Time to Add the Republican Party to the Domestic Terrorism Watchlist

Thom plus logo The terrorism we feared after 9/11 has now come to America but it came from within — it's time to crush it

It's time for American media to tell the truth about what's happening in the GOP: As the Republican Party continues to embrace Donald Trump and his white supremacist fascist ideology, that party is making the transition into a full-blown domestic-terror-supporting organization.

No American political party should ever condone terrorists within its ranks. Prior to the 1960s, the Democratic Party allowed racist terrorists from the Klan into its ranks, even electing some to the House and Senate. Since then, the GOP has picked up the white supremacist vote. And, now, the terrorists who inevitably go along with supremacist racial doctrines have shown up as well.

Today Donald Trump will step onto a Nazi-rune-themed stage in Florida and proclaim his absolute dominance over the Republican Party.

That same Nazi rune, among others, is often carried or worn by followers of Trump because he has presided over a four-year transition of a large part of the Republican Party from an American "conservative" political party to a fascist party that supports strongman rule and rejects democracy in a constitutional republic.

A few Republicans, like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney, have openly called out Trump's lurch toward fascism. Even Mitch McConnell, for a few days, spoke out about Donald Trump's role in attempting to overthrow American democracy, although, as is common in countries making a rapid transition to fascism, he has now backed down and is again bending his knee to the strongman leader.

But even the few remaining elected Republican officials who are willing to call out Trump's Big Lie that he won the election and his embrace of strongman government have been reluctant to point to the white supremacy that has been at the core of his life and ideology and now has become the foundational tenant of the modern Republican Party.

Republicans in over 30 states have introduced legislation just in the past 10 weeks specifically designed to make it harder for Black and brown people to vote. Republican Senator Ron Johnson even suggested during a congressional hearing that Black people, via the BLM and anti-fascist movements, were partially responsible for the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

The last time a rightwing white supremacist group seized political control of about half of America, we fought a Civil War to stop them and over 600,000 Americans died.

Fascist political parties typically celebrate death when it's visited upon the scapegoats they used to gain and hold power.

As I pointed out a month ago, the Trump administration had been vigorously working toward actual, positive public health outcomes in February and March of last year, including a plan to send five masks to every family in America via the US Postal Service.

That all came to a screeching halt on April 7th, 2020 when the headline across the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on every single television network was that the majority of people who were dying from COVID-19 were Black and brown people living in Blue states. The Trump administration and rightwing media turned on a dime, and now over half a million Americans — disproportionately minorities and low-income Americans — are dead.

Trump did his best throughout his presidency to scapegoat Black and brown people, from claiming that a movement to stop police violence against Black people was some sort of anarchist group vent on burning down America, to selectively throwing brown children in cages and blocking immigration to the United States from majority-Black countries.

He amplified anti-Asian bigotry by using racist language like "Kung flu" to describe Covid and its origins. Like in Germany in the 1930s, elected members of his party including, most recently, Marjorie Taylor Green are also going after LGBTQ minorities.

Fascist political parties primarily build their political base on grievance.

In the 1920s, Hitler said that socialists and Jews had hijacked negotiations to end World War I and "stabbed Germany in the back," by prematurely ending the war when Germany was on the verge of victory. Over the next decade, he amplified that Big Lie from a fringe conspiracy theory to a central tenant of German politics, using it to justify imprisoning and murdering trade union leaders, socialists and Jews.

Trump rose to power promising to "build a wall" to keep brown people from the south out of America and promising white people in America that he would impose "law and order" on Black people who were simply demanding an end to institutional racism and the police violence that flows from it.

His shout-outs to Christianity were, in reality, shout-outs to white protestants. He even encouraged their televangelist and big-box grifter leaders, multimillionaires all, to ignore US tax law and openly support him and his fascistic politics from the pulpit.

He made the transparent assertion that he would keep the white suburbs "safe" from "those people" who he said "Cory Booker," the Black senator from New Jersey, was going to "move into them."

The private school movement in America really started after the 1954 Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial segregation in public schools. Ever since then, it has been primarily a white phenomenon, and Trump put this on steroids with his appointment of white billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

In the classic fashion of strongman fascists, Trump constantly called out to police and rank-and-file military, encouraging the growing fascist and white supremacist elements in their midst. He repeatedly encouraged violence during his rallies and even in a speech to chiefs of police.

And now the acting Chief of the Capitol police tells us the same Republican sub-groups who planned and staged the January 6th coup attempt want another try, this time during a State of the Union address, to "blow up the Capitol" and "kill as many Members [of Congress] as possible."

Even when Trump and his GOP allies talked about economics, it was in the context of protecting white people's jobs from Asians and from brown people south of the border.

With every one of these instances, Trump and his political allies were amplifying the white supremacist streak that has infected the Republican Party since Richard Nixon declared himself a "law and order president," and said that he represented the white "silent majority."

The GOP had several opportunities to turn away from the politics of scapegoating and racial hatred, specifically during the George W. Bush presidency and the Mitt Romney candidacy.

Instead, Bush lied us into war against a Muslim country filled with brown people, and Mitt Romney famously trashed low-income people, implying the white supremacist meme of "lazy Black and brown people," as the "47%" who don't pay income taxes.

Harassment and hate crimes targeting Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims and Asian Americans have exploded since Trump declared his candidacy in 2015 and his style of rhetoric what main stream in the GOP.

Every night on Fox News, you will hear grievance and outrage; it's the coin of the realm on rightwing hate radio and across Trump-supporting websites and "news" organizations as well.

A bizarre and racist conspiracy theory, echoing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other blood libels that Hitler used in the 1930s, has seized what may be a full majority of the Republican base.

By embracing Donald Trump and continuing to support his Big Lie that he actually won the 2016 election, Republicans like Steve Scalise (who, when running for Congress from Louisiana, said that he was "David Duke without the baggage"), continue to expand and amplify this white supremacist neofascist movement within their party.

In Florida this weekend, we're seeing an absolute celebration of this, complete with an ironically Made-in-Mexico golden statue of Dear Leader.

In all this, today's Republican Party continues to encourage racial and partisan violence and the rise of a police state in America.

Those who continue to support the January 6th Trump coup attempt by echoing the Big Lie that animated it are openly working to destroy the United States of America and the ideals of liberty and pluralism on which it was founded.

They sneer at our national motto, e pluribus unum, which means "out of many, we become one."

They try to rewrite the history of the Statue of Liberty, and are actually passing laws in some states to block the teaching of the true history of slavery and racial oppression in this country.

The terrorism Americans so feared after 9/11 has now come to America. But it came from within, and we must have the courage to explicitly identify it, call it out, and begin honest and serious efforts to crush it.

-Thom

Originally posted on Medium.com

Comments

deepspace's picture
deepspace 33 weeks 2 days ago
#1

In the 18th century, Americans fought English, monarchial fascism at a terrible price. In the 19th century, Americans fought their own racism and fascism at a terrible price. In the 20th century, Americans fought German racism and fascism at a terrible price. In the 21st century, Americans are still fighting their own racism and fascism. The dead down through the centuries who paid that terrible price are speaking to us. Are Republicans listening? When will they ever learn?

Legend 33 weeks 2 days ago
#2

The Republican Party hardly deserves the description of being Conservative anymore. Radical is more fitting. Certainly the Conservative ones are vastly outnumbered by the radical ones.

Legend 33 weeks 2 days ago
#3

Florida is number 1 in the new varients of Covid-19. The super spreader CPAC event will spread all through out the country. Round 2. Republicans need not complain about economic affects that they cause.

rostasi 33 weeks 2 days ago
#4

*variants*

*effects*

deepspace's picture
deepspace 33 weeks 1 day ago
#5

Although fact-checkers may quibble with Biden's math comparing COVID deaths to various wars, let's remember the point of it all in individual human terms.

To paraphrase: One death is a tragedy; a half-million is a statistic. Is that why psychopaths like Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert McNamara, and so many others like them have learned to wield power without a discernable conscience to give them pause, as if they were on the side of righteousness?

If one lives long enough, many deaths will be experienced -- family, friends, casual acquaintances, and strangers. Each memory represents an unfathomable black hole for someone left behind. Thank God we now have a president who truly understands personal loss at a visceral level and can validate a nation's appalling suffering.

But will there ever be a permanent memorial to remember the souls who have fallen in Trump's failed war on COVID? It took about 60 years to build a monument for World War II veterans on the National Mall in Washington D.C., 42 years for the Korean War, and 20 years for Vietnam. The future memorials for the veterans of the Middle East wars and World War I are still in the pre-construction and funding phase.

While World War II and Korea were probably unavoidable given the complex geopolitical entanglements and all-out aggression by fanatical enemies, World War I (it's debatable), the Vietnam war, and the Bush wars in the Middle East, in hindsight, were largely preventable disasters -- a failure of leadership on nearly every level, much like Trump's insane debacle. The lives snuffed out by the COVID war should be honored with a memorial on the National Mall in a manner similar to our other war memorials.

So, to pick out one memorial no less or more significant and heart-wrenching than any others, let us harken back to the generation of Vietnam veteran warfighters now entering their twilight years, and pick one tragic death etched in stone from the 58,320 statistics on The Wall, who perished because of America's imperialistic notions of hegemony and world dominance driven by corrupt politicians and their enablers. Here is only one hero of only one war who was sacrificed on the altar of greed and power and lies:

It took five tries to shoot this rare photo of Jim. He would strike the required pose: the serious soldier, the Army's lean, mean, green, killing machine. Then, right before the photographer hit the button, poor Jim would break into his signature, ear-to-ear grin, replete with eyes sparkling in unbidden defiance and infectious delight.

It was hopeless; he just couldn't help himself. At first, the rest of us certainly weren't helping by making monkey faces behind the camera. After our DI lost his cool and threatened GAWDALMIGHTY against every sorry excuse for a human being in the room - especially MAGGOTPUKE Combs - the crowd grew uncomfortably quiet. No one dared blink, let alone snicker.

It was all to no avail - DI hollering, Jim serious, shutter opening, Jim smiling. Following each failed attempt, the level of verbal abuse reached new, unimaginable heights of disciplinary desperation, as the statue-like Jim barked out the proper, submissive responses: "No, Drill Sergeant; Yes Drill Sergeant; I WILL wipe that stupid smile off my stupid face, Drill Sergeant!" Not quite satisfied, the DI would glare at him, at us, at the cameraman, and slowly, very deliberately step back. Right on cue, Jim's ever-present, rubbery smile would betray him once again. Now it was getting serious ... for everybody but Jim.

The only way the Army finally obtained their false portrait of our spontaneous comedian was when the now-wiser cameraman was able to capture Jim's stony-faced facade while the DI was still spewing out invectives from three feet away. Unfair! They caught him off guard!

Jim was one of those irrepressible free spirits who lived in the absolute present -- didn't talk much about his past, didn't think much about his future. From what little he had imparted, I gathered that he grew up in Canada in an orphanage, could not cite any family except some distant aunt he never knew, drifted down to California, and ended up in the Army. So what's to know? Here we are; let's live! And we did, to the fullest.

I met him in this life for only four short months, but it seemed like an eternity. We trained together at Fort Lewis in '69 during Basic and AIT. Maggots with no claim to real soldier status, Jim and I were nonetheless proud to be considered among the best grunts in the company at the time. We could outrun almost anyone, scored high on all the courses, and became proficient in the weapons and tactics of combat infantry, Eleven Bravo Ten.

Of course, none of that nonsense was what made us the best in the eyes of those who really mattered: our own platoon. And we were respected by these guys mostly because of Jim's completely irreverent attitude against all authority. I was honored to be his close ally and fellow rebel. We sneaked out at night every chance we got, broke every rule we could, and defied the bastards at every turn. The most important thing we did, however, was to help each other and the rest of our buddies get through a terrible ordeal when no one else seemed to care about us. We wouldn't have made it with our sanity intact without Jim's contagious laughter.

One of the toughest moments in my life was shaking his hand as he stood in line with our unit to get immunity shots and fly out of Oakland Army Base. Five hours earlier, they held my orders after my dad complained about having two of his sons being deployed to Viet Nam at the same time. I was sent to Germany, and Jim was sent to his death. As the door closed between us, forever, my friend looked back and flashed a last smile.

He didn't really die, though. He lives in my head and gets me through hard times. I just hope the jungle that he disappeared into and the bullet that took him out didn't wipe the smile off his face completely. How could Nam not have turned him into another hard-bitten, cynical soldier? After four months of combat, it probably did. But whatever evil tried to kill his spirit, I am confident that it did not ultimately succeed.

It's funny; after all these years, I can still see his smile and still hear his laughter. It's what keeps me going. So take a moment and look into those eyes. You'll see the Jim Combs I know: always on the verge of smiling, and always failing in his best effort to take seriously anything or anyone ... except his buddies.

- a friend

cuz's picture
cuz 33 weeks 1 day ago
#6

Thom, does this qualify as domestic terrorism?

Legend 33 weeks 1 day ago
#7

The Portland riots were wrong as is any violent demonstration. Comparing them to the DC Capital insurrection is even worse. They were not organized by a political party. The fire of the riots was not fed by a politician much less the President of the United States. They were not meant to overthrow the Government. They were very small in comparison. Where in DC the the Republican Administration did little to nothing to quell the riot in Portland they sent in an Army of unmarked thugs to stop the riots. A lot of the rioting in Portland was caused by right wing groups. Portland was not near the size.

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