Perhaps no other idea unifies the American people more than freedom. Ninety-four percent (94%) of voters agree with a sentiment sometimes defined as the American Creed: Every American should have the right to live their own life as they see fit, so long as they respect the rights of others to do the same.
However, while cherishing the ideal, there are doubts about how well we live out that creed. Only 53% believe that most Americans respect the right of other people to live their own life as they see fit (that’s up slightly from 47% last August).
Even more skepticism is found about the federal government. Just 33% believe that it respects the right of every American to live their own life as they see fit. Sixty-seven percent (67%) do not believe the federal government supports this key belief. That’s especially stunning because our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, states that the very purpose of government is to protect our unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Just 28% of voters over 50 believe the federal government respects the rights of every American to be free. Forty-one percent (41%) of younger voters think the federal government is okay on this point. On a partisan basis, 45% of Republicans believe the federal government respects individual freedom. Just 30% of Independents agree. (see crosstabs).
Related data on the role of the federal government in society showed that 71% recognize that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had a bigger impact on the world than all eight U.S. presidents who have served since the founding of Apple and Microsoft.
The reality that culture and technology lead the nation forward while politics and politicians lag behind is a central theme in my most recent book: The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not. Among other factors, the book notes that even in the 21st century, our nation retains a deep cultural commitment to the nation’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance. It is this commitment that makes me optimistic about our nation despite the failures of our political system.
We also provide daily updates on the president’s job approval and the generic congressional ballot. It’s all part of our mission to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted April 12-13, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).