Friday, September 11, 2015

Nearly 1/3 of Americans would back military coup against government – poll

© Brendan McDermid
Almost a third of Americans can imagine themselves supporting a coup against the US government, according to a new survey. Slightly less than 50 percent would “hypothetically” back a military takeover if the government violated the Constitution. 
The results come from a recent online survey conducted by UK-based YouGov, which polled 1,000 people from September 2-3.

When asked if there was a situation in which respondents saw themselves supporting a military coup against the elected government, 29 percent answered “yes,” while 41 percent said “no.” Another 30 percent weren’t sure.

The poll showed that Republicans (43 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (20 percent) to support a coup in the US. Among Independents, the majority (38 percent) said that they could not imagine supporting a coup while 29 percent agreed that they could.

The results were reversed when the participants were presented with a specific situation in which the government violated the Constitution. In such a case, 43 percent said that they would “hypothetically support” a military takeover, and 29 percent said they wouldn’t.

YouGov also looked into people’s attitudes towards politicians and federal civil servants, as well as military and police officers.

Results showed 70 percent of the participants believe that military officers generally “want what is the best for the country,” and more than 50 percent believe that police officers have the best interests of the country in mind.

On the other hand, US Congressmen are widely viewed as having selfish interests, as 71 percent said they only do “what is the best for themselves.” Government workers and local politicians didn’t fare much better, with 37 of respondents saying the same about the former, and 59 percent about the latter.

The YouGov poll comes less than two weeks after a West Point professor, William C. Bradford, resigned following an uproar over a number of his publications, one of which was about a potential military coup against the president.