Tuesday Conversations, S1E11 (VIDEO): What Does it Mean that 30% of Republicans Believe Violence may be Necessary to "Save the Country"?

Unpacking disturbing new findings from PRRI's 12th Annual American Values Survey

For this edition of “Tuesday Conversations,” we’re mixing it up a bit. Yesterday, PRRI released its 12th annual American Values Survey in partnership with The Brookings Institution. So today, I’m bringing you—hot off the reels—three video discussions of the findings from this report that took place at Brookings and CNN.

But before I get to that, given all the talk about “critical race theory” that has been injected into the Virginia governor’s race, I’m flagging my recent post about the need to shut down the manufactured critical race theory (CRT) “debate.” Here’s a brief excerpt:

Something interesting—and hopeful—happens if you move away from the CRT jargon to the underlying conflict. Despite the well publicized scenes of wild-eyed soccer moms ranting at suburban school board meetings, among the broader public, even across partisan and religious lines, there is surprisingly broad common ground on the question of what public schools should teach our children about racism in American history.

Click the graphic below to read the full piece.

Panel of Experts Discuss PRRI’s 2021 American Values Survey at The Brookings Institution

2021 marked the 12th year that PRRI has partnered with The Brookings Institution to release our annual American Values Survey. The findings were summarized in a report entitled Competing Visions of America: An Evolving Identity or a Culture Under Attack? Click the link above to read the full report.

In addition to myself and Research Director Natalie Jackson from PRRI and E.J. Dionne Jr. and Bill Galston from Brookings, we had three additional scholars on hand to help unpack the data (see the landing page containing the video for the complete list of panelists and associations).

Here’s a slide with one of the most troubling findings, which generated an avalanche of media coverage yesterday and today.

Click below to tune in to the discussion [90 minutes], including a PowerPoint presentation with the key findings and commentary and analysis by this all-star panel of experts.


Yesterday afternoon, I joined CNN’s “The LEAD with Jake Tapper” [7 minutes] to talk about the disturbing finding that 30% of Republicans say that violence might be justified to “save the country.” You can watch the full segment by clicking on the graphic below.

And last night, I continued the conversation with Don Lemon on CNN [7 minutes]. Here I noted that the driving force behind this willingness to resort to violence is the false belief that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Among Americans who believe “the Big Lie,” four in ten say they believe violence may be justified to save the country. And I pointed out that behind The Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump is the The Bigger Lie that the country has been stolen from conservative white Christians, who have believed that America was meant to be a promised land for European Christians. (I examined the roots of this problem in a previous post here.)

You can watch that segment below.

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