What is extremism?
What is the mainstream?
Why is the rise of “extremism” a public health issue?
“In the two decades since September 11, the U.S. has fought terrorism and extremism by concentrating on law-enforcement and intelligence readiness, with experts focused on disrupting fringe groups before they carry out violence. This Band-Aid approach is ill-suited to combatting modern far-right extremism, which has spread well beyond fringe groups and into the mainstream.
The extremism we’re now seeing in the U.S. is “post-organizational,” characterized by fluid online boundaries and a breakdown of formal groups and movements. Violence is mostly perpetrated by lone actors who are influenced by ideas online rather than by plots hatched by group leaders in secret gatherings. Most successfully executed far-right terrorist attacks in the U.S. in the past 20 years—including in Charleston, South Carolina; Pittsburgh; and El Paso, Texas—were carried out by men who were not official members of any groups. Even though the January 6 insurrection was a mass gathering, it included thousands of individuals mobilized through online disinformation campaigns and propaganda. Just 14 percent of those arrested to date are members of extremist groups.
To fight this amorphous kind of radicalization, the federal government needs to see the problem as a whole-of-society, public-health issue. …
The federal government, so far, has not been capable of such a paradigm shift. Part of the problem is partisan gridlock and Republican resistance to anything related to far-right extremism, as they’ve demonstrated with the vote against the January 6 commission. The other problem is that the federal government focuses too much on security, and not enough on preventing radicalization in the first place. …”
The most insightful way to look at this is through class analysis.
The electorate has changed in a key way.
Since the 2012 election, the big and worrisome change has been in the composition of the Republican Party. It is now dominated by White working class voters. There was a big shift of White working class voters who had voted for Obama twice to the Republican side under Donald Trump.
The Republican establishment has lost control of the Republican Party. The party used to be dominated for decades by the suburban moderates who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but now that is frighteningly no longer the case. The True Cons worked with their PMC shitlib counterparts on the Democratic side to maintain the phony “conservatism vs. liberalism” status quo. Essentially, we had a two party PMC system because that class of people dominated both parties and always emerged victorious in every election. Either the Republican establishment candidate won and we got more fiscal conservatism or the Democratic establishment candidate won and we got more social liberalism. The system is rigged to prevent the Republican base and the Democratic base from ever winning elections.
In the last two elections, it looked like Bernie Sanders had a fighting chance to lead the Democratic base to victory over the Democratic establishment candidate. As we all remember, the super delegates saved the day for Hillary the first time around. Joe Biden was losing the 2020 primary until the Democratic establishment went all out again to stop Bernie Sanders. The Iowa Caucus mysteriously couldn’t report its results. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar had their arms twisted to get out of the race. Jim Clyburn intervened to save Joe Biden in South Carolina. Finally, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer bought their way onto the Democratic debate state. Bloomberg spent around a billion dollars on his candidacy. We later learned that Barack Obama was ready to pull the fire alarm to stop Bernie Sanders. It very brave of Pete Buttigieg to sacrifice himself at the right moment on behalf of the greater good of his class.
“Far right extremism” refers to views which are held by most ordinary White working class voters who supported Trump. The “mainstream” refers to the roughly 10% of the party which supports Liz Cheney. The same is true on the Democratic side where social democracy is equated with “far left extremism” although those dangerous views are common among working class Democratic voters. The “mainstream” means the orthodox views of the political establishment, the corporate media and the donor class. “Radicalization” means the tendency of working class people to perceive that the system is rigged against their interests by PMCs with one side coming at it from a cultural angle and the other an economic one.
Once again, I can’t help but laugh at the breathtaking arrogance and overwhelming sense of entitlement of these people. They are totalitarian control freaks who act like their social class has a divine right to rule this country. The biggest threat to “democracy” is the free speech and civil liberties of working class Americans who ought to be surveilled by the “intelligence community” and cracked down on by the state. Believe it or not, there are other people who live here and they have views which are considered “radical” to shitlib PMCs who go out of their way to shit on and distinguish themselves from the masses.
Note: There ought to be a government program that “deprograms” PMCs where they unlearn all the stupid shit they learned in college which gave them the unwarranted belief that they are better than everyone else. They are vastly inferior to the men who built this country.