An alarming new Pew Research survey has found that 91 percent of poll respondents identifying as Democrats or Democrat-leaning think “heated rhetoric” from politicians “raises the risk of violence.”
By contrast, 61 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents think “heated and aggressive language” could lead to violence, according to the survey.
This comes as President Donald Trump is being accused of attacking four freshman Democrat House members, all women identified as “The Squad.”
The Pew poll found something else. A majority of Americans (73 percent) want politicians to knock it off.
The Washington Examiner referred to recent verbal warfare between the president and his critics as “toxic.”
But the survey almost creates the impression that nothing violent has yet occurred, which ignores the activities of self-proclaimed Antifa protesters, in Portland, Oregon and Tacoma, Washington. A 69-year-old self-proclaimed Antifa radical was fatally shot by Tacoma police early on the morning of July 13 as he attempted to set fire to a federal detention facility.
That man, Willem Van Spronsen, had been involved in an earlier ruckus at the same facility in 2018. Van Spronsen left a “manifesto,” in which he reportedly wrote, “i (sic) regret that i (sic) will miss the rest of the revolution doing what I can to help defend my precious and wondrous people is an experience too rich to describe. i (sic) am antifa.”
The Pew survey was conducted this past spring, prior to the events in Portland and Tacoma. It appears to have been prophetic.
Another finding of the survey is that 85 percent of U.S. adults “say that political debate in the country has become more negative and less respectful,” Pew reported. And 76 percent think the debate “has become less fact-based” while 60 percent think political debate “has become less focused on issues.”
There has been a fair amount of name-calling and bluster lately. Pew noted that Republicans “believe that the national climate for political discourse is more hospitable to Democrats than for the GOP.” This finding reinforces the notion that the “mainstream” media aren’t “mainstream” at all, but biased toward the left. Many believe the media will not give Trump any kind of a break, yet Rasmussen reports gave the president a 50-percent approval rating for his job performance in its daily presidential tracking poll Friday. Forty-eight percent disapprove.
Further underscoring the notion of a divided country, the Washington Examiner quoted Pew: “Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents overwhelmingly (84%) say Trump has changed political discourse for the worse. About half of Republicans and Republican leaners (49%) say he has changed it for the better, while 23% say he has changed it for the worse and 27% say he hasn’t changed it much either way.”
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