A terrifying new YouGov poll dramatically sets forth the pessimism and cynicism enveloping this country. Half of all Republicans and one-third of Democrats expect the United States to undergo some kind of Civil War in the coming ten years. The results probably should not be that surprising. Ask yourself whether you can see past mid-November of 2024 with any clarity, without regard to the actual election results. It is difficult. The assumptions we were born into as “Americans” led us to believe we’d never have to face such worries. We now face them.
From Mediaite’s report on the Poll:
A new poll from YouGov asked respondents to predict the likelihood of various doomsday scenarios within the next decade. The results show that a great deal of Americans expect that the country will plunge into civil war, will no longer be a democracy, and overall will be dramatically weakened in some way within the next 10 years.
The results feel all too believable and yet, of course, are terrifying.
While the exact circumstances of a new American civil war may vary, the data polled from Democrats and Republicans show that 37 percent of Americans believe there’s at least a chance it will happen in some form. The numbers suggest that about 40 percent of Americans predict a civil war between Democrats and Republicans, 32 percent expect a civil war between red and blue states, and 28 percent expect a war between different races. On a similar note, the poll also found that 28 percent of people expect states will try to secede from the union again.
Perhaps the only thing that could truly save us from a full-blown Civil War is the logistics needed to have one between Democrats and Republicans, given that in even the reddest or bluest states, there are neighborhoods with people from both parties. It is easy to see tensions rising to the point that things become violent. It is difficult to see how it would play out logistically. It is equally true that it is hard to imagine “real war” fought on American soil due to the sheer deadliness of our modern weapons. There is a mutually assured destruction component even without nuclear weapons. Are the people of Dallas really willing to offer up their airports and downtown area in a fight with people from Colorado or Seattle? Full-blown war is very difficult to imagine.
More from Mediaite:
Even beyond the possibility of a civil war, YouGov’s polling shows a huge chunk of Americans expecting the worst for the country’s future. About 38 percent of respondents think America won’t be a democracy for much longer, and an average 25 percent went even further by predicting the country will become either a fascist or communist dictatorship.
As for the strength of the country, 50 percent expect the U.S. will not remain a superpower, and 47 percent predict “total economic collapse.” An average 37 percent can see a “total breakdown of law and order” on the horizon, with 49 percent of Republicans calling that a likely possibility, and 31 percent of Democrats agreeing with them.
There is a lot to unpack in those two paragraphs.
The fact that nearly 40% fear that we’re losing our democracy seems almost low to some of us, especially after the last election and how close the nation came to simply ignoring the election results (Which makes it so hard to see past November 2024).
The half of Americans that believe that the U.S. will fail as a superpower might be thinking more about America’s “soft-power,” our ability to influence global events without firing a shot. The American military itself remains, if anything, too powerful. It does, however, seem like the 21st Century will be one that sees the rise of the East, Japan, China, and India.
That nearly half believe that the country could suffer an economic collapse is terrifying because simply believing an economic collapse is possible is sufficient to bring it about.
The breakdown of law and order is probably the easiest to envision and probably what people really mean by civil war, with some states simply refusing to recognize a president or SCOTUS ruling. Perhaps militia groups will try to seize power from local police. It is tough to tell how it could come about but more foreseeable than simply calling something a “Civil War.”
The poll is probably most useful when viewed with less specificity. The country is deeply pessimistic, and too many are angry enough to see how that anger could break into violence. It is sad because if there is a person in this country whom one could have hoped could bring people together into some sort of unity, it would be a man like Joe Biden. Perhaps he came along just a bit too late. We can hope not.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.