╌>

The MAGA Internet Calls for War

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  one week ago  •  10 comments

By:   Ali Breland - Atlantic

The MAGA Internet Calls for War
Extremist rhetoric online is often a foundation for action in the physical world—but not immediately.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


After a jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony charges yesterday, Bronze Age Pervert,   the alter ego of the edgelord influencer Costin Alamariu , retweeted one of his own posts from March. It is a movie clip depicting a scene of armed men storming buildings and gunning people down. In the text accompanying the post, Bronze Age Pervert jokes that the clip is real footage of a “well-planned neutralization operation” that will take place after Trump wins his reelection campaign.

The MAGA faithful are once again on the internet threatening violence. Lots of Republicans, of course, responded to Trump’s felony verdict with simple outrage rather than calls for a “neutralization operation.” But more extreme language has appeared all across the right-wing posting ecosystem. Some Proud Boys chapters responded with the word “war” on their Telegram channels, as reported by   Wired , and   Reuters found   instances of Trump supporters calling for violence against jurors and the judge in the case, as well as calls for civil war and insurrection. An anonymous right-wing X account went viral by posting “Third World Problems Require Third World Solutions” on top of a video of the 2020 military coup in Myanmar.

The incitement of violence and aggressive political retribution is not new on the right, but it has often been confined to the hardened fringes. When it does leak out, it tends to be at least slightly obfuscated. Now though, “some of the more intense rhetoric is coming from the top,” Jared Holt, an extremism researcher at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told me. Auron MacIntyre, a podcast host for the right-wing outlet Blaze Media, called for Republican district attorneys to manipulate the courts and put “corrupt Democrats in jail immediately,” with “no excuses, no equivocation.” Sean Davis, the CEO of the right-wing publication  The Federalist , posted that members of the right have a “moral obligation to terrorize the Left with its own rules and tactics until it is destroyed.”

So what’s going to happen next? Right now, probably nothing. There is always the possibility of people taking inspiration from online posts and engaging in real-world violence—such as when a conspiracy theory about pedophilia   prompted   a man to show up with a gun to a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C., in 2016, or when a white-supremacist shooter in Buffalo, New York, killed 10 people in 2022. But mass mobilizations are hard and require work. There’s usually a pattern that precedes them. MAGA faithful and the far right did not wake up on January 6, 2021, and decide to storm the Capitol. The foundations for it didn’t even come in the days or weeks beforehand. Instead it was a process that bore out over the course of months. And that process could be tracked, in part, in the ever more heated rhetoric and violent memes that MAGA world   spread across the web .

Even as rhetoric online helped encourage energy around right-wing movements, the anti-lockdown protests at state Houses across the country are what helped truly establish the initial framework of what was possible. They showed members of the far right both that there were other people like them and that there were outlets to express what they felt. This is also part of why, in addition to the Capitol, multiple state Houses   were swarmed   on January 6, some requiring evacuations.

And separately, in the months leading up to January 6, two MAGA protests with thousands of attendees were held in D.C. They helped establish patterns and expanded the imagination of what was possible on the right. The idea of going to D.C. to potentially storm the Capitol becomes less far-fetched when you’ve seen fellow MAGA patriots show up in the city before and you’ve watched people  do the same thing  in state Houses across the country, and potentially done so yourself.

The boring little logistical things also get ironed out: Right-wing protesters established rough patterns for where they would congregate. The Hotel Harrington, in downtown D.C.,  became a recurring hot spot for out-of-towners, and the bar on its first floor, Harry’s, became a known hangout for the Proud Boys and anyone who wanted to mingle with them. Everything becomes easier when you’re not the first one to tread the path. January 6 “came after a buildup of social and civil unrest in the U.S.,” Holt said. “People were already going into the streets and turning out for stuff.”

Movements associated with the left have occasionally been able to assemble mass protests very quickly, but that’s because they bear features that the right’s causes generally don’t have access to. (Movements on the left have also, at times, turned violent, but those who study violent extremism most closely   repeatedly say   that the greatest threat of political violence in the United States currently comes from the right.) The George Floyd protests reached their apex within weeks (some within days), because a majority of Americans, left or right, “oppose racism.” This means very different things to different people, but it is still much more popular than Donald Trump, who despite his devoted base has at moments polled as one of the   least   popular   presidents since the advent of modern polling.

Right now the building blocks of political violence have not been established. In August, some of Trump’s supporters   showed up   outside a federal courthouse in D.C. when the former president was arraigned, but including the anti-Trump protesters, the count came to only about 100 people. Some of his fans demonstrated in New York City throughout his trial, but the raucous protests   that Trump   predicted   never materialized .

Holt told me that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility for violence down the line, but he thinks that the rhetoric isn’t gathering momentum for grassroots violence; instead, it’s building “permission structures for the next Republican majority in the U.S. to come down incredibly hard on its critics.” Even though mass mobilization doesn’t seem imminent, some of the rough foundations are left over from 2020. Polemical rhetoric is reaching further into the mainstream, portending something dark. But it will probably take time to get there. Until then, there will likely be escalating moments—protests and other physical action in real life, not just online—to be heeded.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    one week ago

The Purge Redux ... a 2024 Imax production.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     one week ago

If they are looking for a fight that bad I suggest a trip to Ukraine or Gaza and join the festivities there.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  Kavika @2    one week ago

Why would MAGA fight in Ukraine or Gaza?

Neither of those places has anything to do with "Making America Great Again".

Both are a gigantic waste of US taxpayer money.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Ronin2 @2.1    one week ago
Neither of those places has anything to do with "Making America Great Again".

Sure it does, it will rid the US of the political violence that is being threatened. Or to be more precise it will rid the US of unAmerican scum.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
3  Buzz of the Orient    one week ago

I wonder if the emigration from the USA numbers have been rising due to the madness and chaos being reported.  Canadians have a reputation for being polite, maybe more Americans are moving there these days.  

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
3.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3    one week ago
Canadians have a reputation for being polite

You have been absent for a score of years, much has changed.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
3.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Hallux @3.1    one week ago

I'm sorry to hear that.  Then I'm concerned about my daughter in Toronto, although she tells me everything is okay with her.  Where can anyone go these days where they will be safe, comfortable and happy?  I am, no matter how much those who know so little about where I am tend to be critical about it.  I do suffer ONE deprivation that I would like to have, and it isn't the right to vote here because I can still cast my ballots at the Canadian Consulate downtown, it is YouTube, because it is better and more comprehensive than bilibili and Yukou.  

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4  Ronin2    one week ago

"Hey everyone look over here at what they are saying on the internet!"

Ignore the far leftist shit show protests and riots going on at college campuses and Democrat controlled bastion of stupidity cities everywhere.

Wake us when "MAGA" finally decides to do something on the level of BLM/Antifa Summer of Love riots, and the current far left mighty mental midget pro Hamas rioters all across the US.

Then I will agree that there is something to complain about. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5  JohnRussell    one week ago

I think they would end up killing each other. 

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
6  Jeremy Retired in NC    one week ago

The only places I see where the idiot mouthpiece on the screen is screeching "MAGA wants war" are these left wing conspiracy theory stations like CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The View, etc.  

 
 

Who is online


CB
arkpdx


67 visitors