Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nearly Half of Californians Report Lasting Effect of 9/11

Actually, the number should be higher. 

What is wrong with these people.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Poll: Nearly half of Californians say 9/11 had lasting impact on their lives":

Two decades after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a majority of Californians believe the surveillance laws passed in its aftermath were justified, while the state’s most conservative and most liberal voters are more skeptical, according to a new poll.

The survey from the Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies, in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, found that the events of that day remain a vivid memory for three-quarters of the state’s voters, and nearly half say 9/11 has had a lasting effect on themselves or their families.

“It was a demarcation point in American life,” said Mark DiCamillo, the poll’s director. “Here we are 20 years later ... going through long lines at the airport, increased security. It all stems back from that day.”

A sizable number of California voters say they have been improperly treated because of increased safety measures. One in four voters report being harassed during security screenings at airports, for example. There is little difference between how Democrats and Republicans say they have experienced mistreatment, but substantial difference among racial and ethnic backgrounds. Roughly 25% of white, Latino and Asian voters in California say they have been harassed, compared with 39% of Black voters and 51% of American Indian/Native American respondents.

Still, the findings show that the immediacy of 9/11 is beginning to fade from Californians’ collective memory. Although roughly 90% of Californians over 50 say they have a clear recollection of that day — when terrorists hijacked four airplanes to attack targets in the U.S. — the number dwindles to less than 20% among those under 30, who were children or not yet born when the assaults occurred.

Young Californians are far less likely to say the events of Sept. 11 had a lasting effect on themselves or their families. Overall, voters in the state were nearly evenly split; 47% said they or their families experienced an enduring effect from the attacks, and 52% did not.

Voters under 40 are also more wary of the federal laws adopted after the attacks, which gave law enforcement more authority to conduct surveillance of the public. Less than half of those younger Californians say the policies are justified, compared with majorities of voters age 40 and older, with support climbing to 75% among people over 75.

Overall, 56% of the state’s voters back such laws, and 22% say the measures are unjustified with another 22% holding no opinion.

Attitudes do not neatly conform to partisan leanings. Republicans and Democrats support the laws in equal measure (roughly 60%), and half of voters with no party preference say the same.

Voters on the extremes of the ideological spectrum — strong conservatives and strong liberals — are less likely than moderate voters to see the policies as justified. And the share of voters who had no opinion on the laws climbed as their level of education increased; 29% of those with postgraduate degrees said they had no opinion, compared with 9% who did not have a high school degree.

Such a pattern is unusual among the most highly educated respondents, who are more likely to hold defined views, DiCamillo said.

In this case, the merit of surveillance laws “is a more complicated issue,” he said. “It’s not a straightforward yes or no.”

The findings also underscore how some views about the lasting impact of 9/11 defy the trend of hyper-polarization that has crept into nearly every corner of American life. Although party affiliation has some influence on Californians’ perspectives, DiCamillo said it has “kind of a modest influence.”

“It’s there, but lurking in the background,” he said, a vast difference from most topics he polls on, where there’s “just unbelievable partisan differences on viewing the realities of American life.”

Similarly, Democrats and Republicans report comparable attitudes about how fears of a terrorist attack influence their behavior. Twenty-one percent of Democrats and 17% of Republicans say they have skipped going to a theme park, sports stadium or large entertainment venue because of such safety concerns; 1 in 5 voters with no party preference report the same...

Still more.