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Majority of Republicans Believe Capitol Riot was a Patriotic Act, not Insurrection

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

It should be of little shock that the American electorate has two distinct interpretations — at least —of current political issues. Perhaps no single event, it turns out, has drawn as divergent opinions as last year's Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The May issue centers on the current state of democracy both domestically and internationally. As part of their coverage, the news site conducted a survey with polling firm Hart Research Associates to better understand why most people believe the American government is failing and uncovered some surprising results. In response to whether the United States' current political system needs to see development anywhere from "major changes" to a "complete overhaul," Republicans agreed by 44 percent and Democrats by 48. Asked about the confidence they have in a likely governmental overhaul, only 25 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Democrats said they were optimistic democracy will look different in the next 10 or 20 years.

The data revealed America has two distinct interpretations of current political issues. "Perhaps the origins of the divergence can be traced to how differently members of the political parties conceive of the nature of our government," states a TNR article summarizing the poll's results. For example, Republicans agree by 47 percent that democracy means "the protection of individual rights and liberties" while 22 percent selected "decisions are made by a majority of citizens." Democrats selected majority rule as their top answer at 29 percent but were also split on the question.

As the survey questions go on, the divide between Republicans and Democrats is made strikingly clear.

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