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The Link Between Age and Extremism


In the two years since a mob of rioters stormed the United States Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, nearly 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes that range from misdemeanor trespassing to assault to seditious conspiracy. The Capitol defendants, who come from all parts of the country, are an eclectic mix of characters, including fringe conspiracy theorists, social media influencers, members of organized extremist groups, local politicians, and people who had never organized politically prior to Jan. 6. But despite the diversity in their backgrounds and levels of political engagement, the Capitol riot defendants are remarkably similar on one key, but often overlooked, trait: they are overwhelmingly older Americans.

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Publication Information

Full Citation:

Jensen, Michael. 2023. “The Link Between Age and Extremism.” ASA Generations. March. https://generations.asaging.org/link-between-age-and-extremism.

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