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Large Numbers Admit Fears of Political Violence

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

Against the backdrop of President Biden's comments on "semifascism" gripping MAGA Republicanism and Sen. Lindsey Graham's prediction of "riots in the streets" if former President Donald Trump is indicted, nearly two-thirds of Americans polled recently see political violence as a growing threat while more than half of self-described "strong Republicans" believe civil war is likely in the next 10 years.

The Guardian reports that the new research by YouGov and the Economist, echoing other recent survey research, shows 65 percent of respondents said political violence has increased since the start of 2021 and 62 percent thought political violence will increase in the next few years.

The survey asked, "Looking ahead to the next 10 years, how likely do you think it is that there will be a civil war in this country?" U.S. citizens polled at 43 percent saying civil war is at least somewhat likely. That sentiment was held by 40 percent of strong Democrats and independents and by 54 percent of strong Republicans.

The comments on Sunday by Graham (R-S.C.) drew many rebukes, including one by a former acting deputy attorney general, Mary McCord, who called the Trump-supporting senator's prediction "incredibly irresponsible" and a virtual threat centered on law enforcement simply doing its job.

Biden, who has struck a more aggressive tone in his rhetoric lately against what he called "ultra-MAGA Republicans," will give a prime-time speech on Thursday on threats to American democracy, the New York Times reports. The speech, from outside Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, follows a strategy his advisers have mapped as a way to counter right-wing extremism and attacks on democratic norms.

Biden marked the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by accusing Trump, though not by name, of putting "a dagger at the throat of America, at American democracy."


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