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POTUS was right...
The MAGA movement is a national security threat
Confederate forces bombarding Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, in a lithograph by Currier & Ives.
Currier & Ives/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-DIG-ppmsca-19520)
Okay, please follow my train of thought on this topic and exclusively from a national security point of view.
My two favorite and most credible news sources, AP and Reuters, both buried this story. I consider that a disservice to well-informed readers. At this point in our history, not totally unlike the runup to the US Civil War, what the President said in his speech was not only accurate, but legitimately a dire warning. The MAGA wing of the Republican party is a national security threat.
When I returned to the army, after 26 years as a civilian, I spent the overwhelming majority of my time in the CT, the Counter-Terrorism community, and at many levels but primarily deployed and in a tactical environment. When not deployed I helped put together major programs for USSOCOM regarding CVE, Countering-Violent Extremism and more. I have researched and studied extremism for decades now. POTUS was correct last night, the MAGA movement is a textbook example of an extremist movement, with a violent extremist wing.
Now, let me make a critical distinction as did POTUS last night. No, he did not condemn all Republicans, nor have I in my writings these past couple of years. President Biden said precisely what I have said in this time period, that the MAGA wing of the Republican party, controls the party. Their behavior has been textbook extremism and as we have seen in multiple cases of violence, especially January 6th, 2021, has crossed the threshold into violent extremism.
This in NOT my political view. It is a professional assessment of the evidence. Let’s talk for just a minute about the two major parties. During my youth, in the 60s and 70s, the “left” was the bulk of US violent extremism, especially during Vietnam. Now, the roles have turned, 180 degrees with the right being the dominant, violent extremism that is most dangerous. Americans have been conditioned to put their party allegiance into their identity as a defining aspect of their identity. Both parties have done this. In truth, this is un-American. The constitution doesn’t mention partisanship and George Washington, a personal hero and our only real independent POTUS, warned us of this moment in his Farewell Address after leaving office, after his second term.
If the current form of the Republican party wishes to be seen differently, it is up to the “principled conservatives” to take back their party from the violent extremists. It is in fact, no one else’s job. Until that time, I’m afraid that POTUS is spot on. My friends span the political spectrum and I thoroughly enjoy discussing these issues with them and respect their opinions, whether I agree or not. That my friends is the American Way.
Firmly grounded in the understanding of extremism, my normal optimism has been severely curtailed regarding our current national dynamics. Still, I will believe in the best of both parties doing the right thing and stopping their incessant, bickering and look at facts, truth, knowledge and wisdom. The hard part for the current Republican Party is who will have the moral courage to stand up and acknowledge that truth. If the majority refuse and insist on putting party over country, we’ll end up in exactly the same place that the nation was in April of 1861.
Please don’t allow November elections become a modern version of Fort Sumter. Yes, this is the responsibility of every citizen, not just elected leaders.
Best for your Labor Day weekend,