Below is a transcript of an interview with Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago on “Face the Nation,” which aired on Sunday, September 18, 2022.
Margaret Brennan: We look at democracy and politics. University of Chicago professor Robert Pape studies political violence. Good morning, Professor Pape.
Professor Robert Pape, University of Chicago: Good morning.
Margaret Brennan: Nice to meet you in person. In January, when you talked about the research you did at that time, you gave us a piercing warning because you talked about the threat of political violence around the midterm elections. 50 days left. what are you worried about now?
PAPE: Margaret, there are not only political threats to democracy, but also violent threats to democracy. It’s important to remember that January 6 wasn’t just trespassing and breaking into federal buildings. Thousands of individuals have used violence to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power. It’s the violent part of that riot movement that he’s been tracking for a year and a half at the Chicago Project on Security and Threat, our center at the University of Chicago. There are millions of people today who not only think the 2020 election has been stolen. They support violence to get Donald Trump back in the White House. In fact, just a few weekends ago, we conducted our latest national representative survey. Today there are 13 million individuals. This equates to his 13 million people supporting the use of force to get Donald Trump back as president.
Margaret Brennan: That’s about 5% of the US population.
PAPE: Five percent.
Margaret Brennan: You extrapolated from your own research. It’s clearly a hindrance. I would like to ask you about the situation we are in now, because we are facing many stressors. The economy is clearly one of them. What we are talking about today is immigration and migration. You were talking last time about something called the Great Replacement Theory, and it’s a theory among some of these rioters that the Democrats are trying to replace voters with new people, more docile voters. It’s a belief. How prevalent is that belief? Could what’s happening now in cities above and below the East Coast cause this?
PAPE: Margaret could reinforce these fears of a great successor. We’re focused. Looking at this, we can see that there are two big factors in the 13 million people. The first driving force is this fear of the Great Change, the idea that Democrats are replacing current voters with current white voters and increasing minority voters from the Third World.
Margaret Brennan: Just to be clear, non-U.S. citizens cannot vote in federal elections in the midterms.
PAPE: Yes. That’s right. It’s a conspiracy theory, but it’s not just fringe social media like Parler, Gab, 4chan, and 8chan. It airs daily on Fox News, Newsmax, One America and Talk Radio. This is driver number one. The second impetus is belief in the ideas of the Qanon cult. It sounds blushing and a little laughable at first, but they said they believed a Satanic group of pedophiles ran the U.S. government. But we did focus groups with these people. It means that there is a politician who received the money in
Margaret Brennan: Corruption.
PAPE: For rot. That’s what’s actually happening. So marrying these two together makes for a dangerous cocktail: fear of a major democratic shift, fear of corruption and immorality, and a dangerous combination that leads to violent support for democracy.
Margaret Brennan: You mentioned Qanon. And as you explained, it’s a series of conspiracy theories involving sex trafficking and the belief that President Trump is the one or the one who can end it all. used a song named after Qanon’s slogan, so I’d like to play some videos here. I make a sound Listeners should listen to music. Listen to his music in the background, not necessarily what the president is saying.
Donald Trump Sot: If I was your commander-in-chief, none of this would have happened. And for four years it hasn’t happened. Then China, then Taiwan.
Margaret Brennan: It’s a QAnon song. The former president posted on his social media a picture of himself with his Q on his lapel, along with the phrase “storm is coming.” This is also his one of their slogans. what does this mean? Is it a threat?
PAPE: First, it’s threatening just to get to the point. What that means is that the former president is willing to court not only his supporters, but those who support violence for his goals. During the fall 2020 presidential debates, Donald Trump could be asked, “What is a proud boy, or does he know what QAnon is?” is very concerned. And he could say, “Oh, I’m not sure.” Not today. Today it is very clear. And the problem we face is the over and over again tweets by the former president that not only deliberately stoke the fires of anger to gain political support, but also that violent His 13, is causing fires worth 13 million. And that is the crux of the problem we face as a threat to democracy. If it was just a political threat, we could have elections, but when it comes to using violence as a response to electoral denial rather than simply denying elections, we are now in a new game. That’s why it’s so important that we have this conversation.
Margaret Brennan: What did the FBI search of the former president’s home yield to the people you’re tracking?
PAPE: So what we did in a recent poll over the weekend was ask additional questions. Donald Trump Mishandling Classified Information? and the numbers go up a little. Not huge – it will be 13-15 million. Interestingly, however, analyzing the data yields slightly different proponents. So the real concern is that there will be a bit of ups and downs as we see new issues on the horizon. I mean, we need to recognize that this really matters, and we need to have a national conversation about what’s going on. we really want in our country.
Margaret Brennan: That’s why you’re here today – to start that conversation. Thank you for sharing the information. We will be back soon.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-pape-transcript-face-the-nation-09-18-2022/ Transcript: Robert Pape on “Face the Nation” on September 18, 2022