Here's why the MAGA movement could pose a ‘greater threat’ to America than the Taliban or Al Qaeda
Far-right Republicans have a long history of freaking out if one dares to suggest that violent White nationalism and White supremacy pose as great a terrorist threat to the United States as radical Islamists, let alone saying that they are an even greater threat. But facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that violent White nationalists and White supremacists have committed one terrorist attack after another in recent years — from the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building to a horrific plot to kidnap and possibly murder Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the anti-Latino massacre inside an El Paso, Texas Walmart in August 2019.
Wingnuts at Fox took notice when journalist David Rothkopf described the MAGA movement and White nationalism as more dangerous to the U.S. than the Taliban or Al Qaeda, but in a biting op-ed published by the Daily Beast on August 26, Rothkopf doesn't back down and stands by his argument.
On August 20, Rothkopf tweeted, "The Taliban, all of them together, plus every Al Qaeda fighter in the world, do not pose the threat to the United States that Trump or Trumpist extremists do." And Fox News' Cameron Cawthorne turned that into a "news" article on a "Democratic insider" saying that Trump's MAGA movement is more dangerous than al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
The Taliban, all of them together, plus every Al Qaeda fighter in the world, do not pose the threat to the United States that Trump or Trumpist extremists do. Let's maintain our perspective.— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf) 1629468117
Rothkopf brilliantly clarified his position, telling Fox News, "The Taliban and Al Qaeda are among the most vile, dangerous violent extremist organizations in the world. They pose a threat that must be taken very seriously and actively combatted. They do not, however, pose an existential threat to the United States or our way of life. Trump and his supporters have, with support of one of America's most dangerous enemies, actively sought to undermine democracy in America."
Rothkopf continued, "The coup attempt on January 6 and the propagation of the Big Lie are an example of this. Their efforts to suppress the vote are an example of this. Trump's active obstruction of justice is an example of this. Should they succeed, democracy in America will be gutted, our way of life ended, our values undermined and our standing in the world destroyed."
Rothkopf elaborates on his arguments in his Daily Beast article, noting that Fox News has made the problem worse by downplaying White nationalist extremism.
"Something you don't hear much about on Fox News is how U.S. law enforcement sees the domestic violent extremists who have supported and been encouraged by Trump," Rothkopf explains. "I could have pointed out domestic extremists pose a greater threat to the U.S. than do foreign violent extremists like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, according to the Department of Homeland Security — a view they also held when Trump's team was in place there. Trump-appointed FBI director Christopher Wray agrees, and has pointed to the special threat posed by White supremacists."
Rothkopf continues, "While the threat posed by foreign terrorists is real, it has been vastly overstated in the wake of 9/11. We should not have treated those terrorists as being analogous to prior international enemies of the modern era like the Nazis or the Soviets. They instead pose a more limited kind of risk than was presented, a risk that despite their rhetoric, was not to our society or institutions broadly but was instead sporadic and opportunist. We are better off responding to them with specialized counter-terror measures, expanded intelligence capabilities, hardened assets and greater public-private coordination in the identification of, preparation for and reaction to threats."
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