Suddenly a breaking news alert flashes across the screen: “Military Coup Overthrows the Government.”
What would be the reaction?
While most Americans say they can’t imagine supporting a takeover of the government by the armed forces, or least aren’t sure about it, a substantial number of people say they can imagine supporting the military in such a scenario.Lawmakers better shape up or they might be shipped out -- literally.
In a new survey by YouGov, 29 percent of respondents said they can imagine a situation in which they would support the military taking control of the federal government – that translates into over 70 million American adults. Forty-one percent of respondents said could not imagine supporting the military taking over the country.
Republicans (43 percent) were more likely to say they can envision a scenario in which they could support a military coup than Democrats (20 percent). Perhaps that difference is related to having a Democratic president who some critics on the right see as overstepping his power.
Regardless of political ideology, one reason people might support a military coup is because they respect officers in the military far more than they do people in Congress. According to the same YouGov survey, almost three-quarters (70 percent) of respondents believe that military officers want what is best for the country, while only 29 percent think the same of members of Congress.