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A shocking new poll shows that a notable majority of Republicans are convinced that the Capitol riot of January 6th, 2021, was an act of “patriotism.”
The poll, conducted by The New Republic, shows the disconnect between Americans and the riot of that tragic day. While most Americans (66 percent of all polled) agreed that the attacks were a senseless assault on democracy in the name of overturning a national election and disrupting a constitutionally mandated Congressional meeting by force, a whopping 57 percent of Republicans felt the violent clash was a sort of patriotic duty, according to the poll.
The exact wording of the poll was as follows:
“Thinking about the people who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, would you say that was more of an insurrection against the United States or more of an act of patriotism?”
As noted, a clear majority when disregarding party affiliation showed that most Americans looked upon the riot unfavorably, while only 34 percent thought there was something laudable about the violent day.
The differences among party lines were striking. For Democrats, there was a crushing majority, 88 percent, that felt the day was an insurrection, leaving only 12 percent that viewed the events as patriotic. Republicans inverted that, but were more divided – 43 percent, a sizable minority, felt it was an insurrection, breaking with the 57 percent majority that thought it was an “act of patriotism.”
Guy Molyneux, one of the pollsters from the Hart Research Associates, commented on the narrower split among Republicans:
“I don’t know whether we should take a lot of comfort in knowing there are still 43 percent of Republicans who think that was wrong, or despair that it’s only 43 percent.”
The poll comes as U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland faces pressure to speed up his investigation into the January 6th attack and widen the net in regards to former President Donald Trump himself and his closest associates.
Republican leadership has been dismissive of an investigation but it would seem a majority of Americans want to see some kind of action taken and justice done, especially for those who may have been instigators of the assault behind the scenes.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll that came out recently showed an overwhelming majority, 71 percent, of Americans believe that those who repeated Trump’s claims about the election are guilty of a “crime,” and showed similar clear majorities in favor of the Justice Department taking legal action to prosecute anyone involved.
The House Select Committee Investigating the January 6th Attack on the Capitol has been getting closer to recommending an indictment, and continues its interviews and subpoenas of key officials close to Trump during the riot itself and during the run-up to the event. As of writing, criminal charges have not been filed, but there is wide speculation that that may change in the coming months.
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