In its poll just released last Thursday, Pew wrote: “For the first time, a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms.”
Pew accurately points out that this view has only been held by conservative Republicans in its surveys over the years:
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.
What surprised me in the study is how many Democrats feel the same way: 38%, while 16% of Democrats view the government as a “major” threat. There’s a revolution brewing, in slow motion. It’s liked a tsunami, and it’s been building for years. The more government “does for us” the more we get nervous. And that’s a good thing.
It didn’t start in 1987, of course. Some, like Gary North, think it really began when the government started making promises it knew it couldn’t keep, like Social Security in 1937. But it’s larger than that: it’s the whole concept that government can shape the future according to its purposes without pushback from its charges (us).
The trouble is that we don’t like being treated as “charges” or “subjects” or “tax generators.” We like the idea that we are sovereign and that the government is our servant, or should be.
North thinks this is a “major turning point in American history.”(his bolding here). I take his point of view seriously. He concluded: “A loss of faith in the Establishment precedes every major political reform. We are in the middle of such a loss of faith.”
What a glorious time for freedom that we live in!