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. Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellion, coups, and secession.
From the Public Religion Research Institute:
After the violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the prospect of political violence threatening a peaceful transfer of power has become more than an abstract question. As noted above, nearly one in five Americans (18%) agree with the statement “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.” Republicans (30%) are more likely to agree with this than independents (17%) and Democrats (11%). Among Republicans who most trust far-right news sources, agreement increases to 40%, compared to 32% among those who most trust Fox News and 22% among those who most trust mainstream news sources.
White evangelical Protestants (26%) are the religious group most likely to agree that true American patriots might have to resort to violence in order to save our country, while 23% of those who follow non-Christian religions, 22% of Hispanic Catholics, 19% of white Catholics, 19% of other Christians, 17% of white mainline (non-evangelical) Protestants, 16% of Black Protestants, and 13% of religiously unaffiliated Americans agree.
The belief that violence could be an option is stronger among those who support former President Donald Trump and view changing culture as a threat. Among those who think the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, 39% agree that true American patriots might have to resort to violence in order to save our country, compared to only 10% among those who do not think the election was stolen.
Those who agree that things have changed so much they feel like strangers in their own country (29%) are more likely than those who disagree (12%) to agree that violence might be necessary, and those who think American culture has mostly changed for the worse since the 1950s (23%) are more likely than those who think it has changed for the better (14%) to say so.
Christian nationalist sympathies matter, as well: Among those who believe God has granted America a special role in human history, 27% agree that violence might be necessary, compared to 12% among those who do not think God granted America a special role.