As we Americans prepare to celebrate our independence, we are reminded of the rights afforded us by our Constitution, and how we support those freedoms above all else.
Yeah, that’s what we say, but….
The Newseum Institution– a think tank devoted to promoting the rights of our first amendment (religion, speech, press, assembly and petition)- just released the results of this year’s annual State of the First Amendment Survey. What did they learn?
23% of Americans think the rights of the First Amendment go too far. That’s almost 1 in four Americans who believe free speech should be curtailed. 43% of us believe colleges should be allowed to ban controversial speakers, and 55% of us believe racist views should not be allowed on social media.
While 68% of us believe the news media should be a government watchdog, over half of us (53%) prefer news from outlets that align with our political views. Only 43% of us believe the news media report without bias, but that’s better than last year, when only 23% of us thought the media was unbiased in its reporting. Of those of us who identify as conservative, only 27% believe news media should be a government watchdog.
59% of us believe religious freedom should extend to all religions. However, one-third of us believe the government should be able to, “hold Muslims to a greater level of scrutiny, even if it infringes on their religious liberty.”
While these results are somewhat heartening, the results from a recent poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University found that more Tennesseans trust President Trump (38%) than mainstream media outlets (26%). However, they trust Yelp and other online recommendations far more than Trump (62%). We Tennesseans are most likely to trust people we know (91%).
So what is my takeaway from the survey results?
While we’re still divided in our beliefs, we are more trusting of the news media than we have been. As for who do we trust the most, it’s each other.
But, unfortunately, too many of us are willing to give up our own Constitutional rights if it means we also deny those rights to voices with whom we disagree.
Happy birthday, America. I know you’re battered and bruised right now, but you’re still standing. Hang in there.
11 thoughts on “So, America… How Ya Doin?”
If I were in America? I would trust my cat right now and I don’t even have one. Same in Australia really. Malcolm Turnbull? I didn’t vote for him. At least there same sex marriage has been legalised and we know Trumpet didn’t make that happen right? Very sad face, H
I hope it will be always the land of the free… and maybe some people will ponder a little bit about the future while they have bbq and beer …
love this “Happy birthday, America. I know you’re battered and bruised right now, but you’re still standing. Hang in there. ” Be sure to check out my tiny comment on Cody’s post on July 4th catchatwithcarenandcody
America is going through a journey and when you all come out of it on the other side for your next election everyone’s eyes will be wide open,some like you are already there and have been all along but the rest will be a gradual opening as time progresses one by one the realisation will hit them that they made a big mistake and was conned by the biggest Conn man of them all ,Happy Birthday America!xx Rachel and Speedy
I KNOW my cat is smarter than anyone in the current administration.
We’ll get thru this, but it will get worse before it gets better.
I love my republic. May it endure forever. Cc
Enlightening, sobering, yet not as horrific as I would’ve guessed
This blog earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at: http://patbean.wordpress.com
When the majority of people are most likely to trust people they know, it demonstrates how important it is to stand up for truth, justice, and mercy even when you suspect someone will disagree.
I know that my Scotties have more intelligence in their little bodies than 45 has in that enormous orange menace of a body. They do not bully each other and are respectful of all.
I have come to believe that all the news outlets — those I like and those I don’t like — all have an agenda. Some, however, actually double or triple-check their sources. In my world, that matters. I still believe that there is such a thing as “real” vs. “unreal.”
It’s amazing to me how many people confuse nationalism with patriotism. Fighting for “the American way of life” is different than fighting for the Constitution. Freedom of speech is one of those non-negotiables, in my book. If you believe free speech should be curtailed, it’s hard to say that you believe in the American experiment itself. Great post! If you want to check out my writing on the topic, take a look at my post at https://hittingthetrifecta.com/2017/06/07/damn-gina-free-speech-gets-ugly-sometimes/ Main point: the uglier the speech, the more protection we owe the speaker, because that’s what insulates the rest of us from losing our own freedoms.