- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 29, 2002

RICHMOND About half of Americans are willing to give up personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution if doing so would help protect the country, a survey suggests.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation survey also found that most respondents considered affordable health care and the right to an education more important to them personally than the First Amendment.
Survey results were released yesterday before the first celebration of Independence Day since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Forty-nine percent of the 1,000 persons polled agreed with the statement: "We are living in dangerous times. If we need to relinquish some of our personal freedoms and privacies to protect our country, we should all be prepared to do that."
However, 41 percent agreed with the premise that, despite modern dangers, Americans should not be required to relinquish personal freedoms.
Fifty-three percent said the FBI should be given broader power to monitor citizens, while 43 percent said it should not.
"The results are provocative," said Colin Campbell, president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. "We're divided on whether we should preserve our freedoms inviolate or be prepared to make compromises."
According to the survey, the First Amendment particularly freedom of the press could be a prime target for such compromises. While 46 percent ranked freedom of speech as either the most important or second most important principle for society as a whole, freedom of the press was ranked in the top two by only 10 percent.
In contrast, the right to affordable health care was ranked first or second by 37 percent. The right to pursue an education and freedom of religion each came in at 35 percent.
When asked which principles were most important to their families, 44 percent ranked affordable health care first or second, while 39 percent put education in the top two. Freedom of religion came in at 33 percent, freedom of speech at 30 percent and freedom of the press at 6 percent.

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