How much freedom does the United States actually have? While many celebrate America as “the land of the free,” only a small number of Americans actually believe their rights aren’t under attack at the moment.
According to a Harris Poll/Purple Project survey, 92 percent of Americans believe that their freedoms are presently being attacked, either by the federal government or other interests that are hoping to curtail their rights, USA Today reported.
Freedom of speech tops the list of rights Americans feel are being attacked, according to the poll, with 48 percent saying that right is under siege (37 percent said freedom of expression was also under attack). Forty-seven percent say the right to bear arms is being attacked, while 41 percent say a right to equal justice is being threatened as well.
Much of the tension in people feeling that their rights are being attacked may stem from the actions of President Donald Trump or his administration, while others, like concerns over gun rights, may come about from societal events and reactions in the wake of mass shootings.
Indeed, America’s political freedom rating from Freedom House, which ranks each nation’s overall freedoms annually, dropped slightly from 2017 to 2018, in part “due to growing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, violations of basic ethical standards by the new administration, and a reduction in government transparency.”
Although Freedom House still considered the U.S. a “free” nation in its final assessment, the organization noted in 2018 that Trump made policy decisions without consultation or transparency, and that he frequently attacked “crucial democratic institutions such as the news media and the judiciary.”
Freedom House also rated the U.S. a 3 out of 4 on the subject of full political rights for various segments of the population — including rights for “ethnic, religious, gender, LGBT, and other relevant groups.”