Poll: Majority of Americans Deserve Neither Liberty nor Security

Benjamin Franklin famously stated that "they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." A little-noted finding of the new WSJ/NBC poll reveals that a majority of Americans remain willing to trade their liberty for the promise of security. The poll asked (.pdf, p. 23):
How willing are you to give up personal freedoms and civil liberties to prevent another terrorist attack?

Very willing – 18%
Somewhat willing – 34%
Somewhat unwilling – 21%
Very unwilling – 23%
Not sure – 4%
Arguably, then, according to Franklin's maxim, 52% of Americans deserve neither liberty nor safety. Unfortunately, if such attitudes persist, we will all be deprived of both.


primitive said...

Couldn't agree more with you. That Franklin quotation is one of my all time favorites. The only sane respondents to that poll were those who answered "very unwilling." Anything else is a self-contradictory position to take.

Tarien Cole said...

Well said.

d.eris said...

What I want to know is, who are the people who are "very willing" to give up their freedoms, rights and liberties? Clearly, these are the people that Democrats and Republicans pander to in their calls for an ever more intrusive surveillance society and ever more powerful national security police state.

Mum said...

Can you spell "irony"? Tea partiers are oh-so-willing to junk such basic liberties as free speech (to those suspected of terrorism - note recent Supreme Court ruling, heavily supported by tea-partiers) or habeas corpus, as long as no-one takes their assault weapons away. They should recognize that once a right has been taken away from ANYONE, it can (and will) be taken away from YOU.