August 10, 2022

Poll: Almost half of GOP voters think American ‘patriots’ may need to ‘take the law into their own hands’ one day

While a healthy skepticism of government has been part of the American experiment, citizens distrust their government more than ever. Some even think it may require drastic measures someday.

A new poll showed that nearly half of Republicans think it may be necessary to take up arms to protect traditional American values, according to the Daily Wire. Moreover, many mistrust elections after questions were raised about the 2020 presidential race and remain unanswered.

“Support for fundamental principles such as free and fair elections, free speech, and peaceful protest are nearly unanimous among both Democrats and Republicans,” George Washington University said of its findings. “Their views on other democratic values, however, differ dramatically. Over half of Republicans (55%) supported the possible use of force to preserve the ‘traditional American way of life,’ compared to 15% of Democrats,” it found.

“When asked if a time will come when ‘patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands,’ 47% of Republicans agreed, as opposed to just 9% of Democrats,” the institution found. The poll, conducted in June by GW Politics, found that only 44% of Republicans have a “fair amount” or “great deal” of trust in their state’s elections boards. However, the party divide was clear with 76% of Democrats trusting election administrators in their state.

Other results show the most striking skepticism comes in states where President Joe Biden won the electoral votes. Only 24% of Republicans trust state election officials while 50% trust their local officials. Overall,  20% of Republicans reported confidence in the outcome of the 2020 election while 90% of Democrats reported their belief in the validity of the 2020 election results in Biden’s territory.

The poll was troubling to the institution because of what it means for the country going forward. “Most of the state and local officials who run our elections are long-time public servants whose goal is simply to help our democracy operate smoothly,” Danny Hayes, co-director of the GW Politics Poll and political science professor, said in a statement.

“But if we’ve gotten to a place where voters trust the electoral system only when their side wins, then that undermines the idea of non-partisan election administration, which is essential for democracy,” Hayes added. However, for many, it isn’t about who won but rather the questions that remain unanswered even as dissenting voices are silenced.

Many things were suspicious about the 2020 presidential election that simple audits would easily overcome if allowed to proceed. However, there is great resistance to that effort leading many to believe it’s part of a continued pattern of reluctance to get to the bottom of what happened — and who can blame them?

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