Rise of the conservative revolutionaries. Almost half of Republicans think an armed revolution may be needed soon.
(Salon) - There’s plenty of proof of an authoritarian streak and animus toward democratic ideals in today’s conservative movement. There was the movement’s use of its judicial power to halt a vote recount and instead install a president who had lost the popular vote. There is the ongoing GOP effort to make it more difficult for people to cast a vote in an election. There is the GOP’s record use of the Senate filibuster to kill legislation that the vast majority of the country supports. There is a GOP leader’s declaration that what the American people want from their government simply “doesn’t matter.”
Up until today, you might have been able to write all that anti-democratic pathology off as a pathology infecting only the Republican Party’s politicians and institutional leadership, but not its rank-and-file voters. But then this poll from Fairleigh-Dickinson University was released showing that authoritarianism runs throughout the the entire party.
Take a look at the cross-tabs on page 3 of the national survey – that’s right, you are reading it correctly: almost half (44 percent) of all self-described Republican voters say they believe “an armed revolution might be necessary to protect our liberties.” Just as bad, more Republicans believe an armed revolution might be necessary than believe one isn’t necessary.
This poll raises two obvious questions, each of them more disturbing than the next.
According to the Farleigh Dickinson poll, 44 percent of rank-and-file Republicans seem to believe that because they aren’t getting their way through the ballot box, bloodshed may be justified to impose their will on everyone else. Think of it as sore loser-ism juiced by violence.