It’s been pointed out by many wise people that terrorists don’t actually have to take over the country (they can’t anyway, of course) to damage it immensely. If they “hate us for our freedom,” as George W. Bush so absurdly claimed, all they have to do is scare us into giving at least some of it up. And the beheadings of two American journalists appear to have done exactly that.
While the Snowden revelations led to a lot of American soul-searching when it came to just how much of our civil liberties we want to yield in the name of protecting ourselves from terrorism, the soul-searching has largely come to an end, according to a new poll.
The Pew Research Center poll shows 50 percent of Americans say the government has not gone far enough to protect the country, while 35 percent are more concerned about the government going too far to restrict civil liberties. That’s the most pro-security posture Americans have had on this question since 2009 and one of the highest on record since Sept. 11, 2001.
In contrast, 10 months ago, in the midst of several big Snowden leaks, significantly more Americans favored the civil liberties emphasis (47 percent) over taking additional steps to secure the homeland (35 percent).