9 July 2022   2 comments

The Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago conducted a poll between 19-23 May 2022 on the state of American democracy. The results of the poll are highly disturbing and shed a window on the debate over gun control in the US. By and large, ardent defenders of the 2nd Amendment often refer to the need for guns for self-defense or for hunting. But left unspoken is the belief on the part of many that the guns are necessary to overthrow the US government if it takes actions that threaten a very expansive definition of personal freedom.

The poll quantifies the very strong divisions in the US political landscape:

About three-quarters (73 percent) of voters who identify themselves as Republican agree that ‘Democrats are generally bullies who want to impose their political beliefs on those who disagree.’ An almost identical percentage of Democrats (74 percent) express that view of Republicans. A similarly lopsided majority of each party holds that members of the other are ‘generally untruthful and are pushing disinformation.'”

The poll asked a specific question: “Generally speaking, if two people with different political views were given the same facts about a policy or a political issue, do you think they would…”

Come to the same conclusion11%10%10%11%12%12%11%
See things differently78%79%71%79%80%73%81%
Not sure11%11%18%9%9%15%8%

It is troubling that the results of this question indicate that “facts” are not regarded as dispositive but rather as ideologically mutable. Under such conditions, productive debate or discussions are impossible.

The most troubling finding of the poll has to do with the need for violence to force political change:

“….28 percent of voters, including 37 percent who have guns in their homes, agree that ‘it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government.’ That view is held by one in three Republicans, including 45 percent of self-identified strong Republicans. Roughly one in three (35 percent) Independent voters and one in five Democrats agreed.”

The insurrection of 6 January 2022 may be a harbinger of things to come unless the American people decide that changing a government can be done peacefully. Right now, that outcome seems unlikely.

Posted July 9, 2022 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “9 July 2022

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  1. Hi Vinnie! Thanks for all that you do with this blog! As a former student back in 2014 who still brags to friends about taking your course, It’s one of my main sources of world politics and I get excited every time I get a new post email notification. A question I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while – are there any additional world politics (or politics in general) blogs you would recommend? I’m looking for blogs that are run very similarly to this one. short, concise, informative – everything you’d need! I’ve found a few on my own, but I trust your word on this above everybody else’s, so I had to reach out (I used to have your email but have since lost access to my old email)!



  2. Dear Tyler, Here are the blogs that I regularly read. The Duck of Minerva (don’t let the title put you off) https://www.duckofminerva.com/; The Long War Journal, https://www.longwarjournal.org/; Lawfare, https://www.lawfareblog.com/; Oryx, https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/; Defense One, https://www.defenseone.com/; Informed Comment, https://www.juancole.com/; Just Security, https://www.justsecurity.org/; and Small Wars Journal, https://smallwarsjournal.com/. I hope this helps. Good Luck. Best, Vinnie


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