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McCarthy's ouster by the MAGA extremists, was predictable for anyone studying the lifecycles of terrorism.
Happy Tuesday to TAT readers,
Well, after a few days off to spend time with family, grandkids and great niece and nephew, I am back in the saddle, so to speak. The news this fine Tuesday is coming at us fast and furiously, from a wide variety of sectors.
Today I will focus on an issue at the very heart of so many of our national security threats… the degenerative life cycle of the political party, formerly known as the Republican Party. The GOP, under MAGA control is extremist and has also demonstrated a clear willingness to engage in violent extremism from main street to their armed assault on the Capital, January 6th, 2021. They have been a radical organization since before the Trump era but afterwards, became a textbook extremist movement. Extremist movements have predictable outcomes for those who have studied lifecycles of extremism. Since I spent much of my uniformed career in counterterrorism, I clearly see the trajectory. It’s too complex to recount all of that here today, but there are some critical points to take away from today’s introduction to this topic.
As always, my disclaimer here is that I do not endorse any political party, and for the same reasons as our first and only, independent POTUS, George Washington.
1: the quality or state of being extreme
2: advocacy of extreme measures or views: RADICALISM
Definitions For the FBI’s purposes
“Domestic terrorism” is defined by 18 U.S.C. § 2331(5), as activities: · Involving acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; · Appearing to be intended to: or Intimidate or coerce a civilian population; or Influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion; or Affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping; and · Occurring primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. DHS derives its definition of DT from the Homeland Security Act definition of terrorism, 6 U.S.C. § 101(18), which is similar, but not identical to, the 18 U.S.C. § 2331(5) definition. Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, terrorism is defined as any activity that: · Involves an act that: Is dangerous to human life or potentially destructive of critical infrastructure or key resources; and Is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or other subdivision of the United States; and · Appears to be intended to: or Intimidate or coerce a civilian population; or Influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or Affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping
From the US Code
the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State.
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States
It is not by accident that today, on the floor of the US House of Representatives, those worst of the MAGA extremists have expelled the current Speaker, Kevin McCarthy from the Speaker’s chair. That McCarthy is one of the extremists too, due to his constant kowtowing to Trump and MAGA, is a trait that always attends extremist movements. Extremism by nature requires a perpetually more severe expression of extremist ideology and behavior, much the way that drug addiction always requires more and stronger doses of the addicting substance or issue, in order to maintain or exceed the addictive needs of the addict.
As a hint, the topic of today’s TAT along with the topics of, 1. American Oligarchy, 2. Yellow Journalism and 3. their severe threat our republic, will be the make-up of a book that I have begun writing. Hopefully, it will be in print by Spring of next year, well prior to the 2024 general election.
Today’s piece partially frames the issues we face, while that the current, recurring trends in American history present themselves via today’s MAGA dominated GOP. These are all recurring trends in US history and not the purview of any single political party. President Andrew Jackson was our first populist president. In fact, in the 1930s, there was a similar, albeit lesser threat in Huey Long during the US depression era and Huey, was a Southern Democrat. The title of the party in all cases is not what is important, but the actual traits of the party as they go through these life cycles of extremism are what constitutes their threat to our constitutional republic.
Before Huey Long could pursue his agenda to its logical conclusion, one of his detractors killed him. Populists inspire dislike and hate equal to populist fervor. Long, like Trump, inspired enormous waves of hate from those who refused to bow to his corrupt, authoritarianism. That hate inspired a detractor to kill Long, but Trump who reached the White House, ended up plotting and executing an armed insurrection intended to override our constitution, effectively ending our republic. Trump’s now higher polling numbers, should terrify every single truly patriotic American, left, right or otherwise. The specific fear in its simplest form, is that Trump and his MAGA hordes will end, not protect our “great experiment.”
Like all authoritarian nations, the issue is power. Be it dictatorship, Oligarchism, Communism, ruling Juntas, rabid nationalism, populism or a lot of other terms, these forms of government are intended to put absolute power into the hands of one, or a very few and they will employ all means to maintain that power.
There will of course be dissent to this article that rightfully allege, that the summer of George Floyd protests, some by radical groups intermixed with the majority of ordinary citizens, met these definitions. This is partially true as well but, the outstanding differences are, 1. Anarchists and some of the more radicalized elements of the BLM movement (a small minority of the overall movement) do meet the definitions but 2. neither, had either the capacity or the willingness at that time to overturn the US government. MAGA did, still does and more acutely, does have the capacity.
Although today’s article is fairly short by TAT standards, there are a couple of take-aways that I hope you will hold onto. All of these will be discussed in detail, in my upcoming book but for today, the following should suffice for today’s read.
Any movement, political party, group or otherwise that leans on a specific, rigid ideology, without a truthful mechanism to moderate its agenda and methods, can grow into what we see today in the MAGA-dominated, GOP.
Once radicalized, the individuals and subgroups within the overall movement will eventually move towards violent extremism. Most movements end prior to this or shortly after beginning their violent phase but the ones that endure, are a threat of extraordinary proportions. Those that endure on a massive scale, end up the victims of those like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Xi and countless others throughout history. These movements have a distorted, often violent and immoral ideology at their core and when any ideology thrives, it has the potential to breed extreme adherence to it. With popular support, that ideology becomes a threat. The more popular, the more severe the threat. The list of genocides and democides is endless with victims on a scale, nearly impossible to quantify.
As the historic life cycles of extremist movements clearly indicate, suffering is the primary attendee at the funeral of those movements. Post the Stalin and Mao eras, the true numbers of victims is still impossible to quantify. It’s no different here in the Americas regarding indigenous populations or in other corners of world like Darfur, Turkey regarding the Armenian genocide, Germany and Japan during WW II, colonialism,
Not only does the MAGA movement represent the character traits of a violent ideology, but it has demonstrated that violence on an enormous scale that actually threatened the survival of American democracy. Anyone who does not acknowledge this as a severe national security threat is not paying attention and is either not well-informed or refuses to be.
This is one of the primary reasons that I write this TAT publication and only ask paid subscriptions for those who wish to comment. The dissemination of what I have learned professionally over a lifetime, is my way of paying it forward. I wish to share what I know professionally with those who are willing to learn but may not have the specific background to have had the opportunity or exposure.
The most important takeaway from today’s post is; we don’t have to put up with MAGA, nor any other violent extremist movement in our republic. Despite the worst efforts by the oligarchs who pay the bills for and therefore benefit from authoritarian government, the power-mongering “front men and women” and the hypnotic dissemination of the underpinning extreme ideology of the populist movements, we the people still have the power to right our ship of democracy. There will be further articles from TAT on this particular topic, as well as being part of the conclusion to the forthcoming book.
Well fellow readers, today’s piece is far more somber than I was intending for the first day back at the keyboard. Still, this piece is one of those things that must be said, “out loud” and in detail. This is just the overview of the persuasive book I intend for Spring. I again must pointedly say that Americans, must stop seeing everything as political in nature. The whole point of being an American citizen is equitable individual freedom for everyone, not just those who join what President Washington and his peers called, “factions” and today are called political parties. His quotes rightfully fit into many of my articles and will continue to do so, this one included.
The American republic never intended for our nation to be run by oligarchs and power-mongers. In recent years, our congress has become more of a “bought and paid for” expression of oligarchical interests. They empower or, more like employ power mongering leaders like Trump, to be the point person for expanding their power. People like Trump enslave their MAGA hordes by infecting them with ideology that becomes their identity rather than the previous identity of our national values. Hitler did this with Germany, Lenin, Stalin and more in Russia and Mao and more in China, the Crusaders across Europe, the Turks across central Asia and Eastern Europe, Al Wahhab along with a Saudi Prince in the 1700s and the list goes on and on ad nauseum.
If anyone doubts where this ends without the intervention by moral Americans, regardless of political affiliation, just ask former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. He learned today that his appeasement of MAGA, ended up being the tiger that had him for lunch.
Finally, I’m a lifelong optimist with no change in sight. I personally and fervently believe in our Republic and what it stands for. I believe that America will right her ship of state and restore our founding values. The thing is it won’t happen by itself. We all must contribute with courage, dedication and persistence. Not one founder signed our Declaration of Independence based on the ideology of MAGA, no matter how much they claim to be patriots. Not one founder would stand for what has happened to the Republican faction. All of them would once again revolt in the face of what MAGA intends for our nation. They risked their lives, families, fortunes and more. All I ask of readers is to embrace the true values we hold dear, not the fake values of the MAGA fake patriots. Our republic literally depends on it.
My best for your Tuesday,
For those with extended interest, here are two scholarly references regarding Life Cycles of extremism and violent extremism:
In this exploratory study, individuals’ processes of engagement in violent extremist groups are analysed by drawing from criminological life-course theory and narrative-based understandings of crime. Based on interviews with individuals who have participated in violent extremism, it is suggested that the process of engagement consists of three steps: (1) a weakening of informal social controls, followed by (2) an interaction with individuals in proximity to the group and (3) a stage of meaning-making in relation to the group and one’s identity, resulting in an individual’s willingness and capacity to engaging in the group’s activities, including violence. In future theorizing about processes of engagement in violent extremism, the meanings of age, and the life-course stages of late adolescence and emerging adulthood in particular, should be given analytic attention.
2. THE LIFE CYCLE OF TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS 11047408.pdf (core.ac.uk)
That terrorist organisations come and go is a fact. This empirical fact tends to draw attention to the demise of the terrorist organisation and distracts from the dynamics of the terrorist organisation’s life cycle. In this respect, the extant literature suffers from a serious weakness that is symptomatic of the absence from the literature of a rigorous theoretical explanation for the life cycle of terrorist organisations. This paper aims to address this by developing a theoretical explanation for the life cycle of terrorist organisations that is centred on competition for grassroots or popular support between the terrorist organisation and the government. The decline and demise of a particular terrorist organisation is not certain ex ante, and a terrorist organisation may be expected to be most dangerous, not in its death throes, but during its early years as it competes with the government for grassroots support. These appear to be different conclusions to those that characterise some parts of the literature on this subject. The theoretical explanation developed herein also predicts a cyclical oscillation of conflict.