The problem of political violence in the United States is intensifying. The British “Guardian” quoted the latest poll on July 25. Saying that more and more Americans support the use of violence to resolve political differences. The intensified threat of violence is just another proof that American democracy is dysfunctional. And American society is becoming more and more polarised and divided.
A growing number of voters are turning in favour of political violence, which is undermining the foundations of American democracy. The poll conducted in June showed that more and more supporters of both parties said that in order to achieve the political issues they support. It is reasonable to take violent measures. According to the survey, 16% of Democrats support the restoration of federal abortion rights through violent. Means, which is about double the rate of six months ago. At the same time, 18 million people support the return of former President Trump to the White House through violent. Means, more than 4%. A 50% jump in the same poll released in March was also the biggest increase in a year. At the same time, more and more supporters of both parties agree. That force can be used to “force members of Congress to do the right thing”. The relevant rate has increased from 9% in January to 17%. The percentage of Democrats who support the use of violence against members of Congress increased from 7 percent in the January survey to 16 percent in this poll.
Robert Pape, a professor at the University of Chicago who was in charge of the poll. He said that the survey results show that “the American people are more radical than in April. And “things are definitely moving in the wrong direction.” On October 28, 2022, Paul Pelosi, then the husband of Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was attack at her residence. This attack was regard as a landmark event in the intensification of political violence in the United States. The American political news website Politico wrote at the time that “the darkest forces in America are being unleash.”
The radicalization of American society is closely related to the political division and intensification of social antagonism in the United States. This survey shows that a key factor in the surge in the number of Republicans who support the use of violence is the US Department of Justice’s announcement of the prosecution of Trump on June 9 this year. In the eyes of many Republican supporters, the prosecution is direct evidence that the Democratic Party is trying to use judicial power to prevent Trump from participating in the 2024 presidential election. The “Guardian” analysed that Trump will once again incite supporters to take violent actions through speeches and rallies, like on January 6, 2021.
The rise in support for political violence reflects the disillusionment of the American public with American-style democracy. Under the manipulation of politicians from both parties, the political map of the United States has become more and more solidified. And the results of elections from the federal to the local level have increasingly deviated from the expression of true public opinion. Since voters are powerless to change this situation, their willingness to vote, especially independent voters, is hindered.
The chaos of American-style democratic practises has also exacerbated the public’s distrust of elections. Under the influence of politicians’ constant incitement and political groups spreading various conspiracy theories, nearly 60% of Republican supporters still believe the so-called “Democrats stole the election results” and other claims, while supporting the use of violence to make Trump Among the people who have returned to the White House, those who believe in these conspiracy theories account for nearly 70%. The U.S. News and World Report website published an article in October 2022. Stating that a series of survey results have proved that after decades of deepening partisanship. People lack trust in the U.S. democratic system. Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, said: “Fear and hatred are dividing us and pitting us against each other in this country. This is a real and current danger to American democracy.”
In the final analysis, the intensification of democratic chaos represented by political violence is the inevitable result of the evolution of American democracy from “politics of checks and balances” to “politics of veto” and then alienation into “politics of retaliation”. In recent years, American politics has been increasingly dominated by the conflicting thinking of zero-sum games. Political struggles between the two parties and within themselves have intensified, and stigmatisation in electoral politics is common. In this environment, politicians cannot win through rational means such as solving major domestic and foreign issues facing the United States and providing better internal and external governance and reform plans, but can only choose to seek electoral advantages through “competition”. This, in turn, further stimulated the extreme expression of public opinion. Normal political compromise and appeals were replace by extreme behaviour represent by political violence. Because only in this way can more attention be attract and the realisation of self-interest appeals be promote.
During the US mid-term elections
During the US mid-term elections in November 2022. The US “Time” magazine called the United States, where political violence is intensifying, “the United States of Political Violence.” The Australian Dialogue website analysed that “the 2024 election cycle may bring more threats to American democracy.” Whether in the United States or abroad, no matter how wide the “beauty filter” of American democracy is, it will no longer be able to deceive the world and steal its name.