A new Quinnipiac University Poll, the first major poll since the revelations of the NSA’s surveillance schemes, shows an encouraging trend toward American awareness about the dangers of government overreach.
The poll showed a strong majority of Americans seeing Edward Snowden, the source of the revelations, as a whistleblower, and not a traitor. The majority was even broader among younger Americans, but spanned virtually all categories.
The poll also showed a slight majority of Americans now believe that the US government’s anti-terrorism policies have “gone too far,” a sentiment again overwhelmingly endorsed by younger voters. That’s a huge shift from the previous poll on the matter, in 2010, when nearly a 3-1 majority believed the policies hadn’t gone far enough.
The shift in attitudes is encouraging, but it’s also somewhat baffling, as cable news coverage has mostly been intensely critical of Snowden and ambivalent, at best, toward the issue of surveillance. Americans seem to strongly disagree with that assessment.