Here’s an excerpt from Neiwert, then writing as Orcinus in May 2007:
Certainly the trend of the past couple of decades has been that the right-wing extremists tend to ease up more when Republicans rule the roost, and become much more virulently active when Democrats are in charge. This fits in with a much longer pattern, dating back to the 19th century and even before, of the extremist right acting as a kind of cultural and political wedge to separate working-class people from the progressives whose interests they actually share, especially in terms of curbing the effects of corporate and rampant capitalist behavior. …
And in recent months, especially as the prospect of the voting public giving movement conservatives the boot loomed larger, we've seen cases like Chad Castagana, in which formerly mainstream conservatives -- self-admittedly inspired by the hateful rhetoric of people like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin -- have crossed over into actual domestic terrorism, inspired not just by hatred of the government but hatred of liberals. ...
So it's going to be up to progressives to seize this bull by the horns. They're going to have to anticipate an increasingly violent political environment, and understand that their most effective strategies in defusing it lie in turning the violence into a moral victory (particularly when it's demonstrated that far-right factions are the instigators) and in undermining their appeal by working hard to champion the interest of the same working-class people the extremists depend upon for recruitment.
Scroll forward 15 years. Here’s NBC reporter Ben Collins Monday night on MSNBC:
Once again, I suspect some people will downplay the threat. What can the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers or other more shadowy groups do in actual confrontation with the might of law enforcement enhanced with federal handouts of surplus armored vehicles and weaponry, not to mention the U.S. military itself? But critics who believe such right-wing violence is chimeric—just a product of armchair insurrectionists with a dozen gun magazine subscriptions—should instead view the situation through the lens of asymmetric warfare. Not Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, but rather the guerrillas (and bandits) of William Quantrill’s Raiders.
I wrote in agreement with Neiwert in June 2007:
In other words, it can happen here. In addition to being on the receiving end of state-authorized violence, I've seen a bit of rightwing violence up close in my time - an abortion clinic firebombed, serial death-threats from a group that had already assassinated a talk-radio host, a pipe-bomb that fizzled under a colleague's car. The hatred that led Tim McVeigh or Eric Rudolph to commit their murderous acts is still with us, indeed, deeply embedded, and spouted by the likes of Ann Coulter, Hal Turner and others of their ilk from their high-wattage podiums. We ignore this hatred and its fascistic purveyors at our peril.
Surely, that last sentence matters even more true today.
I’m adding this important what-to-do comment from G2Geek:
In which case the activism that's called for is for folks here to join SeditionHunters, Bellingcat, and other OSIC orgs, to collect the intel & evidence that will a) help prevent the violence, and b) help catch the terrorists who do the violence.
SeditionHunters was responsible for catching slightly more than 50% of the 06 January insurrectionists who have been arrested to date.
This stuff works.
And at that level it doesn't take geek skills, only persistence, patience, and keeping a cool head while tracking ‘em down.
Anyone here can get in the game.
Especially those of us who are in safe Blue districts & states, where there ain’t much grassroots GOTV to do.
If you aren’t out canvassing for votes, you can be at home helping catch terrorists.
(Though also, do keep those ActBlue & campaign donations coming, to help the folks in Purple & Red areas who are doing the vital GOTV work that's going to win it for us this year!)