American politics, part deux

Moreover, “fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones,” despite many resulting civilian casualties and its questionable legality.

It’s worth comparing the data to older polls.  Regarding Guantanamo, overall 70% of respondents agreed with President Obama on keeping Guantanamo open.  But in June 2009, more Americans favored closing the facility than keeping it open.  In 2006, only 57% of Americans supported using the Guantanamo detention center house accused terrorists.  Even in 2003, support was only at 65%.  Now, under the leadership of a President who campaigned with the promise to close the facility but reneged, support for the detention center may be at its highest level ever.

The Pew Research Center released a poll last year that demonstrated a similar shift of support by Democrats on the Patriot Act.  In 2006 under the Republican Bush, 25% of Democrats viewed the Act as a “necessary tool” and 53% thought it went too far.  Five years later under the Democrat Obama, 35% of Democrats said the Act was necessary, while only 40% thought it went too far.  Republicans, on the other hand, showed less support for the Act in 2011 than they did under Bush.

This is a very limited supply of information, ACED realizes, certainly not enough to draw firm conclusions.  However, the polling data suggests that a significant number of people who identify as belonging to a political party (a) change their values to conform to the policies of their party, and/or (b) change their values to oppose the leader of the other party.  Either is totally inconsistent with a citizen’s role in a democracy.


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