The willingness some Americans have to throw away their basic rights sometimes astounds me.
For the first time in the annual State of the First Amendment survey, almost half (49%) of those surveyed said the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees—a 10-percentage-point jump from 2001, which suggests new public concerns in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The State of the First Amendment 2002 survey report was released today in a media briefing at the National Press Club.
“The stakes have risen for the First Amendment in the wake of September 11,” said Ken Paulson, executive director of the First Amendment Center. “The results of our 2002 survey suggest that many Americans view these fundamental freedoms as possible obstacles in the war on terrorism.” In 2001, 39% of those surveyed said the First Amendment went too far in the rights it guarantees.—freedomforum.org: New ‘State of the First Amendment’ survey suggests many Americans see freedoms as obstacles in war on terror
The article goes on to mention the following additional findings:
- About half of those surveyed said the American press has been too aggressive in asking government officials for information about the war on terrorism.
- More than four in 10 said they would limit the academic freedom of professors and bar criticism of government military policy.
- About half of those surveyed said government should be able to monitor religious groups in the interest of national security, even if that means infringing upon religious freedom.
- More than four in 10 said the government should have greater power to monitor the activities of Muslims living in the United States than it does other religious groups.
About 40% of those surveyed said they have too little access to information about the governments war on terrorism, compared to 16% who said thereҒs too much. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said theres too little access to government records, compared to just 8% who believe thereҒs too much.
The least popular First Amendment right once again was freedom of the press. Forty-two percent of respondents said the press in America has too much freedom to do what it wants, roughly the same level as last year.
The survey also found, as in previous years, that many Americans are unable to name the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment. The percentages of those responding who were able to identify individual freedoms:
- 58% freedom of speech
- 18% ח freedom of religion
- 14% freedom of the press
- 10% ח freedom of assembly/association
- 2% freedom of petition
The national survey of 1,000 respondents was conducted by Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut by telephone between June 12 and July 5, 2002. The sampling error is plus-or-minus 3%.
Stupid, idiotic, cheese-brained, sheep. Shit like this always puts me in a bad mood.