Has the Republican Party Become a Terrorist Group?

by | Dec 16, 2021 | Opinions, Racism (Us vs Them)

Proud Boys appear at a rally for Donald Trump in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Has the Republican Party Become a Terrorist Group?

by | Dec 16, 2021 | Opinions, Racism (Us vs Them)

Proud Boys appear at a rally for Donald Trump in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)
The radicalized faction of what used to be the Republican Party has been cozying up to the most radical, racist and violent right wing terrorist factions in our country for some time now.

Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado has been running an on-going racist attack against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. In short, Boebert has been falsely accusing Omar of being a terrorist in person and in public talks to constituents.

But here’s the thing. Boebert has a checkered background with documented criminality of campaign finance violations, illegally spending campaign funds for personal expenses. And what do criminals do? They accuse others of crimes to deflect attention away from scrutiny of their own actions and motives.

In her own news conference, Rep. Omar played a voicemail in which the caller was threatening her life. This is terrorism.

Sadly, this example is not an isolated one. Republican members of Congress that voted for the Biden-supported Infrastructure Bill have been ruthlessly attacked by radical Republicans who voted against it. Those attackers include Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and others like Paul Gosar of Arizona—recently censured for posting a video showing him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The result? Death threats. Terrorism.

The radicalized faction of what used to be the Republican Party has been cozying up to the most radical, racist and violent right wing factions in our country for some time now. These include the white supremacists (Nazis) who feel they have been heard and endorsed by the former President and are the most violent and heavily armed groups in the country.

This radicalization has also lead to an unprecedented number of members of Congress who are leaving office through retirement, presumably to remove themselves from the threatening environment.

The Militia Factor

Owing to the peculiar and oft debated wording of the 2nd Amendment—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—groups of individuals who hate our government have banded together to form armed groups and call themselves militias. In their minds they consider the fact that they train together and have some sort of discipline and command structure that this satisfies the clause in the 2nd Amendment about a “well regulated” militia.

It is highly doubtful that the framers would have considered armed groups who pine for the overthrow and destruction of our government to be regulated militias. But groups like Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Atomwaffen SS and of course the KKK all hide behind the 2nd Amendment to hold on to their guns. The fact that these groups have not been declared terrorist groups is troubling. Canada has designated Proud Boys as a terrorist organization. All of these groups are also white supremacist associations.

And it is these groups and their sympathizers and supporters that Republicans now look to for their core support. The old saying, “If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas” holds true here.

More recently Ron DeSantis of Florida put forth a budget proposal to fund “a civilian military force” for Florida to “protect its future.”

The Endorsement of Violence

Clearly the former President’s validation of white supremacists after the violence of Charlottesville in 2017, where he called some of them “very fine people,” was taken as an endorsement of their mentality and methods. He compounded this when he later told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” This statement by Trump in September of 2020 sent a chill across the country making people wonder if there was a command and control connection between the White House and this violent group.

This same question is being explored by the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection of January 6th, and in which members of this group and others took enthusiastic part. More and more connections are being documented daily between the planners of the coup attempt, the White House, members of Congress best described as the Treason Caucus and these violent “militias.”

And it is this question that caused the title of this article.

The use of violence for political effect is a terrorist action. Endorsing that violence, overtly or tacitly, makes one a party to it. And it is to this extremity of mindset that the Trump faction of what remains of the Republican Party has tuned its support.

So you decide. Is this party now a terrorist group?

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