Americans fear for their democracy – polls
WASHINGTON, DC: A year after the violent assault on the United States Capitol, Americans remain deeply concerned about the health of their democracy, and about a third say violence against government can sometimes be justified, two polls show , published Sunday (Monday in Manila).
The Jan. 6 attack on the seat of Congress, led by supporters of Donald Trump, was “a harbinger of increasing political violence”, and American democracy “is under threat”, say two-thirds of people surveyed for a CBS News poll.
Meanwhile, Americans’ “pride” in their democracy has fallen sharply from 90 percent in 2002 to 54 percent today, according to a Washington Post / University of Maryland survey.
As the Jan. 6 anniversary approaches, polls offer specific concerns: CBS found that 28% of those polled believe force can be used to defend an election outcome, while 34 % told the Washington Post that sometimes violent action against the government can be justified – the highest percentage in decades.
The results underscore the seemingly almost irreconcilable views that divide American society, which President Joe Biden – who took office 14 days after the Capitol riots – has vowed to overcome.
On Thursday, he and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks on the first anniversary of the assault on Trump supporters.
Two-thirds of his supporters continue to believe in Trump’s baseless accusations that Biden is not the legitimately elected president.
Trump had addressed thousands of supporters shortly before the assault on Capitol Hill, telling them the election had been “rigged” and that they should “fight like hell.”
Some 60% of those polled say Trump bears a heavy responsibility for the invasion of Capitol Hill just as lawmakers were to certify Biden’s victory.
Again, opinion follows partisan lines: 83% of Trump’s voters placed his level of responsibility only “some” or “none,” the Post’s investigation revealed.
And 26% of Americans want him to run again in 2024, according to CBS.
A select House of Representatives committee spent months working to establish the roles and accountability of those who instigated or may have organized the protest.
Despite the limited cooperation from Trump’s inner circle, the panel conducted more than 300 interviews and collected thousands of documents.
“We have discovered some things that are really worrying us, things like people who are trying to (…) undermine the integrity of our democracy,” panel chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said on ABC on Sunday.
“It seemed like a coordinated effort on the part of a number of people to undermine the elections,” he said. “It could be people from the executive branch. It could be people from the Defense Department … and very wealthy individuals.”