WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney has failed, and continues to fail, to represent the average conservative Utah Republican voter.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney misrepresented himself as a Republican.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney has prioritized his personal and political vendetta against President Donald J. Trump ahead of the Constitution of the United States, the interest of We, the People, and the advancement of the Republican Platform.
WHEREAS; President Donald J. Trump received 58.13% in Utah’s 2020 General Election.
WHEREAS Senator Willard Mitt Romney embarrassed the State of Utah when he was the only U.S. Republican Senator in 2019 to join the Democrats partisan vote to convict President Donald J. Trump.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney voted against Senator Rand Paul’s motion regarding the unconstitutionality of impeaching a private citizen.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney voted to continue the Un-Constitutional Impeachment Trial of President Donald J.Trump to allow witnesses after House Managers had previously failed to call any witness prior to their rushed impeachment vote in the House, thus Denying President Donald J. Trump Due Process Rights under the Constitution.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney voted guilty in the 2021 Impeachment Trial of former President Donald J. Trump.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney saw fit to intentionally violate the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment Rights of President Donald J. Trump.
WHEREAS, Senator Willard Mitt Romney used and uses his senatorial power and influence to undermine Republican President Donald J. Trump.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney has condoned false and misleading statements that have led the 117th Congress of the United States to further conduct an illegal and unconstitutional 2nd Impeachment proceeding against President Donald J.Trump.
WHEREAS; Senator Willard Mitt Romney fails to ensure election integrity and continues to condemn those who do.
WHEREAS; the Utah Republican Party leadership has failed to issue a censure.
THEREFORE; BE IT RESOLVED THAT;
We, the undersigned voters, censure Senator Willard Mitt Romney.
Cindy L Shepherd
Susan Kay Anderson
Beth A. Hartung-Soria
Amy J Workman
Stephen N Millet
Arturo Morales LLan
William S Both (Bill)
Brent Keith Garner
Richard D Owens
ElRsy L Anderson
W. G. Fairclough, Jr.
C. Kirk Rogers
Todd J Thurgood
Mary L. Taylor
Richard B. Smith
Kim D. Johansen
Susan L. Shaw
Morgan Marie Brown
Jared J. Vanallen
Karena D Parkinson
Joyce Joan Fenton
Stephen L. Dean
Aspen M Westenskow
Lee Ann. Brockbank
Ann Rose Berglind
Marcelle B Cox
Barbara L Naylor
Donald H Harden
Daniel L Naylor
Paula J. Milby
George D Crawford
Stacey Anne Stacey
Helen S Naylor
Jorge Luis Lopez
James d olsen
Becky Romney Zackrison
Mark J Salcedo
Daniel Scott Naylor
Stadelmayer Edward J
Mary W. Burkett
Mary Ann Rudenborg
Anthony C Daniels
Elizabeth St Germain
Thomas Andrew Menard
Brian L Smart
Roald E. Peterson Jr
Brad J. Beus
Robert L Hugoe
Laura L Guthrie
Katherine Elaine Adamson
Leigh Ann Beckham
Richard R. Palmer
Debra L Gillett
Bonita L Saunders
Al Patron Cassidy
Mrs. Jessica Meyer
Linda Susan Weeks
Michael D Rose
Diane L Grieco
Phyllis A Monson
Craig A. Burbank
Robert B Shepherd
William F. Beach
Susan C. Hatch
Ryan Guy Palmer
Debra E. Provence
Jill K Ruggieri
Mark E. Peterson
Robert W Hair
Matthew W Bell
linda g beyer
Katherine L Cole
Emily Santa Cruz
Patricia Whitten Bell
Julie Long Gortler
Scott D Farnsworth
Philip L Bugher, SSG U.S. ARMY Retired
Doyle R. Griffith
Jamie L. Girardi
Moy M Chambers
yes i want mitt to go
Kelly R. Strebel
Lauri B Madsen
Jeremiah S. Barlow
Steven S. Boyer
Barbara Puakea Balatico
Marianne K Boren
Gena M Jepsen
Holly J Perry
Max J Nield
Randy L. Thompson
Paul M. Tom
Wanda K Anderson
Randall D McCleve
Anthony J Anderson
Brian R. Wilkin
Charles D Aiken
Jusy l blackner
Dennis t blackner
Trudy Teichert Lamb
Jerry R Anderson
Nicholas H Manning
Walt n jarvis
Rich Bowman Jr.
Mark H Robinson
Leland H Boardman
Michael Grover Coltharp II
Kathy A. Thompson
M Shane Leishman
Daniel M Gates
Jack L. Stickney
Berta Guerrero Hillison
Darwin N. Davis D.D.S.
Gary J Wilson
Mike Grover Coltharp
John Donald Turnp
Tanya LaBauve Hudkins
Dawn L Krisher
Tiffani D. Kurts
Mildred E Hatfield
Randall D Jones
Robert Bryce Larabee
Kay Whiting Harrison
Braxston T. Hughes
James R McAdams
Zachary j Beach
Carmella B Mifflin
leslie a crick
Diane Hardy Empey
Pamela A McIntosh
Jacob R Creason
Richard R McIntosh
Judith A Adams
Brent V Peterson
Nancy J. Inman
Janna Stout Morrell
Diana A Williams
jack l cleghorn
De Ann Moore
Debra lee rodriguez
Pierre duvall rodriguez
Joseph Scott Edwards
Katherine P Olson
Kelly J DeMello
Brandon Todd Sandstrom
Ronald Craig Bruin
Dani Ray Wharton
Toni Nicole Antonelli
April Elizabeth Hewitt
Kennith C Hall
Stephen Randall Oveson
Stephen C. Kelsey
Judy J Sceili
Sandra McKee- Smuin
William Tim Hansen
Del William Smith
Dustin Del Toro
vernon brent allphin
John L Smith
David T Walker
Dolores D Wiker
Todd D Glover
Theodore W. Schultz
Rebecca L. Campbell
Marilyn J Momeny
Steven D Wilcock
Patrick G. Whitt
Angela Alison Brown
Shanece Leausa Fuimaono
Leah C Henderson
Larry & Karin Stone
Robert r shan jr
Andrea Shirts Nelson
Marilyn P Danielson
Arthur R Barnard
Dorothy Anne Jepsen
Leo C Branz
Nancy Jane Olpin
Rickie T Taylor
Ruth Ann Milner
Rodney G. Hobbs
Laura J Ross
Susan Palmer Baker
Mrs. Sarah Anderson
Lorna Y Bitton
Janice Payne Hymas
Steven M Visser
Joseph A. Elder
Charles Russell Robinson
F Stewart Clawson
Kathleen C. Burns
John L Milliner
Troy w Bradley
Jodi Lynn Kaili
John w. Reynolds
D. Terry Noorda
Mary G Smith
Arthur O Davis II
Lora lee wise
Lyman Grant Johnson
Darrell J Priest
Dr. Chris Taylor
Charles F Beickel
Forrest B Allred
Alice Skidmore Allred
David J Rhees
David J Rhees
B. L. Goddard
Tylor John Young
Richard A Jensen
Nathan R. Davis
Darryl L. Williams
Robert John Primbs, Jr.
Joel V. Storland
John Elroy Christianson
C. B. Paddock
Paul S. Ensign
Bobbi Jo Trimming
Brent K Allred
Gregg W. Stucki
KIM C RADFORD
Russell G Hatch
Betty Ann Heck
John L. Honeycutt
David M Rogers
Pablo Sanchez Jr
Marc Galen Woolley
Patricia A Hughes
Anna M Starley
Vickie W. Patterson
Rodney D Patterson
Robert W Tate
Beau R Lund
Dale Gary Frodsham
Allen J. Bohne
Debra L Gillett
Karen L Long
Timothy Scott Smith
Robert J Rasmussen
Katherine B McAndrews
Shirley Ann Manning
Vincent R. Newmeyer
Karen B Turner
Edwin Odell Miner
Dorothy C. Miner
Matthew p hogan
Cheryl L Wall
Jodie Barton Hunsaker
Stacy S Hale
Veronica J Elliott
Harold Lan Ealey
David O. Morris
Angela and Val Meyer
Janice K Foster
Roger V. Taylor
Ryan K Bronson
John T. Gilden
Clint H Bean
G Tracy Lewis
James M. Popham
James P McGarvey
Dawn Van Nosdol
Hafin M Painter
Sarah Ann Naisbitt
Melissa A Taylor
Holly Sutton Goetz
Don Lee Sheffer
Robert A. Jorgensen
Marta T Hudson
tony Di Preta
Joyce Onorata Bonhag
Michael Eldon Leigh
Keven T Leigh
Justin San Souci
Heather T Hulse
Rodman A Flint
Richard A Smith
Janet L Seamons
Donald J. Levi
Clark r Ward
Jodie Barton Hunsaker
Carla M. Crews
Darren Paul Wood
R Craig Johnson
Cymony M. Tarin
Rebecca B. Barton
Dirk Allen Willden
James L Harper
Kathleen A Harris
He is dishonest and disgraceful
Jennifer B. Faddis
Sid and Linda Thatcher
Jon L. Hunt
Melissa Jane Cesaria Erickson
Jacquie L. Hunt
Loma Lee McKinnon
Mekeli P. Miller
Roxanne W. Averett
Susan K Russell
Patrick l larson
laura e larson
Sylvia O. Kralik
Lila Lee Christensen
Ricky L Lelli
John G. Kellogg
Eric Rocky Romero
Judy F Thompson
James D Rowell
Donna P. Chambers
Robert J. Chambers
Tonna Peterson Bowcutt
Renée Herrington, RN
James R Chambers
Deborah K Phillips
Anita s weaver
Nathan W Allred
Kurt Duane Beckstrom
David G Law
Janine W Law
Raymond Kirk Johnson
Kamile K Stoker
Casey Paul Mills
Kimberly F Hansen
Becky L Parry
Sherry W Rhodes
R. Bick Lesser Sr.
Michael James London
Jeanne L Judges
Joe Ann Watts
Harold H L Hodges
Lana S. Gardner
Shem Jessop Jr.
Dallas W Fullmer
Rick A Meryhew
James E Robertson
Ann Jacobsen Given
Quinn Ryan Hammond
Alma M Staker
David J Sindt
Geanie Michelle Struthers
Joel R Sanders
Brian K Gorum – Uintah County GOP Chairman
Judy E. Jolley
Charles Joseph Freshman
Richard N. Summers
Nathan G Joplin
Nathan G Joplin
Lorie L Dejoria Waldenberg
Franklin H. Frederick
Daniel E Beatty
Rose Marie Sforza
Dennis Thompson Jr
Calvin H Pearson
Lyman Ray Winger
Weston S. Millward
M Susan Gunn
Kristin L Johnson
Jerry R Johnson
STEVEN B JENSEN
Gregory Scot Rodman
Annette M. Winger
R Corder Farnsworth
Anthony C. Francis
GLEN R. PARSHALL
Carl John Anderson
Alan B Crane
SHERIFF Cameron M. Noel
Charles M. Drake
L Rand Jolley
[SEE: Cass Sunstein]
Conspiracies for good and for evil do exist now, as they have from time immemorial, Matthew Ehret writes. The only question is which intention do you want to devote your life towards?
If you are starting to feel like forces controlling the governments of the west are out to get you, then it is likely that you are either a paranoid nut job, or a stubborn realist.
Either way, it means that you have some major problems on your hands.
If you don’t happen to find yourself among the tinfoil hat-wearing strata of conspiracy theorists waiting in a bunker for aliens to either strike down or save society from the shape shifting lizard people, but are rather contemplating how, in the 1960s, a shadow government took control of society over the dead bodies of many assassinated patriots, then certain conclusions tend to arise.
Three Elementary Realizations for Thinking People
The first conclusion you would likely arrive at is that the United States government was just put through the first coup in over 58 years (yes, what happened in 1963 was a coup). Although it is becoming a bit prohibitive to speak such words aloud in polite society, Nancy Pelosi’s official biographer Molly Ball, recently penned a scandalous Time Magazine article entitled ‘The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign that Saved the 2020 Elections’ which admitted to this conspiracy saying:
“Even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream- a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.” (Lest you think that this was a subversion of democracy, Ball informs us that “they were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.”)
Another conclusion you might come to is that many of the political figures whom you believed were serving those who elected them into office, actually serve the interests of a clique of technocrats and billionaires lusting over the deconstruction of western civilization under something called “a Great Reset”. Where this was brushed off as an unfounded conspiracy theory not long ago, even Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister (and neo-Nazi supporting Rhodes Scholar) Chrystia Freeland decided to become a Trustee of the World Economic Forum just weeks ago. In this role, Freeland joins fellow Oxford technocrat Mark Carney in their mutual endeavor to be a part of the new movement to decarbonize civilization and make feudalism cool again.
Lastly, you might notice that your having arrived at these conclusions is itself increasingly becoming a form of thought-crime punishable in a variety of distasteful ways elaborated by a series of unprecedented new emergency regulations that propose extending the definition of “terrorism”. Those implicated under the new definition will be those broad swaths of citizens of western nations who don’t agree with the operating beliefs of the ruling oligarchy.
Already a 60 day review of the U.S. military is underway to purge the armed forces of all such “thought criminals” while McCarthyite legislation has been drafted to cleanse all government jobs of “conspiracy theorists”.
Another startling announcement from the National Terrorism Advisory Bulletin that domestic terrorists include: “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority [and] perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”
While not yet fully codified into law (though it will be if not nipped in the bud soon), you can be sure that things are certainly moving fast as, before our very eyes, the right to free speech is being torn to shreds by means of censorship across social media and the internet, cancelling all opinions deemed unacceptable to the ruling class.
The Conspiracy to Subvert Conspiracy Theorizing
This should not come as a surprise, as Biden’s new addition to the Department of Homeland Security is a bizarre figure named Cass Sunstein who famously described exactly what this was going to look like in his infamous 2008 report ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (co-authored with Harvard Law School’s Adrien Vermeule). In this under-appreciated study, the duo foresaw the greatest threat to the ruling elite took the form of “conspiracy theorizing” within the American population using as examples of this delusion: the idea that the government had anything to do with the murders of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr, or the planning and execution of 9-11.
Just to be clear, conspiracy literally means ‘two or more people acting together in accord with an agreed upon idea and intention’.
The fact that Vermeule has made a legal career arguing that laws should be interpreted not by the “intentions” of lawgivers, but rather according to cost-benefit analysis gives us a useful insight into the deranged mind of a technocrat and the delusional reasoning that denies the very thing which has shaped literally ALL of human history.
In their “scholarly” essay, the authors wrote “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be.” After establishing his case for the threat of conspiracies, Sunstein says that “the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups”.
Not one to simply draw criticisms, the pro-active Sunstein laid out five possible strategies which the social engineers managing the population could deploy to defuse this growing threat saying:
“(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counter speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help”.
(I’ll let you think about which of these prescriptions were put into action over the ensuing 12 years.)
Cass Sunstein was particularly sensitive to this danger largely because: 1) he was a part of a very ugly conspiracy himself and 2) he is a world-renowned behaviorist.
The Problem of Reality for Behaviorists
As an economic behaviorist and lawyer arguing that all “human rights” should be extended to animals (blurring the line separating human dynamics from the law of the jungle as any fascist must), Sunstein has spent decades trying to model human behavior with computer simulations in an effort to “scientifically manage” such behavior.
As outlined in his book Nudge (co-authored with Nobel Prize winning behaviorist Richard Thaler), Sunstein “discovered” that people tend to organize their behavioral patterns around certain fundamental drives, such as the pursuit of pleasure, avoidance of pain, and certain Darwinian drives for sex, popularity, desire for conformity, desire for novelty, and greed.
One of the key principles of economic behaviorism which is seen repeated in such popular manuals as Freakonomics, Nudge, Predictably Irrational, The Wisdom of Crowds, and Animal Spirits, is that humans are both biologically determined due to their Darwinian impulses, but, unlike other animals, have the fatal flaw of being fundamentally irrational at their core. Since humans are fundamentally irrational, says the behaviorist, it is requisite that an enlightened elite impose “order” upon society while maintaining the illusion of freedom of choice from below. This is the underlying assumption of Karl Popper’s Open Society doctrine, which was fed to Popper’s protégé George Soros and which animates Soros’ General Theory of Reflexivity and his Oxford-based Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).
This was at the heart of Obama’s science Czar John Holdren’s call for world government in his 1977 Ecoscience (co-written with his mentor Paul Ehrlich) where the young misanthrope envisioned a future utopic world governed by a scientifically managed master-class saying:
“Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime- sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable”.
The caveat: If Darwinian impulses mixed with irrational “animal spirits” were truly all that animated those systems which behaviorists wish to map and manipulate (aka: “nudge” with rewards, punishments), then a scientific priesthood would indeed be a viable and perhaps necessary way to organize the world.
Fortunately, reality is a bit more elegant and dignified than behaviorists wish to admit.
Why Computer Modellers Hate Metaphysics
On a closer inspection of history, we find countless instances where people shape their individual and group behavior around sets of ideas that transcend controllable material impulses. When this happens, those individuals or groups tend to resist adapting to environments created for them. This incredible phenomenon is witnessed empirically in the form of the American Revolution, Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings, Civil Rights movements, and even some bold manifestations of anti-lockdown protests now underway around the world.
Among the most troublesome of those variables which upset computer models are: “Conscience”, “Truth”, “Intentions”, “Soul”, “Honor”, “God”, “Justice”, “Patriotism”, “Dignity”, and “Freedom”.
Whenever individuals shape their identities around these very real, though immaterial (aka: “metaphysical”) principles, they cannot be “nudged” towards pre-determined decisions that defy reason and morality. Adherence to these principles also tends to afford thinking people an important additional edge of creative insight necessary to cut through false explanatory narratives that attempt to hide lies behind the appearance of truth (aka: sophistry).
As witnessed on multiple occasions throughout history, such individuals who value the health of their souls over the intimidating (and extremely malleable) force of popular opinion, will often decide to sacrifice personal comfort and even their lives in order to defend those values which their minds and consciences deem important.
These rare, but invaluable outliers will often resist policies that threaten to undo their freedoms or undermine the basis of their society’s capacity to produce food, and energy for their children and grandchildren. What is worse, is that their example is often extremely contagious causing other members of the sheep class to believe that they too are human and endowed with unalienable rights which should be defended.
The Intentions Ordering World History
Perhaps, most “destructive” of all is that these outlier people tend to look for abstract things like “causes” in historical dynamics shaping the context of their present age, as well as their current geopolitical environment.
Whenever this type of thinking is done, carefully crafted narratives fed to the masses by an enlightened elite will often fail in their powers to persuade, since seekers after truth soon come to realize that IDEAS and intentions (aka: conspiracies) shape our past, present and future. When the dominating intentions shaping society’s trajectory is in conformity with Natural Law, humanity tends to improve, freedoms increase, culture matures and evil loses its hold. Inversely, when the intentions animating history are out of conformity with Natural Law, the opposite happens as societies lose their moral and material fitness to survive and slip ever more quickly into dark ages.
While sitting in a jail in Birmingham Alabama in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. described this reality eloquently when he said:
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust… One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”
From Plato’s organization of his Academy and efforts to shape a Philosopher King to beat the forces of the Persian Empire, to Cicero’s efforts to save the Roman Republic, to Augustine’s battles to save the soul of Christianity all the way to our present age, conspiracies for the good and counter-conspiracies for evil have shaped history. If one were to begin an investigation into history without an understanding that ideas and intentions caused the trajectory of history, as is the standard practice among history professors dominant in todays world, then one would become incapable of understanding anything essential about one’s own reality.
It is irrelevant that behaviorists and other fascists wish their victims to believe that history just happens simply because random short-sighted impulses kinetically drive events on a timeline- the truth of my claim exists for any serious truth seeker to discover it for themselves.
Back to our Present Sad State of Affairs
Now we all know that Sunstein spent the following years working as Obama’s Regulatory Czar alongside an army of fellow behaviorists who took control of all levers of policy making as outlined by Time Magazine’s April 13, 2009 article ‘How Obama is Using the Science of Change’. As the fabric of western civilization, and traditional values of family, gender, and even macro economic concepts like “development” were degraded during this period, the military industrial complex had a field day as Sunstein’s wife Samantha Power worked closely with Susan Rice in the promotion of “humanitarian bombings” of small nations under Soros’ Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
After the Great Reset Agenda was announced in June 2020, Sunstein was recruited to head the propaganda wing of the World Health Organization known as the WHO Technical Advisory Group where his skills in mass behavior modification was put to use in order to counteract the dangerous spread of conspiracy theories that persuaded large chunks of the world population that COVID-19 was part of a larger conspiracy to undermine national sovereignty and impose world government.
The head of WHO described Sunstein’s mandate in the following terms:
“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are using a range of tools to influence behavior: Information campaigns are one tool, but so are laws, regulations, guidelines and even fines…That’s why behavioral science is so important.”
Today, hundreds of Obama-era behaviorists have streamed back into influential positions of government under the new “scientifically managed”, evidence-based governance coming back to life under Biden promising to undo the dark days of President Trump.
Ideologues who have been on record calling for world government, the elimination of the sick and elderly (see Obamacare architect Ezekiel Emmanuel’s Why I Hope to Die At 75), and population control are streaming back into positions of influence. If you think that anything they have done to return to power is unlawful, or antithetical to the principles of the Constitution, then these technocrats want you to know that you are a delusional conspiracy theorist and as such, represent a potential threat to yourself and the society of which you are but a part.
If you question World Health Organization narratives on COVID-19, or doubt the use of vaccines produced by organizations like Astra Zeneca due to their ties to eugenics organizations then you are a delusional conspiracy theorist.
If you doubt that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide or that implementing the Paris Climate accords may cause more damage to humanity than climate change ever could, then you must be a conspiracy theorist.
If you believe that the U.S. government just went through a regime change coordinated by something called “the deep state”, then you run the risk of being labelled a delusional threat to “the general welfare” deserving of the sort of treatment dolled out to any typical terrorist.
It appears that the many comforts we have taken for granted over the past 50-year drunken stupor called “globalization” are quickly coming to an end, and thankfully not one but two opposing intentions for what the new operating system will be are actively vying for control. This clash was witnessed in stark terms during the January 2021 Davos Summit, where Xi Jinping and Putin’s call for a new system of win-win cooperation, multipolarity and long-term development offset the unipolar zero-sum ideologues of the west seeking to undo the foundations of industrial civilization.
Either way you look at it, conspiracies for good and for evil do exist now, as they have from time immemorial. The only question is which intention do you want to devote your life towards?
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mask mandates and business closures to fight coronavirus, Black Lives Matters rallies, and President Trump’s false election fraud claims stoked the fury of extremist antigovernment groups last year, according to Southern Poverty Law Center President and CEO Margaret Huang. Those issues prompted them to protest by the hundreds at state capitols, including Ohio’s, and by the thousands at last month’s U.S. Capitol riot that resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer.
Huang’s organization, which started out 50 years ago as an Alabama law office fighting the Ku Klux Klan, is now a nonprofit that monitors hate groups and extremists around the nation. It released a report this week that found Ohio has the second highest number of active antigovernment groups of any state: 31. Only California’s 51 antigovernment groups exceeded the number found in Ohio, which has less than a third of California’s population.
Huang says some of the nation’s best-known extremists hail from Ohio, such as Columbus-native Andrew Anglin, who founded the white supremacist Daily Stormer website, and James Alex Fields of Maumee, who was sentenced to life in prison for ramming his car into a a crowd of counter-protesters at a 2017 “Unite the Right Rally” in Virginia that was promoted by Anglin’s website. Fields’ attack killed one woman and injured dozens of other people.
In an interview with cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer, Huang said young people in Ohio and elsewhere in the country who feel frustrated, isolated and lacking in community support sometimes find that community in online antigovernment or hate groups where people like Anglin lead them to believe the government or groups of people they dislike, such as racial minorities, have caused their problems.
“It seems like an answer to why they’re feeling so isolated, so frustrated,” says Huang, adding that the groups’ recruitment techniques mirror those of foreign terrorist organizations. “Many of them find a community there. They find people who want them to join their activities and who invite them to be part of something larger. I think in many parts of the country, not just Ohio, because you can see that these groups are found in every state, but in many parts of the country where there are a lot of young people who are frustrated, who may be economically disadvantaged, who may not have great employment or educational opportunities, they are turning to these extremist groups as a way to find community with others.”
The Ohio groups the Southern Poverty Law Center labels as antigovernment extremists include the OHIO III% United Patriots, Heartland Defenders, American Patriots Three Percent, Irregulars of Ohio Reserve Militia, John Birch Society, Oath Keepers, The Last Militia, Ohio Defense Force Home Guard and Ohio Militiamen.
Northeast Ohio-based organizations that the SPLC classifies as antigovernment include the Frontiersmen militia group of Ravenna, which the SPLC says spreads disinformation about COVID-19, Democrats and Antifa, among other topics, and Cleveland’s Silver Shield Xchange, which the SPLC says spreads conspiracy theories and disinformation about COVID-19, former President Barack Obama, China, former President Donald Trump, the 2020 election, and the supposed imminent collapse of the dollar. They also sell survivalist merchandise, including guns, gold and silver, the SPLC says.
Two of the Ohioans charged with rioting at the U.S. Capitol – Champaign County’s Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins – are members of a militia associated with the Oath Keepers, a loosely organized right-wing group that believes the government is stripping away Americans’ rights and focuses its recruitment efforts on former military members, federal charging documents indicate.
Huang said her organization identifies antigovernment groups by monitoring their online recruiting and event organization platforms, and through flyers the groups distribute in their communities to recruit new members, express hate, or call for people to take up arms against the government. She said her organization get the flyers from police reports or people who forward them to her organization’s six offices around the country.
“These are groups that openly advocate violence, that openly advocate white supremacy, etc.,” says Huang.
Over the years organizations including the socially conservative Family Research Council have disputed the Southern Poverty Law Center’s decision to classify them as hate groups, calling it “a hard left activist organization” whose political agenda pervades construction of its lists. In 2018, SPLC paid a $3.4 million settlement and issued an apology to a British political activist named Maajid Nawaz, who sued it for labeling him an “anti-Muslim extremist.”
Huang says Family Research Council made its hate group list for demonizing LGBTQ people and advocating policies that would deny their rights. She said several groups that have made SPLC’s lists have sued over their inclusion but her organization typically wins those challenges “because we use a clear definition and criteria for determining who falls into each category.”
“The reason we have a trusted reputation is that we do monitor these groups and we have been accurate in calling out their activities and calling out their hateful ideology,” Huang says. “If it bothers them, they should reconsider what they are saying and doing.”
According to Huang, many of the antigovernment groups existed for decades, but their numbers escalated when hard right groups took exception to a Democrat-run government after Obama’s election. Under Trump, she says many antigovernment groups focused more of their attention on state legislatures to express their frustration with coronavirus-related mask mandates and school and business closures.
“They have used this as a rallying cry to encourage people to oppose the government’s orders as illegitimate,” says Huang.
In addition to holding armed protests in numerous state capitals including Columbus and playing a key role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, members of antigovernment groups were charged in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of restrictions imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus. Documents filed in the case against the alleged kidnap conspirators say they met twice in Ohio to discuss their scheme.
Huang says investments in education, job training opportunities and jobs in all communities would help stop the spread of antigovernment groups.
“When people talk about why international terrorists become radicalized, it’s frequently because they don’t have jobs, they can’t go to school and so they turn to terrorism as something that makes them feel a part of the community,” Huang said. “So we need to do the same kinds of things that we’ve advocated for countering terrorism internationally. You have to provide economic opportunities, you have to provide educational opportunities and when people have those alternatives, they’re much less likely to embrace extremism.”
[It will prove to be both violent and impossible to disarm one-third of all American adults, especially the patriotic ones who absolutely believe in the quotations given below.]
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”–Declaration of Independence.
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s office fired back at House Republicans on Monday who demanded answers regarding security decisions leading up to and on the day of the Capitol riot last month, saying they are “clearly” trying to “deflect responsibility for the Capitol attack from Donald Trump.”
House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis, R-Ill., House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sent a letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday, saying that “many important questions” about her “responsibility for the security” of the Capitol on Jan. 6 “remain unanswered.”
But Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, told Fox News that the speaker “has and will continue to take action to ensure accountability and enhance the security of the Capitol.”
“Two of the four House Republican ranking members voted to overturn the results of a fair election, just hours after the Capitol was sacked by an insurrectionist, right-wing mob – a mob incited by Trump,” Hammill said. “A full 65% of House Republicans joined them in voting to undermine our democracy. All four ranking members also voted against holding Donald Trump accountable for inciting the mob.”
Hammill added: “Clearly, the security of our Capitol and democracy are not the priorities of these ranking members.”
The Republicans, in their letter to Pelosi Monday morning, questioned: “When then-Chief Sund made a request for National Guard support on Jan. 4, why was that request denied? Did Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving get permission or instruction from your staff on Jan. 4 prior to denying Chief Sund’s request for the National Guard?”
Davis, Jordan, Comer and Nunes pointed to claims made by former Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund, that he, on Jan. 4, approached the sergeant-at-arms to request the assistance of the National Guard. Sund, in a letter to Pelosi last month, said Irving replied that he was concerned about “the optics” and didn’t feel the “intelligence supported it.”
“As you are aware, the speaker of the House is not only the leader of the majority party, but also has enormous institutional responsibilities,” they wrote. “The speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House.”
The House sergeant-at-arms and the Senate sergeant-at-arms, Michael Stenger, were removed from their positions and Chief Sund resigned after the riot.
“It is the job of the Capitol Police Board, on which these three individuals sat, to properly plan and prepare for security threats facing the U.S. Capitol,” Hammill said. “It has been reported that the House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving has said that he did not present to House leadership any request for the National Guard before Jan. 6.”
Hammill noted that the committees of jurisdiction were briefed “in advance of Jan. 6 about security preparedness.”
“During a briefing of the Appropriations Committee Majority on Jan. 5 by the House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and U.S. Capitol Police Chief Sund both Chief Sund and Mr. Irving provided assurances that the Capitol Complex had comprehensive security and there was no intelligence that groups would become violent at the Capitol during the certification of electoral votes,” Hammill explained. “It is our understanding that ranking member Davis was also briefed, but took no action to address any security concerns that he might have had.”
Davis’ office, in response, told Fox News that “no one is alleging that Ranking Member Davis denied a request for the national guard ahead of January 6th because he would not have the authority to do so even if he had been made aware of the request, which he was not.”
“Following the insurrection, the speaker immediately tasked Gen. Honoré with leading an immediate security review of the U.S. Capitol Complex and has called for a 9/11-style Commission to investigate, with legislation creating such a panel to be introduced in the coming days,” Hammill said. “The USCP is also conducting an internal security review.”
Pelosi, last month, appointed retired Gen. Russel Honoré to lead a security review of the events at the Capitol amid calls from members on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers of Congress, to conduct a review.
Republicans took issue with Pelosi’s appointment, saying it was done “without consultation of the minority.”
But again, Hammill fired back, calling Republicans’ demands a “transparently partisan attempt to lay blame on the speaker, who was a target of assassination during the insurrection fueled by the lies of House Republicans,” and said that “the ranking members are trying to absolve former Police Chief Sund, former Sergeant-at-Arms Stenger and the leader who appointed him, Mitch McConnell, of any responsibility.”
“We look forward to these ranking members asking these same questions of former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,” Hammill said.
Hammill also added that Pelosi “knows all too well the importance of security at the Capitol and is focused on getting to the bottom of all issues facing the Capitol Complex and the events that led up to the insurrection.”
He added: “Clearly, these Republican ranking members do not share this priority.”
Capitol Police have been under heightened scrutiny amid the siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6 during a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College results in favor of President Joe Biden.
But Pelosi last week said she would introduce a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest honor Congress can bestow – to the U.S. Capitol Police officers and other law enforcement personnel who protected the Capitol during the riot.
“They are martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives,” Pelosi said during her weekly press conference.
Five people died when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42. Two other officers died by suicide in the week after the siege.
“The service of the Capitol Police force that day brings honor to our democracy. Their accepting this reward brings luster to this medal,” the California Democrat said. “We must always remember their sacrifice and stay vigilant against what I said before, about what Abraham Lincoln said: the silent artillery of time. We will never forget.”
Former President Donald Trump was impeached by the House, for the second time, on Jan. 13 for inciting insurrection on Jan. 6.The former president was acquitted by the Senate over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Republicans also claimed that House officers were not providing necessary documents surrounding the Capitol riot.
“We might have some more clarity on the timeline of events if Speaker Pelosi would direct her House officers to comply with Ranking Member Davis’s preservation and production requests for information surrounding January 6,” a spokesperson for Davis told Fox News. “USCP has agreed, but the SAA and CAO, who are appointed by the Speaker, have denied our requests.”
The spokesperson added: “But either way, Speaker Pelosi needs to answer these questions truthfully: was anyone on her team aware of Mr. Sund’s request for the national guard before January 6, was the request denied because of optics, and why did it take the SAA over an hour to approve the request for the national guard in the middle of the riots?”
Instagram has permanently banned the account of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an infamous and prolific peddler of dangerous anti-vaccine and COVID-19 misinformation.
The move will likely be cheered by public health advocates who have struggled to combat such harmful bunkum online during the devastating pandemic. However, Kennedy’s account on Facebook—which owns Instagram—remained active Thursday and lists over 300,000 followers.
In an email to Ars, a Facebook spokesperson said Kennedy’s Instagram account was removed “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.” The account had over 800,000 followers prior to its removal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Facebook spokesperson declined to respond to Ars’ question about whether Kennedy’s Facebook account would also be removed or otherwise penalized. The social-media behemoth told The New York Times, however, that it has no plans to remove Kennedy from Facebook “at this time.”
In the email to Ars, the spokesperson noted Facebook’s updated policies that involve “expanding our efforts to remove false claims on Facebook and Instagram about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccines in general during the pandemic.” Facebook says it has already removed “more than 12 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram” deemed harmful misinformation. The spokesperson also listed eight other accounts that Facebook had recently removed, including those with URLs /virusesarenotcontagious, /vaxxed2, and /nofacemasks.
Kennedy’s contentious relationship with Facebook began well before the pandemic, however. He and his anti-vaccine organizations—Children’s Health Defense and the World Mercury Project—were leading forces behind the misinformation campaigns fueling the resurgence of measles worldwide in recent years.
For instance, at the end of 2019, the government of Samoa was forced to shut down to deal with an explosive measles outbreak. The deadly surge of disease came after Kennedy’s organization spent months fear-mongering over vaccine safety and spreading falsehoods about an incident that led to the tragic deaths of two Samoan infants. An investigation determined that the babies were given lethal doses of muscle relaxant by negligent nurses who intended to immunize them. The nurses were each convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Of course, none of that information was shared by Kennedy’s organizations.
Just a month before the outbreak exploded in Samoa, a study appearing in the journal Vaccine found that Kennedy’s World Mercury Project was the single largest source of anti-vaccine advertisements on Facebook.
Though Facebook has tried—many times—to crack down on anti-vaccine misinformation, Kennedy has fought restrictions and continued to spread falsehoods. In August of 2020, Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit alleging that Facebook’s effort to fact-check vaccine misinformation was “censorship” that infringed on the organization’s First and Fifth Amendment rights.
On an HBO “Real Time” broadcast, Bill Maher stated, “Liberals can either write off half the country as irredeemable, or they can ask, what is it about a D next to a candidate’s name that makes it so toxic?” He continued, “Democrats, too often, don’t come across as having common sense to a huge swath of Americans.”
Maher is correct, but a more fundamental question is this: Why did the ruling class of America learn so little from 2016?
Ann Coulter, in a lecture at the University of Texas at Austin, said what Americans want is “Trumpism without Trump.” That Trump got almost half of all votes after five years of unrelenting negative press, constant innuendos, and negative selective reporting indicates that Coulter, who despises Trump, is also correct.
Those on the left who believe they are smarter than everyone are being blinded by their own hubris. That a man with the buffoonish demeanor of Donald Trump could gather such influence doesn’t tell us that people are stupid. It tells us they are desperate, and no one is listening to them.
In fact, a post-election poll found 73% of voters said that corruption in government was a problem, 62% of that group said it was a “major” problem.
Lincoln said at Gettysburg that the Civil War was being fought so that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” What many Americans see now is an elite class, supported by the media and much of the left, that wants to abolish a nation with borders, eliminate the “under God” clause from the Pledge of Allegiance,” and create a government of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite, and any interest other than theirs be damned.
A poll of the people who voted in this election showed something that this column has been saying for decades. Liberals are a minority.
Voters who self-defined themselves as liberals constituted only 29% of the total; by contrast, conservatives, self-defined, were 37%.
This remains true even after the media, the education system, and the entertainment industry would have us believe that conservatives are some strange, small cult-like group, irredeemably racist, which resides out in the backward areas of fly-over country.
That cartoon caricature is simply not true.
America is not Europe. The left needs to get outside of their cultural bubble, or the next election will not be kind to them.
The majority of Americans did not vote for Joe Biden or his party, they voted for the anti-Trump. The majority of these voters consider the far left to be not only dangerous, but marginally insane. As Maher suggested, even associating with the far-left brands Democrats as having little common sense.
The overwhelming majority of Americans believe our current leaders are corrupt and unresponsive, and flirting with dictatorial powers.
Perhaps pessimism has always been with us, but at least in the past those corrupt leaders didn’t want to control every aspect of our lives.
[Yet she wages war against the opposing party, calling-out many Republicans as “enemies within”, because they refuse to accept the national narrative as defined by the Democrat leadership and the mainline liberal media. Pelosi refuses to acknowledge the prominent role played by the “Qanon” subversives and the known provocateurs like Mr. Jones. Having never listened to a Trump speech, or read any Q material, I have never understood the cult of Trump or Q, so I am at a loss to explain how normally sane Americans could fall for such nonsense. But the belief in election fraud is not a conspiracy theory, it is a never-ending problem…who can forget the Bush/Gore voting controversy. Gore probably would have won if there had been a national recount, by conceding early he may have handed the White House to W. The concerted national effort to whitewash 2020 fraud claims without apparent investigation, coupled with the move to brand election doubters as “traitors”, was certain to enrage 74 million conservative voters who already considered the national mainstream news to be slanted and non-factual.]
Trump has a point about the media–
The media’s partisan hostility to Trump led to the abandonment of objectivity and truth.
Q adherents come from an increasingly eclectic set of backgrounds: you’ll find NEETS, police officers, military veterans, service workers, computer programmers, successful business owners, unsuccessful business owners, stay-at-home moms, and regular working stiffs. QAnon-ers also hail from a number of identity groups, uniting straight cis white men with women and racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, and religious minorities. You’ll even find immigrants, visibly represented by the bright South Vietnamese flags seen flying at the rally. The movement boasts Zoomers, boomers, and everyone in between.
Even aesthetically, QAnon offers the dedicated paranoiac manifold subcultures and aesthetics from which to choose. Soldier of Fortune may have published its last issue in 2016, but Q provides a space for the militia-chic crowd to talk guns, ammo, and tactical gear with fellow enthusiasts. If you’re more of a yoga mom influencer, “Pastel Q” offers a decidedly feminine, New Age approach to the Ministry of MAGA, complete with crystals. There are at least a few military officers; Babbitt, ironically, was part of the Air National Guard’s “Capital Guardians,” which is charged with protecting Washington, DC.
Aside from what appears to be a conspicuous absence of middle-class professionals, Q has space for everyone. As Chapo Trap House’s Felix Biederman has remarked, “this is why Q is successful. You can have a guy in there who’s thing is, ‘I’m a black guy against affirmative action,’ or you can have a guy in there who’s fully antisemitic, or you can just have some drunk woman.” It’s a true Rainbow Coalition.
The movement’s idiosyncratic demographics reflect its idiosyncratic ideology. Babbitt, for example, boasted on Twitter about voting for and supporting Barack Obama throughout his presidency, saying he did “great things,” before declaring that in 2016 she just couldn’t vote for Hillary and thus had to support Trump. As Babbitt’s comments suggest, not only have a fair number of QAnon-ers radicalized relatively recently, but many don’t hail from the traditional Trump or conservative base. Some, like Babbitt, were formerly liberals. Some were even Bernie Sanders supporters.
Another exceptional feature that distinguishes the contemporary iteration of QAnon from the traditional right-wing base is a palpable antipathy toward the Republican Party. Their objections and grievances toward the GOP run the gamut. Some Qanon-ers believe all institutional politicians — including almost all Republicans — are in a pedophile cabal. Some Q rail against the party’s capitulations to “cultural Marxism,” which means something different to every single one of them. Some dust off that old antisemitic chestnut about the (((rootless cosmopolitans))) who run the government, media, and banks. Many Q even vehemently oppose Republican collaborations with Big Tech and/or the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, one pervasive and popular Q conspiracy is that Trump will forgive the medical debt of all Americans.
At a QAnon rally in April of 2018, for instance, Sommer interviewed one protester dying of cancer, who believed a cure had been discovered long ago, but that the “cabal” (meaning the satanic, pedophile politicians and moneymen) were hiding it from the people. He told Sommer not to worry about him, though; Trump would release it soon enough. Another woman at the same rally, upset that her young son wasn’t receiving the special education support he needed in school, insisted that Trump would deliver the similarly repressed cure for his Down Syndrome.
And here we see how Q became one of the most successful phenomena of the Trump era, despite the fact that its adherents don’t share economic interests, culture, or even a political program. Rather, many people joined Q because of their alienation and disconnection from a system they view as illegitimate. To provide their ever-more precarious lives with meaning and an explanation for American decline, Q adherents congealed under a series of bizarre Internet conspiracy theories that unite a right-wing, anti-elitist, but nevertheless authoritarian sensibility that is organized around narratives that link pedophilic cabals, racism, antisemitism, fears of “cultural Marxism,” Satanism, and, of course, absolute faith in the singular, salvific, and millenarian figure of President Donald J. Trump.
The sources of the illegitimacy that drive QAnon are vast and well known to readers of Jacobin: the financial collapse of 2008–9, the pointless imperialist wars, the ever-more grotesque inequality between the wealthy and everyone else, bad trade deals and globalization, and a feeling of impotence in a political system that was supposed to be a democracy. All of these anxieties, of course, have been recently compounded and exacerbated by a pandemic, lockdown, and an economic recession that predictably witnessed an explosion in QAnon proselytes.
Therefore, to combat the appeal of QAnon, you have to understand that you’re not dealing with a political movement, but with a cult. As members of an ecstatic and Evangelical movement — many of them, in fact, are literal Evangelicals — QAnon-ers embrace conspiracy theories because unlike the Republican or Democrat narratives, the stories they tell provide meaning in dislocated lives. In essence, QAnon tells people who believe in America that a cabal has stolen their country from them, and that faith in a charismatic leader is the only way to redeem it (and, ultimately, redeem themselves).
In this way, QAnon’ers share a view of America with many liberals. In Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, Abbie Hoffman, played by Sacha Baron Cohen declares patriotically, “I think the institutions of our democracy are wonderful things, that right now are populated by some terrible people.” Or to make a comparison that QAnon-ers might find less appealing: like Hillary Clinton, they believe America is already great.
What Is Q Capable Of?
Many in the media, including writers in Jacobin, have identified the Capitol riots as a “coup.” This is wrong, and an accurate diagnosis is neither academic nor pedantic. Were this merely a coup from a very small number of committed reactionaries, then a hyper-militarist response might be a workable solution to QAnon. But throwing the rioters, whose sentiments embody the feelings of manifold Americans, in jail will not solve the fundamental problems of dislocation, alienation, and resentment that impelled them. Just ask Hitler, whose stint in prison failed to stave off the Nazis’ rise.
If we want to actually address the problem posed by QAnon, we have to understand what it actually is and what its members actually want. Otherwise, we risk empowering the security state while ignoring and exacerbating the conditions that enabled the Q conspiracy to take hold.
First, a “coup” refers to the overthrow of a government. Not only did QAnon-ers not come close to achieving this goal, this wasn’t even their goal. Instead, many, if not most adherents, insisted that they were the defenders of the democratic system, which they believe elected Trump legitimately. To paint QAnon as antidemocratic is beside the point, as it misunderstands their motivations and sense of mission.
Second, and more important, describing the events of January 6 as a coup winds up portraying a fundamentally religious movement as a fundamentally political one. As became clear once QAnon-ers entered the Capitol, they had no genuine strategy and no genuine program, instead relying on a millenarian faith that Trump would deliver them from the rule of elite pedophiles, heal the sick, comfort the poor, and establish a New Jerusalem.
Put simply, QAnon is not a properly political movement. Instead, the cultist collection of ideas in the Q eschatology are frenetic, adaptive, and have little connection to political strategy or even reality. Q-Kremlinology is therefore not only unnecessary — Q-Anon zealots pretty much post their every move in full view of the public — but practically pointless.
What the riot does reveal, however, is what QAnon-ers are, and are not, capable of.
Very clearly, they can’t overturn an election. Despite an alarming number of veterans and police officers, they have nowhere near the numbers to prevent security services from murdering them (at the very least, the elites who control American violence are not on board with Q).
Q also can’t — and does not aspire — to woo either the Republican Party or the deep state, neither of which want any competition, especially from a delusional mob that believes all non-Trump elites are satanic pedophiles. On the Republican side, Senator Ben Sasse has called QAnon-ers “nuts”; Representative Liz Cheney has referred to the conspiracy as “dangerous lunacy”; and Karl Rove has lambasted Q as a “group of nuts and kooks.”
And while the initial success of a few Q-associated political campaigns should be monitored, it’s unlikely that Q has the ability to act as a “ginger group” that pushes the Republican Party into a similarly paranoid and potentially dangerous fantasia from the inside, as the Tea Party supposedly did. The fact of the matter is that most dedicated Q members have no interest in working with either party, which they correctly identify as decayed, sclerotic, and hopelessly corrupt.
New congressional representative Lauren Boebert’s commitment to Q has been largely overstated, with the connection hinging mostly on a QAnon radio appearance and a lukewarm Q-curiosity expressed in remarks like, “Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real.” In fact, Boebert reeled back her tacit support for the group, having already been disciplined by a visit from Republican Party officials, the details of which are presently unknown. New representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is a more serious QAnon-er, though she has been with the group for years, having endorsed the conspiracies when the movement was still largely comprised of small business owners like herself. Put another way, Greene belongs to the traditional conservative base and has genuine class interests that she will work to achieve. Whatever bizarre things she might utter, or even believe, her loyalty to capital is not really in doubt.
Additionally, QAnon is incapable of “uniting the Right,” as so many have tried before. After Charlottesville, the tenuous coalitions that united the far right collapsed, resulting in numerous splits and splinter groups. In many ways, Q became the lint trap of these fractures, collecting the orphans of more genuinely political movements, along with culture warriors and the hopelessly online. At this point even Pizzagate godfather Alex Jones has disabused himself of QAnon, and Ariel Pink isn’t exactly a militiaman.
So, like any broad tent that benefits from ecumenism, QAnon thankfully also suffers from sectarianism.
While all follow the Prophet (in this case, Trump), there are profound disagreements about who is preaching his True Word. Some Q are obsessed with Russiagate, others obsess over Pizzagate, and still others form into subcults centered on charismatic leaders like Austin Steinbart. The only glue that holds this collection of malcontents together is a faith in and adoration for Trump: not ideology, not politics, and not even a shared understanding of reality.
Considering the large number of security service services that have likely infiltrated their ranks, one might assume it would be easy enough to sow suspicions among them and fracture the group. They are, after all, a group predicated on paranoia. However, it would appear that QAnon is less susceptible to COINTELPRO than one might hope. But, at least for the moment, they’re more Burning Man than burn-it-all down.
Furthermore, Q has neither the direction, means, nor ability to coordinate the networks required to overtake the American state, nor do they seem especially interested in governing. What they really want is the True King to remain in power. Were there a coup, the deep state wouldn’t trust such a bag of mixed nuts with any real responsibility.
And perhaps most important for those who hope to deprogram and rehabilitate a Q-pilled loved one, there are limits to their faith. At the level of the group, it appears few QAnon-ers are willing to make martyrs of themselves in dramatic moments of violent self-sacrifice.
What Q is capable of is nonetheless significant. As the Capitol assault reveals, they’re willing to attack, and even kill, police officers. They’re also clearly able to organize mass events with a myriad of disaffected people who are willing to put themselves at risk of arrest and imprisonment.
Given historical precedent, this is nonetheless concerning. The Silver Shirts were a mystical, New Age nationalist cult with which no “respectable” fascist group initially wanted to associate. However, over time, more coordinated far-right groups began to identify the Silver Shirts as potential useful idiots, a viable secret militia that they could encourage to use violence while keeping their own hands clean.
It’s possible that the trained among the Q could be used as a militia on behalf of the conservative right or as tools in a Business Plot–style power grab by capital.
But, judging by the combat-readiness of the Q ranks of January 6, this overestimates their present capabilities.
However, even if most QAnon-ers are not inclined toward radical violence, mass events like the one we witnessed on January 6 provide both camouflage and an excuse for exceptionally violent people to act on their twisted fantasies. Whether a protest or a parade, large, boisterous events provide convenient chaos for a dangerous person to hide in plain sight, though this is true regardless of the agenda of the larger crowd.
Liberals and conservatives alike are well aware of the potential violence and threat to the legitimacy of the general order posed by crowds and mass politics. In fact, since the middle of the twentieth century, it’s been liberals who often take the lead on anti-populist politics. Much of modern liberalism is premised on finding reasons to ensure ordinary people don’t really shape most important government decisions.
As such, instead of transforming the conditions that engendered the angry crowds, which is what the left position must be, liberals lambast the idea of the crowd itself, which was well evidenced in the media coverage of the events of January 6.
This brings us to the most significant, and unintended, potential consequence of QAnon’s agitation: the response from a bourgeois security state that for decades has been shoring up its capabilities and winning the hearts and minds of Americans terrified of communists/Islamists/China as well as political and social collapse.
Barbarians at the Gates
Even as the events of January 6 were unfolding, the liberal media’s coverage was subsumed by their horror. Instead of simply reporting on the riots, pundits like Anderson Cooper derided the protesters as “unpatriotic” “terrorists,” “insurrectionists,” and “anarchists” — terms, of course, often used to malign leftists. Cooper also played the “barbarians at the gates” number, highlighting the uncouth, unsophisticated, and tacky American consumption patterns of the QAnon-ers, the Vanderbilt heir sneering at their penchant for Olive Garden and habitation of low-rent hotels.
To Cooper, the real problem with QAnon-ers isn’t their reactionary politics, delusional worldview, or blind adherence to a charismatic leader, but their antiauthoritarianism, lack of respect for and obedience toward the American state and its ruling class, and general vulgarity.
Politicians haven’t been much help either. There is, of course, the (second) impeachment campaign, which does not prevent another Trump from emerging and which has the potential to legitimize a corrupt and dysfunctional political system. For a United States experiencing mass death and economic collapse, the spectacle of impeachment, while potentially symbolically powerful, will do little to address the actual concerns of a growing mass of desperate and suffering people.
Then there are the gestures of “liberal capital,” which appear designed to do little more than antagonize increasingly hostile Trump supporters. Twitter has finally responded to Kamala Harris’s call to suspend Trump’s account, but of course @Jack didn’t stop there, suspending and banning accounts of people tweeting even mildly in support of Trump or the demonstrations. Twitter even banned Ben Garrison, a libertarian political cartoonist that draws Trump as a bestriding Adonis with rippling muscles, a sharp jawline, and a never-ending desire to own the libs. More seriously, Twitter and other platforms have also begun to ban anti-Trump users for making fairly obvious parody accounts to mock Trump. It’s not fearmongering to worry that critical voices on the Left might soon be subject to similar measures.
Another dangerous potential effect of the protests is the re-legitimization and strengthening of the national security state. The inklings of what is likely to come are already evident in president-elect Joe Biden’s assertion that the rioters were “domestic terrorists,” a phrase that indicates the new Democratic administration will bring the strategies of the “war on terror” home by cracking down even more on civil liberties, increasing the militarization of domestic security forces, and surveilling masses of people without a warrant. Before the riots gave them cover for their plans, the incoming administration already promised as much.
In the wake of the riots, Congress members like Elissa Slotkin have begun the arguments that “the single greatest national security threat right now is our internal division. It’s the threat of domestic terrorism. It’s that polarization that threatens our democracy.” As the Intercept has noted, such calls are likely to encourage those who advocate the passage of a domestic terror statute that would provide the government with the capacities to go after domestic terrorist groups in a manner similar to how it attacks foreign terrorist groups. The problem with this, as the Intercept makes clear, is that such a law could establish “broad and vague powers that could be used to go after activists or religious minorities.” In fact, after the storming of the Capitol, Republican lawmakers in Florida, Mississippi, and Indiana introduced bills that essentially criminalize protest. Again it is worth remembering that despite their declared aims, the House Un-American Activities Committee was always more invested in prosecuting Communists than Nazis.
And herein lies the danger of misdiagnosing QAnon as the source of, rather than a symptom of, the chaos borne of economic immiseration and rapid American decline. Not only will the move to repress QAnon further justify the repression of left-wing dissent in both legal authority and public opinion; it will do nothing to deprogram the dedicated cultists or curb the reactionary resentments and conspiracies worming their ways through brains across America. In fact, it’s likely to make it worse. That’s how cults work.
The Nature of the Threat
What is to be done about the cult of Q?
There are already online communities comprised of recovering QAnon believers, which tend to operate as both sympathetic support groups and as spaces for sophisticated discussions about Q and its appeal. On these message boards, people tell their life stories, try to understand why they joined QAnon (and how they got out), and offer advice to people who have lost someone they love to Q.
Posters tend to be insightful about the factors that left them vulnerable to such a stark break with reality. In particular, they highlight the significance of economic instability and poverty, general feelings of powerlessness, a broad disillusionment with politics, mental illness and depression, and boredom and loneliness. The pandemic lockdowns are often pointed to as a major factor in the group’s explosion, with many former QAnon-ers stating they had never even heard of the group until COVID-19, when they had little to do with their days except sit at home, alone, on the Internet.
Much of the energy that these former QAnon-ers once dedicated to divining the meaning of cryptic Trump utterances and anonymous Q posts is now directed toward a different kind of search for answers, not only to questions of politics and the economy, but to questions of the psychological and sociological conditions under which we all live. The success of Q, in fact, underlines what the late Michael Brooks emphasized in his work: that people need not only arguments, but spiritual and social connection, to make meaning of their lives.
Most former QAnon-ers recognize the group as a cult, and as such often read and discuss books about the psychology and sociology of indoctrination, refer to James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente’s Stages of Change, post videos of talks given by former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper, and host AMAs with people like Steven Hassan, author of Combating Cult Mind Control. Notably, none of the materials discussed seem to have been adopted with the same fevered conviction as the QAnon-ers’ former beliefs; the goal is not to replace one absolute truth with another, but rather to foster a healthy intellectual curiosity, provide compassion and insight that might help others leave or prevent their indoctrination in the first place, and make peace with the uncertainty of life under capitalism.
It’s of course not clear if the sort of ex-Q who posts about their journey was the same stripe of Q who would storm the Capitol, or even how many posters are authentic. For obvious reasons, contributors to these online groups are anonymous, and there is careful moderation to ensure the integrity of what is inevitably a vulnerable therapeutic and intellectual space. Still, a few ex-Q have graciously agreed to speak with or be profiled by journalists.
In late 2020, for instance, Jitarth Jadeja spoke candidly with Rolling Stone and the Washington Post about his indoctrination into Q and the devastating realization that he had believed a series of deranged and cruel lies:
“If I didn’t have family that loved me I probably would have committed suicide,” Jadeja remarked. “It was really a terrible feeling to know that you are this stupid and this wrong.”
And therein lies the rub: loss of faith is often very painful.
Q makes people feel good. We don’t mean merely that it makes them “feel good” by delivering the dopamine jolts that come from the embrace of a community, the thrill of discovery, the satisfaction of enlightenment, and the comfort of a worldview that brings hope, though QAnon does provide all of that. What we mean is that it makes them feel “Good,” as in righteous, heroic, noble, and benevolent. So why would a QAnon-er stop believing, especially given that a return to a pre-Q worldview likely invites back all the pre-Q fear, confusion, and feelings of powerlessness that engendered an individual’s turn to QAnon in the first place, only this time there’s the added pain of shame and the shattering of one’s self-image as a wise and virtuous person.
Friends and family members of the indoctrinated are often in the difficult position of trying to take away a belief system from someone who has finally found an intellectual framework that appears to make sense of the world and allows them to feel in control of what is likely to be an increasingly — and objectively — disenfranchised life.
There are different perspectives on how to break the spell of QAnon, but there are a few relatively consistent tips that sociologists, psychologists, and former cult members themselves recommend adopting at the interpersonal level.
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that cult membership will not be solved by facts and logic. QAnon-ers, like members of all cults, have embraced a different ontology, a different view of reality, and attempting to “demystify” this new worldview is likely to be construed as naivete, hostility, or perhaps even collaboration with the evil cabal. Relatedly, berating, punishing, or shunning a cult member will probably do little but shore up their belief in the conspiracy theory and possibly direct their paranoia on you.
Instead, the best way to deal with someone who has embraced a conspiracy theory is to show your concern for them. An honest “I’m worried about you” or “This seems to take up a lot of your time and energy” reminds them that you are on their side. With time and luck, this can encourage QAnon-ers to open up about their beliefs. Questioning their claims and asking them to consider alternative explanations requires patience and actively listening to their concerns, getting to the root of the discontent that animates the byzantine collection of conspiracies to which they have subscribed. These are people trying to make sense of a frightening and precarious world, and if they believe the exit from Q requires them to again feel confused, powerless, and terrified, they are unlikely to leave the comfort of their delusions.
Presenting oneself as the sole authority of truth is generally counterproductive. One, you’re not, and two, an air of superiority ensures that a friend or relative will not confide in such a person should they begin to have doubts. The idea is to be patient and leave the door open for when cracks of skepticism emerge. No one likes feeling ashamed, and no one seeks a confidante who is likely to tell them, “I told you so.”
Finally, deriding QAnon-ers’ feelings of insecurity and outrage or writing them off as irrational or “privileged” does nothing. To reverse a quote by one of the United States’ dumbest minds, “feelings don’t care about your facts.” Indeed, be sure to make clear that you understand that their motives are “Good,” as in righteous, heroic, noble, and benevolent.
However, not only should one not overestimate their power to deprogram a QAnon-er; such a case-by-case approach swats at flies. Cults tend to recruit from the already lost and lonely, and both generate and exacerbate preexisting and pervasive antisocial insularity, isolating members from the people best equipped to help them. Moreover, individually deprogramming QAnon-ers does nothing to alleviate the conditions that produced the Q mindset, conditions that will only be addressed by transforming the world that allowed the conspiracy to take hold in the minds of so many.
QAnon-ers are correct about a lot of things. Recent revelations like those surrounding the Jeffrey Epstein scandal indicate that a lot of wealthy elites are, in fact, members of a pedophilic cabal. More broadly, though, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to realize that much of the world has gotten worse for millions of people as a direct result of forces beyond their control.
Socialists have some big advantages over an anonymous 4chan account; not only do we have explanations and a political program that addresses QAnon-ers’ legitimate concerns, but we also have reality and the honesty and humility to admit that, while we don’t have all the answers, we aspire to build a system that is democratic and just, that is honest, and that cultivates the better angels of our nature, so that our world, and indeed humanity itself, can become Good.
AOC compared to Jussie Smollett after her ‘near-death’ riot experience revealed as hiding from POLICE in office OUTSIDE Capitol
The hashtags #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett, along with #AOCLied, trended on Wednesday, following a fact-check of AOC’s (D-New York) Instagram livestream two days prior by OAN journalist Jack Posobiec. During her emotional one-and-a-half-hour-long talk, Ocasio-Cortez admitted that she was not in the Capitol building during the riot to begin with, but continued to claim that she experienced a life-threatening situation.
When Ocasio-Cortez denounced it as a “manipulative take on the right,” Posobiec posted a map, with arrows pointing to the Capitol as well as two other office buildings across the road. One of them is where AOC’s own office is located, and where she claimed she “thought I was going to die” during the January 6 events. Another is where she ended up sheltering inside the office of Rep. Katie Porter (D-California) after leaving her office on the instructions of the Capitol Police.
“This isn’t a fact check at all,” Ocasio-Cortez responded to Posobiec’s post. “Your arrows aren’t accurate. They lie about where the mob stormed & place them further away than it was.”
She accused Posobiec of failing to show that demonstrators were trying to “storm” multiple areas, or showing “tunnels” between the Capitol and other office buildings – which to a lot of people sounded like moving the goalposts and not in line with her original description. Her post was quickly ratioed on Twitter, and the hashtag comparing her to Jussie Smollett began to trend.
The ratio here. How embarrassing for #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 3, 2021
A crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump had gathered outside the main Capitol building on January 6, eventually breaking inside and disrupting the joint session of Congress meeting to certify 2020 presidential election results. During the Monday night Instagram live-stream, Ocasio-Cortez described how she hid in the bathroom of her office, located in the Cannon House Building, and thought she was “going to die.”
However, she then admitted that the man who rushed into the office and supposedly looked at her with “anger and hostility” turned out to be an officer with the Capitol Police – who are now treated by Congress as heroes who opposed the “insurrection” against “our democracy.”
The officer then instructed her and her staffer to go to the Longworth House Office Building – the one where Porter’s office is located, and the one that Ocasio-Cortez claims some protesters later tried to storm. There is no publicly available evidence that any of the rioters got anywhere close to Ocasio-Cortez’s whereabouts, and Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-North Carolina), who has her office two doors down from that of AOC’s, has said that “insurrectionists never stormed our hallway.”
However, Ocasio-Cortez has already sought to fend off any backlash by comparing criticism to a “tactic of abusers,” as she revealed she’s also a “survivor of sexual assault.”
ALSO ON RT.COM‘Bravery’ or ‘manipulative’? AOC comes out as survivor of sexual assault while describing ‘trauma’ of Capitol riotThis appeared to be a reference to a letter by 13 House Republicans demanding an apology from her for accusing Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others who challenged the 2020 election results as trying to have her “murdered” by supposedly “inciting” the rioters. Her January 28 tweet targeting Cruz said she was “happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed.”
Smollett, who AOC scored comparisons to, shot to fame in February 2019, after accusing two Trump supporters of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago. He quickly garnered sympathy from the media, activists and Democrats such as then-senator and current Vice President Kamala Harris. When the police located the men who allegedly doused him with bleach and put a noose around his neck, they turned out to be Nigerian immigrants who said the ‘Empire’ actor paid them to stage the “attack.”
Whatever the truth about AOC’s alleged sexual assault and near-death experience at the Capitol, some critics of the progressive social media star noted that she had successfully diverted attention from problems with the government and the small investor rebellion against hedge funds.
AOC successfully moved the conversation away from corruption on Wall Street & in our Government. Mission accomplished.
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) February 3, 2021
“How do you bring those people back into the mainstream of fact-based reporting and try to get us all back into the same consensus reality?”–CNN interview.
Concerns over the nexus of big tech, big media, and big government
The formation of a totalitarian state is just about complete in America as the most powerful public and private sector actors unify behind the idea that actions to stamp out dissent can be justified, according to several experts on modern totalitarian ideologies.
While many have warned about the rise of fascism or socialism in “the land of the free,” the ideas have largely been vague or fragmented, focusing on individual events or actors. Recent events, however, indicate that seemingly unconnected pieces of the oppression puzzle are fitting together to form a comprehensive system, according to Michael Rectenwald, a retired liberal arts professor at New York University.
But many Americans, it appears, have been caught off guard or aren’t even aware of the newly forming regime, as the idea of elected officials, government bureaucrats, large corporations, the establishment academia, think tanks and nonprofits, the legacy media, and even seemingly grassroots movements all working in concert toward some evil purpose seems preposterous. Is a large portion of the country in on a conspiracy?
The reality now emerges that no massive conspiracy was, in fact, needed—merely an ideological alignment and some informal coordination, Rectenwald argues.
Despite the lack of formal overarching organization, the American socialist regime is indeed totalitarian, as the root of its ideology requires politically motivated coercion, he told The Epoch Times. The power of the regime isn’t yet absolute, but it’s becoming increasingly effective as it erodes the values, checks, and balances against tyranny established by traditional beliefs and enshrined in the American founding.
The effects can be seen throughout society. Americans, regardless of their income, demographics, or social stature, are being fired from jobs, getting stripped of access to basic services such as banking and social media, or having their businesses crippled for voicing political opinions and belonging to a designated political underclass. Access to sources of information unsanctioned by the regime is becoming increasingly difficult. Some figures of power and influence are sketching the next step, labeling large segments of society as “extremists” and potential terrorists who need to be “deprogrammed.”
While the onset of the regime appears tied to events of recent years—the presidency of Donald Trump, the CCP virus pandemic, the Capitol intrusion of Jan. 6—its roots go back decades.
Is It Really Totalitarian?
Totalitarian regimes are commonly understood as constituting a government headed by a dictator that regiments the economy, censors the media, and quells dissent by force. That’s not the case in America, but it’s also a misunderstanding of how such regimes function, literature on totalitarianism indicates.
To claim power, the regimes don’t initially need to control every aspect of society through government.
Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist Workers Party in Nazi Germany, used various means to control the economy, including gaining compliance of industry leaders voluntarily, through intimidation, or through replacing the executives with party loyalists.
Similarly, the regime rearing its head in America relies on corporate executives to implement its agenda voluntarily but also through intimidation by online brigades of activists and journalists who take initiative to launch negative public relations campaigns and boycotts to progress their preferred societal structure.
Also, Hitler initially didn’t control the spread of information via government censorship but rather through his brigades of street thugs, the “brown shirts,” who would intimidate and physically prevent his opponents from speaking publicly.
The tactic parallels the often successful efforts to “cancel” and “shut down” public speakers by activists and violent actors such as Antifa.
Dissenting media in America haven’t been silenced by the government directly as of yet, but they are stymied in other ways.
In the digital age, media largely rely on reaching and growing their audience through social media and web search engines, which are dominated by Facebook and Google. Both companies have in place mechanisms to crack down on dissenting media.
Google gives preference in its search results to sources it deems “authoritative.” Search results indicate the company tends to consider media ideologically close to it to be more authoritative. Such media can then produce hit pieces on their competitors, giving Google justification to slash the “authoritativeness” of the dissenters.
Facebook employs third-party fact-checkers who have the discretion to label content as “false” and thus reduce the audience on its platform. Virtually all the fact-checkers focused on American content are ideologically aligned with Facebook.
Attempts to set up alternative social media have run into yet more fundamental obstacles, as demonstrated by Parler, whose mobile app was terminated by Google and Apple, while the company was kicked off Amazon’s servers.
To the degree that a totalitarian regime requires a police state, there’s no U.S. law targeting dissenters explicitly. But there are troubling signs of selective, politically motivated enforcement. Signs go back to the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups or the difference in treatment received by former Trump adviser retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe—both allegedly lying to investigators but only one getting prosecuted. The situation may get still worse as the restrictions tied to the CCP virus see broad swaths of ordinary human behavior being considered “illegal,” opening the door to nearly universal political targeting.
“I think the means by which a police state is being set up is the demonization of Trump supporters and the likely use of medical passports to institute the effective equivalent of social credit scores,” Rectenwald said.
While loyalty to the government and to a specific political party plays a major role, it’s the allegiance to the ideological root of totalitarianism that gives the system its foot soldiers, literature on the subject indicates.
The element “that holds totalitarianism together as a composite of intellectual elements” is the ambition of fundamentally reimagining society—“the intention to create a ‘New Man,’” said author Richard Shorten in “Modernism and Totalitarianism: Rethinking the Intellectual Sources of Nazism and Stalinism, 1945 to the Present.”
Various ideologies have framed the ambition differently, based on what they posited as the key to the transformation.
Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto, viewed the control of the economy as primary, describing socialism as “socialized man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature,” in his Das Kapital.
Meanwhile, Hitler viewed race as primary. People would become “socialized”—that is transformed and perfected—by removing Jews and other supposedly “lesser” races from society, he claimed.
The most dominant among the current ideologies stems from the so-called critical theories, by which the perfected society is defined by “equity,” meaning elimination of differences in outcomes for people in demographic categories deemed historically marginalized. The goal is to be achieved by eliminating the ever-present “white supremacy,” however the ideologues currently define it.
While such ideologies commonly prescribe collectivism, calling for national or even international unification behind their agenda, they are elitist and dictatorial in practice as they find mankind never “woke” enough to follow their agenda voluntarily.
In Marx’s prophecies, the revolution was supposed to occur spontaneously. Yet, it never did, leading Vladimir Lenin, the first head of the Soviet Union, to conclude that the revolution will need leadership after all.
“The idea is that you have some enlightened party … who understand the problem of the proletariat better than the proletariat does and is going to shepherd them through the revolution that they need to have for the greater good,” said James Lindsay, author of “Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody.”
Elements of this intellectual foundation can be found in ideologies of many current political forces, from neo-nazis and anarcho-communists, through to progressives, and to some extent even neoliberals and neoconservatives, Lindsay said.
“This is why you see so many people today saying that the only possible answers are a full return to classical liberalism or a complete rejection of liberalism entirely as fatally disposed to create progressivism, neoliberalism, etc.,” he said.
That’s not to say these ideologies are openly advocating totalitarianism, but rather that they inevitably lead to it.
The roadmap could be summarized as follows:
- There’s something fundamentally and intolerably wrong with current reality
- There’s a plan to fix it requiring a whole society buy-in
- People opposing the plan need to be educated about the plan so they accept it
- People who resist the persuasion need to be reeducated, even against their will
- People who won’t accept the plan, no matter what, need to be removed from society.
“I think that’s the general thrust,” Lindsay said. “We can make the world the way we want it to be if we all just get on the same page and same project. It’s a disaster, frankly.”
Points four and five now appear to be in progress.
Former Facebook executive Alex Stamos recently labeled the widespread questioning of the 2020 election results as “violent extremism,” which social media companies should eradicate the same way they countered online recruitment content from the ISIS terrorist group.
The “core issue,” he said, is that “we have given a lot of leeway, both in traditional media and on social media, to people to have a very broad range of political views,” and this has led to the emergence of “more and more radical” alternative media like OAN and Newsmax.
Stamos then mused about how to reform Americans who’ve tuned in to the dissenters.
“How do you bring those people back into the mainstream of fact-based reporting and try to get us all back into the same consensus reality?” he asked in a CNN interview.
“And can you? Is that possible?” CNN host Brian Stelter said.
The logic goes as follows: Trump claimed the election was stolen through fraud and other illegalities. That hasn’t been proven in court and is thus false. People who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and managed to break inside and disrupt the electoral vote counting did so because they believed the election was stolen. Therefore, anybody who questions the legitimacy of the election results is an extremist and potentially a terrorist.
With tens of thousands of troops assembled to guard the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) recently told CNN that all guard members who voted for Trump belong to a “suspect group” that “might want to do something,” alluding to past leaders of other countries who were “killed by their own people.”
Former FBI Director James Comey recently said the Republican Party needs to be “burned down or changed.”
“They want a one-party state,” conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said in a recent podcast. “That is not to say they don’t want an opposition. They want a token opposition. They want Republicans where they get to say what kind of Republican is OK.”
Just as Marx blamed the ills of the world on capitalists and Hitler on Jews, the current regime tends to blame various permutations of “white supremacy.”
“Expel the Republican members of Congress who incited the white supremacist attempted coup,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) in a recent tweet, garnering some 300,000 likes. She was referring to the Republican lawmakers who raised objections on Jan. 6 to election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Their objections were voted down.
“Can U.S. Spy Agencies Stop White Terror?” Daily Beast’s Jeff Stein asked in a recent headline, concluding that a call for “secret police” to sniff out “extremist” Americans “may well get renewed attention.”
Under the regime, allegations of election fraud—de facto questioning the legitimacy of the leader—have become incitement of terrorism. YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook, and Twitter have either banned content that claims the election was rigged or are furnishing it with warning labels. Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey was recently recorded as saying that banning the president’s account was just the beginning.
The approach closely mirrors that of the Chinese communist regime, which commonly targets dissidents for “subverting” the state or “spreading rumors.”
What’s the Alternative?
If calls for radically reorganizing the world are inherently totalitarian, how is the world to avoid them? The question appears to be its own answer. If totalitarianism inherently requires allegiance to its ideology, it can’t exist in a society with a lack of such allegiance.
The United States was founded on the idea that individual rights are God-given and unalienable. The idea, rooted in traditional beliefs that human morality is of divine origin, stands a bulwark against any attempt to assail people’s rights even for their own good.
Rectenwald said: “If you’re not a believer in actual God, you can posit a God’s ideal on the matter. … We have to posit some arbiter who’s above and beyond our own prejudices and biases in order to ensure these kinds of rights. … Because otherwise, you have this infinitely malleable situation in which people with power and coercive potential can eliminate and rationalize the elimination of rights willy-nilly.”