It is too bad that Americans are so easily frightened because it allows Republicans to distract them from legitimate threats to their survival; conservative policies and Republicans’ base of support. It is actually curious why Americans are terrified of Islamic extremists halfway around the world when, although the Islamic State is brutal, they pose no real threat to the American homeland. It is possible that is why Republicans are prepared to cut off funding for Department of Homeland Security under the guise of stripping executive authority from President Obama, or because they fully understand the only threat to this nation is from members of their own party and their hateful supporters. It is important to reiterate that Republicans are ardent defenders of right-wing extremists posing the greatest terrorism threat to the United States and since they are loyal supporters of their so-called champions of freedom; what better way to protect the real threat to America than shut down the Department of Homeland Security?
It is not breaking news or a revelation to any informed American that “law enforcement sees right-wing extremism as the top terrorism threat to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sees right-wing extremism as the top terrorism threat to the United States, or that the FBI sees right-wing extremism as the top terrorism threat to the United States.” It was no surprise that new analysis from the DHS warned that Americans should be frightened of increased attacks from so-called ‘sovereign citizens‘ on law enforcement, the government, and government agents and buildings. According to a recent report, since 2010 there were 24 violent attacks on American soil at the hands of sovereign citizens with unlimited firepower who reject government authority; a position establishment Republicans defend with religious fervor.
Prior to President Obama’s summit on Countering Violent Extremism, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report on domestic terrorism that revealed “A domestic terrorist attack or foiled attack occurred, on average, every 34 days. It also shows that fully 74% of the more than 60 incidents examined were carried out, or planned, by a lone wolf, a single person operating entirely alone. A total of 90% of the incidents were the work of just one or two persons.”
As it should have, the SPLC report slammed the nation’s focus on terrorism overseas while turning a blind eye to the real and present threat of a growing number of home-grown terrorists. What is interesting indeed is that the SPLC report held out hope that the government is preparing to shift its focus to the homeland and quoted Attorney General Eric Holder as a reason for its newfound hope. Holder said, regarding right-wing extremism that, “It’s something that frankly keeps me up at night, worrying about the lone wolf or a group of people, a small group of people, who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France with the Charlie Hebdo attack.”
Holder, like many Democrats, has the right mindset and says the right things, but one hesitates to believe their sincerity based on their inaction that belies their worries “keeping them up at night.” It is true that any legitimate Department of Justice action to thwart right-wing extremists’ will garner a robust response and certain attack from the Republican establishment, but at some point the extremists in the Republican establishment have to be met with action and not just anecdotes about sleepless nights, or meaningless summits on countering violent extremism; actions get results, words do not. In fact, after right-wing extremist and ‘sovereign citizen’ Cliven Bundy summoned armed militias and former law enforcement to send federal agents and local law enforcement running for the hills, it is evident the federal government has no interest in combatting right-wing terrorism and is likely terrified of challenging Republican extremism.
There was no better opportunity to send a powerful message and clamp down on right-wing extremism than during, and after, the Bundy ranch standoff. It is beyond refute that the armed militias violated several federal laws, and committed sedition, in chasing federal agents off federal land during the commission of their duties, but likely because they were supported by Republicans and Fox News, they are above the law. Months after the seditious incident, Nevada law enforcement claimed the criminals would face the consequences of leveling loaded weapons at police and sheriff’s deputies, but it is likely Nevada Republicans warned local law enforcement to back down or face the wrath of the party’s contingent of local armed sovereign citizens. Nothing has been done and it emboldened other Republican extremists to join the GOP’s extremist war on the federal government.
Several Republican-led states have passed laws criminalizing federal authorities’ attempting to enforce federal laws, and several Republicans have emboldened citizens to take up arms against the federal government; with impunity. Since the Bundy ranch success in forcing the government to acquiesce to extremists’ threats of violence, many red states are passing laws justifying seizure of federal land and daring the government to challenge the unconstitutional laws. In fact in Montana, Republicans are pushing legislation, SB 130, requiring creation of “state-sanctioned paramilitary groups known as ‘home guards’ to combat the grave danger posed by the federal government.” Home guards will be mobilized by local sheriffs’ who are, under ‘sovereign citizen’ ideology, the ultimate law of the land and the supreme Constitutional authority across America. It is noteworthy that this brand of “right-wing extremism” is sanctioned and promoted by establishment Republicans; not “lone wolves” or small groups of right-wing extremists.
It is true that the Republican establishment, and their media outlet Fox News, is responsible for encouraging right-wing extremism and the ‘sovereign citizens’ movement representing terrorist threats to America, but inaction on the part of federal government is, if not exacerbating the threat, legitimizing the movement. No matter what their reasoning for not taking action, allowing sovereign citizens and establishment Republicans to intimidate voters, call for armed revolution, arrest and prosecute federal agents, aim loaded firearms at federal officials, and pass laws mandating paramilitary groups to combat the federal government IS legitimizing extremists and domestic terrorists.
Over the past months, Republicans have called for overwhelming force, including ‘boots on the ground’ to combat Islamic State extremism in Iraq and Syria; and why not? If they can keep terrified Americans frightened to death of extremists on the other side of the world, the people will not notice the real extremist threat to their survival and their nation are the Republican extremists in the sovereign citizen movement that enjoys the full support of the seditionists in the Republican Party; the most dangerous terrorist threat to America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.