Glenn Beck and Alex Jones might be hawking overpriced “survival seeds,” but you can be sure that the only seeds they are personally planting sprout a big, ugly strain of paranoia. That paranoia is growing – so much so that the majority of Americans now believe that the big, bad gubmint is out to take away their rights.
Please allow me to submit Exhibit One – Alex Jones on a five-hour freakout. You don’t have to watch the entire five hours. In fact, the first 15 seconds or so will give you an idea, but trust me, there are plenty of Americans who have listened to five hours.
Or there’s this from Glenn Beck:
Obviously, I could go on. There’s Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and who could forget the Tea Partiers…right there, destroying the government from within.
According to an irony-filled poll conducted by Pew Research, a full 53% of Americans believe that the government is out to take away their rights. 43% feel that the government is more benign. That is almost a direct reversal from 2003 (during the George W. Bush administration), when the numbers were 45% and 54%, respectively.
Here’s where the irony starts: Despite the GOP’s laser focus on eliminating women’s reproductive rights, men are more likely to feel that their rights will be stripped away.
Despite the fact that minorities are most likely to be wrongfully incarcerated, it’s white people who are most likely to fear for their freedom. Ditto for young people and older people.
Republicans fear the government more than Democrats. Gun owners more than non-gun owners.
Most significant though, was the partisan divide - which of course, goes back to Alex Jones and Glenn Beck.
The growing view that the federal government threatens personal rights and freedoms has been led by conservative Republicans. Currently 76% of conservative Republicans say that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms and 54% describe the government as a “major” threat. Three years ago, 62% of conservative Republicans said the government was a threat to their freedom; 47% said it was a major threat.
By comparison, there has been little change in opinions among Democrats; 38% say the government poses a threat to personal rights and freedoms and just 16% view it as a major threat. [Source]
In Republicans’ defense, it was Democrats who distrusted the government during the Bush administration, but instead of fearing the government, dissatisfied liberals expressed anger.
There is one thing everyone agrees upon though – Congress doesn’t work.
Wendy Gittleson grew up in a political family. Her passion is for social justice and fairness. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. She lives in a union household. In her rare downtime, you’ll find her hiking or exploring the shoreline with her dogs. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson