President Ronald Reagan famously said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
In 2003, 30 percent of Americans polled thought that the government posed an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.
In 2015, nearly half (49 percent) of Americans polled said that the government poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms.
65 percent of Republicans recognize this threat from the government.
Gallup’s polling shows that many Americans realize that, for far too long, the government has shown up to help, as Reagan warned, and made our lives miserable and less free in the process.
Gallup also asked how the government poses an immediate threat to those who say it does. Their answers are not surprising to those of us who have argued for years against ever-growing government that continually shrinks our Constitutional freedoms.
Nineteen percent said too many laws and too big of government. 15 percent cited the violation of freedoms and civil liberties. 12 percent said gun control and concerns about the infringement of the Second Amendment for law-abiding citizens without having any effect on the criminals who would violate any laws passed just as they violate the laws currently on the books. 10 percent cited too much involvement in people’s private lives, probably recognizing how increasing regulations make us less free and less prosperous.
Other concerns involved taking away foundational First Amendment freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, government surveillance, over-taxation and overregulation, too much spending, and so much more.
This survey is not an outlier.
Americans are also more concerned about their religious freedom in the U.S. today than in previous years. And this concern is growing across the board. According to research conducted by Barna Group, 41 percent of adults today express concern over religious freedom, compared to 33 percent of adults surveyed in 2012.
“Among Millennials, there’s been a nine percentage point increase in those who say that religious freedom is worse today than it was 10 years ago (25 percent to 34 percent); the increase is even more marked among Gen-Xers (29 percent to 42 percent) and Boomers (38 percent to 46 percent).”
No matter how old they are, no matter the political party, and no matter what their views on numerous issues are, one thing is resounding clear: Americans feel less free today and they feel that it’s the government’s fault.
And they’re exactly right.
Our Supreme Court rules that laws do not mean what they say they mean while inventing constitutional rights whole cloth out of thin air, disregarding the democratic process and community debate that strengthens our nation’s character and charter.
Congress fails to lead and fails to cast a vision. Just this past weekend, freshman Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) took to Twitter to deconstruct and dismantle the conventional wisdom and media framework of what really matters. Disregarding the petty small ball of those trying to hold on to power, Sasse refocused the conversation on what really matters: a big vision of the future of American exceptionalism that fights for people and not merely against bad government projected by a winsome warrior that celebrates earned success and empowers our friends and neighbors to live full lives of opportunity.
The Obama administration continues to rule by unconstitutional executive fiat here at home while failing to lead abroad.
This is why a majority of Republicans fear our government is endangering our freedoms – because it is.
This is why half of Republicans polled currently prefer presidential candidates with no political experience – because we don’t just want another politician who will say one thing and do another.
And this is why the convention of states is so important. Our Founding Fathers gave us an emergency provision to reclaim our government and protect our fundamental freedoms.
The time to act is now, before it’s too late.
This article was originally published on The Hill.