One in three Americans think violence against the government is sometimes justified, according to a new Washington Post poll.
The investigation, along with the University of Maryland, was released on New Years Day – five days to less than a year since rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to reverse Donald Trump’s electoral defeat against Joe Biden.
According to the authors of The Steal, a new book on Republican attempts to reach Trump’s goal through legal action in key states, the January 6, 2021 rioters “had no better chance of overthrowing the government that the hippies in 1967 tried to levitate the Pentagon “.
But it was still the most serious attack on the seat of the federal government since the British torched Washington in 1814 and the Post poll came amid a sea of growing warnings of domestic conflict, if not of a second civil war.
The Post reported: “The percentage of Americans who report having committed violent actions against the government is sometimes justified is 34%, which is considerably higher than in previous polls by The Post or other major news agencies dating back more than two decades.
“… The point of view is partisan: the new survey reveals that 40% of Republicans, 41% of independents and 23% of Democrats say violence is sometimes justified.”
Other polls have found that more than half of Republicans believe Trump’s lie that Biden won the White House through voter fraud and do not trust the election.
As pointed out by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague, authors of the new book The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and People Who Stopped It, Trump was ultimately arrested by “the integrity of hundreds of obscure Americans from all over the world. walks of life, state and local officials, judges and election workers. Many of them… Republicans, some… Trump supporters. “
Nonetheless, at a rally near the White House on January 6, Trump told those supporters to “fight like hell” for his cause.
“And if you don’t fight like a devil,” he said, “you won’t have a country anymore”.
Five people died, including a rioter shot by the police and a police officer.
The Post poll found that 60% of Americans said Trump bore “a lot” or “a good deal” of responsibility for the attack on Capitol Hill. However, 72% of Republicans and 83% of Trump voters said he carried “just some” responsibility or “none at all”.
The Post reported: “A majority continue to say that violence against the government is never justified – but the 62% who share this view are a new low point and a marked difference from the 1990s, when until ‘90% said violence was never justified.
The newspaper interviewed some respondents.
Phil Spampinato, 73, of Dover, Delaware, and political independent, said he first “considered whether violence against the government could be justified” as a means of “defending your way of life” after watching Republicans change state laws. restrict the Democrats’ vote and facilitate the cancellation of the results.
“Not that long ago,” said Spampinato, “I would have said that these conditions are not possible and that such violence is never really appropriate.”
Anthea Ward, a 32-year-old Republican and mother of two from Michigan, said, “The world we live in now is scary. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but sometimes it looks like a movie. This is no longer a war on Democrats and Republicans. It is a war between good and evil.
Ward said she did not approve of the attack on the Capitol. She also said she would not participate in violence against the Covid-19 vaccination warrants – another social flashpoint.
But, the Post reported, Ward said other people might be justified in choosing to “express their Second Amendment right” if the government “violates[d] their freedom of choice “over vaccines,” and nonviolent actions such as protests have failed. “