The thing is, they’re in the minority, and few people in power have paid much attention to them. Sure, most voters, according to a Fairleigh-Dickinson poll, don’t think that it’s legal to assassinate American citizens abroad (even if you’ve never heard of drones, that’s got to sound like a pretty awful prospect), but take away the “American citizen” part of that question and voters are like, “Oh, sure, kill whoever.” In fact, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll, Americans are perfectly happy with the way Obama is running the war on terror. They like the fact that he’s kept Guantanamo Bay open, even though he said he’d close it—53 percent of Democrats feel terrific about him breaking that particular campaign promise. A whopping 83 percent of Americans and 77 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats approve of Obama’s use of drones to kill people. And remember, the administration has refused to discuss its drone policies in detail so these people are supporting a policy they have no way of understanding beyond, Terrorists bad. We kill bad people.
I’ll admit that I prefer the use of drones to sending in troops when it comes to helping to overthrow dictatorships in the Middle East, if I have to choose between the two. But there’s a difference between that and using drones to spy on and kill American citizens. That’s breaking the trust that Americans should be able to have with their government.