Americans have a very special message for the federal government: Don’t tread on me.
That’s the takeaway from a new poll from the Pew Research Center in which, for the first time in at least the last two decades, a majority of Americans say Washington actually poses a threat to their “personal rights and freedoms.”
And it’s not just tea party supporters, Republicans and gun owners.
Nearly two-fifths of Democrats (38 percent) say the government is a threat to them personally, as do 45 percent of non-gun owners.
Overall, the percentage of Americans who view the federal government as a threat has increased from 36 percent in May 1995 to 53 percent today. It rose late in the 1990s and then dropped again after 9/11, down to 30 percent.
One conversation that isn’t had often enough is about the uninformed electorate. A prime example are the perennially low approval ratings for Congress, which is largely populated by people who keep getting reelected. It’s like leaving a nail in a piece of wood sticking up and placing it where you always step out of the shower.