the Nation’s political leaders, as 42 percent of gun owners expressed fear of the government compared to 30 percent of people who do not own guns.
Among union members, whose labor leaders often encourage government expansion, trust in government is also not particularly high. Fifty-two percent of unionized workers said that they fear the government versus just 30 percent of non-union workers.
Rasmussen relays that political affiliation plays a significant role in Americans’ comfort with the Federal government. Democrats are, unsurprisingly, less likely to worry about government overreach.
From the polling agency:
Democrats, as they do in most instances, have a less critical view of the federal government than Republicans and voters not affiliated with either of the major parties. Most GOP voters (53%) and 43% of unaffiliateds fear the federal government. Just 18% of voters in President Obama’s party agree.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of Republicans and 59% of unaffiliated voters view the government as a threat to individual liberty, a view shared by only 34% of Democrats. GOP and unaffiliated voters are twice as likely as Democrats to believe that the federal government rarely or never does the right thing.
The majority of Americans with any of the aforementioned political affiliations, however, agree that the Federal government has become “a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests.”
According to the opinions recorded in the survey, 71 percent of Americans believe that the Nation’s Founders would be disgusted by the current size of the Federal government, 21 percent believe they would think it is about right.
The results of the Rasmussen poll tie in with the findings of a Fox News poll released earlier in the week which found that around 60 percent of Americans think that President Barack Obama routinely lies to the public.
Only 15 percent of respondents to that poll feel that Obama is truthful at all times, while 37 percent said that the President lies about important matters “most of the time.” Twenty percent felt that Obama lies “some of the time.”