Poll: democracy is under attack and more violence may be the future

Democracy is sustained by life and the voters know it.

It’s not just about the inflated and angry rhetoric or the videos showing the grotesque violence directed from one member of Congress to another. It is not just about the violent attack on the Capitol and the organized insurrection attempt on January 6. Or even the increase in violent incidents in recent years, as horrendous as this has been.

It is about the deep-seated alienation of Americans and the willingness of our citizens to accept taking up arms as a solution. TO recent Frank Church Institute survey at Boise State University it sounds the alarms, especially in Mountain West. Attitudes are changing.

The Morning Consult survey covers citizens of five states: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. It has an overall sample size of 1,899 (about 400 per state) and was designed to look at rural areas in particular. Pollsters found that 74 percent of these citizens often or sometimes felt alienated from the federal government and 54 percent from their local government. Even three out of five believe that “the federal government works to benefit other groups of people, but not people like me.”

Some of this is not new, but what is new is that an increasingly vocal minority believes that violence may be the answer to their concern and mistrust for our democracy.

Republicans and Democrats show their fear in equally large numbers: a total of 85 percent are “very or somewhat concerned about the health of democracy.”

TO CNN National Poll he recently indicated that 56 percent of Americans believe that “democracy is under attack,” 75 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of Democrats; 93 percent believe that democracy is being attacked or tested.

When you combine this with very different polarization and perspectives on the 2020 elections, we are on a very dangerous path.

While voters in Mountain West believe that between 51 and 38 percent of Biden was legitimately elected, the split between Republicans and Democrats tells a different story. 87 percent of Democrats say they were elected, while only 26 percent of Republicans do. Nearly 50 percent of Republicans say that Biden was definitely not legitimately elected, and 71 percent believe the election was “rigged.”

It comes as no surprise, given the rhetoric and continuous beating of Donald trumpTrump Organization executive does not expect to face charges, lawyer says Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse Drones are a strategic responsibility for the US MORE and many Republican supporters, that these numbers are so high. Despite the rulings of all the courts, the stories, the vast majority of the press reports calling the elections fair and legitimate, the lie persists. But the fact is that many still believe it, just as they believed that Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Deadline for Paperwork Delaying Biden’s FDA Nomination Missing: Survey Report: Democracy is Under Attack and More Violence May Be the Future No Time for the Shy: Dual Threats from Progressives and Trump MORE was not born in the United States or that Comet Ping Pong Pizza in Washington, DC, was the scene of the child trafficking led by Hillary clintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Bursting the progressive bubble Republican primary in the NH House race draws national attention MORE, a conspiracy theory that resulted in a man with an assault rifle arriving to shoot people in the restaurant.

Although 55 percent of citizens in mountain states say violence on Capitol Hill is “definitely not justified” and 58 percent believe that “political violence is not justified in a democracy, the best solution is the ballot box.” , the remaining 20 percent (including 25 percent of Republicans) believe that “political violence is justified in a democracy when you believe that things have gotten so bad that the government is not acting in the best interests of the people.” . And 22 percent “were not sure” whether the violence is justified or not.

Here’s the bottom line: things haven’t gotten better since the elections or the inauguration, they’ve gotten worse.

When we have one in four or one in five Americans supporting violent behavior and taking up arms, that is a nation on the brink, a country in real danger.

Add to that the behavior of some of our elected officials, the former president and those closest to him, as well as the fact that few national leaders on the Republican side make any attempt to quell the trend toward violence, and the trend is breaking. directing. in the wrong direction. In mountain states, 61 percent of those surveyed believe it is highly or somewhat likely that we will see violence similar to what we saw on Capitol Hill on January 6.

The bright light from this poll is that most of the people surveyed want America to step back from the abyss. By a margin of nearly four to one, from 66 to 17 percent, they want “an elected official to find compromise and common ground between political parties,” not one “who stands firm and pushes his own party’s agenda. political”. They want leaders to do the work, to solve the problems facing our nation, to work to improve the lives of Americans. They want progress, not disputes, and they want leaders who can, and will, work across the aisle. They want common ground, not defend their position.

Now is the time for all political parties and convictions to reject the politics of extremism and violence and return our nation to a path toward civility and a functioning democracy.

Peter Fenn is a longtime Democratic political strategist who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was one of Senator Frank Church’s top advisers, and was the first Democratic chairman of the 1980s, founded by Pamela Harriman. He also co-founded the Center for Responsive Politics / Open Secrets. He is a member of the board of the Frank Church Institute. Follow him on Twitter @peterhfenn.


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