Sunday, October 6, 2019

American Seditionists: The Fringe Elements Behind Talk of a New Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg (1863), lithograph by Currier & Ives.

In an unpatriotic act of self-preservation, President Donald J. Trump has begun dropping hints to the basest of his base - deplorables and poorly educated - hoping that the threat of a civil war would save the rogue chief executive from impeachment and prison. 

The people paying attention to Trump are the same ones we've seen acting without reason or logic either before, during, or right after the 2016 election. They all believe themselves to be America's salvation, when the reality is they're a mighty mess of fringe types, racists, country bumpkins with suspect DNA, gullible fools, and the mentally unsound with all having the propensity for violence. 

Having tracked these groups since 2007 we're seeing some old faces and newbies cut from the same cloth.

Their allegiance to America is loudly vocalized and seen with acts of hyperpatriotism, but in reality these are anti-Americans. They don't care if the Constitution is subverted, as long as it's to their benefit. The discontents pledge loyalty to the country, then arm themselves to bring the nation down. There is no desire to improve America, but to remake it into an image that speaks to the darkest elements of their hearts. 

The act of sedition extends into spreading disinformation, malicious lies against perceived enemies, and insane conspiracy theories. All that, while screaming anything they don't like hearing as being fake news. 

These groups are legion, but can be categorized into a few general areas: perceived patriot, militia, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, white nationalists, race separatists, and conspiracy theorists. 

Many times, these categories overlap with each other. For instance, an Oath Keeper may be a perceived patriot, militia member, neo-Nazi, and white nationalist with tenancies leaning towards conspiracy theory.

Considered a buffoon by most, James Stachowiak of Georgia is a prime 
example of the type we're dealing with: pro-Trump, single, underemployed,
is paranoid about Muslims and LGBTQs, surrounds himself with guns,
and is extremely paranoid and insecure. Although he, purports to 
support the troops, he resents veterans and often threatens them. 
Irrational belief systems can include the ideas that non-white races are inferior, Jews are the world's enemies, Muslims are going to force Sharia Law on America, homosexuals are after children and want to force their sexuality on heterosexuals, a secret cartel exists running everything from child sex trafficking to the New World Order, a Deep State is operating as a shadow government in the United States, liberals want to confiscate guns and limit free speech, undocumented aliens are taking away educations and social services from Americans, Western Civilization exists because of the hard work of white men, and anyone not pledged to the Republican Party is a socialist or communist. 

Although you will find other races represented in very small numbers, by and large these people are white and most of them are males. Even though there are exceptions, they tend to be unemployed or underemployed, of average or below average intelligence, lack formal educations, insecure, exude misogyny and hypermasculinity, and are very frightened the world has left them behind. 

Anyone that is not a heterosexual white Christian male is a threat to them.

Fear guides their lives causing them to embrace paranoia, conspiracy theories, harm marginalized communities, and stockpile food and guns.  

They all happen to be the "very fine people" Trump referred to in 2017 after the deadly Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' protests turned deadly. Since that event, there has been frequent cooperation between the nationalists and white supremacists. They often attack the same enemies and partner to protest the same issues. Frequently, they're seen bullying and terrorizing cities and towns, while carrying weapons and wearing armor. Street brawls with antifascists trying to protect their communities have become commonplace.

In this photo from the Washington Examiner the hate group Proud Boys are shown
looking for a brawl in Oregon during an event they called 'End Domestic Terrorism.'
When someone disagrees with them on even minor points, these goons start live streaming, while waving hatchets and AR-15's. Prior to showing up for one of their street brawls, they pose holding their weapons, like little boys at play. They have convinced themselves that unrestrained intimidation is a proper debate technique. 

Viewing their social media accounts, one can find ample images of muscled Norsemen, sword-welding Crusaders, stills from the Braveheart movie, blood-dripping skulls, and hate symbols. It's almost comical, as none of these wannabe warriors look anything like the beefcake fantasy men they post images of.

2017 Unite the Right
In many cases, the same ones talking about a new civil war are the same ones that would've fought to keep slavery as an institution, as many of them are from Southern states, especially from the more rural areas where the 21st Century hasn't had much of an influence. 

They're the ones proclaiming their great love for America and its Constitution, while waving the flags of the nation's enemies. 

Incapable of critical thinking, they fail to understand the irony of waving both an American and a Confederate flag or one emblazoned with a Nazi swastika.

In this surreal vision of the far right, American, Confederate, and Nazi flags fly together.
The Confederates and Nazis were not supporters of America and its Constitution. Wars were fought between each other. It's a point that should not normally be confused, but somehow these beings have blended it altogether and revised history, while imagining themselves as great men seeking to protect the nation. 

They wave their cheap guns around in front of cameras talking about the Second Amendment and needing them to defend the country from tyrants. Yet they're threatening to turn those guns on fellow American citizens trying to remove an actual tyrant from office using lawful measures enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. 

That would make them the enemies within - seditionists and traitors all.

America is a nation of laws. Its goal has been a peaceful transfer of power using an electoral process. When there is a problem with an elected official, you seek to oust them via remedies found within the laws and courts. To threaten the murder and mayhem resulting from a civil war, is a vile act unworthy of a constitutional republic. It outrages common sense, decency, and true American values.

It's lawless sedition. 

For years, ultranationalists warned about a tyrant, then, as soon as one showed up, they dropped to their knees to worship him and behave like criminal henchmen instead of true patriots. Then they declared they would kill American soldiers and citizens in order to keep that tyrant in power - all while feigning respect for the Armed Forces and Constitution.

None of them are upstanding members of their community. They're the cringeworthy fringe types that care little about a lawful civilization, social conventions, improving their hometowns, supporting their local schools and libraries, or belonging to civic organizations. 

Emotionally underdeveloped, their kind often provoke immature street brawls, believing that bare-knuckled violence is the solution to addressing an issue, as if they were seventh graders on a junior high school playground.

Most often, they're engaging in such behaviors due to mental limitations that have left them incapable of civil debate or involvement in legitimate political processes. They act out like misguided, dissatisfied children - the ones you see throwing tantrums in a toy aisle, when they don't get what they want.

Being mentally weak, they take their cues from outlandish conspiracy theories, such as Operation Jade Helm during the Summer of 2015 where they prepared to do battle with the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

Based on a conspiracy theory that a child could see through, they loaded their guns and readied themselves to slay fellow citizens. 

The reality of Jade Helm is that it was a United States Special Operations Command training exercise. Armies need trained in order to prepare for potential conflict. All over the world, such armies train each day. Just like a high school football team practices against each other in preparation for a real game, so do armies. Teams are split up between two sides with all really being on the same side. Yet this caused tremendous alarm within the Patriot and Militia Movements. 

Suddenly, there was talk about secret bases beneath Walmart Supercenters where the "intelligence" confirmed that President Barack Obama was bringing in Chinese troops to disarm Americans and stashing them in huge secret bases dug under the Walmarts, so the communists wouldn't be noticed until they were ready to pop out like a Jack in the Box and wage population and gun control right on Main Street America. 

From the New York Times: Scott Degenaer, outside his home in Christoval, Tex. Mr. Degenaer
said he understood the paranoia over Jade Helm 15 that led some residents to bury their firearms.

In the end there were no Chinese and American soldiers running through city streets and rounding citizens up. There was no confiscation of guns. At Walmart, it was business as usual.

In 2013 the Russians were coming too.

A New World Order conspiracy saw President Obama tucking away Russian soldiers beneath Denver International Airport. The reality was that less than two dozen Russians had arrived to do cross training exercises at Fort Carson in Colorado.

It was in the newspapers. It was on local television. Yet the Patriot and Militia Movements went on high alert warning their people that America had now been invaded and war was inevitable. Some armed militia members staked out the airport just waiting for the Russians to show their faces. It was time to go Red Dawn on the commies.

The patriots truly believed there was an underground city beneath the airport that Obama had made the headquarters of the New World Order. They whispered about Masonic and Satanic symbols, human sacrifice, and murals depicting war and death. Surely, they must rise up against it.

Claims were made that the 1995 construction of the airport formed one giant swastika.

Among the pieces of "evidence" used by the Patriot and Militia Movements
to declare that Denver International Airport was above a hidden underground
city was this early construction of the area. Patriot minds saw a swastika.

This is the exact mindset we're dealing with in this new call for Civil War. 

More recently, these same people have been taking their cues from unhinged beliefs put out by groups like QAnon, who tell them the Clintons are running child sex rings, even out of a pizza parlor (see image below), or that child welfare departments are trafficking the children put into foster care.

Many times, those sharing such delusions have lost their own children to the system. Instead of blaming their drug use or accepting that they were abusive and neglectful, which led to the removal of their children, they rage at the state. Incapable of accepting that they are bad parents, they adopt the false belief the government is selling their kids to pedophiles.

In 2016, the Comet Ping Pong, a Washington D.C.-based pizza parlor,
became the focal point of conspiracy theorists from 4Chan and 8Chan,
who believed the Clintons were using the restaurant to involve children
in Satanic ritual abuse. On December 4, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch
fired three shots from an AR-15 in the delusion he was there to save kids.

All over the state of Arkansas the shifty group known as the Hiwaymen have popped up in front of child welfare offices demanding child sex slaves be given their freedom. Always tagging along with the hate group is its co-founder James Del Brock and a couple of women, who were horrible parents, so the state had to intervene to rescue their children from them. 

Brock frequently cites QAnon conspiracies on his social media to support his belief that the government is sexually trafficking children.

Backwoods Southern groups like the League of the South and
the Hiwaymen often show the fluctuating facial asymmetry
associated with long-term inbreeding, while possessing poor
educations and a lack of critical thinking skills.  
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy that revolves around the belief there is a secret plot by the Deep State that is out to remove President Trump. It's one of the leaders in pushing for a Civil War in order to protect a man facing impeachment for high crimes. The Deep State concept is the idea that there is a hidden government inside the government that is attempting to control a legitimately elected government. 

Some of us used to call that the bureaucracy. 

A group like the Oath Keepers claim to be former or current military and law enforcement members, who have taken an oath to defend America from enemies foreign and domestic. In reality, however, they pose a significant threat to the people they purport to defend. They're more aligned with anti-government and domestic terrorists, who want to bring America down, than they are to those who want to protect the nation.  

Then there are the chaotic warlord wannabes, who believe upon America's collapse they can take control of their home areas and run it like a fiefdom. They can separate the races, control the economy, and use women as chattel. 

Neo-Nazis like the egomaniac call center employee Billy Roper of the Arkansas-based Shieldwall Network want the Balkanisation of America where each race has their own homeland. He believes a civil war would open the door to his having the fantasy land he's dubbed Ozarkia in Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas.

Despite having spent a quarter of a century trying, Roper has failed to organize more than a dozen men, who tend to be drug addicts and criminals. It's pretty clear that were Ozarkia to come into being the abject failure would not be the one running it.

Certainly, they're not sending great minds or the best men to fight this desired civil war.

Which is why they're going to lose. Losing is all they really know.

Dealing with all these characters on a daily basis has made one thing clear: they don't care if America falls to war and ruin. Their lives are already in ruin, so they feel they have nothing to lose. They hope in a fallen society they'll be a somebody. They won't. No matter what happens, these people will always be nobodies. They'll remain run-of-the-mill discontents and losers until their last breath.

It's unlikely there will ever be a civil war. Yet these groups will want to commit domestic terrorist acts.

And Hate Trackers will be there to screw up those plans.


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