A new public opinion poll conducted by the Independent Public Religious Research Institute as part of its 12th annual American Values Survey highlights a growing and alarming trend; A full 30% of Republicans, or – more specifically, Trump’s MAGA law, agree with the statement, “B“Because things have gone so far, true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save our country.” Yahoo News contains the findings in a story published this morning.
The 30% figure exceeds the number of Democrats and Independents combined, with 11% of Democrats and 17% of Independents agreeing on the use of force. Combined, the results of the United States make a nation in which one in five adults believes that violence against other Americans may be necessary to put the country back on a “track” determined by those who fight.
This is a worrying finding, ”said Robert Jones, CEO and founder of PRRI. “I’ve been doing this for a while, for decades, and it’s not the kind of finding you’re used to seeing as a sociologist, a public opinion pollster.”
Overall, the answers to this question illustrate the “significant and rapidly increasing polarization in the United States,” he said.
The rapid escalation itself can and should be traced directly to Trump and his special brand of polarization. Trump lived life and based his administration on one value, “For or against me?” Trump
could no longer unite the American people than he could fit in a medium shirt.
Yahoo quotes experts as agreeing:
Jones said the significant increase in support for political violence among Republicans was “a direct result of former President Trump questioning the election,” indicating another sharp finding from the PRRI poll: More than two-thirds of Republicans, or 68 percent, remain believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump, compared to 26 percent of independents and only 6 percent of Democrats.
Again, the rapid jump in numbers is certainly rooted in Trump’s tenure, especially his tactics after the election. But the trend is also rooted in polarization that has been increasingly embedded in this country, especially the Right, over the past forty years. Trump is an accelerator, not the cause of the fire.
As far back as the 2008 election, just eight years after Al Gore announced that “for the good of the country” he would end all litigation against Bush, Mitch McConnell opened his Obama-era meeting by telling his caucus that the “highest priority” was to make Obama a one-time president.While the world entered the Great Recession, McConnell prioritized polarization over agreements that could snatch the country out of economic pain.Months later, the “Tea Party” proudly Gadsden flagged and talked about the tree of freedom that the blood of patriots requires.
These latest findings are deeply disturbing and President Biden is fighting the trend daily. But dangerous polarization infected this country long ago. It was not created in one term, and it will not be erased in one term. And while it is true that Trump has inflamed the flames furiously, it is also true that ever-increasing polarization without Trump can take place in the picture at all.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, with writer, writer and lawyer. He is originally from Canada, but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, for which he is becoming increasingly grateful every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the shores of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic who cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also enjoys studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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