Independence Day weekend is upon us, but Americans are not feeling particularly free.
More than 57% of Americans believe they have less personal freedom today than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new poll conducted by Convention of States Action in partnership with the Trafalgar Group.
"They understand that [Covid-19] has been used as a pretext for taking away their rights," Mark Meckler, the president of Convention of States Action, told Just the News. "I'm very hopeful that they're seeing all of this openly, I think it bodes well for the future of the country."
The poll also measured belief in the responsiveness of political leaders in Washington. When asked if current leadership in the capital is "listening to the will of the people," 62.4% of respondents agreed that "the will of the people is no longer a consideration to leaders in DC when making policy or legislative decisions."
Among the pivotal bloc of independent voters, 59% say the will of the people is no longer a consideration, while just 17% say it remains somewhat of a consideration.
This does not mean Americans are dissatisfied with their system of government, according to Meckler — just the opposite, in fact. "They love their system of government," he said. "They're very proud of it," but "people are no longer buying the tropes from Washington, D.C."
With the 2022 midterms on the horizon, Meckler estimates the new poll reflects the shifting mood of the American public as it pertains to voter engagement. Following a year-plus of pandemic-related lockdowns, state-imposed restrictions, and mammoth spending bills from Congress, there is a sense that the federal government is too large, too powerful, and too unresponsive to the will of the American people.
Meckler says the energy he has seen around the country in recent months is "virtually identical" to what he saw when he was helming the Tea Party movement about a decade ago. "Only I'm even more excited, because they have a plan," he adds.
The poll asked people how the government should respond to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has been making headlines recently, creating some sense of worry that more lockdowns could be imminent. Overwhelmingly, respondents said the government should not reinstate lockdowns, and just 17.7% approved of new mask mandates and social distancing.
Almost two-thirds of voters said the government should take no action when it comes to the Delta variant, with 63% agreeing with this statement: "With widespread availability of the vaccines and treatments, individuals can make personal decisions on how to respond."
Even among Democrats, more than 50% agreed that the government should refrain from interfering again in the lives of its citizens. That number shoots up to 83.4% for Republicans.
"The American people clearly understand that they can no longer trust the health 'authorities,'" said Meckler, adding the people are signaling they want to be "self-governing.”