'The worst is yet to come': Experts warn MAGA violence is spreading -- and law enforcement should prepare
According to two different experts on the rising tide of domestic terrorists since the election of Donald Trump, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better as long as the former president remains free to incite violence in much the way he did on Jan 6, 2020.
Speaking with the New York Times' Blake Hounshell, authors Luke Mogelson and Andy Campbell, both of whom have new books on right-wing extremists, waved the red flag about what they see coming as Trump continues to egg his followers on -- which is setting the stage for more violence.
As Hounshell summed up their warning: "The worst is yet to come."
Getting right to the point, Campbell, who has a new book out on the Proud Boys, told the Times, "I really do believe that, going forward, it’s not just going to be MAGA rallies. It’s not just going to be political violence at Proud Boys rallies or leftist rallies or B.L.M. events. It’s going to be political violence at any civic event that happens to fall in the cross hairs of Donald Trump and company.”
According to Hounshell, "In the United States, it is not illegal to be a part of a domestic extremist group. To go after specific threats, the government has limited tools, meaning that federal officials often must find links to groups overseas in order to crack down on homegrown extremists or prosecute them under other provisions of law," adding, "Complicating matters, Republican politicians like Trump — who instructed the Proud Boys to 'stand back and stand by' during a presidential debate in 2020 — often provide rhetorical cover."
Mogelson claims the violence he saw on Jan 6, when supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol, reminded him of covering armed conflicts around the world for the past decade.
"He witnessed a mob killing of someone in Iraq, which gave him an understanding of what he called the 'intoxicating' feeling that can whip a crowd of seemingly ordinary people into a frenzy," the Times reports before noting, "he began reporting on anti-lockdown groups that mobilized against the pandemic measures put in place by governors like Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, a Democrat, he immediately saw that the story was much larger."
He told the Times, "I soon realized that these groups and this movement was rapidly mutating.”
Campbell chimed in to add the Republican Party appears unable -- or unwilling -- to rein the far-right extremists in.
“The Republican Party seems to not know what to do,” he claimed before warning, “It seems like their inability to rebut the Proud Boys and other extremists is pushing this machine forward so much faster and really making it hard for law enforcement to keep up.”
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