A new report from the University of Chicago highlights that millions of Americans believe it is justified to commit acts of violence in former President Donald Trump’s name.
The university’s Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST) conducted a surveyThe National Opinion Research Center collaborated with us between September 9-12. Respondents were asked about their opinions on various issues relating to recent political violence and events.
The poll asked whether the 2020 presidential election was valid. More than one-fifth of those surveyed (22 percent) agreed with the errant notion that the election was “stolen” from Trump, and that Biden is not the rightful president, while 59 percent of respondents disagreed. The poll also asked about respondents’ views of the people who attacked the Capitol on January 6, finding that 1 in 10 Americans agreed with describing them as “patriots,” while 64 percent disagreed.
Thirteen percent of respondents — or more than one in eight Americans — said that the use of force by citizens “is sometimes necessary to achieve political goals that I support.”
The poll found that 5 per cent of adults in the U.S. believed that violence would be justified in order to reinstate Trump in the White House. This is equivalent to 1/20 American adults. around 13 million Americans overall.
The same rate answered affirmatively the question when a caveat were added that such an act would cause some people to be injured or even killed.
When asked if violence would justify the Department of Justice not charging Trump for mishandling of government documents.7 percent of respondents stated that it would be, which represents around 15 million adults in the U.S.
The poll also revealed that alarming numbers of Americans believe in conspiracy theories propagated by far right white nationalists. More than one in five Americans (21 percent) believe that Democrats are trying to flood the electorate with “more obedient voters from the Third World,” and 18 percent of adults in the U.S. think that non-white Americans “will eventually have more rights” than white people — ideas that are propagated by the “Great Replacement Theory,” A fabrication by white nationalistsThe claim that global elites are trying decrease white populations in countries with a majority of whites is false.
Adherents of the “Great Replacement Theory” have frequently engaged in violence. The theory was bogus. cited by participants at the “Unite the Right” rallyIn Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017, right-wing extremists used violence against counterprotesters. Heather Heyer, an anti-racist activist, was shot to death.. The tenets of the “Great Replacement Theory” were also cited as a mass shooterThe man who killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York grocery store earlier this yea.
Robert Pape, director of CPOST. discussed the survey’s results and the meaning of the dataOn this day earlier in the month CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.
“We have not just a political threat to our democracy, we have a violent threat to our democracy,” he said. “Today, there are millions of individuals who don’t just think the election was stolen in 2020; they support violence to restore Donald Trump to the White House.”
Others have noted that Trump loyalists have warned that there will be violence if he’s ever arrested.
“If there is a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information…there will be riots in the street,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said late last month.
“The rhetoric [from Graham] seemed to straddle the line between warning and threat,” Steve Benen, a blogger and producer. MSNBC, wrote in reply. “‘Let Trump get away with crimes,’ the senator seemed to suggest, ‘or his followers will turn violent.’”