According to a poll released Monday, 92% of Americans surveyed think their rights are under siege.
The Harris Poll/Purple Project, which surveyed 2,002 people nationwide said Americans are most concerned that their freedom of speech (48%), right to bear arms (47%) and right to equal justice (41%) are at risk.
John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll said, “When you frame something as a threat, it creates a bit of a political response, and it creates division and encampments of special interest.” That’s why political parties and lobbying groups warn supporters with strident language, he said: It’s easier to drum up backing for a political cause by talking about an issue in terms of “threats.”
But when you start to consider which rights and freedoms really matter, Gerzema said, poll responses changed – and Americans re-prioritized which values they cared about most.
When asked what rights and freedoms Americans would miss if they were taken away, the respondents’ concerns generally ticked upward.
63% said they would miss the freedom of speech, while nearly half would miss the freedom of expression (46%) and the right to equal justice (45%).
“When you look at the things we really value, what makes America so special is these core tenets of our Constitution,” Gerzema said. “I just find it interesting to note how much Americans really value this.”