Survey Looks at Acceptance of Political Violence in U.S.

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ASPartOfMe
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26 Jul 2022, 2:48 am

New York Times

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One in five adults in the United States would be willing to condone acts of political violence, a new national survey commissioned by public health experts found, revelations that they say capture the escalation in extremism that was on display during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The online survey of more than 8,600 adults in the United States was conducted from mid-May to early June by the research firm Ipsos on behalf of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, which released the results on Tuesday.

The group that said they would be willing to condone such violence amounted to 20.5 percent of those surveyed, with the majority of that group answering that “in general” the use of force was at least “sometimes justified” — the remaining 3 percent answered that such violence was “usually” or “always” justified.

About 12 percent of survey respondents answered that they would be at least “somewhat willing” to resort to violence themselves to threaten or intimidate a person.

And nearly 12 percent of respondents also thought it was at least “sometimes justified” to use violence if it meant returning Donald J. Trump to the presidency.

“This went beyond my darkest expectation,” Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, the director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Program and an emergency room physician, said in an interview on Wednesday.

But some experts focused on political violence are much more circumspect about reports of it being widespread, saying that estimates tend to overstate the problem in the face of intense media coverage of the issue.

A study conducted by the Polarization Research Lab and Dartmouth College last December found that political violence accounted for a little more than 1 percent of violent hate crimes in the United States. The report found that surveys that allow for self-reported attitudes on multiple interpretations of political violence — using ranges like “somewhat justified,” “usually justified” and “always justified” — are biased upward.

Even so, the prevalence of extremist views about violence reflects a rise in the number of threats to elected officials and headline-making assaults that have disrupted government business, including the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by Congress.

“These findings suggest a continuing alienation from and mistrust of American democratic society and its institutions,” the researchers from UC-Davis said in a manuscript. “Substantial minorities of the population endorse violence, including lethal violence, to obtain political objectives.”

When asked if “having a strong leader for America is more important than having a democracy,” more than 40 percent of those polled said they agreed in some fashion, from “somewhat” to “very strongly.” A similar percentage concurred to some degree that “in America, native-born white people are being replaced by immigrants,” a racist doctrine known as the replacement theory.

“I remember a sense of foreboding just putting those words on paper, wondering what the hell we’re going to find here,” Dr. Wintemute said of the survey’s questions.

Some experts on the study of political violence who were not involved in the research cautioned on Wednesday that extrapolating the data for the entire U.S. population could be misleading. Attitudes toward violence don’t always translate to action, they said.

“Even as we’re studying violence, how do we make sure that we don’t normalize the belief that violence is accepted?” said Shannon Hiller, the executive director of the Bridging Divides Initiative, a nonpartisan research group that tracks political violence and is based at Princeton University.

The results while definitely disturbing are looking at the acceptance of violence for "MAGA" reasons. I wonder what percentage of Americans are sympathetic towards violence to end systematic racism or a rouge SCOTUS?. We don't get the answer from this survey because the question was never asked.


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26 Jul 2022, 7:51 am

And people stayed silent whenever I brought up the possibility of sociopolitical genocide. Now people are getting scared of political violence. I keep telling it's looking more likely that it'll happen.

Believe me, I would love to eat my own words on this.


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05 Sep 2022, 10:35 am

Well it seems that things may get as bad as Algeria in the 50s where one, or both of the groups of people will start bombing buildings of people and mass shootings in public, hoping to drive the other side out of the nation or onto some more concentrated part of the land, if it will get that bad, as in civil war bad?



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06 Sep 2022, 2:00 am

With all those guns ppl need ever more reasons to use them. May as well add politics into the mix, I guess.


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06 Sep 2022, 11:36 pm

Well if the left and right go to civil war in the future, the right is most likely going to win because they got guns, and the left doesn't believe in them. So what do they think they are going to win with therefore?



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06 Sep 2022, 11:52 pm

ironpony wrote:
Well if the left and right go to civil war in the future, the right is most likely going to win because they got guns, and the left doesn't believe in them. So what do they think they are going to win with therefore?

It won't go down like that. It's not like the first civil war where the 2 sides were geographically divided (North/South) and could face off against each other. The political left and right are mixed all over the country. If right wing extremists start committing (more) acts of politically motivated violence against their perceived enemies, they'll be dealt with by various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for their crimes just like the J6 insurrectionists. If they plan mass domestic terrorist attacks they might find themselves squaring off against the National Guard just like the gun toting cosplayers that went to various state capitol buildings to harass & intimidate government workers following J6.


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07 Sep 2022, 12:00 am

I guess I just fear it might become more serioust than that. For example, if members of the left or right, decide to learn how to build some homemade atomic or chemical bombs, load them into their trunks and then drive to Washington DC, leave the city and then detonate them, could the government still function then.



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07 Sep 2022, 12:17 am

ironpony wrote:
I guess I just fear it might become more serioust than that. For example, if members of the left or right, decide to learn how to build some homemade atomic or chemical bombs, load them into their trunks and then drive to Washington DC, leave the city and then detonate them, could the government still function then.

It's highly unlikely that anyone will be building homemade atomic bombs. Chemical weapons? Why ? Conventional bombs are much easier to build and quite effective.

There was already some right wing nutjob mailing pipe bombs to democrats a few years ago. There was another one that placed a couple pipe bombs around DC during the J6 insurrection, but they were never detonated. There could be some whackjobs that go place pipe bombs, or car bombs etc in DC. If it happens then I guess we'll see what happens next.. but almost certainly they'll be conventional bombs made from either gunpowder for little ones or fertilizer for great big ones - like that crazy guy Tomothy McVeigh that was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed more than a third of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. That was with a fertilizer bomb in a rental truck.. so why go through the extraordinary effort of trying to make an atomic bomb? :?

If any whackjobs pull any crap like that and don't die in the process they'll be executed later like McVeigh was.


Only time will tell if trump incites his radicalized followers to violence or not, and to what level. Tbh I'll be surprised if there isn't any political violence committed by at least Some far right wing fringe extremists. Some of them have already committed acts of violence in trump's name; J6 for example. They've already shown their willingness to attack government officials and police officers, and more recently one nutjob went and tried to kill FBI agents and got whacked on their front lawn for it. That's still no deterrent for the determined, though! I'm sure there are still some crazies just waiting to pop off and all the J6 insurrectionists getting prosecuted and going to jail won't deter All of them from doing something stupid. In a perfect world they'd trip on their guns or bombs and not do any harm to anyone else, but unfortunately we live in an imperfect world and what's more probable is that some mentally ill people are going to injure or kill people because they're upset about their favourite politician losing an election.


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07 Sep 2022, 12:21 am

goldfish21 wrote:
ironpony wrote:
I guess I just fear it might become more serioust than that. For example, if members of the left or right, decide to learn how to build some homemade atomic or chemical bombs, load them into their trunks and then drive to Washington DC, leave the city and then detonate them, could the government still function then.

It's highly unlikely that anyone will be building homemade atomic bombs. Chemical weapons? Why ? Conventional bombs are much easier to build and quite effective.

There was already some right wing nutjob mailing pipe bombs to democrats a few years ago. There was another one that placed a couple pipe bombs around DC during the J6 insurrection, but they were never detonated. There could be some whackjobs that go place pipe bombs, or car bombs etc in DC. If it happens then I guess we'll see what happens next.. but almost certainly they'll be conventional bombs made from either gunpowder for little ones or fertilizer for great big ones - like that crazy guy Tomothy McVeigh that was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed more than a third of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. That was with a fertilizer bomb in a rental truck.. so why go through the extraordinary effort of trying to make an atomic bomb? :?

If any whackjobs pull any crap like that and don't die in the process they'll be executed later like McVeigh was.


Only time will tell if trump incites his radicalized followers to violence or not, and to what level. Tbh I'll be surprised if there isn't any political violence committed by at least Some far right wing fringe extremists. Some of them have already committed acts of violence in trump's name; J6 for example. They've already shown their willingness to attack government officials and police officers, and more recently one nutjob went and tried to kill FBI agents and got whacked on their front lawn for it. That's still no deterrent for the determined, though! I'm sure there are still some crazies just waiting to pop off and all the J6 insurrectionists getting prosecuted and going to jail won't deter All of them from doing something stupid. In a perfect world they'd trip on their guns or bombs and not do any harm to anyone else, but unfortunately we live in an imperfect world and what's more probable is that some mentally ill people are going to injure or kill people because they're upset about their favourite politician losing an election.


Well I just thought they would want to build something more destructive than pipebombs. Chemical weapons can at least spread further.

I mean if Jan 6 is the most we have to worry about than I guess that's not much to worry about since I thought those terrorists were pretty much incompetent in most of what they did was run into the building and gock around mostly, but I thought things would probably get worse than that.



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07 Sep 2022, 12:27 am

ironpony wrote:
Well I just thought they would want to build something more destructive than pipebombs. Chemical weapons can at least spread further.

I mean if Jan 6 is the most we have to worry about than I guess that's not much to worry about since I thought those terrorists were pretty much incompetent in most of what they did was run into the building and gock around mostly, but I thought things would probably get worse than that.


..these are people who believe trump won the election.. do you really think they have the grey matter to engineer & construct chemical weapons? :?

J6 insurrectionists DID have quite a number of bumbling idiots, but let's not forget that 114 capitol police officers were injured during the insurrection And people died as a result. It was their legitimate attempt at a violent overthrow of the US Federal Government.

Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll be too scared of prosecution and jail time to do anything on a large organized scale and the only violence we'll see are onesies and twosies poppin' off here and there like that moron that got splattered all over the front lawn of the FBI office in Cincinnati.


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07 Sep 2022, 12:30 am

Those are fair points. But even if Trump extremists are dumb, I don't know if I believe they can all be done, and what if there are some smart ones who can formulate an effective plan?

But as far as being scared of prosecution, they made selfie videos of themselves in the capital building, so I guess it will take a lot for a lot of them to be afraid therefore?



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07 Sep 2022, 12:36 am

ironpony wrote:
Those are fair points. But even if Trump extremists are dumb, I don't know if I believe they can all be done, and what if there are some smart ones who can formulate an effective plan?

But as far as being scared of prosecution, they made selfie videos of themselves in the capital building, so I guess it will take a lot for a lot of them to be afraid therefore?

Then there might be one or two or a handful that rise to the level of mass murderer in terms of plotting or executing a domestic terror plot. Only time will tell if there are any of the radicalized that have that level of sophistication that can managed to go through the entire process without being caught somehow.

The USA has had many mass shooters that have successfully murdered a lot of people w/o having their plans discovered in advance, so, it's entirely possible that one/some crazies do get their hands on some big guns and a lot of ammo and go on a killing spree. Wouldn't be the first time it happened in the USA and won't be the last.

Only time will tell what level of violence what number of people are incited to, really. If I were a betting man I'd place a dollar on "more than zero people committing more than no violence in trump's name," but until these people lose their minds and start shooting or whatever they're going to do, we won't really know what's going to happen, really. It's kind of like kids going back to school.. just gotta take your chances that there may or may not be a shooter sometime, and that trump's mood on social media and at his rallies could trigger something to go off. That's what happens when people are enchanted by a cult leader and will commit acts of violence in their name.


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07 Sep 2022, 12:40 am

goldfish21 wrote:
ironpony wrote:
Those are fair points. But even if Trump extremists are dumb, I don't know if I believe they can all be done, and what if there are some smart ones who can formulate an effective plan?

But as far as being scared of prosecution, they made selfie videos of themselves in the capital building, so I guess it will take a lot for a lot of them to be afraid therefore?

Then there might be one or two or a handful that rise to the level of mass murderer in terms of plotting or executing a domestic terror plot. Only time will tell if there are any of the radicalized that have that level of sophistication that can managed to go through the entire process without being caught somehow.

The USA has had many mass shooters that have successfully murdered a lot of people w/o having their plans discovered in advance, so, it's entirely possible that one/some crazies do get their hands on some big guns and a lot of ammo and go on a killing spree. Wouldn't be the first time it happened in the USA and won't be the last.

Only time will tell what level of violence what number of people are incited to, really. If I were a betting man I'd place a dollar on "more than zero people committing more than no violence in trump's name," but until these people lose their minds and start shooting or whatever they're going to do, we won't really know what's going to happen, really. It's kind of like kids going back to school.. just gotta take your chances that there may or may not be a shooter sometime, and that trump's mood on social media and at his rallies could trigger something to go off. That's what happens when people are enchanted by a cult leader and will commit acts of violence in their name.


That makes sense. I didn't think of Trump as a cult leader, I just thought that the cultists formed a cult outside if hom having any actual co-conspiring with the cult. But I'm not American and haven't followed everything about him so I am not sure.



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07 Sep 2022, 1:21 am

ironpony wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
ironpony wrote:
Those are fair points. But even if Trump extremists are dumb, I don't know if I believe they can all be done, and what if there are some smart ones who can formulate an effective plan?

But as far as being scared of prosecution, they made selfie videos of themselves in the capital building, so I guess it will take a lot for a lot of them to be afraid therefore?

Then there might be one or two or a handful that rise to the level of mass murderer in terms of plotting or executing a domestic terror plot. Only time will tell if there are any of the radicalized that have that level of sophistication that can managed to go through the entire process without being caught somehow.

The USA has had many mass shooters that have successfully murdered a lot of people w/o having their plans discovered in advance, so, it's entirely possible that one/some crazies do get their hands on some big guns and a lot of ammo and go on a killing spree. Wouldn't be the first time it happened in the USA and won't be the last.

Only time will tell what level of violence what number of people are incited to, really. If I were a betting man I'd place a dollar on "more than zero people committing more than no violence in trump's name," but until these people lose their minds and start shooting or whatever they're going to do, we won't really know what's going to happen, really. It's kind of like kids going back to school.. just gotta take your chances that there may or may not be a shooter sometime, and that trump's mood on social media and at his rallies could trigger something to go off. That's what happens when people are enchanted by a cult leader and will commit acts of violence in their name.


That makes sense. I didn't think of Trump as a cult leader, I just thought that the cultists formed a cult outside if hom having any actual co-conspiring with the cult. But I'm not American and haven't followed everything about him so I am not sure.

..psychiatrists/psychologists have chimed in to say that trump's followers' behaviour are that of a cult blindly following their dear leader.

There's at least one book written on the topic.

There are also many t-shirt & sticker designs bluntly stating it + I'm sure many memes.

Here's one of the books:

https://www.amazon.ca/Cult-Trump-Leadin ... 1982127333

"The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control Hardcover – Illustrated, Oct. 15 2019"

Image

Here's one of the common t-shirt/sticker designs:

Image


The cult mentality of his followers Does explain a lot as to why they would blindly believe all of his lies and praise him at rallies and even commit acts of violence in his name, on his behalf, or at his direction.


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07 Sep 2022, 10:52 pm

How much of the military would side with the MAGA's?


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07 Sep 2022, 11:11 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
How much of the military would side with the MAGA's?


Wrong framing, it's not so much that they're MAGA as they're anti-left, I'm sure Brandon repeatedly threatening their families with the military ("what are you gonna do with that AR15, we've got F15s!") didn't help endear him to them either.


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