Poll: 59% believe the left will resort to violence
A poll by Rasmussen shows that 59% of Americans believe that the left will resort to violence in order to stop Trump. The poll was taken following several high-profile confrontations by the left with high-level White House employees.
And 31% believe that the U.S. is headed for a second civil war.
Of those people surveyed, 59 percent say that they're worried Trump critics will become violent; a third of everyone polled said that they're "very concerned" that things will come to that point.
Conversely, 16 percent said they aren't worried about it at all.
These percentages of people who think violence will be the direct result of policy disagreement are higher than they were under the Obama administration. During President Obama's second year, 53 percent of people believed his opponents would turn toward violence while 28 percent stated that they were "very concerned" about the potential for violence.
The partisan breakdown of those numbers is striking:
Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it's likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, with 11% who say it's Very Likely. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 59% consider a second civil war unlikely, but that includes only 29% who say it's Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Democrats (37%) are more fearful than Republicans (32%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (26%) that a second civil war is at hand.
But 59% of all voters are concerned that those opposed to President Trump's policies will resort to violence, with 33% who are Very Concerned. This compares to 53% and 28% respectively in the spring of Obama's second year in office. Thirty-seven percent (37%) don't share that concern, including 16% who are Not At All Concerned.
Most voters across the partisan spectrum are concerned about political violence from those opposed to Trump's policies, although Republicans are the most likely to be Very Concerned. The level of concern is about the same among Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters when it comes to the threat of violence from those critical of the media's coverage of Trump.
The possibility of political violence against Trump officials and supporters is far larger than the prospect of a civil war. The ideological divide between right and left is sharp, and there is no room for moderation. There is also a significant cultural divide, although it falls short of the kind of schism that was represented by divided views on slavery.
But the political divide in 1860 was matched by a geographical divide not really present today. We speak loosely of "red" and "blue" states, but in truth, no matter the state, there is a sizable minority from the other side living in the reddest and bluest states. Chances of secession are close to zero.
While the prospect of a civil war is extremely remote, not so the probability of political violence roiling our streets. One could easily imagine a Democratic takeover of the House and attempts to impeach the president sending hundreds of thousands into the streets, where it wouldn't take much to ignite a bloody conflagration.
The kind of confrontation between Trump-haters and administration officials we've seen recently is mostly unplanned and spontaneous. But we should be aware that there are those on the left who have been salivating at the opportunity to throw the U.S. into chaos. They may be planning on taking advantage of left-wing protests to goad the right into a violent reaction that would start a cycle of violence that authorities would be hard pressed to stop.
We saw some of this during the 2016 campaign as Antifa and its allies sought to goad Trump-supporters into fighting back. Imagine that today, with feelings running as high as they are on both sides. It wouldn't take much for both sides to end up at each other's throats.
With prominent Democrats actually encouraging these confrontations, the chances of violence increases exponentially. With the hysterical left having convinced itself that Trump is a personal threat, it may be inevitable that a Trump official or supporter is targeted and attacked. Further, with the unhinged quality of opposition to the president, how many on the left will actually cheer if a Trump official is murdered in the street or outside his home?