If a radicalized swath of the military attempted to overthrow the United States government, nearly half of America’s Republicans would support them, according to a shocking YouGov poll released last Wednesday.
YouGov’s poll finds that 43% of self-identified Republicans would support a military coup in the United States, an act wherein the military would attempt to overthrow the Federal government, presumably installing some form of temporary stratocracy in lieu of our existing Constitutional Republic, as is the case traditionally with military coups around the world.
The polling data shows that respondents have greater faith in military officers than they do in elected officials, and that 29% of Americans — a number that is frighteningly high on its own — say they could imagine themselves supporting a military coup, while 41% say they could not. 43% of those respondents who would support a military coup identify themselves as Republicans.
Threats of civil wars and military coup d’états have been popular themes within the Republican base, particularly amongst the Tea Party’s rank and file, ever since President Obama took office in 2009. Militias have been spreading at alarming rates, while groups like the “Oath Keepers” have terrorized communities and violently threatened federal officials and law enforcement agencies. Secession movements have also been growing in popularity in several States since 2009.
Right-wing domestic terrorism has been on the rise as well. Dylann Roof, John Russell Houser, and Jerad and Amanda Miller are just a few examples of radicals with strong, inarguable ties to the American conservative movement who have violently lashed out with acts of mass murder in the past few years alone.
But not all Republicans have faith in the military, however. In August, a right-wing terror group was busted by the FBI while planning to ambush U.S. military personnel, claiming they feared a “martial law takeover” during “Operation Jade Helm,” a military training exercise which right-wing conspiracy theorists believed would culminate with President Obama violently conquering America and declaring himself “dictator for life.” How that doesn’t sound crazy to someone, we’ll never know.
If anything, this poll perfectly illustrates just how out-of-touch Republicans are with reality. As we all know, Republicans live inside a pretty thick bubble, and the only information that can pass into said bubble is carefully inspected and filtered so they’re only hearing the things that jive with their preconceived beliefs. If a statistic doesn’t suit them, it’s labeled left-wing bias or Obama administration propaganda. If a news story questions their ideology or lambasts one of their heroes, it’s a case of the evil “lamestream media” run amok.
So we shouldn’t be all that surprised when a poll reveals that a large portion of Republicans would support a military coup d’état. It’s really just one more Lego piece in a large bin of other Lego pieces, each representing a bit of violent, fear-fueled rhetoric. Each of these pieces lock together, and when some of them spill out of the box, you certainly don’t want to be walking on that stretch of carpet.