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SPLC Finds Young Democratic Men Most Likely to Approve Killing Their Political Opponents

June 14, 2022

In a poll meant to prove that conservatives threaten democracy, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) revealed that young men who belong to the Democratic Party are the most likely group in America to approve of killing a political opponent.

An SPLC poll released this month found that 44% of “Younger Democratic Men” approve of “assassinating a politician who is harming the country or our democracy.”

That makes young Democratic males 10 points more likely to favor politically motivated violence — legally known as domestic terrorism — than younger Republican men, who essentially tie with younger Democratic women. (SPLC defines “younger” as anyone under the age of 50.) Just 6% of older men in either party would approve of assassination, the SPLC found.

Rather than highlight this explosive finding, the SPLC chose to “spin” its results, said FRC President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” Tuesday, attempting to present political violence as a pillar of the conservative mindset.

The last few years have featured numerous examples of Democratic men, of all ages, threatening their partisan rivals:

  • Johnny Depp asked in June 2017, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”;
  • Performer Marilyn Manson, who compiled a 25-year record of abuse allegations including claims of rape, released a music video showing himself ripping pages out of a Bible while holding a bloody knife over the decapitated corpse of Donald Trump. Depp co-starred in the video for “Say10,” which was released on the eve of the 2016 election; and
  • Future President Joe Biden repeated numerous variations of the same statement about Donald Trump: “If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

Not all Democratic women eschew fantasies of violence against the president. When talk show host Ellen DeGeneres asked then-Senator Kamala Harris if she would rather be stuck in an elevator with Trump, Mike Pence, or then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Kamala responded, “Does one of us have to come out alive?”

This is not the first study to find growing acceptance of political violence. The Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group found in 2020 that 21% of all Americans (and 22% of Democrats) said “violence would be justified” if the opposing party won the 2020 presidential election.

The SPLC once focused on the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi organizations. As the number of racist cells declined, the well-heeled organization insisted “the decline in [hate] groups should not be interpreted as a reduction in bigoted beliefs.” Soon, the group began to place those who disagree with its far-Left social and political views in the same camp. The SPLC now erroneously names Christian ministries which oppose the redefinition of marriage such as Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, World Congress of Families, and the late Dr. D. James Kennedy Ministries as “hate groups.” It even spent years blaming the rise of black nationalist hate groups on President Trump.

In the process, the SPLC may be contributing to the most explosive form of prejudice in the United States — and the West — today. A 2014 study found that political partisans discriminate against members of the other political party “to a degree that exceeds discrimination based on race.” The researchers later broadened their study only to confirm that political partisans “discriminate against their opponents to a degree that exceeds discrimination against members of religious, linguistic, ethnic, or regional out?groups.”

Indeed, a 23-year-old man who saw the Family Research Council listed as a “hate group” on SPLC’s website, entered FRC’s headquarters and opened fire, injuring the building manager, in August 2012. He later entered a guilty plea to three charges, including terrorism, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Yet insisting hatred lurks everywhere has proven exceptionally lucrative. The SPLC, which has been accused of racist employment practices, reported total assets of $616.7 million — including an endowment fund totaling $569,881,819 — on its most recent financial statement. The SPLC also disclosed stashing $161.8 million in offshore accounts.

“The hysteria they generate is great for their fundraising pieces. The solicitations that they send out to folks are borderline hysterical,” said Meg Kilgannon, a senior fellow at FRC. “It is really a dangerous thing to have an organization that is so nakedly partisan and so ideological viewed and presented as some sort of neutral arbiter.”

The group attempted to pull a fast one in its claim that the GOP broadly accepted racist conspiracy theories. “[T]he SPLC conflated ‘replacement theory,’ an anti-Semitic trope that claims Jews are out to change America’s demographics for malevolent purposes, with the belief many conservative share that Democrats’ immigration agenda involves bringing in people they believe are predisposed to voting Democrat,” explained Greg Wilson, managing editor of The Daily Wire.

In reality, the SPLC excels at “Left-wing hatchet jobs,” Perkins explained. “They are an attack group. They go out and attack conservatives. They marginalize and silence them, so that there is no debate over public policy issues. They've done this to parents’ groups. They’ve done it to Christian groups like ours. But the media continues to give them a platform to spew their Left-wing ideology.”

“No reputable news organization should air their biased claims,” he concluded.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.