Up from one third in past 12 years

A new Gallup poll reveals that half of all Americans view the federal government as “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.”


The figure represents a significant rise on findings from 2003, when the question was first asked. Back then, just 12 years ago, less than a third of Americans viewed the government as a significant threat to their rights.

Gallup notes “The percentage gradually increased to 44% by 2006, and then reached the 46% to 49% range in four surveys conducted since 2010.”

The survey was further broken down into categories in an attempt to discover what, exactly, is fueling such mistrust in the government.

The poll reveals that the greatest concern among Americans is the size and scope of government, with 19 percent saying they think it is too big and bureaucratic.

A further 15 percent said they feel the federal government routinely violates the rights of the people too often, with 12 percent specifically pointing to the government threat to the Second Amendment.


Ten percent cited a threat to privacy, while an additional 6 percent said they fear a rise in socialist government policies.

Others noted that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are under imminent threat from the government.

“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.” Gallup noted.

In a similar poll, conducted by Reuters earlier this year, almost two thirds of Americans said that they believe the president poses some kind of threat to the US.

A third said they believe that threat to be “imminent or serious”.

Written by Steve Watson

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