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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:19 AM

Insanity- Half the USA thinks the government poses an ‘immediate threat’ to them....

By Chris Cillizza October 1 at 7:30 AM
I've spent an inordinate time of late trying to understand the rise of Donald Trump and what it tells us about how Americans view politicians, politics and the state of the country more generally. I came across this chart, which was released recently by Gallup, and thought it told the "why" of Trump as well as anything I've seen.




Half of the country believes that the federal government "poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. HALF! The party breakdown is even more remarkable. Two-thirds (65 percent) of self-identified Republicans believe their government poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms. (Worth noting: Just 32 percent of Democrats feel that way.)

That is a startling number -- and speaks not only to the massive disgust and disenchantment among Republicans toward the government, but also the urgency of the perceived threat that it poses. The idea of the government swooping in to restrict your rights is not an abstract discussion for many people -- especially those who identify as Republicans. It is a real and present danger.

The chart above also suggests the idea of the government as an active threat to personal liberties is rapidly rising. A decade ago, only 37 percent of the public called the federal government an immediate threat, and as recently as 2003, only three in 10 people viewed the government that way. Explains Gallup head honcho Frank Newport: "Republican agreement with the 'immediate threat' statement has been higher during the Obama administration than was Democratic agreement during the Bush administration, thus accounting for the overall rise in agreement across all national adults."

more

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/01/65-percent-of-republicans-think-the-government-poses-an-immediate-threat-to-them/

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Reply Insanity- Half the USA thinks the government poses an ‘immediate threat’ to them.... (Original post)
n2doc Oct 2015 OP
Fred Sanders Oct 2015 #1
RKP5637 Oct 2015 #2
Kelvin Mace Oct 2015 #3
malaise Oct 2015 #4
BlueJazz Oct 2015 #8
Whiskeytide Oct 2015 #5
ChisolmTrailDem Oct 2015 #6
The2ndWheel Oct 2015 #7
redstatebluegirl Oct 2015 #9
Proud Liberal Dem Oct 2015 #10

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:22 AM

1. These generic question polls are intended mainly to give political writers something to write about.

"Immediate threat" to "rights and freedoms" could mean anything to anyone...useless question.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:42 AM

2. Quite true! Part of my education was in advanced statistical tests and measurements. One can

concoct a poll to get anything they want. Most are absolutely meaningless except to political writers and their income.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:45 AM

3. Depends on how you look at the question

 

The police are part of government and they pose a clear and present danger to a large subset of people in the U.S. The majorities in the House and Senate are working against any rule which would mitigate global warming, which puts hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people at risk of harm/death. American corporations, especially arms dealers, put profits above the well being of people in this country as well as around the world. These corporations operate with the tacit sanction of the U.S. government.

Seems to me that people are correct about the premise, but wrong about the specific threat.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:46 AM

4. That has been promoted by the hacks in the media for decades

and by more than a few politicians who live on tax payer money - and of course by corporate and banking interests.

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Response to malaise (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 10:00 AM

8. Yep. You nailed it. The wrong-wing has been playing this bait & switch crap for decades.

 

"Look!..something shiny!...the poor are after you..the blacks are hurting you..and blah, blah, blah."
And all the time the Corporations are ramming 2x4's up the public's asses.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:51 AM

5. Not really surprising...

... and actually understandable. If Trump were elected and the congress was full on red, appointing right wing justices to the SC, giving more tax breaks to corporations and fewer benefits to the people, wouldn't you perceive the federal government as an immediate threat to you? I think I would.

It all kind of depends on your perspective, I suppose.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:52 AM

6. JUST 32% of Dems believe they are immediate danger from the government???

 

JUST 32%??

What the actual fuck is wrong with you idiots? I could see 2% of Dems feel that irrational fear. But 32% goddamned percent???

SHMFH!!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 09:55 AM

7. I'm guessing if you asked that same question here

you'd probably get the same answer. Or at least some variation of the same answer. Ask about abortion, or the NSA, or the revolving door between big business and government, and you might get 90% saying it's an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of average citizens. Ask the same question during the Bush years, just in general, and Democrats are probably answering yes in higher numbers.

Like everything else in life, it's all subjective. Republican in office? Republicans like some state power. Democrat in office? Democrats like some state power. If your party is in office, it's a lot easier to justify this or that action, and if it's not, it's a lot easier to not justify this or that action.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 10:01 AM

9. The biggest threat to the US is Fox News.

The hate and fear they continually broadcast to their crazy viewers keep them hopped up and fearful, that is their job! If I sat all day and watched that junk I would think they were out to get me.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2015, 10:06 AM

10. "Immediate threat"



OTOH with the caricature of President Obama that the right-wing Tea Party has created with its fever swamp dreams of gun grabbing, IRS conservative targeting, Jade Helm takeovers, Benghazi!" stand-down orders", and tyrannical "executive orders", I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that a lot of Republicans view President Obama as a "threat" to them. It must be rough, however, to live in such a state of needless panic all of the time. I think that, considering all of the actual casualties of 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina, Gitmo, torture, etc., it was, however, pretty reasonable to view the Bush (mis-)administration as an "immediate threat".

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