Americans scared of government – survey

Americans are more scared of government and its corrupt officials than they are of anything else, including nuclear war or climate change.

Three quarters (74. 5 percent) of people surveyed in the annual ‘Chapman University Survey on American Fears’ study said they were afraid of corrupt government officials. Second on the list, at 55 percent, was also a government issue – concern over ‘Trumpcare’, or what the unpredictable US President may do to the American Health Act.

Rounding out the Top Ten were: pollution of oceans, rivers and lakes (53.1 percent), pollution of drinking water (50.4 percent), not having enough money for the future (50.2 percent), high medical bills (48.4 percent), that the US will be involved in another World War (48.4 percent), global warming and climate change (48.0 percent), North Korea using weapons (47.5 percent), and air pollution (44.9 percent).

The results are very different from the 2016 survey. In that study corrupt government officials were also placed first, but were mentioned by only 60.6 percent of respondents.

Americans are becoming much more anxious overall. Second last year was fear of a terrorist attack (41.0 percent). That grew this year to 43.3 percent, but in terms of position it declined sharply to 13th position. All of the top 15 fears this year rated higher than the second greatest fear last year.

“The 2017 list of fears clearly reflects political unrest and uncertainty in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president,” says the report.

“Increased tensions with North Korea, concerns about sweeping changes proposed to health care and discussion (at the time the survey was administered) of the United States leaving the Paris Climate Accords produced a much different list from 2016.

“What is most striking about American fear in 2017 is that environmental fears, including water pollution and drinking water quality, figure more prominently than ever before. Environmental issues never cracked the top ten fears in our previous surveys.

“In 2017, there was a sharp increase in environmental fears, likely due to fears about policy changes in Washington. The Trump Administration has charted a drastically different path; ordering the US Environmental Protection Agency not to enforce major pollution laws, and firing the EPA’s entire Science Advisory Board.

The survey was a random sample of 1,207 American adults. Chapman University is a private Christian institution in Orange County, California.

The survey findings are available here.

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