Monday, September 26, 2011

Seeds of revolution?

Gallup just released the results of a poll conducted earlier this month and, depending on one's point of view, "Americans Express Historic Negativity Toward U.S. Government" is either very disturbing or mildly encouraging.

As the report's title suggests, a record 81% of us are dissatisfied with the way our nation is being governed -- not surprising, really, since there's precious little governing going on in Washington.
That dissatisfaction varies, by party, of course -- 65% of Democrats are miffed, versus a whopping 92% of Republicans.

More striking to me, however, is that half of us see the federal government as "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens."
Again, political affiliation (or the lack thereof) makes a difference -- Republicans (61%) and independents (57%) feel more threatened than do Democrats (28%).

It's tempting to be troubled by these survey results -- my country is going to hell in a handcart -- and leave it at that. There's another perspective, however, perhaps a more promising one.

Widespread dissatisfaction with government and recognition that Liberty is under assault could be -- could be -- the seeds of revolution. If those seeds are watered with independence, they could well take root.

Unfortunately, true independence is hard to find in today's America, and shaping opinion (which is cheap) into action (which is essential) will be a heavy lift.

Assembling revolution's critical mass will take time. Transforming a sedentary citizenry into impassioned patriots won't happen overnight, despite our wishes.

But it has to start somewhere.