A new poll from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics has produced some of the more alarming data that we’ve seen in quite some time. I’m not entirely sure what prompted them to ask these specific questions to begin with, but the topic had nothing to do with the usual issues that are polled, such as inflation, gas prices, or Ukraine. They asked respondents whether they felt that the United States government was honest or corrupt. They wanted to know if people felt that the government treats them fairly or if the system is rigged. And perhaps most disturbingly of all, they inquired as to whether the respondents felt that the time may be coming when they might need to “take up arms” against their own government. Shockingly (at least to me, but perhaps I’m naive) a majority of respondents found the government to be corrupt and rigged against ordinary citizens. And nearly a third felt that an armed revolt might be on the horizon. (The Hill)

A majority of Americans say the U.S. government is corrupt and almost a third say it may soon be necessary to take up arms against it, according to a new poll from the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

Two-thirds of Republicans and independents say the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me,” according to the poll, compared to 51 percent of liberal voters.

Twenty-eight percent of all voters, including 37 percent of gun owners, agreed “it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government,” a view held by around 35 percent of Republicans and around 35 percent of Independents. One in five Democrats concurred.

It’s understandable for members of the party that is out of power to have a more sour view of the government, but that’s not really what we’re seeing here. It’s true that a larger percentage of Republicans and independents described the government as corrupt and rigged, but 51 percent of self-described liberals said the same thing. And they’re saying it when their own party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.

The armed revolt numbers are a bit more lopsided as you might suspect, with 35% of Republicans and independent voters feeling they may have to “take up arms.” But even on that statistic, 20 percent of Democrats were having similar thoughts.

You may find yourself thinking something along the lines of, “Good. It’s not just me.” Or possibly the notion that it’s a relief that other people have their eyes open and can see what’s been going on. I’ll confess that those thoughts flitted through my mind when I first read the results. But I would like to assure you after further consideration that this is not good news for anyone.

We obviously live in a society that is more divided than I’ve seen it in my lifetime, but for the most part we tend to debate or even shout about subjects where we differ with some of our fellow citizens as well as the noncitizens that keep streaming into the country. The point is, those are debates or wars of words. (With the occasional exceptions of maniacs who try to stab a member of Congress or assassinate a Supreme Court justice.) What’s being discussed here is entirely different.

As long as the basic essentials of life are still available to the citizens, everything is on the table for debate. If people don’t like the direction that the current government is taking the country, they know they can go to the polls and replace the current leaders and representatives with people who will hopefully do better. But what about when those basic essentials are no longer available? What happens when there is no food available on the shelves in the stores? What if the power goes out and it can’t be restored? What if there is so much violent crime in the streets that people no longer feel safe to go outside?

We already know the answer to those questions. Look at what’s happening in Ghana. Look at the Netherlands. For Pete’s sake, look at what just happened in Sri Lanka. The people there basically overthrew the government, sent the President and the Prime Minister fleeing into exile, and burned down the presidential palace.

While I understand that Tucker Carlson can be a controversial figure at times, he’s been sounding warnings about this precise situation for months now. There is a limit to how much people will be willing or able to tolerate. As long as they have faith that the underlying system is at least being fair to them, they will put up with quite a bit. But when the nation loses that faith and broadly begins to believe that they are laboring under a corrupt system that is rigged against them and their fundamental needs are not being met, the entire system can collapse in a dramatic fashion very quickly as we’re already seeing in other nations. Look around at the conditions we’re dealing with in the United States today and then look at those poll numbers again. Ask yourself if the unthinkable is still unthinkable. And the people who need to carefully consider these questions more than anyone else are in the White House and in Congress.

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