Freedom vs Security
Most Americans at this point in time look to the government (Federal, state or local) for security.
Also, most Americans lament the slow erosion of liberty over the last couple of decades.
I would argue that individual freedom vs security is a zero-sum game; that is, in order to gain additional security one must forgo a portion of their liberties. Or, to gain more liberty we must curtail activities of the government.
This is a bit simplistic, but I believe the basic idea holds true. So long as the various governments were small and their acknowledged duties were few, they provided a very low level of security for the individual.
Now, insecure folks are a pretty nervous bunch. But, Americans in the past have not spent a noticeable amount of time worrying about how safe they were at any particular point. Why this comfortable attitude? They were secure in their own ability to protect themselves, their family and community.
Americans have traditionally enjoyed a high of freedoms and security. Only since we have begun to entrust the state with our security have we been willing to give-up slices of our individual freedom.
So long as we are unwilling to trust in ourselves we will continue to subjugate ourselves to power hungry politicians.