A new University of California study has confirmed the growing fracturing of American society. According to the survey, almost half of residents believe the country will face an internal armed conflict in the coming years. At the same time, one in five admitted that they are ready to use force to promote their political ideas, reports the Daily Mail.

Half of Americans expect a second civil war in the coming years. At the same time almost one in five say they may one day use arms to achieve their political aims, the Daily Mail reports, citing a new study which reveals a “deepening rift” within the US.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, surveyed 8,620 residents across the country. They found worrying levels of “alienation”, “distrust” of democratic institutions and a growing propensity for violence.

More than two-thirds of respondents said they saw “a serious threat to American democracy”. At the same time, 50.1% agreed with the statement that “a civil war will break out in the US in the next few years”.

More than 40% said that having a “strong leader” was more important than democracy. They also agreed with the “racist belief” that the United States is deliberately replacing the local white population with black immigrants.

The researchers also found an increasing willingness to settle political disputes by force. Almost 20% said they would probably use guns if the situation in the country escalated in the next few years, while 4% suggested they would “shoot someone”.

University of California public health expert Garen Wintemiute, who led the study, said his findings were “pretty grim” and “exceeded the worst expectations”. Nevertheless, according to the expert, there was “reason for hope” as most respondents “completely rejected political violence”.

The report was released in the aftermath of mass shootings, including the murder of ten African-Americans in a Buffalo grocery shop in May. The crime was allegedly committed by a white man who had written an article in support of the far-right “grand substitution” theory. Other key moments of the “culture wars” in the US have been the storming of the Capitol and the frequent clashes between police and Black Lives Matter activists.

According to a recent similar survey by Tulchin Research and the Southern Poverty Law Centre, 44% of Americans believe the US is heading for another civil war. A YouGov poll last week revealed growing calls for the division of the country.

A third of Donald Trump’s fans living in Republican states said they would be “better off” if their region broke away and became an independent country. However, 29% of the former president’s supporters said they would be “worse off” as a result of secession, the publication points out.

Civil war in the USA which began with decision of Southern states to secede remained from 1861 to 1865. More than 600,000 soldiers died as a result of this conflict, the Daily Mail reminds.

Readers’ comments on Daily Mail website:

la_reina: Government wants people to divide and fight amongst themselves instead of realising it’s about confronting the 1 per cent with the 99 per cent.

Art of the Deal: Another election rigged by Democrats will be the straw that will break the patience of Republicans.

Livermore Valley: The Democrats will start a civil war because they will suffer an embarrassing defeat in November. They are destroying America and lowering the standard of living for all but the wealthy elite.

GGent: Americans are fed up with a government that doesn’t represent them. Can you blame them for that?

GregtheHunter: Yet the regime doesn’t even think about changing course. That seems to be what they want.

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