It's been a while since we've experienced a good, wholesome armed revolution. We had one a few hundred years ago, birthing our nation. Texas had its own just a a few generations after that, bringing us another nation, and another state. And while the Confederacy faltered during the mid-19th-century, it was good to get another attempted revolution out of our system.
But then, nothing. Here we are, sweltering 150 years later, sitting with more or less the same guv'mint we've known since the Civil War. Sure, women and minorities are finally on par with the rest of us -- well, most minorities, at least -- but we're still looking at the Stars and Stripes. Nothing's changed. Freedom's the same as it ever was.
Fortunately, according to a new poll, there's a large swath of Americans who believe that an armed rebellion may be just beyond the horizon. The numbers, after the jump, should give pause to those who've grown complacent with the whole freest-nation-in-the-land! line that so many of us repeat without a moment's thought. To arms!
Per new numbers from Fairleigh Dickinson University, 29 percent of the nation's registered voters believe that, "[i]n the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties." For those keeping track, that's approximately
75 45 million Americans who've been sufficiently streamed enough bloodlust and rancor to believe that their liberty has been, or could be, infringed, and that their sawed-off shotguns will somehow, some way, provide sufficient recourse for bringing those liberties back. All within the next few years.
(Two quick points: Despite all of the post-Newtown screeching, there remains no evidence that civilian arms rates positively correlate with either democratic ideals or anti-autocracy revolutions, especially over the previous decade. Moreover, to anyone who believes the Second Amendment is somehow a guarantor of personal liberty, I have 110,000 Asian-Americans interned during WWII who you may want to speak with.)
There is, perhaps expectedly, a partisan split to the numbers. (I'm fairly certain those anticipating revolution won't be fighting over FISA violations and federal marijuana restrictions in Washington and Colorado.) Eighteen percent of Democrats see a potential revolution, while 44 percent of Republicans think they may need to soon take up arms against democratically elected, term-limited officials in Washington. I'll save the thesis on the fracture between pragmatic- and base Republicans, but, suffice it to say, the Republican electorate doesn't have simply a jagged, militarized wing that can remain ignored. This isn't some fraction that can be ignored. Nearly half of the Republicans in this nation think revolution may be imminent.
Think about that. Think about the implications. Think about this reality as you traipse through this weekend's NRA Convention at George R. Brown Convention Center, browsing the Best! and Newest! arms that you, with your Second Amendment in tow, can buy. Think about all the social science -- say, from the Journal of the American Medical Association, perhaps -- that illustrates the stark and cozy relationship between firearm fatalities and states that employ fewer gun laws.
It seems obvious that, despite Obama's reelection, the fever's not yet broken. This faction, if anything, seems to be growing, such that nearly half of the most racially exclusive major party in America now believes that an armed revolution may be just beyond. Seventy-five million Americans are willing to mow down their countrymen in the defense of, I dunno, greater healthcare option, or the ability to keep gays from gay marryin', or some such. And they think it could be just a handful of years away.
America's bloodiest days were self-inflicted -- and came following the democratic election of a social progressive with a distinct knack for aiding minority rights. History doesn't repeat itself; it remixes. And it may be worth thinking a bit longer on this topic, and on this survey. Because it seems like thirty percent of your countrymen and -women have already made up their minds. And it's been a while since we've had a good domestic bloodbath, anyway.