“Vermin”: Trump Crosses Fully into Nazi Territory
In a new column for his White Too Long Substack newsletter, PRRI founder and president Robert P. Jones examines the hate speech coming from Donald Trump’s “post-defeat, perpetual vengeance campaign.” Analyzing three recent instances of Trump’s dehumanizing, hateful statements and comparing them to the language used in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Jones concludes that Trump has embraced both the rhetoric and tactics of the Nazis, including tactics that lead to political violence. Jones, and others, warn against dismissing Trump’s dehumanizing rhetoric or downplaying the violence that is sure to follow if Trump is re-elected.
After Controversy, Texas School Board Says Transgender Student Can Sing in School Musical
Ayden Runnels for The Texas Tribune reports that in Sherman, Texas, high school student Max Hightower, who is trans, was given a supporting role in the play “Oklahoma!” The role was initially revoked, then returned in a different version of the play with less importance placed on Max’s role, and will now proceed as originally planned but on a delayed timeline. The district rescinded its initial gender policy (which would have impacted multiple cisgender and trans students who had been cast in non-gender conforming roles) after it garnered national attention. PRRI research has found that 75% of Texans support LGBTQ+ non-discrimination laws.
Mass Murder Is a Choice. The Gun Industry Made It
Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone reports on the steadfast commitment and seductive rhetoric of the modern firearms industry despite yet another mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. According to the gun industry, there are more than 24 million assault weapons in the U.S., one for every ten Americans. Speaking to political and cultural fears, one ad from Patriot Ordnance Factory-USA features a hooded man holding an AR-15 with the tagline “When corrupt politics fail, our guns won’t.” The 2023 PRRI American Values Survey finds that one-third of Republicans agree with the statement that “because things have gotten so far off-track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”
The Market for Third-Party Candidates Is Hot. But Who Could Catch On?
At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake analyzes the unusually large market for third-party candidates in 2024. With early polls showing significant interest in third-party candidates and presidential hopefuls across the ideological spectrum announcing — or publicly considering — independent and third-party runs, Blake looks at which candidate might be most compelling to voters. PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey found that substituting the “moderate” third-party candidate in a potential four-way race led to a nine-point difference between Trump or Biden winning the race, illustrating the potential consequences of who decides to run.
Read PRRI’s full report: Threats to American Democracy Ahead of an Unprecedented Presidential Election.