Right Hooks

Americans' Worry About Terrorism a Boon for GOP

As heir to Obama's legacy, Hillary Clinton doesn't have the answers.

Dan Gilmore · Dec. 17, 2015
Security patrols Union Station in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy TSA

For the first time since 9/11, more Americans believe the U.S. government is doing a bad job in reducing the threat of terrorism, a Pew study shows. When asked, “In general, how well do you think the U.S. government is doing in reducing the threat of terrorism?” the majority of Americans, 52%, said it was doing a bad job; 46% said they believed the government was doing an adequate job. Let that sink in: Americans have less faith in the government’s ability to ensure national security today than in the days after 9/11, during the anthrax scares, and when the Beltway Sniper stalked the District of Columbia. But remember: Obama says the threat of the Islamic State is “contained.”

Last year, only 1% of Americans said terrorism is the biggest problem facing the nation. This December, 18% believe it’s the number one issue and 57% of the people that responded to Pew’s questions said they disapprove of how this administration handles terrorism. This disapproval is across the board, coming from Democrats, Republicans and Independents, and Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the answers. This week, Hillary told her admiring minions that the solution to terrorism was gun control, yet she never mentioned her legacy of failure as Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Currently, the Republican candidates have the counterterrorism policies that Americans desire.

But the Pew study contains a warning: When it came to the protection of civil liberties, 56% of the respondents said the nation hasn’t gone far enough to ensure security, while 28% said the U.S. government went too far in restricting civil liberties. In this age of fear, we must be careful not to trade Liberty for the sense of security. For as Benjamin Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

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