Amanda Ripley

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Whaddya Know? Americans Not Terrorized After All

11th Jan 2010 posted in General

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been wondering: Is this all just manufactured hysteria? Are Americans as freaked out by the failed bomb plot as much as the people on their TV screens?

CNN has a new poll out today that suggests regular people are not the ones with the problem (full results in a PDF here). Americans, it seems, don’t scare nearly as easily as their leaders and their reporters.

* Percent of Americans who say they are very or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family will become a victim of a terrorist attack:

—Three months ago: 36%
—Now: 34%


*Percent of Americans who say terrorists will always find a way to launch major attacks, no matter what the US government does:

60% (same as during Bush administration)


*Percent of Americans who approve of how Obama responded to the incident:

57%

So it seems Dick Cheney is wrong again:

“President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war.”


And so is Maureen Dowd.

“[Obama is] so sure of himself and his actions that he fails to see that he misses the moment to be president — to be the strong father who protects the home from invaders, who reassures and instructs the public at traumatic moments.”

Thanks, Big Daddy. But you can put away the baseball bat. We’re just fine here.