Conservative extremist groups aren't just listening to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, they are starting to act
It’s no secret that right-wing militia groups have been on the rise since 2008. With the help of social media, right-wing radio, the great recession, and the fear of a black President, the patriot movement has been thriving in recent years.
The Patriot Movement consists of various armed Christian militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters. But it also includes tax protesters, state citizens, apocalypticists, and white supremacists, many of whom believe in numerous government conspiracy theories.
Until now these militia groups have grown quietly in the shadows of Obama’s Presidency, gaining notoriety once in a while with presences at the Cliven Bundy standoff and Ferguson protests or when they go off the handle and kill a bunch of people.
But now, as the 2016 election draws closer, these bible thumping hate groups are starting to get a lot of attention. For one, the atmosphere in the United States following the Paris Attacks and the San Bernardino shootings is poisoned with anxiety, hate, fear, and paranoia.
Second, the two men leading the field of Republican Presidential hopefuls are – on top of helping to sow the seeds of that fear and paranoia – giving a strong voice to these hateful, white, religious, anti-government conspiracy theorists. I’m talking of course about Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who themselves can be defined in the same way.
Trump, and Cruz in particular, are so far to the right of the Republican establishment you would think they are campaigning specifically to these yahoos dressed in camo fatigues and semi-automatic assault weapons. Is this truly where the base of the Republican Party now lies? I have my doubts…
Still, Trump and Cruz are polling over fifty percent together, which means more than half of Republicans like what they have to say about deporting all those criminal/rapist immigrants and banning all Muslims from entering the country.
Some conservatives are listening to Trump and Cruz strictly out of the fear they spread, but there are others who have always identified with there ideology and are now taking action as if they finally have permission to do so. I’m not just talking about lunatics like the Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear, I’m talking about the Patriot Movement, their armed Christian militia groups and white supremacist groups.
For example, just last month, Ted Cruz claimed that some Black Lives Matter protesters were “embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers.” Not long after, a BLM protester was assaulted at a Trump event after he yelled out “black lives matter.”
Trump defended the assault saying, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” Yes, Trump believes that an African America exercising his First Amendment rights is disgusting. Regardless, days after Trump’s defense of this assault, five Black Lives Matter protesters were shot at a rally in Minneapolis by three white supremacists.
After Trump promised a “complete shutdown” of all Muslims entering the United States, the Three Percenters movement decided to confront Muslim Americans, by protesting at their mosques.
Their name comes from the disputed percentage of colonials who armed themselves and fought the British during the American Revolution. Followers describe themselves as armed “patriots,” but some of their leaders have been accused of threatening and vandalizing politicians, cops and Muslims.
David Wright, a Dallas Three Percenter and protester said “We will interfere with every move they (Muslims) make towards taking over our country.” He is the same individual who posted the names and home addresses of Muslim residents and other “Muslim sympathizers” who spoke out against a resolution they called discriminatory.
These instances are just the beginning, if you want to dig deeper you’ll find it is much worse than you think. Hate crimes and right-wing terror plots go largely unreported by the media in this country. Nevertheless, it’s easy to see things getting worse before they get better.
Right-wing extremists have found their voice in the United States, and how unfortunate for the rest of us that the media hangs on their every word. The Trump (and Cruz) show might seem entertaining, but it isn’t fun and games. Everything that comes out of their mouth has the potential to influence people negatively and harm the ones who simply want to live their lives.