Also that feels like 10 years ago.
Trump openly characterized himself as such a person to the Tea Party in 2011.
In it, she suggested the wall that Trump eventually made central to his campaign.
The CCC is the site that spreads those false statistics about Black on white crime that radicalized Dylann Roof.
Most were right-wing extremists.
Neiwert shares the statistics of how domestic terrorism has always been predominantly white and right-wing, but I don't think my audience needs much convincing of that.
For a lot of racists, Adkisson was that message.
Only 8% of Islamist domestic terror involve any deaths.
An attempted bombing of an MLK parade by a white supremacist had happened the day before.
In 2013, there were 1360 active militia movements. In 2015, there were 874.
Radicals were leaving organizations and taking their extremism online.
Hey, kids, what's something that happened between 2013 and 2015?
Dylann Roof was radicalized online, by the CCC and Daily Stormer.
Given Roof's proud display of the Confederate flag in his social media presence, this eventually led to a nationwide discussion of the flag's propriety.
I repeat there were fucking Klansmen there.
Before his motivations were known, Megyn Kelly wondered if he might be connected to ISIS.
In Alt-America, Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, climate change is a hoax, and whites are oppressed.
While these various conspiracy theories often contradict each other (which, in my experience, doesn't prevent some Alt-Righters from believing several), the consistent theme is that The Enemy is pulling the strings, be it the New World Order or the "globalists."
(Though, I'll point out, that is probably true of any mostly white population, because institutional racism.)
They're not unintelligent, they're just extremely gullible, while believing people who believe actual facts is the real sheeple.
Neiwert stress that, these days, our means of sifting through information have "become more acutely personalized and haphazard" than they used to be.
Filter bubbles come to mind.
Some literally call Donald Trump "Glorious Leader."
(Feels weird to see someone call Altemeyer "Robert.")
Conspiracy theories make up for the ways simple beliefs cannot explain a complex world.
Studies imply that the people most inclined to suspect others of being conspiratorial were, themselves, more likely to conspire against others.
Violence framed as defense against an attack that hasn't happened and shows no serious threat of happening.
Things that need to be eliminated.
How do you get numbers on that?
You can also poll the general population about certain conspiracy beliefs.
6% think bin Laden is still alive.
38% of Romney voters believed in the New World Order, compared with 35% who didn't.
And so on.
The main thrust of the chapter has been that Alt-America depends on conspiratorial thinking, which Trump not only capitalized on but increased the intensity of nationwide.
He's where Alex Jones gets a lot of his material.
Guy's been around a while.
This still served as the opening to the rabbit hole
Rush Limbaugh was the centerpiece.
Throughout the 90's, Patriot groups and gatherings popped up all over the country.
government controls the weather
government is building concentration camps for gun owners
the sheriff is the only valid law enforcement
you can fill out paperwork to keep the government from collecting money
Never Play Defense, right?
This deflected from discussions of Clinton's attempts to investigate Far Right terrorism, which was largely neutered by Republicans in Congress.
Oklahoma City was their Charlottesville.
Of course, nothing came of it.
But then 9/11 happened.
In no uncertain terms, Alex Jones owes his career to 9/11.
It was the first time he was the *driver* of conspiracism, rather than regurgitating Patriot theories.
M ajor talking points - still parroted today - were created and promoted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (and others).
Undocumented immigrants commit less crime than citizens, work jobs most citizens refuse to take, are about as healthy as everyone else on average, and have poor access to education.
They've been repeating these lies for two decades.
I dunno how critical this story is to the overall narrative, but hoo boy did I enjoy reading it.
Incidentally, Simcox is now also in jail for child molestation.
See ya next time. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
This chapter is ostensibly about Obama and birthirism, but begins with Adkisson, the shooter mentioned in chapter 1.
Investigators found Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly books in his home.
This was in 2008, the year we elected Obama.
Rest assured, there's a lot of it.
The SPLC counted over 200 hate crimes around the election and inauguration.
Never had disinformation been so prevalent.
The campaign hat to create a website just to correct all the lies.
The anti-smear website posted a scan of Obama's birth certificate and pointed out that he could never have gotten a passport without providing it, but it persisted.
They said this on national television.
As you can imagine, Jones jumped on Birtherism.
A hoax, of course.
Fun fact, CNN's Kitty Pilgrim filled in on Dobbs' show one time and spent the entire segment debunking his theories, LIKE A FUCKING BOSS.
But then, hoo boy, Glenn Beck came on the scene.
The astonishing thing was that no one in this country loved any show as much as Republicans loved Glenn Beck.
Conspiracism: Beck embraced Far Right paranoia far more than O'Reilly or Hannity.
Apocalypticism: Anything Beck was against was an existential threat to America.
One news service called Obama "Gun Salesman of the Year."
Damn, there's a lot of money in being a reactionary liar.
Republicans have adamantly refused to treat Democrats as valid for 40 years.
To trace their origins, Neiwert begins with Ron Paul.
And the only pundit who would speak to him at first was (da-da-daaaaa) Glenn Beck.
The radicals got the message.
Until journos got ahold of the racist, conspiracist newsletters he used to publish before running.
That became the blueprint.
CNBC analyst Rick Santelli followed suit, announcing a Chicago Tea Party for "capitalists who want to show up to Lake Michigan."
Then Fox News got involved.
Neiwert is a little ambiguous as to whether the organizers had to pay for any of this publicity.
Far Right extremists -> Alex Jones -> Glenn Beck -> Fox News -> mainstream media.
There were no longer lines separating these groups. They all flowed freely into each other.
Can you imagine getting this much traction this fast for #EarthStrike?
He killed three police officers and wounded several others.
Sort of like how the media blamed Columbine on video games and didn't mention the shooters were Neo-Nazis.
And people who see these as signs of the End Times start stockpiling weapons.
Because, even though everyone's very deliberately not saying it, conservatives know they're implicated.
They pulled a similar switch when the memo pointed out that Far Right groups actively recruit war veterans, who, with their military training, are especially dangerous.
"YOU'RE CALLING OUR TROOPS TERRORISTS?!?!"
The contrast between the speed and blunt effectiveness of the Tea Party and the digressive and disorganized Occupy is really startling.
Also being funded by rich people helps.
Did you know the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, created specifically to oppose Obama's policies, was founded in August 2008? That's 3 months before Obama was elected.
The connection was, once again, framed by InfoWars as a false flag.
We begin chapter 7 of Alt-America by David Neiwert.
It begins with a conservative rally by Celebrating Conservatism, a group the-same-in-practice-but-technically-distinct-from the Tea Party.
Same tactic as when G*merG*te planned all its harassment on separate IRC channels with all the same people but no *formal* affiliation.
Within a year of Obama's election, it shot up to 512, and to 824 the next year.
-the recruits were younger, more paranoid, and more likely to have military backgrounds
-there was far more mainstream acceptance thanks to the tacit support of the Tea Party
The largest hub of Patriot recruitment and communication was MySpace. This meant that Patriot content could be disseminated without the help of the media. Patriot program Come and Take It Radio was hosted on MySpace.
The Right had learned to meme.
Prior to the 90's, it was little more than a historical relic. It came to prominence first as the unofficial symbol of the Patriots.
It just so happens that a lot of its members started militia movements.
Neiwert: "Alt-America was taking shape. And that shape was heavily armed."
See you then. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
Then the militias started arriving.
That thousand people brought a lot of guns.
It worked. The Bureau released the cattle and left, citing concerns for their safety.
Jesus Fucking Christ.
Alex Jones and Ron Paul both predicted the government would enact more raids to regain control. Jones thought it might spark a revolution.
This went on for a couple of weeks.
That's a thing that happened.
But the militias stuck with him, because of course they did.
Hannity tried to condemn Bundy's views while still defending the standoff.
The number of attendees plummeted. After about a month, there was only a handful of the original thousand.
End of chapter. Eeesh. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
Patriots had held arms against the government and the government caved.
I swear, libertarianism is a suicide cult as much as fascism.
Patriots thought this was unfair.
Reports say not a single local - not even the Hammods' extended family - showed up. Just out-of-state militiamen.
But then Ammon Bundy stood up and asked the men in attendance to join him in a "harder stance."
(Remember: none of the locals had anything to do with this.)
They mostly got glitter, sexy toys, and candy penises. (They didn't have that many supporters.)
And yet, as the occupation drags on for weeks, it starts to look, to other Patriots, kind of... legit.
It's unclear how the fuck they didn't get arrested.
They were ambushed by police on the road.
Many at the refuge immediately went home.
The next day, after negotiations, 8 left. 3 were arrested, 5 walked free.
The remaining 4 lasted until February 9th.
Cliven Bundy was arrested the next day.
They had themselves a martyr and they were keeping him.
Also this chapter's 2x as long as the last one so I'll probably pause halfway and resume later.
Neiwert has a tendency to start chapters in medias res and then backup to the beginning, so we'll see where he goes, but if this is another telling of the GG story that leaves out Zoe Quinn (like Fascism Today did) I'm gonna lose patience.
Movements like GG keep everyone perpetually confused.
Study is online here: scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/upl…
Jared Taylor, Yale-educated founder of the New Century Foundation, which publishes white nationalism magazine American Renaissance. He's largely responsible for the "Black folks are predisposed to criminality" meme.
In 2015 it had 300,000.
Well, during the post-9/11 Bush years, there was a break between these white nationalist groups and mainstream conservatism. The racists didn't think Republicans were racist enough.
The founding of 4chan in 2003, and the election of the first Black President in 2008.
And all these bigots are in the same place when a Black man is elected President.
All this is brewing for years, and pretty soon it's August 2014.
He was part of the Duke Conservative Union in grad school before dropping out.
He worked briefly at The American Conservative but got fired for being too radical.
From there he was executive editor at Far Right magazine Taki's for 2 years.
He left Taki's to found The Alternative Right in 2010, with funding from VDare. He'd coined the term the previous year.
He took over white nationalist think tank The National Policy Institute in 2011, left The Alternative Right and founded "scientific racism" webzine Radix Journal.
"Alt-Right" came to mean an alternative to mainstream conservatism, which they felt did not embrace this vision.
The term "alt-right" was used to soften the image of white nationalism while also recruiting mainstream conservatives.
They also got Shirley Sherrod fired from the NAACP when they edited her speech about reconciliation to look like she was promoting anti-white racism.
Which, of course, sent up a flag saying "we won't kick 1488ers out."
(Anglin was, by his own admission, radicalized on 4chan.)
Oddly, his targets included Breitbart and Alex Jones, the first for being soft on Israel and the second for marrying a Jewish woman.
The Right Stuff, home of The Daily Shoah and creators of the (((echo))) parentheses.
Danger and Play, Mike Cernovich's manosphere site.
RamZPaul, a white nationalist YouTuber.
RickyVaugh, a nativist, Islamophobic, and antifeminist Twitter personality.
Roosh V, pick up artist and rape advocate.
...which was, frankly, true.
Conservatives left of Milo think he's a joke, his peers think he's clever, those to the right think he's serious.
Still, much of it applies.
That's my best guess.
Bargh and McKenna found that people who participated in these communities deeply valued the group identity and intensified the behaviors that brought them there.
1. First contact.
2. Creation of a "micro-community" that creates an echo chamber.
3. A shift to private communication.
4. Determining which type of action a recruit should perform.
You can be pretty damn radical at only Step 2.
I note this here again so I can look it up later.
The Daily Stormer used Pokemon Go to hand out white nationalist leaflets at local gyms. They want the teens.
See you next time. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
Get ready for #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
They are longish chapters, though, so let's see how far I get this morning.
Trump flirted with running for office several times, as early as considering a VP bid with Bush, Sr., in '92. But where he becomes relevant to us is 2011, with Birtherism.
The Republican establishment had written this off as nonsense.
NEVER FORGET WHEN THEY SAY "JUST DO X AND WE'LL LET IT GO" THEY ARE ALWAYS LYING.
"economic anxiety" my ass
Anyway, short version: over time, every racist fuck on the Right endorsed Trump.
Mainstreaming in action.
First, someone feeds him something and he just kinda let's it hang, neither rejecting it nor accepting it, just saying it's valid. "Obama was born in Kenya," "Muslims are building death camps."
He makes a statement sympathetic to an extremist view, eases off after backlash, and declines further comment. He sometimes even officially disavows the extremists who latch onto it.
(I swear to god, fuck this guy.)
You know how Trump basically tweets whatever he hears on Fox & Friends nowadays?
During the campaign it was InfoWars.
Alex Jones showed up. Matthew Heimbach showed up. The Oath Keepers were there to "protect" against Black Lives Matter, as did the West Ohio Minutemen, who came with AK-47s.
Peter Brimelow partied with Milo Yiannapoulos. Richard Spencer was there, getting interviewed by Mother Jones, saying "emotions are more important than policy."
That's where the chapter ends. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
Occidental Dissent said, "Don't underestimate the power of the presidency to legitimize marginalized people and deviant movements."
Open displays of racism and also increased, as did hate crimes, with assailants flatly saying they were inspired by Trump.
They said ~180 anti-Muslim hate crimes happened after Trump announced his candidacy.
The media followed the Trump narrative and seemingly agreed that Clinton had gaffed.
(As always, I feel Hillary is perpetually treated unfairly while many of her legit failings get weirdly ignored.)
What's compelling is the difference between public perception and those of Trump supporters.
His eventual win in the election is illustrative that the private truths of Alt-America can't be ignored.
Others skipped the foreplay and planned to bomb Muslims with truck bombs after Election Day.
Meanwhile Democrats looked at this existential threat to democracy and said, "Well, I don't approve of that."
The evidence was that these kinds of Patriot efforts would be tolerated by the government.
Neiwert oddly doesn't mention Comey, though I suppose the chapter's not really about that.
Anyway, next chapter is about the aftermath. I'm gonna get a bagel. #IanLivetweetsHisResearch
Roughly half of the perpetrators mentioned Trump by name as they attacked minorities.
He did not mention it again for two months.
(hat tip to my friend Brooke for that exquisite emoji combo)
Trump, of course, repeated it anyway.
(This was an argument I had with Trumpkins on Twitter after the election, too.)
The truth is subjective. Whoever shouts loudest is right.
I dunno what counts as a handful, but there were several thousand, and one of them was me.
Neiwert himself was in attendance.
The protester who was shot, Josh Dukes, was one of the appointed peacekeepers, who had spent the evening breaking up fights. He barely survived.
Milo heard the shot and kept speaking, saying, "If we don't continue, they have won."
When the truth doesn't match your narrative, you break laws to make the narrative seem true.
A complaint that should be levied at Angela Nagle as well.
GOOD THING I BOUGHT IT 2 DAYS AGO!!
Just wanted to put that down somewhere.
Personally, I don't need convincing.
Most fascists rise to power with the aid of paramilitary groups: the Blackshirts in Italy, the Storm Division in Germany.
"GamerGate is a leaderless movement."
"TERFs are just asking questions."
"Having Ben Shapiro on my channel doesn't mean I agree with him."
Always falling *just short* of formally directing anyone or advocating anything.
Seems to me like postmodern conservatism has evolved into postmodern fascism.
This new Pokemon sucks ass.
He is, however, the avatar of a proto-fascist movement.
Well put, though I would argue there is no right-wing populism that doesn't trend towards fascism on a long enough timeline.
If Trump - or whatever conservative tries to build on his legacy - *did* institute a one-party state, the newest country to fall into fascism would also be the wealthiest nation on Earth, whom the world economy depends on, & which as the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Disagree. Nonviolence is a critical tool that must be employed wherever viable, but it often isn't enough.
But they do that even when we're peaceful. If we aren't violent, they'll invent violence.
I have a complicated relationship with political empathy.
He says change needs to happen "One healing conversation at a time," which I reject out of hand.
We *already have the numbers to fight this*, we don't need to convince conservatives one by one.
They gain power by mainstreaming fascism. Mainstreaming antifascism is the best way to take power from them.
Whether or not that proved true (it was in ways, but not as much as what they sold), it's what won them the Presidency.
Given I made a whole video about how fascism is the logical progression of conservatism, it's hard to believe in "genuine conservatives."
Which keeps them aligned with fascists.
I want to give Neiwert some credit: Altemeyer pointed out finding common ground with authoritarians is the best way to convert them, and I wouldn't be surprised if that fed into his ideas for fighting the Alt-Right.
And I hate that I'm so critical of these final pages, since I found the whole of the book so incredibly useful.
All told, though, a deeply valuable book I am glad to have read.
This concludes a truly epic #IanLivetweetsHisResearch