The results suggest that Americans’ perceptions of the government as a threat may be less dependent on broader, philosophical views of government power, and instead have more to do with who is wielding that power. Throughout the Bush administration, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to perceive the government as a threat. Now that a Democratic president is in office, the reverse is true.
Since 2003, when the question was first asked, independents’ views have been more consistent, although independents have been somewhat more likely to perceive the government as a threat since 2006 than they were before that year.
What does this tell you? Personally, I find it a bit disturbing. My take: People are hypocrites. People don’t have any defensible philosophical world view that they apply systematically. It depends on who is in power and whether one feels allied to power by part affiliation.