There was a time when differences of political opinion did not inspire people to look upon those with whom they disagree as a threat. That time appears to have passed and a new Rasmussen survey confirms this rather sad fact. A significant percentage of Republicans believe Democrats are America’s biggest enemy – and almost as many Democrats feel the same way about Republicans. Whether these views are justified is purely a matter of opinion, of course, but, for those hoping to find a silver lining, a look at the numbers is in order.
The survey was conducted on December 19-21, 2022 with 900 US likely voters participating. The question put to participants was: “Who is America’s biggest enemy as 2022 draws to a close – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Republicans, or Democrats?”
America’s Biggest Enemy – The Other Party
Of those who identified as Democrats, 31% labeled Russia as America’s biggest enemy, 26% said Republicans, and 16% pointed the finger at China. Those are startling numbers, considering that China poses a considerable and constantly growing economic and military threat to the US. Russia, meanwhile, represents very little threat, either militarily or economically. It is not difficult to understand such perceptions; the left-wing media and many leading Democrat politicians have routinely pushed scare-stories about Russia meddling in American elections. While it would be grossly inaccurate to claim such stories are fake news, there is no evidence that Moscow’s attempts to influence US voters have met with any real success.
Those same journalists and politicians have also claimed, for at least the past seven or eight years, that Republicans – both office-holders and voters – represent a grave threat to the country.
Among the respondents who said they are Republican, 35% see China as the greatest threat, 33% believe America’s biggest enemy is the Democrats, and just 12% named Russia as such. Among all the voters polled, only 5% put North Korea at the top of the enemies list and 2% think Iran is the top threat.
How about the respondents who said they are not affiliated with either party? Twenty-one percent (21%) of them said Democrats are the number one threat, while 18% said the same of Republicans. China was cited by 26% of unaffiliated voters, and 15% said Russia.
The 26% figure among Democrats – the ones who say Republicans are the biggest enemy – probably correlates pretty closely with the percentages of Democrat voters who are true believers in the most extreme elements of the progressive agenda; the concept of “equity,” the fight for so-called social justice, the radicalization of academic institutions, and so on. Then, there is the breaking down of traditional family values, the war on women’s identity, the promotion of “transgender” ideology and Critical Race Theory, and a general contempt for constitutional rights.
It is probably fair to suggest that these elements of the Democratic Party’s increasingly extremist platform are the very factors on the minds of those Republican voters who consider Democrats to be America’s biggest enemy.
So, where is that silver lining? For those optimists hoping all is not lost, it is worth noting that most Republicans and most Democrats are still looking beyond America’s borders when asked to name the nation’s most dangerous threats. Still, it is perhaps difficult to imagine that, two years from now, another survey of this kind will indicate a lessening of polarization. It seems that those who want to divide us are making a lot more noise than those who do not. How soon do we get to that point where the mutual distrust is irreversible and, in the eyes of most people on both sides, entirely justified?
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