It’s no real surprise that former President Donald Trump’s supporters would literally go to battle for their leader. It’s a frightening reality, but as we quickly approach the midterms and see the many MAGA nominees the Republican Party is supporting, it’s clear that Trumpsters are desperate to have the twice-impeached former president back at the helm.
CBS News reported on a new study from the University of Chicago that found 13 million U.S. adults believe violence is justified if it means putting Trump back into the White House, and another 15 million believe violence would be warranted to keep Trump from being indicted over the FBI’s investigation into his mishandling of classified government secrets.
During a Sept. 8 appearance on Face the Nation, Dr. Robert Pape, the director of the University of Chicago's Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST), told moderator Margaret Brennan, "We have not just a political threat to our democracy, we have a violent threat to our democracy [...] Today, there are millions of individuals who don't just think the election was stolen in 2020; they support violence to restore Donald Trump to the White House."
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According to CBS, there is some good news: The number of members of Trump’s cult has gone down since last year, when it hovered around 23 million willing to fight for the 45th president.
When asked why the group was so invested that they would be willing to use force to put Trump back in office or defend him from an indictment, CBS reports that Pape and his team found that it was both QAnon rhetoric and fears of being replaced, with many in the mostly white group of urban respondents buying wholeheartedly into the “Great Replacement” theory.
"[Great Replacement] is a conspiracy theory, but it's not just on fringe social media like Parler or Gab, 4chan or 8chan ... This is every day on Fox News, it's on Newsmax, it's on One America, it's on talk radio," Pape said.
Politico writer Jack Shafer states that Trump’s support from his most extreme MAGA followers is “messianic.”
“Although evicted from the White House 19 months ago, Trump still postures as if he were president. In addition to calling for reinstatement and a do-over election, Trump ensures that his office calls him the ‘45th president,’ not the former president. He continues to unlawfully use the presidential seal for commercial purposes. And his capricious handling of sensitive and secret documents at Mar-a-Lago — his idea that the papers belong to him and that he’s above the law — make the case that he’s come to believe in his own, permanent divinity. Trump said in 2019 that being president gave him ‘the right to do whatever I want,’ which is consistent with thinking you’re God’s co-pilot,” Shafer writes.
With about six weeks until the Nov. 8 midterm elections, Pape says he is worried about Trump’s supporters and how far they may go.
"If it's just a political threat, well, then we can have elections. Once it's not just denying an election, but using violence as the response to an election denial, now we're in a new game."
Trump and his followers proved on Jan. 6 how dangerously close they came to overturning our democracy. Help cancel Republican voter suppression with the power of your pen by clicking here and signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward, writing personalized letters to targeted voters urging them to exercise their right to vote this year.
Good judges are more important now than ever. In some states, judges are on the ballot this November. In this episode of The Downballot, we shine a spotlight on elections for state supreme courts: actor and activist Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Together, Daily Kos and Julia are proud to announce their endorsement of seven Democratic candidates running for closely divided courts in Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio. You can support this slate by going to JusticewithJulia.com and donating today.