One-Third of Americans Would Be Fine with the Military Taking Over

Claire Landsbaum
Forty-three percent of Republicans would support a military coup.

Blame the 2016 Republican presidential candidates (cough, Donald Trump, cough) or the recent stock market meltdown or Americans' general conviction that the country is going to hell, but a recent poll showed that one-third of U.S. citizens aren't satisfied with their government. In fact, 30 percent would support a military takeover, The Guardian reports

The numbers come from a YouGov survey, which polled 1,000 people online. The exact question asked was, "Is there any situation in which you could imagine yourself supporting the U.S. military taking over the powers of federal government?" Interestingly, Republicans were twice as likely as Democrats to answer 'yes' to the question; 43 percent of Republicans said they could imagine supporting a military coup, while only 20 percent of Democrat said they'd support the move. About 30 percent of self-identified independent voters said they could get behind a military takeover.

Although the numbers look pretty grim, Abraham Wyner, director of the undergraduate program in statistics at the University of Pennsylvania, said that online polls are suspect when it comes to getting accurate results. "People who are participating in an online poll are generally attracted to that poll because of some variable," he said. In other words, people who respond to the poll tend to feel strongly about the poll's subject matter, so they're inherently biased.

The same survey included more questions about the U.S. military and law enforcement. Overall, most of those surveyed (70 percent) seemed to think that military officers want what's best for the country, but only 55 percent think that police officers act with the country's best interest at heart. The numbers are even worst for local politicians and federal civil servants (hi, Kim Davis). 

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