In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law. Our next book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.
At the Survey Center on American Life, Daniel A. Cox reports on disturbing new survey data:
More than one in three (36 percent) Americans agree with the statement: “The traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” Six in 10 (60 percent) Americans reject the idea that the use of force is necessary, but there is significant partisan disagreement on this question.
A majority (55 percent) of Republicans support the use of force as a way to arrest the decline of the traditional American way of life. Forty-three percent of Republicans express opposition to this idea. Significantly fewer independents (35 percent) and Democrats (22 percent) say the use of force is necessary to stop the disappearance of traditional American values and way of life.
Although most Americans reject the use of violence to achieve political ends, there is still significant support for it among the public. Nearly three in 10 (29 percent) Americans completely or somewhat agree with the statement: “If elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves even if it requires taking violent actions.” More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans disagree with this statement.
The use of violence finds somewhat more support among Republicans than Democrats, although most Republicans oppose it. Roughly four in 10 (39 percent) Republicans support Americans taking violent actions if elected leaders fail to act. Sixty percent of Republicans oppose this idea. Thirty-one percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats also support taking violent actions if elected leaders do not defend the country.
However, although a significant number of Americans—and Republicans in particular—express support for the idea that violent actions may be necessary, there is a notable lack of enthusiastic support for it. For instance, only 9 percent of Americans overall and only 13 percent of Republicans say they “completely” agree in the necessity of taking violent actions if political leaders fail.