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Anti-Government Violence

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Huh. My answer to this question would be “of course.”

Do you think it is ever justified for citizens to take violent action against the government, or is it never justified?

Republican 28% yes, 64% no

Democrat 11% yes, 81% no

Independent 11% yes, 81% no

I think Adam’s right that a more specific question might provide more illuminating answers. Clearly, asking the question in the current political situation is likely to elicit politically motivated answers; just as with “Obama is a Kenyan Communist,” people answer with tribal affiliation rather than a true reflection of their views.

Nevertheless, I can’t even imagine answering “No” to such a categorical question; there are obviously a number of situations in which I would consider anti-government violence justified. The United States government (like every government) functions through the implicit threat of violence. It is often unjust to and brutally unrepresentative of the interests of the disadvantaged. I think that if the question were asked again of liberals, but framed in the context of something like the Wounded Knee Incident, the answer might be quite different.

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