Good news, part 1:
A CNN/TIME poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t interested in sacrificing rights to combat terrorism.
When given a choice, 61 percent of Americans say they are more concerned about the government enacting new anti-terrorism policies that restrict civil liberties, compared to 31 percent who say they are more concerned about the government failing to enact strong new anti-terrorism policies.
This is a vast improvement over 1996, when a post-Atlanta Olympics bombing poll showed only 23% opposed giving up freedom in exchange for fighting terrorism.
Breaking it down further, the poll also shows a bit of split along party lines. Self-identified Democrats are most likely to put their faith in government/law enforcement to make the U.S. “safer” by curtailing freedoms (51%). Republicans are less likely to favor this exchange (41%). For independents, less than a third (32%) are willing to give up some freedom to combat terrorism.
Good news, part 2: the sacrifice of civil liberties is of dubious and often unproven benefit, in any event.