Fears of fascism, extremism grow in US

Fears of growing fascism and extremism are increasing in the United States, according to a new poll.

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National poll released Wednesday found that 31 percent of surveyed Americans, when asked about their greatest fears for the country’s future, mention a rise of fascism and extremism.

There is also a notable partisan split in the findings, with almost half of surveyed Democrats, 47 percent, reporting that a rise of fascism and extremism was their biggest concern.

Republicans in the survey, comparatively, were far less concerned. Only 15 percent of Republicans said they were worried about growing fascism.

For surveyed GOP voters, the No. 1 concern was a lack of values at 36 percent and the U.S. becoming a “weak” country at 30 percent.

Independents also showed some concerns about growing fascism in the United States.

Thirty-two percent of surveyed independents said they were worried about a rise of extremism and fascism. A lack of values was their second most prominent worry at 24 percent, just ahead of concerns about the U.S. becoming a “weak” nation at 23 percent.

The poll found a close race for the White House, with 50 percent of registered voters in the survey backing President Biden and 48 percent backing former President Trump.

The number of Republicans who say that Trump has done something unethical, but not illegal, has gone up since February. Close to half, 46 percent, of surveyed Republicans said that Trump did something unethical, a 12 percent uptick from February’s 34 points.

The poll found that 36 percent of surveyed Americans think the most important thing to teach kids is to treat others as they would want to be treated. Close to a quarter, 24 percent, said faith in God was the most important, while 18 percent said discipline and hard work paying off are the most important things to teach.

Both Democrats, 46 percent, and independents, 40 percent, stated the “Golden Rule” was the most important value for kids to learn, according to the poll. For Republicans, faith in God was the most important at 34 percent, while discipline and hard work were second at 27 percent.

The poll was conducted April 22-25 with 1,199 adults. The margin of error was 3.6 percentage points.

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