The events of early 2021, when on January 6th, a crowd of protesters in support of President Trump broke into the Capitol, were marked by cruelty. For various reasons, people want to be heard, draw attention to a certain problem, and there is a question of which methods are more effective. Despite all humankind’s progress and achievements, people still tend to use harsh and violent measures to achieve political goals.
Citizens’ desire to impact politics is manifested in various ways – in democracy, the majority opinion should influence the direction. However, sometimes people feel that they are still not heard, and they adopt extreme measures – violence. Fortune, whose attention was drawn by a 2020 survey of how many people are ready to use cruelty, conducted its own investigation. They found that among Republicans, 5% often, 10% sometimes, and 24% rarely are prepared to apply such a measure, and among Democrats, the result is 4%, 8%, and 22%, respectively (Lambert, 2021). These results are slightly smaller than in the survey Fortune was interested in, which means a decrease in the level of cruelty. It may be associated with the events of January 6th.
The use of cruelty as a political means should not be encouraged and produced, especially in a democratic state. According to the Bible, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (“Galatians 5:22-26”). People want to be heard and seek peaceful ways to achieve goals that will have longer-term consequences, and following democratic principles, the State must also support them.
Thus, the issue of ends and means is often raised in politics. Although there are still people who see violence as an acceptable means to achieve political goals, their percentage is not very large. This fact means that it is crucial for people to know that peaceful measures can also justify themselves and bring results. A responsive government can help, allowing citizens to express opinions but not encouraging violence.
Galatians 5:22-26. (n.d.). Bible.
Lambert, L. (2021). Here’s where Republicans and Democrats stand on using violence to advance political goals. Fortune.