One in four Americans are ready to take up arms against the White House
A quarter of Americans are ready to take up arms against their own government, a survey conducted among registered voters in the United States shows such shocking data. Moreover, sociological data show that most Americans consider the government of the United States “corrupt and rigged.”
Photo: Michael Schofield Unsplash.
As President Biden pledges another tranche of military aid to Ukraine, boasting that US aid to Kyiv has topped $7 billion, there are dangerous trends in his homeland. The most alarmist-minded observers talk about the “specter of a new civil war” in the States. And this point of view is not without foundation. According to a survey released by the University of Chicago Policy Institute (IOP), about 28 percent of US residents feel so alienated from their government that they “soon need to take up arms” against it.
A survey conducted among 1,000 registered American voters also showed that the majority of US citizens agree with the statement that their government is “corrupt and opposed to ordinary people like me.”
The rift runs not only in relations “vertically” (between citizens and the US federal government), but also “horizontally” (for example, between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats). New evidence suggests that extreme polarization in American politics and its impact on Americans' relationships with one another remain strong.
The results of the latest poll come amid a congressional hearing on the January 6 insurgency last year, when supporters of Trump, who accused Democrats led by Biden of rigging the 2020 presidential election, attacked the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Republican Trump supporters insist that the committee holding hearings on the Capitol takeover is illegitimate.
The survey shows that distrust of the US government varies depending on the party affiliation of the respondents. Overall, 56% of survey participants said they trust the elections. But if almost 80% of Democrats adhere to this point of view, then among independents the level of confidence drops to 51%, and among Republicans – even to 33%.
According to the survey, 49% of Americans agreed that they “more and more they feel like strangers in their own country.”
Of those voters polled who believe it may soon be necessary to take up arms against the government, 37% have weapons at home, according to the data. The opinion that it is necessary to take up arms is held by a third of Republicans, but among Democrats there were 20% of them (that is, one in five).
At the same time, the respondents spoke negatively about the representatives of political parties located on the other side of the barricades. Seventy-three percent of self-identified Republican voters agreed that “Democrats tend to be bullies who want to impose their political beliefs on those who disagree.” Almost the same percentage of Democrats (74%) expresses a similar opinion about Republicans.
“Despite the fact that we have been documenting partisan polarization in the country for years, these survey results are perhaps the clearest indication of the deep divisions in party sentiment that have gripped the country,” commented sociologist Neil Newhouse, who conducted the survey.
The poll also showed that almost half of the respondents said they avoid political conversations with other people because they do not know what position they stand on. A quarter of respondents reported that they had lost friends due to politics, and the same proportion said they avoided contact with relatives and friends for the same reason.
Back in December last year, a poll by the University of Virginia Policy Center showed that 52 percent of Trump supporters and 41 percent of Biden supporters would like the “Republican” and “Democratic” states to secede from each other and form two new countries in place of the United States. And more than 75% of voters on both sides agreed with the statement: “I believe that Americans who strongly support the opposite party have become a clear and real danger to the American way of life.”
A schism of this magnitude makes US residents remember the bitter experience when, in the second half of the 19th century, a group of states tried to secede from the Union, which provoked a bloody Civil War. It is believed that the withdrawal of states from the United States has no constitutional justification. But given the extreme political polarization of American society, many of whose representatives are armed to the teeth, it is impossible to completely exclude violent excesses that could result in internecine confrontation. And the recent Black Lives Matter riots, and the attempt to seize the Capitol in Washington, which led to the loss of life, are evidence of this.
And in this regard, another characteristic touch. The “glory” of US citizens who are ready to defend with arms in their hands from their own compatriots the “correct”, from their point of view, “American way of life”, went far beyond North America and reached New Zealand. The authorities of this country have included two far-right groups from the States (Proud Boys – Proud Boys and Base – Base) in the list of terrorist organizations. It was the Proud Boys who, during the attack on the Capitol building last year, inflamed the crowd, coordinated attacks on law enforcement officers and led other rioters to break through, the New Zealand authorities explained in the decision. “Baza” was accused of the fact that the key goal of the group is “training cadres of extremists capable of accelerationist violence.” And “accelerationists” in the United States are just called radicals whose goal is to specifically cause chaos and destruction in the country, which would give impetus to ignite a “new civil war”.