WASHINGTON, D.C. – The shocking results of a new poll released on Thursday indicate that a quarter of U.S. residents surveyed harbor such a degree of alienation from their federal government that they feel it may soon be necessary to take up an armed resistance against it, and that the government is “corrupt and rigged” against them.
The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP) poll – entitled “Our Precarious Democracy – Extreme Polarization and Alienation in Our Politics” – was conducted among 1,000 registered voters and shows that a growing segment of American society is disillusioned and divided over the country’s increasingly partisan political landscape.
How the respondents to the poll answered varied greatly depending on their political affiliations; overall, 56 percent of those queried felt that American elections are generally “conducted fairly and counted accurately,” but when broken down separately into Republican, Democrat, and Independent groupings, the results took a different trajectory.
80 percent of Democrats indicated that they trusted election results, whereas that number dropped to 51 percent amongst Independents and utterly cratered with Republicans at a mere 33 percent.
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Moreover, the poll showed that an overall 49 percent of respondents were gradually and increasingly feeling like “a stranger in my own country,” with 69 percent of those identifying as “strong Republicans” feeling this way and 38 percent of “strong Democrats” concurring with that sentiment as well.
28 percent of those surveyed displayed an extreme level of distrust in the U.S. government as a whole, and felt that the need “to take up arms against the government” may very well need to happen sooner rather than later; of that number, 37 percent were gun owners.
Again, when broken down by individual parties, 45 percent of Republicans agreed with the eventual need to arm themselves against the government, along with 35 percent of Independents and 20 percent of Democrats.
The poll also further cemented the degree of the political divide in the country at the moment, with approximately 50 percent of those polled saying that they avoid discussing politics with others due to not knowing their allegiances, and 25 percent saying they have lost or ended relationships with relatives and friends over political differences.