I know I have said here more than once that I believe the right-wing patriarchy, the white supremacist movement in this country wants me and everyone like me to be dead so long as we refuse to conform to their ideas of how human culture should be structured.
They don’t want feminists to exist, or queers of any variety. They are uncomfortable with creative artists and free-thinkers. They don’t like science because they can’t control it. They definitely hate people of color and immigrants who come from non-Western countries. Even a whiff of social democracy as it exists in European countries, which threatens the supremacy of rich white men, drives them into frothing rage.
They want a society where those white men rule, where women and children are property (which, through laws or norms, was much the case when I was born in 1953), and the rest of us fall into the slots they have decreed we live in. And when we refuse to do so, when we push them out of power and insist on power of our own, they often respond with violent anger.
While this struggle is not unique to the United States, there are strong roots to patriarchy and white supremacy in the US. It’s a strand of American culture that has existed since the founding of our nation. It does not hesitate to strike out when threatened, and it perceives threats almost everywhere. Thus we have seen the continuing rise of right-wing militias in the modern era, which culminated in the assault on Congress on January 6, 2021.
This week the threat came in the form of the Department of Justice, which conducted a search of the Trump property in Florida, ostensibly to seek some range of classified papers that were in Trump’s possession. This threat is apparently so severe that the almost-instant response was a wide range of conservatives calling for violence and revenge.
Over at The Atlantic, Peter Wehner reports on their reaction.
Now They’re Calling for Violence
Trump loyalists have reacted to the search of the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago residence with unhinged fury.
…MAGA-world denizens have called for violence and civil war, so much so that the phrase civil war was trending on Twitter Monday night. One user on Trump’s social-media platform, Truth Social, said, “Fuck a civil war, give them a REVOLUTION. We out number all of the [sic] 10 to 1.”…
Ben Collins, who covers disinformation, extremism, and the internet for NBC News, wrote on Monday evening, “The posts on these pro-Trump forums tonight are as violent as I’ve seen them since before January 6th. Maybe even moreso.”
Commentators in right-wing media, meanwhile, have been using extraordinarily reckless and inflammatory language.
The Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump outlet, wrote “This. Means. War”—which was “quickly amplified by a Telegram account connected to Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s onetime political adviser,” according to The New York Times. Bannon called the FBI “the Gestapo” and said, “We need to choke down the FBI and choke down the Justice Department.”…
Wehner continues with many other examples, so see it all at the link. He believes there may well be worse to come, and I have to agree.
I certainly hope we aren’t going to descend into ever more violence. My own training is in mediation and cooperative decision-making, and my impulse when confronted with anger is to respond with a very light touch. But an awful lot of my lefty friends have guns—more than you probably imagine—and in fact think that guns are essential for their own safety at this time.
We already know the incredible level of individual violence which exists in the United States. I can certainly imagine we will see individuals and small groups lashing out even more often, with bursts of violence like the attack on an FBI office yesterday. How this will play out over time is completely unclear to me.
For now, I continue to live a peaceful life, and I wish the same for all of you. Please don’t take that peace for granted. It could change in an instant.