Second U.S. civil war? 1 in 3 say violence against government sometimes justified: Poll

By Lee Cleveland - January 2, 2022

According to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll published Saturday, roughly 33 percent of Americans think citizen violence against the government is “sometimes” justified, significantly up from previous years.

The survey was conducted between Dec. 17 and Dec. 19 and included 1,101 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. 

In 2010 and 2011, just 16 percent said citizen violence against the government was justified compared to only 13 percent in April 1995, according to the researchers.

Per the 2021 poll, a whopping 40 percent of Republicans answered in the affirmative compared to 23 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of independents. 

Overall, just 62 percent of respondents said violence against the government was never justified, and four percent either had no opinion or answered “justified” but “said in a follow-up question that they did not think violence was justified.”

Percentage of Americans who believe citizen violence against their government is sometimes justified:

2021 – 33%
2011 – 16%
1995 – 13%

“The United States is pretty close to being at high risk of civil war,” Barbara F. Walter, Ph.D., a professor of political science at UC San Diego and an expert on international security with an emphasis on civil wars, told CNN last month.

“I’ve been studying civil wars for the last 30 years around the globe and, in fact, I’ve been on a task force run by the CIA that tries to predict where outside the U.S. a civil war, political violence or instability is likely to break out,” Walter offered.

“… Once a country is at high risk the task force puts it on what we call a Watch List; Countries that the agency wants to watch very closely because they believe sometime in the next few years that country is at high risk of descent into instability or political violence.”

“…The United States has been declining as a democracy for the last 5 years on EVERY measure,” she added.

There are multiple different data sets that measure democracy in various, different ways and all of them have showed America in decline.”

“We actually know now that the two best predictors of whether violence is likely to happen are 1) whether a country is an anocracy, and that’s a fancy term for a partial democracy and 2) whether ethic entrepreneurs have emerged in a country that are using racial, religious or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power.”

When a February 9, 2021 Zogby poll asked participants ‘Will the U.S. have a second U.S. civil war?,’ the responses were as follows:

46% – Yes
43% – No
11% – Unsure

Americans aren’t optimistic for peace these days, and aroused passions based on falsehoods may explain part of the reason why.

For example, in November 2020 Yahoo! released the findings of a shocking poll that should shake “sober” Americans to the core. Their poll, conducted in collaboration with YouGov in October 2020, surveyed 1,583 registered voters online and found that 50 percent of President Donald Trump’s voting electorate believe high profile Democratic politicians are running – or are somehow affiliated with – a global child sex-trafficking ring.

A global child sex-trafficking ring?


Should a second American Civil War happen in this decade, disinformation via the Internet and social media might not be the lone reason for the outbreak but will undoubtedly serve as the catalyst.

Please share your thoughts about a potential second U.S. civil war below.