Half of all voters consider radical Muslims the bigger terrorist threat facing the nation, but supporters of President Obama consider the Tea Party to be as big a danger.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters consider radical Muslims to be the bigger threat to the United States today. Thirteen percent (13%) view the Tea Party that way, and another 13% consider other political and religious extremists to be the larger danger. Six percent (6%) point to local militia groups. Two percent (2%) see the Occupy Wall Street movement as the bigger terrorist threat. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
However, among those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims.
As for those who disapprove of Obama’s performance, 75% consider radical Muslims to be the bigger terrorist threat. Just one percent (1%) name the Tea Party.
I’ve never been to a Tea Party rally per se, but I’ve attended conservative events where Tea Party groups are a major presence. In my own experience, these men and women are by and large kind, friendly, and patriotic Americans who happen to believe in limited government, lower taxation and traditional values. They do not in any way shape or form advocate violence or hatred; they merely want to hold their government accountable – which seems pretty reasonable these days, no? How then does one explain the fact that more than one-quarter of the president’s supporters consider Tea Party people to be the nation’s “top terror threat?” This is utterly insane to me. Of course, liberals can disagree with conservatives on policy, but there is simply no credible evidence whatsoever that Tea Partiers pose a national security risk to the United States of America.
The truth is, I think, that the media has tried desperately to portray Tea Partiers as violent and intolerant racists. And sadly, too many well-meaning Americans seem to have bought into these spurious lies. What a shame.
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