Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Does New CBS Poll Show Many Republicans Approve Violence Against the Government?

Little Green Footballs has an alarming headline up. See More Than a Quarter of Republicans Believe Anti-Govt Violence Can Be Justified

Now take a big breath before you get concerned about the nice old lady that is part of the Woman's Republican Club and what she might be plotting .

This poll looks at tragic events in Arizona and also asks questions ranging from gun control to bodyguards for Congress folks among other matters.

Little Green Footballs end his post with this little bit of helpful news.

LGF reader Killgore Trout points out that the percentage of Republicans who believe anti-government violence can be justified is about the same as the percentage of Pakistani, Indonesian and Turkish Muslims who support terrorist acts against civilians.


Here is the PDF of the actual poll .

The partisan breakdown of the poll is below with the question

Do you think it is ever justified for citizens to take violent action against the government, or is it never justified?

Republican 28% yes, 64% no
Democrat 11% yes, 81% no
Independent 11% yes, 81% no

Now the problem with this question is it is not very specific. Also it is the type of question depending on how paranoid you are that you might not like answering to a stranger.

How you answer depends on how well theoretical you are at the moment. A better question might have been Do you think at this moment in time conditions exist that is justified to take violent action against the Government. I suspect the numbers on that would be quite low.

The key there is that EVER part. Now we as Americans have grown up knowing and thinking that Revolution is at times acceptable. SEE DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE where the conditions are talked about. Catholic natural law to Thomas Aquinas have talked about the conditions in which it is acceptable to revolt against an tyrant. The conditions to invoke that natural right are high but they do exist.

Further we must think that it must be acceptable to revolt against your Government as a pure moral matter because it seems we fund rebel groups elsewhere. When we went into Iraq we encouraged the Kurds to revolt against that regime. SO therefore we must sense that it is not an intrinsic evil in all cases.

Lets say you asked this question. Is it acceptable to use violence against your Government if they were activing persecuting you, torturing you , depriving you of land and income, and denying your basic human rights. Well I am willing to bet you that a vast majority of folks would say HELL YES as this poll. You see that fits into that "EVER" too.

In my lifetime we have had been some bad times but very very very little violence against the Govt. The only time I can recall organized violence against the Government in my lifetime have been:

-by a very few farmers during the farm crisis where there was a threat of disclosure.(THE ZOG THING WHICH WAS SMALL)

- that sad very temporary episode of rage after the Rodney King verdict In LA. (which was really a mob and not organized)

-those goofy anarchists that show up once in a while when there the World Bank or something like that is having a convention

That's it! Compare to this to even modern day Europe today and to what you see on streets. A few weeks ago the Prince and his wife car was assaulted because of students concerned about college fees!!

A more interesting breakdown would have been by region. I suspect that people in the South and parts of the west might be in that YES column more than elsewhere. These are also areas that have had Republican growth.

However that is often a cultural thing. This group on the flip side often has the highest military enlistment rates, is the most patriotic, and yes at times is too easy with the word treason perhaps. Yes it appears like a paradox but it is really not.

So don't be fearful. We are not close to being Pakistan Muslims by a long shot.


JD said...

Maybe you were not yet born during the 1960's when there were many violent attacks against the government, but where were you when the federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up? I think that what is significant about the poll is the differential between the 28% of Republicans who answered in the affirmative compared to the 11% of Democrats and 11% of Independents. We all know about the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. There has to be some explanation of the difference in the way 17% of Republicans answered this question.

James H said...

No I was not born yet in the 60's. I was referencing the time of my memory but I am aware of the assorted violence from the left and right that was happened in the 60's and was tamper down in the 70's

I did not mention Oklahoma because there was never any evidence that it was connected something organized.Even organized milita activity. That was even a unsatisfactory result to the right that seemed to go on and on trying to connect him to Muslim efforts if I recall.

I agree the interest there is interesting which is one reason I would love to see the regional or State background. That was what I was talking about as to cultural. I can imagine my dad answering yes to that question but the conditions that he would think would make that something OK well the Govt would look like nothing we have now.

Again there might be a cultural thing going on here and the party ID is rather secondary because these are now just GOP areas in registration for all sort of reason