A poll conducted jointly by The University of Texas and The Texas Tribune has found that a majority of Texans believe that the federal government is likely to order a “domestic military intervention” to arrest political protesters and violate property rights.
The poll was conducted primarily to discover whether Texans felt Governor Greg Abbott was correct in his actions to send the Texas State Guard to monitor the Jade Helm military exercises in Central Texas, which many are concerned are part of a larger drill for a future domestic military takeover.
The poll found that 39 percent agreed with the Governor’s actions, while 28 percent opposed them. A whopping 32 percent had no opinion on the matter.
It is the poll’s other findings, however, that are most revealing.
Respondents were asked if they feel that a “federal military intervention” is likely in several different situations. Strikingly, large numbers of Texans replied in the affirmative.
More than half said that they felt it was “very” or “somewhat” likely that the military would be deployed domestically to arrest political protesters.
A further 50 percent noted that they think it likely that the federal government would use US troops in order to actively violate citizens’ property rights.
In other words, most Texans are actually expecting some form of a military takeover at some point.
A large number, 44 percent, also believe that the military is likely to be used to impose martial law, while the same amount think troops would be asked to confiscate firearms from US citizens.
The poll even found that almost one third of Democrats believe the military will be used to impose martial law, while 40 percent think it is likely troops will be used against protesters.
“You put federal government into it and people’s skepticism and their concern really rises,” said Daron Shaw, professor of government at UT-Austin.
“It cuts into everybody’s suspicion,” Shaw said. “Nobody trusts the federal government. About a third of Democrats are concerned about the government going nuts. Among Republicans, it’s between 55 percent and two-thirds.”
“What we’re picking up here are feelings ranging from skepticism to outright hostility toward the federal government on the part of many Texas Republicans,” he said. “It’s hard not to think that Republicans’ extremely unfavorable views of President Obama further fuel these feelings.”