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HAS THE ELEPHANT GONE BATSHIT??   PART 1

I PONDERED MY wording for this title, but given a hit TV show parodizing the same word, I decided to keep it. The American Enterprise Institute is a respected conservative think tank, and its Survey Center on American Life published a January 2021 American Perspectives Survey with fascinating details: Among them,  “that Americans are divided over not only how they feel about the 2020 election but also how they perceive the legitimacy of Biden’s win. Political conspiracy theories, including QAnon, have not disappeared after Trump’s defeat, and a significant number of Americans condone the use of violence in the face of political failures.”

Several of these views are so utterly antithetical to my own, and, based on other surveys, to the views of so many Americans, that I feel compelled to share tidbits in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow gleaned from the AEI’s survey findings. I also include tidbits from a rather less conservative but no less authoritative source, NPR, February 11, 2021.

Who Won the 2020 Presidential Election? The AEI survey reports, “Nearly all Democrats (98 percent) and roughly three-quarters (73 percent) of independents believe Biden’s 2020 election victory was legitimate. This is a minority view among Republicans. Nearly two in three (66 percent) Republicans say Biden’s election win was not legitimate.”

This and other images from January 2021 American Perspectives Survey..

AEI continues, “There are stark divisions by education level among Republicans. Three-quarters of Republicans who do not have a four-year college degree challenge the legitimacy of Biden’s election, while college-educated Republicans are divided, with roughly as many accepting the legitimacy of Biden’s win as denying it (50 percent vs. 48 percent).”

What of Trump’s Standing? The AEI survey holds that “Although some Republican leaders criticized Trump for his role in the assault on the U.S. Capitol, he remains personally popular among rank-and-file Republicans. Nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) Republicans have a favorable opinion of Trump, while one in five (20 percent) view the former GOP president negatively. In contrast, a majority of Democrats (95 percent) and independents (63 percent) have a negative view of Trump.”

“Many Americans hold Trump personally accountable for the attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans believe Trump encouraged his supporters to break into the Capitol. Thirty-six percent of the public reject this as being untrue, while 14 percent say they are unsure whether Trump encouraged his supporters to illegally enter the Capitol building.”

The second Trump impeachment hearing, quite an orderly contrast to January 6, 2021. Image from Dallas News.

A 13-minute video was part of the evidence provided in the U.S. Senate impeachment hearing, Feburary 9, 2021. It is distressing but compelling viewing. Tomorrow in Part 2, we’ll continue sharing AEI survey tidbits on matters ranging from Trump involvement in the Capitol insurrection to Evangelical belief in QAnon. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2021

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