This shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is a disturbing truth nonetheless. A recent Harris Poll revealed that the majority of Americans fear that their rights are in jeopardy. With the current political climate, one can hardly blame them. But do their fears have a basis in reality? Or are they just victims of meaningless fearmongering provided by the media?
USA Today recently reported that 92% of Americans believe one or more of their rights are under attack. Specifically, they are worried about freedom of expression, the right to bear arms, and the right to equal justice. According to the poll, 48% of participants were concerned about the right to free speech, 47% about the right to bear arms, and 41% about equal justice.
John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll told USA Today why he thinks the study produced these results: “When you frame something as a threat, it creates a bit of a political response, and it creates division and encampments of special interest.”
Gerzema argued that the use of “strident language” by political parties and lobbying groups make it easier to garner support by discussing issues in terms of “threats.” It’s an interesting theory, but I’ll soon explain why it is divorced from reality.
When asked which rights were most important, participants’ answers were rather revelatory. The survey asked which rights they would miss the most if they were taken away and 63% chose free speech and 45% chose equal justice.
So is Gerzema right? Are Americans only afraid because of the rhetoric of political parties? What about the media — don’t they profit from making us afraid? Of course they do, but as much as I would love to blame the press for the results of the study, it is apparent that Americans — especially those on the right — have valid reasons for their fears.
Let’s take free speech, for starters. The progressive left has been on the warpath against the First Amendment for the past few years. Social media companies have been silencing right-leaning views with impunity. In fact, they aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. But even worse, far-left pundits have been actively arguing for the implementation of “hate speech” laws that sound innocent but could easily lead to more widespread censorship.
New York City recently passed a law that would punish people for using the term “illegal alien.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, a number of Democratic contenders for the presidency stated that they would crack down on online speech if they were elected. These are only a few examples demonstrating what many of us already know: the statists have the First Amendment in their crosshairs.
Let’s not forget the right to bear arms. As many know, the far left has been pushing their anti-gun agenda for years, using mass shootings to convince the American public to allow the state to place further restrictions on gun ownership.
Despite the fact that they cannot articulate how their proposed legislation would decrease gun homicides, the gun control lobby is still engaged in a propaganda campaign to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms. In fact, some have argued for the confiscation of weapons they choose to ban.
Look at what’s happening in Virginia, with their government threatening to send in the National Guard to make sure they seize people’s weapons. Imagine having soldiers going to the homes of gun owners demanding that they give up their firearms. That’s how reckless some on the far left have become.
Normally, I’m all for excoriating the media on both the left and the right for fomenting outrage and fear. But in this case, people’s fears are rational. The far left is attempting to stifle certain types of speech. The far left is trying to infringe on the right to bear arms.
It seems that we get new evidence of this every week. And the left-leaning press is serving as a propaganda mill to persuade us to give up these rights — at least partially. But can they succeed? They can, but only if we acquiesce.
Are you concerned about threats to you rights? Let me know in the comments below.
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