The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Who Is an ‘Extremist’?

Posted on | February 1, 2021 | Comments Off on Who Is an ‘Extremist’?

A few recent headlines:

Republican extremists could doom party
to endless defeats

CNN, Jan. 26

Rachel Maddow: GOP has become party of a
‘fringe, violent, extremist criminal movement’

The Hill, Jan. 27

“This Is War”: Inside the Secret Chat
Where Far-Right Extremists Devised
Their Post-Capitol Plans

Pro Publica, Jan. 28

Extremists Emboldened by Capitol Attack
Pose Growing Threat, Homeland Security Says

New York Times, Jan. 29

Republican Ties to Extremist Groups
Are Under Scrutiny

New York Times, Jan. 29

Domestic violent extremists will be harder
to combat than homegrown jihadists

The Hill, Jan. 31

‘It’s endemic’: state-level Republican groups
lead party’s drift to extremism

The Guardian, Jan. 31

Perhaps you notice the similar theme and you might wonder if all these journalists are operating in collusion to promote the idea of a dangerous “extremist” GOP threat. However, if you don’t trust the media, that’s a “conspiracy theory,” which means you’re an “extremist.”

Now, I am personally acquainted with people who were involved in organizing the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C. I am also personally acquainted with Oath Keepers, who did not attend that rally. Several members of Oath Keepers were among those charged with planning the Capitol riot, which was a separate thing from the “Stop the Steal” rally, except for this: All of these people believe Democrats stole the election and, frankly, I am inclined toward the same belief.

The difference between my friends and the people arrested in the Capitol riot is not whether we believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected. Like approximately 50 million Americans, we suspect the Democrats engaged in widespread election fraud. The question is whether we think resorting to lawless violence is the proper response. While the guys who planned the “storming” of the Capitol apparently believed only violence could solve this problem, the rest of us — i.e., those who aren’t facing federal charges — are generally of the opinion that what we need to do is be patient, get organized and try to win future elections by margins so large that Democrats can’t steal it. An “extremist” is violent; the rest of us are just engaged in ordinary political activity.

What is happening in the media is that they are using the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as an excuse to smear all Republicans as “extremists,” and thus to enable the suppression of dissent in the Biden era.

You see, however, the circular logic — the Kafkatrap — of the “extremist” accusation: If you believe that this alleged menace is being exaggerated as a pretext to suppress dissent, you’re an “extremist”!



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