Cutting through the headlines. Demystifying the future. Creating sensible policy.

White grievance plays a major role in MAGA revolt

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Trump-inspired terrorists attack the Capitol (Tyler Merbler/Flickr)

Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with cognitive dissonance when I watch the events unspooling. My brain is having a hard time processing the information before me. Currently, 20,000 National Guard troops are protecting the Capitol against domestic terrorists inspired by President Donald Trump, who was impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives.

Trump-inspired terrorism

Although it sounds like a plotline from “The X Files,” thousands of Americans are currently involved in a quasi-religious conspiracy cult that has penetrated the top-levels of the government. Rachel Maddow recently reported that the FBI warned against IED attacks at the inauguration and attacks on all state capitols.

Malcolm Nance, a former intelligence officer, explained the current, dangerous situation in a Congressional Black Caucus hearing on Wednesday. He said the United States is currently in an insurgency. He dubbed it Trump Insurgency in the United States (TITUS.)

“It is a wholly white supremacist rebellion,” said Nance.

But the scary thing is the members of this domestic terrorist group could be anyone. “They’re your neighbors,” said Nance. If you need further proof, look at some of the people who participated in the Capitol attack. Police officers, firefighters, servicemen and women, doctors, investment bankers, and an Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer! They’ve been radicalized by Trump and believe in the nonsensical QAnon conspiracy theory. As Nance pointed out, they’re also willing to kill Americans. Five people died at the Capitol, including a police officer.

As I look at the National Guard troops milling around the Capitol, I hope they’re willing to shoot Americans because these people are no longer fellow citizens. …

The Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol was a shock but it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

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We’ve seen the true colors of the Republican Party. Photo by Dalton Caraway on Unsplash

Right from the start we’ve struggled to define the Trump Administration’s particular brand of populism. Chaos. Authoritarianism. A con. A cult. An alternate reality. White nationalism. Fascism.

Finally we just called it Trumpism.

On January 6 we saw it for what it really is. Mob rule.

It took the brutalization of one of our most sacred democratic shrines to understand that. But look back over the past four years. Trump’s populist rhetoric has always been a thin veneer over something that operated more on the level of the barbarians sacking Rome.

Now the veneer is off. The lies spread by the president and his party have come home to roost. The Trumpists have stormed the gates. We’re left with the painful image of invaders standing in the chambers of the House and Senate. Some actually wearing horns and animal hides. …

Nance warns insurrectionists aren’t going away

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President Donald Trump riles up his followers before the Capitol attack (VOA/Facebook)

You would think that after reading Malcolm Nance’s books and listening to him over the last four years, I would have learned to trust his predictions. He warned of the coming MAGA terrorist attack about two weeks ago on “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Nance, a retired intelligence officer, was one of the first to sound the alarm about Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s ties to President Donald Trump. He also warned of the Russian-led influence campaign which had “hacked Americans’ minds” and convinced them to associate Hillary Clinton with emails and corruption, and overlook Trump’s checkered past. …

QAnon adherent followed Trump cult to her death

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Ashli Babbitt (YouTube screencap/Manny Otiko)

Ashli Babbitt, a San Diego, Calif. resident and Air Force veteran, was the first person killed in the Trump terrorist attack. She was shot in the neck when she refused police orders and entered a broken window in the Capitol building. She was a traitor who fought against her own country and died because she bought into ridiculous conspiracy theories. Like Herman Cain, who refused to wear a mask in the middle of a deadly pandemic, she followed the Trump cult to her death.

An ardent conspiracy theorist

It didn’t take me long to figure out Babbitt was a conspiracy theorist. One of the first stories mentioned her saying “the storm is here” in a tweet. The storm is a phrase used by the insane-beyond belief QAnon conspiracy theory. The storm refers to a time when QAnon followers think that Trump will order the round up and execution of the Satanic elites who drink children’s blood. (Yes, really.) Trump signaled to this insane conspiracy group that he’s in on it, when he used the phrase “The calm before the storm,” during a White House press conference. The FBI has listed QAnon as a national security threat. …

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#1: There’s no such thing as a good Republican.

On January 6th, 2021, as Congress was in the process of certifying Republican President Donald Trump’s defeat, thousands of Republicans attacked the capital resulting in a lockdown, delay, and four deaths.

For months prior to this, Republican politicians openly supported the idea of contesting the election results to prevent Trump from leaving office, while dozens of Republican attorneys, legislators, and donors actively campaigned to change the outcome of the election.

For decades prior to this, Republicans have courted white supremacy, adopted fascist foreign policy programs, and worked to undermine democracy. In 2000, Republican President Bush came to power on a wave of fascist riots seeking to prevent a full and fair vote count and used his term in office to grow the movement of white conservative evangelicals who attempted a coup on January 6th. …

Experts, writers sounded alarm about wannabe dictator for years

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Trump terrorists invade the Capitol. (VOA)

So, it finally happened. The president of the United States launched a terrorist attack against his own country. And the U.S. confirmed it’s status as a third world country to the entire world. Of course, many experts and writers have warned of this for years. I knew Trump was a Russian agent five years ago and that’s why I was devastated when he won the presidency.

I also saw the signs of Trump's dictatorial tendencies. I called him a wannabe dictator and said he reminded me of African despots in a 2018 column. I’ve interviewed experts, such as Yale psychiatrist Dr. Brandy Lee, who said Trump was similar to criminal patients she’d worked with. She compared him to a mentally-ill person with a cache of weapons. I interviewed Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an expert in fascism who predicted Trump wouldn’t leave willingly. And I also talked to Steve Hassan, a cult deprogrammer, who said Trump had brainwashed the MAGA cult. Wednesday was the end product of five years of willful ignorance and enabling. We witnessed a mob of deranged cultists, conspiracy theorists and white supremacists invade the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the government. …

Freedom of the press is still under threat

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Photo: GrimsbyT | Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, U.K. judge Vanessa Bararitser blocked the extradition of Julian Assange to the U.S., citing “extreme risk of suicide.” The judge said that extradition to the U.S. “would be unjust and oppressive by reason of Mr. Assange’s mental condition,” due to the conditions he would likely face if imprisoned here. While this was indeed good news, it was a brief and bittersweet victory.

To begin with, as Jonathan Cook pointed out in an article on Popular Resistance, the judge’s rejection of the extradition was based on “what was effectively a technicality.” It almost appears as though this may have simply been a delaying tactic, as the judge seems to have not had any problem with the U.S. prosecution’s request itself. …

Right-wing infotainment keeps conservatives dangerously misinformed

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Newsmax’s Greg Kelly called Trump’s phone call “perfect.” (Sgt. Mikki Sprenkle/Wikipedia)

You would think that after years of monitoring right-wing media, it would be impossible to shock me. But I’m always surprised. I know the right-wing entertainment machine isn’t journalism. It’s well-packaged propaganda designed to keep people in a conservative bubble, but still …

On Monday, I saw an article from Newsmax that contained all the previously mentioned issues. The article was clearly not journalism. It was anti-journalism, designed to keep people ignorant. After The Washington Post released a recording that placed President Donald Trump’s criminality above President Richard Nixon’s, a Newsmax story claimed it was no big deal.

Another ‘Perfect Call’

“If you listened to it, it’s totally fine,” said host Greg Kelly. “Remember, he said the phone call with the Ukraine president was perfect? It was, and so is this. They are so bad, so bad and trying to make this an issue.” …

Joe Biden could change American politics if he wants to

In two weeks, Joe Biden will fulfil a lifetime ambition as he is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America. This election has been historic for many reasons. Firstly, there was the long slog and blistering battle between more than a dozen candidates in the run up to and during the primaries. Secondly, this was a hotly contested election between Donald Trump fighting to retain incumbency, and a lifelong political operative, Joe Biden. Thirdly, this election was fought against the backdrop of a once in a generation global pandemic which fundamentally reshaped almost every facet of public life. …

Senate failed to punish Trump in ’19; he’s still breaking the law

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President Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore)

I took a break from writing on Medium over the Holiday season. And over the weekend, I was searching for ideas for a column. I should have known better. Even in the waning days of Donald Trump’s idiocracy, there’s always an hourly scandal. And on Sunday, The Washington Post’s recording of Trump’s phone call with Georgia election officials dropped.

Alex Jones on crack

The recording, which was deliberately leaked, is vintage Trump. I listened to the full recording, and it’s one hour of Trump gaslighting, threatening Georgia election officials and spouting conspiracy theories that sound like Alex Jones on crack. He sounded like your crazy uncle before he gets carted off to the nursing home. …

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