Civil Liberties

CNN/TIME Poll: Majority of Democrats Are Willing to Part With Some Civil Liberties for Security

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The latest CNN/Time/ORC poll found only four in ten Americans are willing to give up some civil liberties in efforts to curb terrorism in the United States. Interestingly while a majority of Independents (56 percent) say they are unwilling to give up some civil liberties for security, a majority of Democrats (51 percent) say they are willing. Republicans are split, with 46 percent who agree with Independents and are unwilling to curtail civil liberties in efforts to curb terrorism, while 41 percent say they would be willing.

Older Americans over 50 are significantly more likely than younger Americans to be willing to part with some civil liberties for security. Fifty-seven percent of Americans under 50 say they are unwilling to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism in the US. In contrast 38 percent of Americans over 50 agree.

The poll interviewed 606 adults on April 30, 2013 on both landline and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

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  1. Don’t worry, that may change right around January 20th 2017.

    1. Obama’s 3rd term?

      1. Well in some ways probably. But when the third term gets the wrong brand, liberals will stop liking the security state. Then it will be a fierce moral imperative to stand up to it again. Remember, oppression is only noble if it is being done by a liberal.

      2. Bush’s 5th term.

      3. The world is a dangerous place, much as, it was when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. And like Roosevelt reminding America that it has nothing to fear “but fear itself,” Obama has been a reassuring voice in troubling times.

        If the terror in Boston this week has taught us anything, it taught us that America is not likely to get any safer any time soon. There are enemies on the right and on the left who do not mind killing and maiming innocent American people – men, women and children – to advance their ideology of what America is to them. Scenes of snipers on rooftops, armored personnel carriers loaded with America’s finest, communities on lock-down and sirens screaming through downtown business districts are becoming the new normal.

        In times like these should the country stay the course with a trusted leader, one not given to timidity, but with love and compassion for humanity, and a sound, disciplined mind that stays with a problem until it is solved

        1. Paging Barfman.

        2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          Did I not call this?

          1. You did.

        3. In times like these should the country stay the course with a trusted leader, one not given to timidity, but with love and compassion for humanity, and a sound, disciplined mind that stays with a problem until it is solved

          In times like these the country needs a big Daddy or a Head Negro in Charge, depending on your preference.

            1. AHAHAHAHA!!!!! Gotta love 70s blacksploitation flicks. Looks like a more serious version of Blazing Saddles.

              1. It came out a year after Blazing Saddles, so, perhaps.

        4. In times like these should the country stay the course with a trusted leader, one not given to timidity, but with love and compassion for humanity, and a sound, disciplined mind

          How about you let me know when we find one like that.

        5. Some people on “the left” have been advocating a repeal of the 22nd ammendment since the start of Obama’s first term. It’s fucking sick how many of these people yearn to live under a dictatorship.

          As long as only the “right people” are oppressed, of course.

          1. It’s fucking sick how many of these people yearn to live under a dictatorship.

            At the very least they could pick a benevolent dictator instead of an incompetent and possibly malicious one.

            1. No… no they can’t. Because there’s no such thing.

              1. Beat me to it, Loki. No such thing. Even if someone “pure of heart” were to be found and put in place as dictator, it wouldn’t take long for the corruption to take over.

              2. I was speaking facetiously. My idea of a benevolent dictator is Lysander Spooner.

  2. Democrats are about as serious about civil liberties as Republicans are about economic ones.

    1. I would say that Democrats are more unserious about civil liberties that the GOP is unserious about economic issues.

      1. Because of allllllllllll that deregulation under Bushitler?

        1. All of that un-deregulation under Chimpy McBushitler!

          1. It’s Bushitler W. McChimpiburton. Get it right!

  3. Given the number of Republicans calling for the Boston Bomber to be denied due process, I’m left wondering if the conclusion of this poll is “Republicans more likely to favor protecting civil liberties” or “Democrats more likely to be honest about their actual motivations”.

    1. Part of it is “people disagreeing about what civil liberties means.” Also a lot of that is “civil liberties means something that could apply to me or you, not that other guy.”

      1. This is correct. I’d guess that the latest attempt at gun grabbing has quite a bit to do with it. That’s on civil liberty that Democrats will get rid of in a hurry for the promise of security.

    2. Given the number of Republicans calling for the Boston Bomber to be denied due process,

      So your anecdotal evidence means what? The poll says 41% of Republicans are willing to do so. Doesn’t that account for your anecdotal experience?

      Whatever you do, don’t let reality get in the way of a good generalization.

    3. I think it’s that Republicans believe there’s a difference between giving up their civil liberties, and giving up that other guy’s civil liberties.

  4. They had to do a poll?

    1. 80% think water is wet.

  5. How bout Democrat and Republicans both craven cowards……libertarians not so much!

    1. There’s a reason we call them TEAM BE RULED. It applies to the overlords and their followers…just in different ways.

      1. What freedoms do we have a “consensus” on these days? The freedom to speak in a none-threatening manner, but not near elections, not if you’re rich, not if you’re Muslim? Anything else?

        Not that “consensus” has anything to do with civil liberties, of course.

        1. The consensus for the TEAMs is that freedom is bad. It’s just common sense, ProL. Why can’t you compromise and meet them halfway at the adult’s table like a serious adult person who will use common sense and be all compromise-y?

          1. It’s because he’s a racist!

            1. I hear he has some weird crazy radical beliefs in personal liberty! He’s a dangerous extremist!

              1. You’d think he’d at least have the decency to wait for a rethuglican to be in office before agitating for civil liberties.

          2. The consensus is mostly that freedom for things my team likes to do is good, but not as good as hating and banning the things that your team likes to do that make me mad.

          3. I’ll compromise this far–the original Constitution, minus slavery.

            Look at me, compromisin’.

  6. Older Americans over 50 are significantly more likely than younger Americans to be willing to part with some civil liberties for security.

    And, once again, older Americans demonstrate why their children should no longer listen to them. Greatest generation indeed.

    1. The greatest generation is almost all dead. The old now are baby boomers.

      1. The boomers will be remembered as the generation that destroyed the nation.

        1. I was thinking the other day about the baby boom and what produced it. The thing is the WWII generation were kids during the depression. They remember the Depression but they were kids and didn’t fully understand what was going on. So what they saw was their dad losing his job and tremendous insecurity. They were not old enough to understand how badly FDR fucked things up. The WWII generation’s defining moment was Pearl Harbor. Again, another lesson in preparedness and security and a lesson that you couldn’t ignore the rest of the world. So they grew up wanting security and with an undying fear that the country would be caught sleeping again by its enemies.

          And I think that caused them to embrace the Great Society as a way to ensure no one ever faced the insecurity as kids, embrace internationalism as a way of preventing another Pearl Harbor, they did and to completely spoil and shelter their kids such that many of the next generation grew up with no idea what hardship was or what it actually takes the run the country.

          1. In a lot of ways, the WW2 generation is/was the final generation that took Teddy Roosevelt’s idea of muscular Americanism seriously. That faith in the capacity of American culture and the American people to confront, manage, and solve problems no matter how complex.

            These are the kids who saw their parents build Hoover Dam, a direct legacy of TR’s Reclamation Act, and try to battle the Depression threw a slew of various government programs, another TR legacy. They’re the ones who embraced TR’s vision of America as a global military and industrial power, then went out and made it happen.

            The WW2 generation really saw the last political gasp of their ideology during Reagan’s time in office; despite his minimalist government rhetoric, Reagan’s actions echoed TR far more than they did Barry Goldwater. Once the country transitioned to Clinton, it entered the boomer phase of relentless navel-gazing and second-guessing every decision.

            1. That is a good point. I had never thought of it that way. Clinton also brought cultural relativism and a reflexive dislike of any idea that there might be something uniquely good about America or American culture.

              1. I dislike the idea that “there might be something uniquely good about America or American culture”, because it’s based on the Hegelian premise that societies possess agency independent of the individual people that comprise them.

                1. Sometimes reality sucks. Maybe Hegal was right about a few things even though he was wrong about a lot. The fact is that this country does have a different culture than other countries and it is a lot better place for it. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to go to other countries, not Disney land for Rich people Europe, but countries in Asia or Africa or the Middle East that have actual foreign cultures. You will find out very quickly what a nice place this is.

                  1. I spent a month in Russia in 1992, so I have no illusions that the rest of the world is a hell hole. I just don’t buy the premise that if, say, Bill Gates does something great by inventing Windows, that makes John a better person because he happened to be standing around when it happened.

                    It also reeks of virtue ethics (good is something you are rather then something you do), which as a deontologist pisses me off because it’s a lazy form of morality that’s used to rationalize all kinds of evil behavior.

                    1. But that is not what it means. Within any culture, there can be exceptions to it. We have a nice free culture here, but there are still plenty of assholes here too. Egypt may be full of people who think women should live behind the val, but that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of people who are quite enlightened.

                      Some places places and cultures are pleasant, others not so much. Individual results may vary. Just because there are people in the US who are as big of oppressive assholes as the worst Egyptian and there are Egyptians who are just as more more enlightened in any American doesn’t mean that Egypt isn’t a much less enlightened place and culture.

                    2. Neither America nor Egypt can be either enlightened or unenlightened. They aren’t sentient beings. They don’t have goals or opinions or plans.

                      Only individual Americans or Egyptians can have any of those things.

                  2. You will find out very quickly what a nice place this is.

                    o/~ And I know things now, many valuable things,
                    That I hadn’t known before
                    Do not put your faith in a cape and hood
                    They will not protect you the way that they should
                    And take extra care with strangers,
                    Even flowers have their dangers
                    And though scary is exciting,
                    Nice is different than good o/~

            2. Theodore Roosevelt isn’t exactly my idea of a politician who should be looked up to. The guy may have been a badass, but his political ideology sucked

              1. Well it speaks volumes that TR is John McCain’s idol.

              2. Theodore Roosevelt isn’t exactly my idea of a politician who should be looked up to. The guy may have been a badass, but his political ideology sucked

                I’m not saying he’s someone who should be emulated or lionized, just that the World War 2 generation is the last one to fully embrace his ideas and policies.

                The boomer presidents, on the other hand, have reflected a toxic stew of Kennedy’s American populism, Nixon’s managerialism, and Carter’s paralysis by analysis. Which makes sense, because those are the Presidents who had the most visibility in the media during their childhood and early adult years.

                1. Kennedy’s American populism, Nixon’s managerialism, and Carter’s paralysis by analysis

                  Notice all those presidents you mentioned are from the WWII generation (Kenedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and HW Bush).

                  Taken as a hole, is the WWII generation’s performance really that much better than the Boomers (Clinton, W Bush, Obama).

                  Also interesting to notice there were no preisdents from the Silent Generation. I wouldn’t be suprised if there’s a similar jump from the Boomers to the Millenial without any Gen X presidents ever being elected either.

                  1. Also interesting to notice there were no preisdents from the Silent Generation. I wouldn’t be suprised if there’s a similar jump from the Boomers to the Millenial without any Gen X presidents ever being elected either.

                    That wouldn’t surprise me either. Gen-Xers seem hard-wired to keep their heads down and try not to get noticed. For all the “Fuck you, Dad!” posturing they did in the late 80s-early 90s, they settled down into worker bee life pretty quick once the dotcom bubble started expanding.

                    1. Because we’re alienated. What’s the point of sticking your neck out for the benefit of others just so you can be the long nail that gets whacked down hardest? It’s not like they deserve your sacrifice.

                    2. Gen-X also entered adulthood during a time of peace and economic expansion, which neither the Boomers did nor the Millenials will.

                      (depending on how you break up the generations, I’m using 1946, 1966, and 1986 as the generation boundaries)

                    3. The breakdown I’ve usually seen is 1946 (end of WWII), 1963 (Kennedy Assassination), 1981 (End of the 70s monetary crisis)

                  2. So no President Rand Paul? (born 1963) He’d be one of the oldest Gen Xers, while Justin Amash (born 1980) would be one of the youngest.

                    (Besides, the current president, born in 1961 is one, depending on where the line is drawn.)

        2. I’m not so sure about destruction, but they’ll likely go down as the one that first set the country on that path.

          The really mystery is which generation is going to be the one to put the final bullet in the skull of our little republican experiment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gen-X gets so fed up with being stuck between the boomers and the milennials that they do precisely that out of sheer spite.

          1. As a disaffected, cynical member of Gen-X, I’ll cheerfully admit the idea appeals to the nihilistic tendencies I never outgrew. Fuck it, time to watch the world burn. I’ll bring marshmallows.

            1. I still think the Strauss?Howe generational theory is valid. As predicted, the we’re currently in the “crisis” part of the cycle.

              Good news is things are going to get better. Bad news is that the millenials are a bunch of conformist busybodies who are going to take credit for it and use it to justify being even more conformist and busybodyish.

              And it’s Generation X’s fate to be forever alienated from society.

              1. That theory looks like a bit of cherry picking to me — they have a narrative to fit for one 4-generation cycle and are going to shoehorn every previous generation into it — but in any case I don’t see how the millenials couldn’t completely reverse their polarity like the boomers did when they get older.

          2. I’m not sure how one could pin that on one generation since 3-4 generations are coexisting as adults at any given time.

        3. Nope. The Greatest Generation Evah!? is the one that instituted the bulk of the welfare state that we see today. The Boomers only piled the stupid on.

          They deserve admiration for their sacrifice during the war, but otherwise, fuck ’em.

          1. That is like holding all of us responsible for Obamacare. The Great Society wasn’t popular. It only got enacted because the grief over Kennedy produced an unnaturally large Dem majority in the 1964 elections. The Dems then proceeded to pass all of that shit over the majority of the country’s objection. The Dems took a beating in the 1966 off years and lost the White House in 1968. But the damage was done.

            1. That is like holding all of us responsible for Obamacare.

              As well our children and grand-children should. In turn, we should explain to them that their ancestors of the mid-20th century laid the framework that enabled our bad behavior and created the moral vacuum where victimhood and identity politics trumped reason and logic.

          2. This. Thank the Greatest Generation for the Great Society, the War on Poverty, food stamps, pure fiat money, the military-industrial complex, modern Wall Street, the devolution of Social Security into a retirement program, the Shah, Vietnam, Korea, etc…

            Fuck ’em.

            1. Yeah, don’t let the fact that the architects of most of that shit were not part of the WW II generation stop you from blaming them or anything.

              1. They elected them, just like our generation elected Obama, twice.

              2. I love it when John, who loves to bash on and collectivize Millenials is so quick to criticize when others do it to other generations

                1. Cut John some slack. Grumpy old men have a certain right to grump.

            2. Blaming entire generations is foolish and absurdly collectivist.

              1. Blaming entire generations is foolish and absurdly collectivist.

                It absolutely is. But I’m getting my hate-boner on this afternoon. Stop trying to point out that generational hate is just another form of identity politics dammit.

                1. What generation is Michael Bay from? Because that one’s the worst!

                  1. Gen X dammit.

              2. Blaming entire generations is foolish and absurdly collectivist.

                On most things, it is. But here, it applicable.

                You had the majority of cohorts acting in concert to achieve certain goals, even if indirectly through elections. It’s fair to hold that out as a collective effort. Blaming generations is shorthand and sloppy, but it gets the point across.

  7. what was that line about trading liberty for security…….? Hmmm. I think some white guy said it. Long time ago, too. At least 100 years.

    1. F+S=K is the updated version.

  8. These poll results seem like incentive for the feds to allow (or coax) another attack. That would nudge those few remaining obstinate holdouts over the line and into the warm bosom of state security.

    1. Didn’t you hear about the 18 year old from Aurora, Il. that was attempting to go to Syria to join a jihad group? The FBI told him he was going to blow up a night club in Ill. and he tried to get on a plane to Syria. Our FBI protectors saved us from an awkward 18 year old who was talked into at least listening to an FBI plot to blow up a night club…

      Could you imagine what would have happened if the FBI didn’t catch this kid before he was able to carry out the FBI’s plot? What if they never contacted him – imagine all the damage that would(n’t) be done… If the FBI didn’t have to deal with pesky civil liberties, they could arrest so many more terrorists who could have been talked into meeting the FBI to listen to plots planned by the FBI…

      1. If it was on the Kane County side of Aurora, I might have cheered him on…

        1. That’s the better side – where the Two Brothers Roundhouse, Taqueria La Sierra, El Burrito Loco, Jalisco Tacos, Las Quinta De Los Reyes, and Tacos Maria are located. Meanwhile, the Dupage side has Dennys, Applebee’s, Qdoba and Chipotle. I’m not biased at all against Dupage County, and this has nothing to do with the citation I got for kayaking in an unapproved body of water in Stupage County.

          (full disclosure – there are also a couple Chipotles on the west side, but they are easy to miss when you get caught up in the general non-Dupageness of the west side)

      2. In all seriousness, what if they had missed him and he had gone to Syria and blown something up and killed a few people? I guess since they are Syrians their lives don’t matter? What do we say? Woops? When other countries’ governments encourage their citizens to join the jihad we call that state sponsored terrorism.

        1. Filibusters/Freebooters are a long standing American military tradition.

  9. Life in the guilded cage is so appealing to many people.

    1. And there is nothing special about terrorism. People have for decades been willing to give up their 4th Amendment Rights in return for some undefined reduced risk of being killed by a drunk driver.

      1. The other day I said that it was the weak and the stupid that believe inequity is the result of unfairness in life.

        They also fear their own shadows and would gladly live in cage if provided ample supplies of soft drinks, pizza, and cable TV. Anything to avoid the many boogymen that live in the big bad world.

        1. Inequality is an essential nature of life. It is just how life is. It is totally unfair that I walked away unscathed from doing all of the dumb things I did as a youth and other kids who were doing in some cases less stupid shit than I did were killed or maimed. It is totally unfair I have driven on the roads for however many years and never been hurt in an accident and mothers of young children have been killed in senseless accidents. It is unfair I was born with an above average IQ such that I never had to work very hard in school and others had to work hard just to pass.

          Most things about life are in some ways unfair and misfortune stalks all of us. We seem to have as a society totally lost the ability to appreciate that.

      2. First of all, aggressive DUI enforcement has WORKED.

        That aside, what 4th amendment rights have people given up in regards to drunk drivers? If you are referring to roadblocks, I’m on the fence on that one, but that’s the only one I can see. Granted, roadblocks ARE unconstitutional in my state because we have a right to privacy to be protected. No such right exists under the federal constitution, just a risk of unreasonable search and seizure.

        1. The Constitution doesn’t grant rights, it grants powers. The question is not whethe I have a right to not be stopped at checkpoints, but rather where the federal government is granted the power to create one to begin with.

          1. Fine. The constitution RECOGNIZES rights. And the question is are dui roadblocks violative of those rights recognized by the (mostly) 4th amendment which forbids UNREASONABLE searches and seizures.

            There are some excellent legal arguments on both sides.

            In my state, it’s irrelevant because my constitution recognizes a right to privacy, which is a much stronger protection that the state must recognize and respect. It’s why we don’t do DUI roadblocks in WA state

            1. “Reasonable” still requires a warrant!

              The concept of “administrative search” that SCOTUS pulled out of it’s ass in the early 90’s is one of the cases that prove that even they get it very wrong at times… even Thomas went along with that one. Sigh!

        2. First of all, aggressive DUI enforcement has WORKED.

          Worked at what?

          And where is your evidence of the “work?”

    2. Get the leash!

  10. We old geezers remember the Nixonites. Die-hard supporters of the president and the power of government. Respect for the law and our rulers. Unwavering support of their encroachments on civil liberties and foreign adventurism. Contentment with the Nixonian obsessions with secrecy, information gathering on citizens, and the trappings of office. Disgust verging on violence for those who questioned authority and encouraged distrust of government and its motives. Archie Bunker was the holotype.

    Well, guess what? Meathead is now Archie.

    1. Yeah. People forget that. Archie is dead. Methead is now running things. And whatever free spirit the 1960s had, died in the late 60s and early 70s with the rise of the New Left. The New Left were fascists. And they turned a lot of that generation into fascists.

      1. The New Left were fascists. And they turned a lot of that generation into fascists.

        All you have to do to see the legacy of the New Left is visit any college campus. These places have become petri dishes of progressive experimentation, due mostly to the students who were part of the New Left in the late 60s taking over the academic departments beginning in the early 70s.

        A lot of those guys are close to retirement or have reached emeriti status now, but they have 30-40 years of serving as gatekeepers for ensuring the intellectual framework of academia reflected their hard-left ideologies. As a result, their progeny that are now getting tenure became just as radicalized and just as enured to competing points of view.

        When you’ve been stuck in an ideological bubble your whole professional life, it’s damn near impossible to consider any competing points of view as having any sort of legitimacy. Academics, in the humanities in particular, are some of the most ideologically hidebound people I’ve ever met, and what’s worse is that they want to dictate to others via the government machine that feeds them how to think and how to live.

    2. That would be a decent skit – some old geezer looking like Meathead in a LaZBoy, screaming at his Ron Paul-loving son who is constantly pointing out the horrible shit the Obama administration is doing.

      1. Oh, that would be most excellent. Too bad no one has the balls to do it.

      2. That’s my fantasy, yes. I don’t know if Rob Reiner could fit in a LaZBoy. I’m certain Sally Struthers couldn’t.

      3. I have a feeling Post Serial did something like that in its day.

  11. Would you be willing to give up some civil liberties if that were necessary to curb terrorism in this country, or not?

    Well, my answer would be a resounding NO, even if it were necessary.

    The problem is that the question assumes giving up some liberties would curb terrorism or that the only way to curb terrorism would be to give up liberties.

    Fuck that noise. I’ll take the .000000001% (or whatever ridiculously small) chance that I or my loved ones will be killed by a terrorist.

    How did “Give me liberty or give me death.” turn in to “give me security theater or I’ll wet my pants.” ??

  12. Doomed! DOOMED!

  13. I think it’s in relation to a sense of mortality, honestly.

    When you’re younger, you’re not faced (or thinking about) your death all the time…but as you get older, yes it does become a factor. Hence the ease with which a lot of older folks want the safety and security lie that comes with giving up your civil liberties.

    Libs are naive and believe the government is a superhero that will protect them as they have no other belief systems to comfort and protect them.

    Cons are suspicious and believe the government is a super-villain that will hurt them and they have a belief that God will comfort and protect them.

    Independents, who come in all stripes of the rainbow when it comes to religion or lack thereof, are realists, and understand that intentions, good or ill, will and can be more trouble than they’re worth in the end because absolute power corrupts absolutely as time and history have repeated over and over again.

    1. Older people are closer to collecting on their entitlements. Funny how the objections start to go out the window.

    2. “When you’re younger, you’re not faced (or thinking about) your death all the time.”

      *shivers at certain recollections*

      Speak for yourself, please!

      (But I know what you mean)

    3. My impression is that older people are, in general, much less afraid of their own death than the average young person. I know I’ve become more ambivalent toward continued existence as I’ve gotten more experience.

  14. When one says they’re willing to give up liberty, they’re also saying that they’re willing to give up not only their neighbor’s liberty, but their children’s liberty, based on 51% of the vote.

    Democracy sucks.

  15. Crap. Got to go back to work and make a buck.

    1. Make one for me, will ya!

  16. Well, it’s a nice data point amongst many to suggest that repubs are the better of the two parties for libertarians.

    51% of dems vs. 41% of repubs willing to give up liberties for security.

    1. No, 51% of dems vs. 41% of repubs SAY they are willing to give up liberties for security.

      People in general are terrible of figuring out what their actual motivations are.

    2. The party that’s out of power always has a soft spot for libertarianism and federalism and that kind of stuff.

  17. I wonder what these numbers would look like if a Republican was in the White House (or what the results of similar questions were 5-10 years ago)

  18. NO MORE!

    This needs to stop NOW!

    I and sick of living in a nation of frightened old ladies who will do anything for the illusion of security.

  19. Rather be alive than free? Poor, dumb bastards.

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