In another sign that Republicans’ disdain for President Obama is nonsensical, a new poll showed that a third of party members consider Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad less of an imminent threat to America than Obama.
This could be the height of the Republicans’ ongoing belligerence toward this president since the day he was elected in 2008. From then, there has been push-back at every turn, rampant disrespect and racists insults that have combined as disturbing side notes to Obama’s presidency.
The Reuters/Ipsos online poll this month asked 2,809 Americans to rate how much of a threat a list of countries, organizations and individuals posed to the United States on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being no threat and 5 being an imminent threat.
The poll showed 34 percent of Republicans ranked Obama as an imminent threat, ahead of Putin (25 percent), who has been accused of aggression in the Ukraine and the Middle East, and Assad (23 percent). Western governments have alleged that Assad used chlorine gas and barrel bombs on his own citizens.
And yet Republicans call Obama more of an imminent threat to the United States?
Barry Glessner, a sociologist and author of The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afriad of the Wrong Thing, said that considering the height of polarization of American politics, he is not surprised by the absurd results.
“There tends to be a lot of demonizing of the person who is in the office,” Glassner said. And do not look for it to stop. Glassner said fear mongering” will be a part of the 2016 presidental campaigns by the Republican and Democratic parties.
“The TV media here, and American politics, very much trade on fears,” he said.
The Ipsos survey, done between March 16 and March 24, included 1,083 Democrats and 1,059 Republicans.
Twenty-seven percent of Republicans saw the Democratic Party as an imminent threat to the United States, and 22 percent of Democrats deemed Republicans to be an imminent threat.
People who were polled were most concerned about threats related to potential terror attacks. Islamic State militants were rated an imminent threat by 58 percent of respondents, and al Qaeda by 43 percent. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was viewed as a threat by 34 percent, and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by 27 percent.
Cyber attacks were viewed as an imminent threat by 39 percent, and drug trafficking was seen as an imminent threat by a third of the respondents.
Democrats were more concerned about climate change than Republicans—no surprise there—with 33 percent of Democrats rating global warming an imminent threat. Among Republicans, 27 percent said climate change was not a threat at all—again, no surprise.
The data was weighted to reflect the U.S. population and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points for all adults (3.4 points for Democrats and 3.4 points for Republicans.)