Skip to comments.Rasmussen: Many Say Government Now Operating Outside the Constitution [YA THINK???]
Posted on 11/23/2010 9:40:20 AM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative
Voters are clearly dubious about the size and scope of todays federal government.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 39% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the federal government currently operates within the limits established by the Constitution of the United States.
Forty-four percent (44%) disagree and say it is not functioning within those limits, while another 17% arent sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Earlier surveys have shown that just one-in-five voters believe that the government today has the consent of the governed. Forty-eight percent (48%) see the government as a threat to individual rights. According to the Declaration of Independence, governments are formed to protect certain inalienable rights.
Most Americans think the Constitution is just fine the way it is and should be left alone. But 39% say the governing document doesnt put enough restrictions on what the government can do.
As is often the case, theres a wide gap between the perceptions of the Political Class and those of Mainstream voters when it comes to the federal government. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Political Class voters say the government now operates within constitutional limits, but 62% of those in the Mainstream dont share that view.
One aspect of the Constitution that is frequently challenged is its protection for freedom of speech. But 85% of voters say, generally speaking, that the constitutional protection of speech is a good thing for the United States. Only six percent (6%) disagree. The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 21-22, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Nearly two-out-of-three voters (65%) are at least somewhat angry at the current policies of the federal government, including 40% who are Very Angry.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Democrats say the federal government currently is operating within the limits established by the Constitution. Holding the opposite view, 65% of Republicans and 52% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties do not believe the government is functioning within constitutional bounds.
But all three groups agree overwhelmingly that the constitutional protection of freedom of speech is a good thing.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of political conservatives say todays federal government is out-of-bounds constitutionally, but 66% of liberals disagree. By a narrow 43% to 37% margin, moderates think the government is within constitutional guidelines.
In surveys for several years, voters have defended the Constitution and questioned how it is being applied.
Sixty percent (60%) of voters, for example, say the U.S. Supreme Court should make its decisions based on the Constitution and legal precedents rather than being guided by a sense of fairness and justice. But only 38% think the high court is actually guided by the Constitution when it makes its rulings.
Despite continuing gun control efforts by federal, state and local governments, Americans overwhelmingly believe the Constitution guarantees the right of the average citizen to own a gun.
At the same time, most voters (65%) say they prefer a smaller government with lower taxes rather than one with more services and higher taxes.
Most Americans say the government already has too much influence over the economy and is involved in too many things that would be better left to the private sector.
Seventy percent (70%) of voters think big government and big business generally work together against the interests of investors and consumers.
While protective of their freedom of speech rights, most Americans have agreed over the years that they are willing to sacrifice some of that freedom to protect children from indecency.
Only 44% think the govt has exceeded its constitutional boundaries.... but I wonder how many of those 44% truly understand what the boundaries are?
The disconnect between the "Political Class" (which spans both parties) and the rest of us is quite striking, and indicative of why things tend not to change in Washington.
But hey: "...all three groups agree overwhelmingly that the constitutional protection of freedom of speech is a good thing." Yaaaay!
I participated in one of their polls Sunday night. Mostly economy related questions.
For, exactly, how long has the U.S. government exceeded its constitutional boundaries? That’s the question I want answered.
Is the pope Catholic?
Is water wet?
REALLY???? Who would have thought? Of course, they are. They are fraudulent.
WE STILL HAVE MORE TRASH TO TAKE OUT IN 2012! MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!!
Unfortunately, too many Americans do not see this as a bad thing.
I wonder how many just don’t care whether the government follows the Constitution or not, because they believe it is just an old dated document that has no relevance to modern life.
“the U.S. Supreme Court should make its decisions based on the Constitution and legal precedents rather than being guided by a sense of fairness and justice”
I don’t get it. Following the Constitution IS fair and just.
“For, exactly, how long has the U.S. government exceeded its constitutional boundaries?”
Since 1789, probably.
WELL, NO SH!T, SHERLOCK!!!
This is a phony poll.
I believe the question should not have allowed for “Don’t Know/Not Sure”.
This is an important question, and either you believe the Federal Govt IS or IS NOT funtioning outside of the Constitution.
If there were just a Yes-No option, then the phony breakdown of 44-39-17% would equate to a 53% majority believing the Govt is acting outside the Constitution
Do you think we can identify with and feel what the citizens of Germany felt like in the 1930’s watching their way of life destroyed?
Even in the Roman Empire, there was a valiant, but ultimately losing battle -- such as with the "Twelve laws" and other constitutional limitations -- to limit the power of central government over individuals. See Was Paul a Roman?.
What country is this in?
Probably since, at least, the Jackson administration.
So here’s what I’m going to do.
I’m going to have a special t-shirt made. It’ll simply have the words of the Fourth Amendment printed on it.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons... against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated...”
And I’ll just stand there and let them do their groping.
If anyone would like to steal this idea and turn it into a commercial enterprise, feel free. I’m too busy and live too far away from a city to do this myself. I’d buy the shirt, though.
Wow! I really want one of those.
With the t-shirt in a heap at the foot of the bed.
That’s why we have the word TREASON!
Scott’s a little slow, but eventually he ‘get’s it’, usually after the fact. He’s a Monday morning quarterback as far as I’m concerned, referencing candidates and election predictions.
That was my first thought -
most leftists DESPISE any fixed set of rules because those rules preclude the “discretion” of the “ultra-smart” ruling class.
Unfortunately, most Germans and Austrians thought Chancellor Hitler was their savior, the best thing since sliced bread w/butter. Just like the Obots.
Those that could “see” evil growing and taking over bailed out of Germany at the first opportunity. That was why they survived the Holocaust.
We have useful idiots right now that cannot see evil. When they’re dragged before an Obama Death Panel and denied health care and shipped to an Obama Hospice Center to die, they will realize that they made the same mistake as many in Germany did. Just my opinion!
“For, exactly, how long has the U.S. government exceeded its constitutional boundaries? Thats the question I want answered.”
Great question. And the answers you’d get would be the most telling.
Marbury vs Madison anyone?
Many thanks! Be well and God bless.
No wonder der ‘bamafuhrer wants to build new rail lines!
So, shut up, keep quiet and just turn on the showers after depositing your clothing in this pile.
Drooling idiots who watch TV support Obama when they switch the propaganda tube on. Fools.
Thanks Constitutionalist Conservative.
The answer is, "obviously for too long, and by both Parties."
There is NOTHING "constitutional" about the "Patriot Act," Affirmative Action," federally institutionalized socialism, undeclared wars, "wealth redistribution," and the eligibility of scoff-law Presidents who aren't proven American citizens. But that's just me.
Actually, it might be interesting to match up the locations of the many empty jails - many of them never yet used - around the country and the strange, useless RR links they're proposing.
I don't think many people, especially those who don't know the history of Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia - just how dangerous the people behind this are - they are concentrating on the surface of it without realizing that it is probably but a test run to see just how easily the people can be subjugated...
And do NOT abuse the agents.
“Only 44% think the govt has exceeded its constitutional boundaries.... but I wonder how many of those 44% truly understand what the boundaries are?”
All of the 44% understand the boundaries but none of the rest do. Anyone who understands the constitution has to know that the government is NOT operating within the constitution.
The American constitution was written to be read and understood by anyone with enough education to be a functioning member of society at that time. It is NOT complicated and hard to decipher as so many wish to pretend.
Modern politicians and many judges seem able to find any meaning they desire in the document but cannot perceive what was plainly intended.
I think that's too optimistic. For example, I suspect that not one American in ten understands and embraces the constitutional doctrine of enumerated powers.
My (implied) point was that many of these 44% have some favorite part of the Constitution (e.g. free speech, which was highlighted in the poll) that they think has been transgressed by Congress.
For example, I'll bet we can find a lot of conservatives who rightly think that McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, but they don't understand that this law is an unconstitutional atrocity in many other ways as well.
I can’t argue with any of that, at least the 44% do realize that the government is overstepping the boundaries, it is astonishing to think that more than half the people either don’t think so or are not certain. How can anyone who knows anything NOT KNOW that the government is living outside the constitution?
Just this morning after answering your post I had a conversation with a seventy year old man who seems to think there is a lot of positive to the idea that a person charged with a crime should be considered guilty and have to prove his own innocence. I was astounded to say the least, a large percentage of America seems to be looking forward to dictatorship as if it meant deliverance.