Majority of Americans say government lacks ‘consent of governed’
by Don McKee
July 09, 2013 10:59 PM | 1795 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
How ironic that even as Egyptians are in revolt against their government, only one fourth of Americans believe the federal government has “the consent of the governed” as the Declaration of Independence puts it.

Rasmussen reported that 72 percent of Americans in last week’s poll said they believe, per the survey question, that “governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed.” But only 25 percent of those polled said the government today has that necessary consent — a shocking development, as this columnist sees it.

In contrast to distrust in government, Americans by huge majorities support the values set forth in the Declaration: Eighty-one percent believe “all men are created equal,” and 92 percent agree that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

But nearly two-thirds of the people now believe that a too-powerful government “is a bigger danger in the world today than one that is not powerful enough,” Rasmussen found. That’s the highest mark ever for that sentiment in this country. In the same vein, 38 percent said they believe the Constitution does not “put enough restrictions on what government can do.”

That helps explain the dissatisfaction of a growing number of Americans with Obamacare. “Support for state implementation of the health care law is declining” as the date for implementation approaches, Rasmussen found. The poll showed only 41 percent of voters in favor of their governor support implementation, while 48 percent want their governor to oppose it.

“This marks a complete reversal from January when 47 percent wanted their governor to support implementation of the law and 39 percent were opposed,” Rasmussen said.

Still, there’s no perceptible movement by the Obama administration to back off implementation of the individual mandate, sharply contrasting the White House’s decision last week to delay implementation of the employer mandate — evidence of the clout that business wields versus individual citizens.

It’s not only the executive branch that’s lost much of its store of trust. A scant seven percent of voters said Congress is doing a good or excellent job — the sixth poll in a row by Rasmussen showing the legislative branch’s positive rating in single digits. Get this: 65 percent “believe that no matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.”

And in today’s America, the judicial branch also ranks low in the view of most people. Rasmussen found only 28 percent “believe the Supreme Court is doing a good or excellent job.” That’s the lowest in more than nine years of polling. The latest poll was taken after the court’s rulings on voting rights, affirmative action and same-sex marriage.

Clearly, most Americans are not happy with their government, including all three branches. The polls cited above clearly show that those who are governing don’t have the consent of the governed. If that’s not a crisis of confidence, what is it?

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