A recent survey by the University of Chicago’s Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST) has highlighted a concerning trend: an increasing number of Democrats believe that force is justified in defending certain political ideologies.
Specifically, the poll revealed a doubling of Democrats endorsing the use of violence to restore abortion rights and to prevent Donald Trump from reassuming the presidency. This number escalated from 8 percent to 16 percent over a six-month period. This translates to an estimated 31 million Americans now supporting violent means to reinstate abortion laws, a significant jump from the 22 million recorded just three months prior.
The survey also found that a similar percentage of Democrats approve of using force against Congress, especially since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. This radicalization within the Democratic party is further evidenced by increasing instances of violence and threats against pro-life institutions, churches, and individuals associated with conservative ideologies. Recent events have demonstrated that violence is no longer a theoretical concept for some on the left, but a tool actively used to further their political agenda.
Arielle Del Turco of the Family Research Council has recorded over 543 attacks on churches between January 2018 and March 2023. These assaults have often been linked to the abortion debate or LGBTQ-related issues, and this trend appears to be escalating. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security has warned of an increased threat to churches due to their stance on various sociopolitical issues, a warning expected to remain valid until at least the 2024 elections.
There are also rising concerns about the safety of LGBTQ allies who have come under threat from radical activists. For instance, multiple Target stores faced bomb threats after the chain removed certain Pride-themed displays, indicating a level of intolerance even within their own community.
These worrying trends hint at a growing culture war where the boundaries between political and personal beliefs are blurring. Previous polls, such as one by Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group in 2020, found that one in five Americans believed that violence would be justified if the opposing party won the presidential election. A 2018 poll from the Buckley Institute found that a third of college students agreed that physical violence could be used to prevent hate speech or racially charged comments.