The Mainstreaming of Extremism on the Right

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok details the rise in militia, patriot, and extremist groups last year. The factor that he misses in this video however is not the rise of these groups, but rather their wider acceptance. Mainstream center right and even right-right politicians of years past would never have spoken at a convention co-sponsored by groups like the Oathkeepers and John Birch Society as this year’s CPAC event was.

There’s also no doubt that some of the leadership of the Republican Party is definitely pandering to these paranoid fools.

These radical right nutballs and dirtbags have always been out there, and Mark even mentions some of the outcomes of the past paranoia uprisings in the video, but they’ve never been accepted by the mainstream right like they have this past year. It’s highly disturbing  that fear, paranoia, and angst have replaced leadership, direction, and principle on the right. It’s why I refuse to call myelf a conservative anymore because if Oathkeepers, the John Birch Society and what I saw at CPAC this year are what it means to be conservative, then  I don’t want any part of it.

References for those who might not understand some of the Kookspiracy theories and groups mentioned in the video

New World Order Conspiracy Theory

The Turner Diaries (a book cited and read by many militia leaders and supremacist terrorists like Tim McVeigh)

You should also note that the 9/11 truthers are right in step with this kookspiracy surge, and that there are many crossovers such as Phillip Berg and others.

Lastly, here’s an example of one of the leech pundits, (also a truther) who makes his living feeding this paranoia. Lately you’ve seen him linked by mainstream right news sites like Drudge. His predecessor in the survivalist ’80’s was Howard Ruff — indeed you have to wonder why some of the new paranoia pundits haven’t been sued for plagiarism by the old school doom-criers, since most of the new doomsters are merely retreading old trash.

Bottom line: You have a lot more to worry about from Right wing Whackos like Oath Keepers or this “Operation Exodus” guy forming a police state or militia in your area than you do from President Obama and Fema camps. If the idea of un-elected and unappointed senile old farts with fifty cals thinking they are the law doesn’t bother you then I don’t know what will.

9 thoughts on “The Mainstreaming of Extremism on the Right”

  1. So why is it that student groups out at UC Berkely are allowed to riot and burn things up all because of tuition increases without being called extremists and yet republicans are called extremists. Typical hypocrisy.

  2. What is even funnier about this is that it was the Hillary supporters (PUMA’s) who started the whole Obama birther movement. The left holds the record for hypocrisy and bigotry.

  3. Why is it when someone focuses on the dirtbags on the right, someone always tries to change the topic? You can’t refute this, and you know it.

    That debate technique is called “tu quoque” by the educated, and for the general public it can be characterized as

    “WAAAAAH! The left! THe LEft! ACORN! The left does it too! Waaaaah!

    Because the left does it doesn’t make this ok or right. I’ve done many posts on the left, now it seems like all the paranoia and hate has shifted to the right.

  4. The right have appropriated the violent tendencies that were once almost the purview of the left (SDA, Weather Underground, Black Panthers, etc., ad nauseum).

    You would think the right would have learned that radicalism and violence don’t work. Bill Ayers is a caricature that no one takes seriously (save the right he infuriates) and the likes of Bernadine Dorhn are pretty much speaking to college freshmen and themselves- and not necessarily in that order.

    All this proves is there is a lot of bad political judgment on the right and that doesn’t bode well.

    Where Potok and other critics of the right have to be careful is not to paint the Tea Party folks with one broad brush. There are a lot of people out there, well meaning, who have had enough of Washington shenanigans. Few ill say it, but in my opinion Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been the driving force behind the movement. The outrageous personal spending and expenses charged to the people hits a real chord. At this stage no one really believes they have the best interest of the nation at heart. They weren’t the first crooks but the music stopped and they can’t find a seat.

  5. R, if you listen to the video objectively you will see where he takes pains in places where he definitely states he’s not saying the “whole tea party movement”. I hate it that this is happening on my side of the political compass, but I’m not going to get defensive about it since from my own research I’ve confirmed the truth behind what he is saying. Indeed he paints the anti govt angst in the same terms as the tea partiers.

    You will notice he doesn’t even bring up the Oathkeeper who got arrested for grenade launchers and child molestation. He is very specific in pointing out the crazy in Richard Mack since he does crossover and act as a leader in the TP movement.

    He specifically says that the tea party is not an extremist movement – he does point out the areas of overlap and the individuals who are cracked. In the end he says he doesn’t know where the tea party movement will end up.

  6. I couldn’t agree more, but what Potok says in a few words of caveat is far less memorable than the but the impression people walk away with and therein lies a part of the problem. Mark Potok’s record has been sterling but it seems he jeopardizing that reputation for political expediencies.

    Like you, I share a great distaste for what the right has become, a haven for stupid and a monument to mediocrity. I certainly wouldn’t go near the Tea Party with a ten foot pole but that is because I can’t separate the wingnuts that have hijacked the pulpit from the rank and file. Still that’s just me. Plenty of the rank and file can and will do just that, not unlike the Dems who rejected the Ayers types ‘progressives’ of an earlier time.

    My fear is that even after they are gone, the wingnuts will have done their damage in the same way the progressives have left their mark on the Dems. Can you imagine JFK or Patrick Moniyhan getting elected today? Not a chance! The GOP will pay dearly for embracing these whack jobs- and really, what we will have to pay will far exceed that.

    Off topic, another two cents: Term limits. I can’t see anything else that will clean the system. What is broken has been broken at the hands of the ‘pros’.

  7. As Newt’s dalliance with term limits somewhat demonstrates that while popular it won’t work because power stays entrenched and protects itself. What I would hope for is the death of the omnibus – I would rather Congress put rules and limits on the range and number of purposes a single bill could contain.
    Single purpose legislative limits is something I suspect would be widely popular.

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