Poll: 54% Say Rights And Freedoms More Important Than Security
You would hope the poll would be a bit more lop-sided, though the results are mixed. A slim majority say they’d choose rights over security if they had to choose between the two, but a much larger majority say they’d be willing to give up certain specific rights for security.
Ten years after the 9/11 attacks led to amped-up government surveillance efforts, two-thirds of Americans say it’s fitting to sacrifice some privacy and freedoms in the fight against terrorism, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
A slim majority — 54 percent — say that if they had to choose between preserving their rights and freedoms and protecting people from terrorists, they’d come down on the side of civil liberties.
Here’s a list of how certain security measures polled:
—71 percent favor surveillance cameras in public places to watch for suspicious activity.
—58 percent favor random searches involving full-body scans or pat-downs of airplane passengers.
—55 percent favor government analysis of financial transactions processed by U.S. banks without a warrant.
—47 percent favor requiring all people in the U.S. to carry a national ID card and provide it to authorities upon demand.
—35 percent favor racial or ethnic profiling to decide who should get tougher screening at airports.
The first three scenarios already are legal; the latter two are not.
The question I ask is, does majority approval trump rights? For instance, just because a majority of Americans favor violating the financial privacy of citizens in the interest of national, does that necessarily trump any specific citizen’s privacy rights?
Put it this way: If a majority of Americans approved of slavery, would that necessarily make it right?
Just because a you think some trampling of my civil liberties will make you safer means that my civil liberties can or should be trampled.Tags: civil liberties, security, tsa