U.S. Grappling With Worst Political Violence Since 1970s


The United States is grappling with the biggest and most sustained increase in political violence since the 1970s, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The report identified 213 cases of political violence since the Jan. 6, 2021 attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol, quoting three academics who reviewed the cases as saying they added to growing evidence that political violence is at its worst since the 1970s.

About two-thirds of the politically violent incidents documented by Reuters were assaults by lone assailants or clashes between rival groups at public events, such as demonstrations over police killings, abortion and transgender rights. The rest involved substantial property damage.

In the early 1970s, American political violence was perpetrated more often by radicals on the left and focused largely on destroying property, such as government buildings, said the report, citing Rachel Kleinfeld, who studies political conflict and extremism at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank.

In contrast, much of today’s political violence is aimed at people and most of the deadly outbursts tracked by Reuters have come from the right, it said. Of the 14 fatal political attacks since the Capitol riot in which the perpetrator or suspect had a clear partisan leaning, 13 were right-wing assailants.