Half of Americans expect a second U.S. civil war within YEARS, more than 40% agree with ‘great replacement theory’ and nearly a fifth expect they will choose to bring a gun to a violent political row, alarming poll shows
- 50.1 percent expect to see a second American Civil War within years
- More than 40 percent favor a ‘strong leader’ over democracy and adhere to immigrant takeover belief
- One fifth expect to be gun-toting at a January 6 Capitol riot-style melee in the coming years
- California university researchers say results ‘exceeded our worst expectations’
- Study follows mass shootings and comes amid controversial Washington hearings into January 6 insurrection
Half of Americans expect to see a second U.S. civil war within years and nearly a fifth say they could one day be toting guns at a political face-off themselves, according to an alarming new study about the nation’s deepening divisions.
Researchers at University of California, Davis uncovered worrying levels of ‘alienation’, ‘mistrust’ and a growing tendency to turn to violence in their recently-conducted survey of 8,620 adults across the country.
More than two-thirds of respondents said they saw a ‘serious threat to our democracy’ and 50.1 percent agreed with the statement that ‘in the next few years, there will be civil war in the U.S.’
More than 40 percent said having a ‘strong leader’ was more important than democracy and that ‘native-born white people are being replaced by immigrants’ — a racist belief known as the ‘great replacement theory’.
Researchers also uncovered a growing inclination to settle political rows with violence.
Nearly a fifth of respondents said it was likely they would be ‘armed with a gun’ at a political flash point in the coming years, while 4 percent said it was likely they would ‘shoot someone with a gun’.
Garen Wintemute, a university public health expert who warns of growing gun ownership rates and led the study, said his findings were ‘pretty grim’ and ‘exceeded our worst expectations’.
Two men argue alongside the ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural in front of the Trump Tower in New York last July. Researchers say Americans increasingly see violence as an answer to political differences
Still, there was ‘ground for hope’ as most respondents ‘rejected political violence altogether’, added Wintemute.
The study was a wake-up call for people to ‘recognize the threat’ and respond, he added.
The 42-page document described a ‘continuing alienation from and mistrust of American democratic society and its institutions’.
‘Substantial minorities of the population endorse violence, including lethal violence, to obtain political objectives,’ it said.
It comes in the wake of mass shootings, including the killing in May of 10 black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, allegedly by a white gunman who wrote a screed endorsing ‘great replacement theory’.
Other key moments in America’s violence-tinged culture wars include the January 6 Capitol riot, Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shooting two people at an anti-racism protest in Wisconsin in August 2020 and the frequent clashes between cops and Black Lives Matter activists.
A similar study by Tulchin Research and the Southern Poverty Law Center last month found that 44 percent of Americans said the U.S. was headed toward another civil war.
A YouGov survey last week highlighted growing calls for a break-up of the U.S.
A third of former president Donald Trump’s fans living in Republican states said they would be ‘better off’ if their state split and became an independent country. Another 29 percent of Trump fans said such a secession would leave them ‘worse off’.
More than 600,000 soldiers lost their lives during the American Civil War from 1861-1865, when southern states fought to break from the union and maintain their slave-driven plantation economies.
Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey famously stood in front of their house confronting anti-racism protesters in St. Louis in June 2020 — a notable example of America’s increasingly fractious politics
Protestors rally against police killings of unarmed black men outside the Police Department in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, in April 2021 — one of a series of anti-racism demonstrations in a polarized nation
Payton Gendron is accused of killing 10 people and wounding another three during a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo in May. He reportedly wrote a racist screed about white people being ‘replaced’