Over half of Americans believe the nation could experience a second civil war in the next few years, according to a study conducted by a research team from the University of California, Davis.
The study found that 50.1% of respondents at least somewhat agreed that “in the next few years, there will be a civil war in the United States.”
A total of 67.2% of those participating in the survey believed that there is currently “a serious threat to our democracy,” with near unanimous agreement (96.6%) that it is at least somewhat important for “the United States to remain a democracy.”
Researchers also sought to examine people’s opinions regarding political violence. They found that just under half (48.3%) agreed to some degree that “if elected leaders will not protect American democracy, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires taking violent actions.”
Although the vast majority of individuals disagreed with using political violence in most of the questions posed in the survey, nearly 40% felt that it could be justified “to oppose the government when it tries to take private land for public purposes.”
Nearly 20% responded that in a situation where they felt political violence might be justified, they were at least somewhat likely to carry a gun.
The poll covered a wide variety of other topics as well. For example, just over one-fifth of respondents, 22.7%, agreed to some degree with the statement, “The government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”
Roughly twice as many people, 43.4%, believed “we are living in what the Bible calls ‘the end times.'”
The researchers suggested that their findings show “a continuing alienation from and mistrust of American democratic society and its institutions.” They went on to say that “current conditions in the United States put at risk the future of the country as a free and democratic society.”
Derek Cohen, vice president of policy for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told The Dallas Express, “I do not at all think there’s a potential for [civil war] happening.” He clarified: “I don’t think that America will see a civil war within my lifetime.”
Cohen criticized the study’s methodology, suggesting that “this particular form of scholarship doesn’t substantiate” the claims made by the researchers.
He suggested that the study fails to account for people answering one way in an anonymous survey while it is “several orders of magnitude less likely that people would do these things in real life.”
He encouraged people to remember that the Founding Fathers designed the U.S. government with “a massive system of circuit breakers,” which he believes are supposed to help resolve differences and calm tensions.
Regarding methodology, although 15,449 people were invited to participate, only 8,620 completed the survey.
Overall, the demographic composition was reasonably reflective of the nation’s composition, with 50.6% of respondents being female, 62.6% being white, 16.9% being Hispanic, 11.9% being black, and 5.4% being Asian.
However, the average age of the participants was 48.4—just over a decade older than the national average of 38 years old.
Additionally, over half of the survey sample made at least $10,000 more than the national median household income of roughly $67,000. The largest group of respondents polled (22.8%) were those earning over $150,000 annually.
Funding for the survey and study came from the following:
- The Joyce Foundation, which has $1.1 billion in assets and grants of $50 million per year. Previous board members included former president Barack Obama (1994–2002). The foundation is a major anti-gun group that routinely supports anti-gun initiatives.
- California Wellness Foundation, a slush fund for left-wing policy groups with a strong preference for anti-gun initiatives. This foundation has funded groups such as March for Our Lives, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the ACLU, and the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
- The Heising-Simons Foundation, which in 2019 awarded over $113 million in grants to left-wing projects and groups almost exclusively. These include the Clinton Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
- California Firearm Violence Research Center, part of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, a state-taxpayer-funded “center for firearm violence research” founded in 2017 by the California Firearm Violence Research Act. Its purpose is to study the “nature of firearm violence,” the “societal consequences” of such violence, and the prevention of gun violence “at the individual, community, and societal levels.”
The Dallas Express reached out to the following groups for comment but received no response as of the writing of this article: Dallas Antifa, the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club, Every Texan, and Our Revolution North Texas.