Shocking Survey Reveals Increased Acceptance of Political Violence Among Americans
A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found that support for political violence has risen in America. In March 2021, 15% of respondents agreed with the statement that violence may be necessary to save the country due to its current situation, which increased to 23% after two years. Significant findings include 33% of Republicans condoning political violence, and 41% of pro-Trump Americans supporting this, revealing a trend towards more acceptance of political chaos.
Support for Political Violence Grows in America, Study Finds
A recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution shows a rising trend in Americans’ tolerance for political violence. The survey asked respondents if they believe “true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save our country,” as a measure of their acceptance of political violence.
First conducted in March 2021, the initial survey showed 15% of Americans agreed with that statement. Two years and eight surveys later, the percentage rose to 23%, marking the first time more than 1 in 5 Americans expressed openness to condoning political violence.
This resonates with the capitol chaos instigated by Donald Trump’s supporters in January 2021. The study suggests that such disruptive actions are becoming mainstream—a development with potentially profound implications for the nation.
Political Divide in Violence Support
Among political affiliations, 33% of Republicans believe violence may be necessary, as opposed to the 22% of independents and 13% of Democrats who agree. Notably, support for violence among those with a favorable view of ex-President Donald Trump reaches 41%.
This trend clarifies some current political dynamics. Many Republican White House contenders have endorsed Trump’s election denial, which has been met with approval among Republican supporters. Additionally, participating in the January 6 incident is not a barrier to becoming a House Speaker candidate.
In-Depth Survey Results
The PRRI/Brookings survey further reveals demographic divisions in approval of political violence. Those who believe the U.S. has deteriorated since the 1950s are twice as likely to justify violence. White evangelical protestants are the most likely to justify political violence, with white and Black protestants, Hispanic Catholics, and white Catholics following.
A sweeping 77% of respondents believe the country is on the wrong track, with a high disapproval rate among religious groups. Approximately 4-in-10 Americans also believe that it’s time to select a leader who can reset the country’s course, even if rules must be broken.
Political Leadership and Public Opinion
Current leaders aren’t widely favored, with only 12% of white evangelicals approving of President Biden’s performance. Biden’s unfavorability has increased from 45% in 2019 to 60% presently. Yet, Trump’s approval ratings are even lower, with 63% holding an unfavorable opinion of the ex-President.
The survey also shows that many Americans, especially Republicans, fear for democracy in 2024. A significant portion of Republicans believes a Trump re-election would be a sign of a broken democracy, while a majority thinks a second Biden term would be problematic.
The Influence of Conspiracy Theories
The study also addressed QAnon, with 29% of Republicans subscribing to the conspiracy theory—up from 23% two years ago. Among Black protestants, that number has doubled from 13% to 26%. The survey indicates that 23% of all Americans now agree with QAnon’s claims.
As the U.S. approaches the next presidential election, these findings suggest potential for another disputed outcome. The GOP’s acceptance of election denial and violence is concerning, given Trump’s lead in the presidential nomination race for the party next year.
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