While observing the progress of the impeachment procedure in connection with the attack on the Capitol on January 6, I am interested in the investigations related to the demonstrators as well as the reactions of the American population.
In this regard, a recent survey by the Survey Center on American Life caught my attention because the results are both surprising and unfortunate. They would be 30% to believe that it is sometimes necessary to resort to violence when our decision makers fail to protect us well. The proportion is even higher if we focus only on Republican participants. Among this group, they are 39% to consider a possible recourse to violence.
Not only should these figures be studied in light of the incidents of January 6, but it should be surprisingly remembered that the survey respondents live in one of the oldest democracies in the Western world! Violence would therefore not be the prerogative of a marginal faction of extremists.
While one should avoid getting angry or constantly fearful of violent actions, the perceptions revealed in the survey should still be taken seriously. We are not going to attack the Capitol and the institutions repeatedly, but when more than a third of the population mentions the possibility or the need to do so, we take notes.
Other data in the Survey Center on American Life document also deserves our attention. Of all the respondents, those who say they belong to the evangelical right adhere to conspiracy theories and QAnon in a much higher proportion. When we know the importance of this religious right for Republican politicians, we understand a little better why those of the House and the Senate refuse to condemn their president.
Overall, this poll confirms once again the gulf that separates many of our American neighbors as well as the political polarization. If you consult it, you will see how perceptions differ depending on the party line.
One last little note about this probe. Despite the problems and tensions plaguing American society, there are still very many who believe that the American way of life is superior. Applying this way of life elsewhere on the planet would help build a better world.
I have repeatedly stressed that American society never ceased to amaze me. Even deeply divided, to the point where some justify the use of violence, our neighbors continue to be proud of their country and to be convinced of the superiority of their values and their system.