While most Americans want the government to stop violent protests and criminally prosecute historic statue vandals, the majority of Democratic voters do not want the Trump administration to halt those demonstrations, according to a new poll released on Thursday, July 9.
The latest Rasmussen survey finds that 56% of “Likely U.S. Voters” give the Trump administration poor marks for their response to the violent racial protests in some cities, including attacks on historical monuments, while just 23% believe the administration has done a good or excellent job.
The majority of voters (57%) think that the administration should stop those violent protests, while 29% say they should be allowed to continue, and 14% are not sure.
The survey shows that 76% of Republicans and 55% of voters not affiliated with either major political party said the government should halt those violent protests, but just 43% of Democrats agreed. It means that a majority of Democratic voters want the government to let the violent protests continue.
Most voters (56%) want the administration to stop the attacks on historical monuments and criminally prosecute those who have damaged or destroyed the monuments. Thirty-two percent oppose prosecution, while 11% are undecided.
Many historic monuments and statues have become the targets for vandals during Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May. Some protests have targeted statues of prominent Americans like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were slave owners more than 200 years ago. But latter-day presidents like Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt also have been targeted of vandalism for no apparent reason.
The survey finds that 44% of blacks want the government to stop the violent protests, compared to 60% of whites and 56% of other minority voters.
Most whites (64%) and a plurality (46%) of other minority voters want those who desecrated historical monuments criminally prosecuted, but most blacks (57%) do not agree.
Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans and 55% of unaffiliated voters want criminal prosecutions, but just 37% of Democrats share that view.
The survey was conducted on July 5-6, nearly two weeks after President Donald Trump on June 26 signed an executive order protecting American monuments, memorials and statues, which will impose a penalty of up to 10 years in prison for the willful injury of federal property.
According to the executive order, many of the rioters, arsonists, and left-wing extremists have carried out and supported a sustained assault on the life and property of civilians, law enforcement officers, government property, and revered American monuments. They have explicitly identified themselves with ideologies—such as Marxism—that call for the destruction of the United States system of government.
Anarchists and left-wing extremists have sought to advance a fringe ideology that paints the United States as fundamentally unjust and have sought to impose that ideology on Americans through violence and mob intimidation. They have led riots in the streets, burned police vehicles, killed and assaulted government officers.