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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
15) In the runup to the 2016 election, this kind of talk intensified. Militias especially were planning a violent resistance to a Clinton administration.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
16) Recall especially the Kansas militia gang that planned a McVeigh-style truck bombing of a community of Somali Muslims in Garden City. Their plans called for the attack to take place the day after the election.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
17) This kind of talk became common among not just militia types, but spread to rank-and-file Trump supporters as well.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
18) After Trump won, it only took a week or two for them all to shift gears and begin preparing to act violently in Trump’s defense. They ginned up the whole "violent radical left" storyline in the runup to Trump's inauguration.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
19) Now when you hear talk about a civil war, it is most common in the context of preventing his impeachment.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
20) And now we have gangs of heavily armed right-wing thugs, largely outsiders from rural and exurban areas, invading liberal urban centers with the full intent of provoking violence so that they can portray the American left as innately violent.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
21) I’ve covered about a dozen of these events. I hang out among the alt-righters and militiamen who populate that side and listen to them. They all are brimming with eagerness to beat the shit out of liberals, and they’re prepared to kill if they deem it necessary.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
22) The Proud Boys are a classic proto-Brownshirt operation in the formative stages. Look at the shirts their members have been wearing to the “free speech” events they organize with the intent of provoking a violent response.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
23) What does that mean? Well, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet murdered thousands of his own citizens in the 1970s simply for opposing him politically. He had right-wing death squads do most of the dirty work:
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
24) A number of these murders occurred when the death squads would drop political dissidents from great heights out of helicopters. Thus the back of the T-shirt. Which is now sold as official Proud Boys gear.
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David Neiwert
25) Moreover, all these shirts are being printed with a logo calling them “Right Wing Death Squads.” There’s even a webpage devoted to their apparel. Google it. Here's their logo.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
26) So now the faction that has long fantasized about civil wars is openly fantasizing about murdering their fellow Americans by various means, most of them as cruel as a good psychopath can dream up. These folks are fanatical authoritarians.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
27) And they are entirely right-wing. There is no counterpart to this on the left. Even the most rabid anarchist/communist/whatever group doesn’t direct this kind of rhetoric at its opponents. Moreover, the far left is a tiny and powerless faction. Unlike the alt-right.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
28) Moreover, it is the far right that now controls all three houses of government in the United States. And the most powerful of all, the president, has a long habit of using eliminationist rhetoric to attack his opponents: “Lock Her Up!” was just one of many such.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
29) Now he is describing half of America – the larger half that did not vote for him, and which now opposes his agenda at every turn – in such terms. Dismissing them as a “mob” and suggesting that they not only cannot govern but cannot BE governed is lethally dangerous.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
30) Yet to hear the centrist media figures and their favorite subjects, centrist politicians, discuss all this ferment, you would think that both sides are engaging in this kind of prewar rhetoric. It’s absurd.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
31) So, listen up, Chuck Todd, Evan McMullin, Susan Collins, and every other hand-wringing centrist wannabe: IT’S NOT BOTH SIDES. Only one side is trying to gin up a civil war in this country.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
32) Only one side talks about it. Only one side buys caches of guns to prepare for it. Only one side is sending clusters of activists into politically opposing communities with the intent of stirring up violence. Only one side makes up memes celebrating the murder of the other.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
33) So when we talk about the lack of civility in our common discourse, it’s important first to understand that that particular horse fled the burning barn many many moons ago. And again, it was not the left that lit the match.
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David Neiwert Oct 7
Replying to @DavidNeiwert
34) More to the point, their concern presupposes that both sides remain interested in democracy and normative political discourse. That is only true of one side in all this. The right has made clear that it has no such interest.
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