The Trump-incited insurgency only prevails if pro-democracy forces are divided by fear
Predicting the future isn’t possible — even when reading the tea leaves left by racist extremists. Assessing existing realities is possible, however.
In the face of violent threats from insurrectionists bent on ignoring facts and history, much of the nation is now sitting on pins and needles, or at least concerned, with an eye toward Jan. 20, 2021, and the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. With that power shift will come the long-awaited departure of the now twice-impeached Donald Trump from the White House.
What we are aware of as of today is that the sacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of this year does not appear to have been a spontaneous event. Rather, evidence now emerging indicates the assault may well have been pre-organized and well-planned, including reconnaissance, if news reports now surfacing are to be believed.
What we also know is that there are now more National Guard troops in Washington, D.C., as a phalanx of protection, than there are U.S. soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria combined. In addition, the National Guard troops deployed in Washington, D.C., as of today have authorization to use lethal weapons.
No steroid-rage mob, even one infiltrated by paramilitary white supremacists and Nazis — whose training often consists of little more than using semi-auto weapons to shoot sitting cans off fence posts—is going to pose a challenge to the force now arrayed in protection of the democracy.
That is reality, and Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, replacing the failed Trump administration at long last.
But that doesn’t mean the more delusional among the Trump-incited insurrectionists won’t try something, including carrying out their violent threats against lesser-protected state capitals.
Yet, even in that scenario, if they choose to attack a “Red State” capital (a state voting for Trump in the Electoral College], say Indiana, Pence’s home state, it will be self-defeating and go against their own message—that Trump was cheated out of the presidency in a handful of swing states that voted for Biden.
That logic narrows the most likely targets down to “Blue State” capitols, particularly if they are swing states, which should help in decisions about resource deployment. With that said, all states still have to remain on high alert and prepare for potential assaults. Nazi groups in disarray and fearing infiltration from federal agents don’t always act logically.
So, what do we know about the threats?
A source who has tapped into the chat rooms and dark web platforms utilized by hate groups to plan and communicate with each other, has discovered a number of revealing posts as part of an ongoing journalistic investigation. I am keeping the source’s identity a secret here to protect his/her life, literally. But the evidence stands on its own, regardless.
Also, the images I’m sharing here—already posted and circulating widely on platforms utilized by violent extremists—are disturbing, so bear that in mind when reading or sharing this article. Some might even argue that publishing these flyers and planning documents aids the extremists by giving them publicity.
I disagree, obviously. And here’s why.
From Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks and exposes hate groups:
Making public the activity of hate groups such as the Nazis does have the negative effect of giving them publicity, Potok said. But he added that, on balance, it is usually the best approach, if the reporting exposes their racist and intolerant ideology. That has the effect of “inoculating 99 percent of the population” against their message and methods because they are so repulsive, he explained. [See the SPLC’s hate map.]
From the source tracking hate speech:
This has been circulating online. These were posted by the Boogaloo Bois [an extremist group linked to the pre-planned murder of a federal security guard in Oakland earlier this year]:
This [the plan outlined below] is a couple days old. The website, Patriot Action for America, has been taken down. It was archived on the Wayback Machine, but now it has been removed from there as well. Talk is still rampant on various alternative social media sites of this kind of thing.
More from the source:
Online white supremacists have been disguising death threats as edgy humor for years, but even if it was “just a joke,” with a following of over 350,000 [subscribers], it could still influence some of the more unstable ones. I’m frankly surprised the admin has not taken them down yet. … One account that pretends to be Donald Trump on Telegram, again with over 350,000 users, is pushing for violence against Biden.
For some good news, the source indicates that more recently the negative public pressure and the ongoing FBI dragnet targeting the insurrectionists are having an impact. That effort is starting to demoralize members of the hate groups plotting violence in the lead-up to the inauguration:
The Oath Keepers website has been taken down, Wimkim is struggling to stay up as it claims it is battling cyberattacks while also removing certain inflammatory posts, Parler remains dead, and the main Three Percenter website is distancing itself from any armed march in the coming days. Combing through 4chan, the white supremacists there seem demoralized like they’re on the verge of a communist takeover and think agents provocateurs have infiltrated the planned armed protests. Lots of doom but still violent rhetoric.
They know the heat is being turned up on them. On Telegram at least one prominent Nazi group continues its violent rhetoric, and links heavily to Russian-generated content. I’m pretty sure Telegram is where most of the online Nazi world is migrating to. Telegram, by the way, was founded by two Russian brothers who have a history of hosting violent, racist content.
So, that’s a glimpse of what the FBI, Secret Service and other federal, state and local law enforcement and the National Guard face around the nation over the days ahead as we speed toward the inauguration. It should give you some insight into why there has been such a massive security response by the U.S. government to this threat. It also should help you to understand why impeaching Trump is not going to further enrage the extremist groups embedded in Trump’s mob, as some trying to derail that impeachment argued.
There is no appeasing Nazis, a lesson we should have learned from the history of the run-up to World War II, when continued appeasement of Hitler and the Nazis only led to more blitzkrieg invasions of nations, a trail of bloodshed and death, and ultimately a well-organized genocide machine. Anyone out there want to take that risk by appeasing the Nazis now at the gates of U.S. democracy?
I didn’t think so.
It’s really that simple. This is not a matter of analyzing what might happen in the future. The choice is already in front of us in the present. Which side are you on? The side of democracy or the side of authoritarianism — including the death of democracy and, yes, fascism?
If you are pro-democracy, I predict you will feel more and more uplifted as the days pass after the inauguration, as the Biden/Harris team take over the reins of the White House from the failed, racist, delusional Trump presidency. But make no mistake about it, the extremists that attacked the U.S. capitol and U.S. democracy on Jan. 6, incited by a ruthless, power-hungry President Trump, are not done with their assault.
Most now are likely to lay low on Jan. 20, and any among them who do attempt a siege or violent action, will undoubtedly fail to take over the nation. Rather, it’s far more likely they will die in a futile and ill-conceived attempt to live out their delusions. Unfortunately, they also may harm or kill innocents in the process, just as unchecked mass shootings by deranged individuals have accomplished over the decades in this nation.
We’ve been through this cycle in history previously — eras of demagogs and angry white mobs fueling racist violence or anti-government, Whiskey Rebellion-like assaults on America. It’s always ended the same way after the blood and dust settle. The insurrectionists are killed or go to prison for a long, long time. And we bury innocents and defenders of our democracy.
It will almost certainly turn out the same this time. The threat from these extremists will continue to exist in the background for all of us, a source of societal tension and trepidation — another paranoia we must learn to live with and fight against in a modern, open society that values diversity and democracy.
Authoritarian tendencies exist across all political stripes. In this era, however, we must be honest and see it is the extremist authoritarians on the right who are taking up arms against the people of this nation, for all the wrong reasons. They can’t get along with people, so they want to kill them, it seems — particularly those who don’t look like them and are seen as a threat to their privilege and purity.
That’s an ugly stain on this nation’s conscience. But it is not the soul of this nation. That is what I predict will be revealed, yet again, after Jan. 20, under Biden/Harris.
The real threat we now face, only days from that inauguration of a better America, is fear itself — as President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned years ago, in 1933, at his first inauguration, as the Depression raged and Hitler’s Nazis were on the rise.
From that 1933 inaugural address:
This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
Remember that, and know we win when the Nazis fear us more than we fear them. Unity is key to that. That is within our reach. We just have to choose victory over fear.