The GOP has morphed from an “evil insect” into a full-blown “terrorist organization,” according to a recent Salon piece that accused Republicans and Trump supporters of seeking a war against American democracy, encouraging widescale violence against the left and minorities, and using “stochastic terrorism” to achieve their aims.
Titled “At last the Republican Party comes clean: It stands for terrorism and Trump, against democracy,” penned by staff writer Chauncey DeVega, the Monday Salon essay begins by labeling the Republican Party an “evil” terror group.
“In the year-plus since the events of Jan. 6, 2021, the Republican Party has morphed, like an evil insect emerging from a chrysalis, into its final form: a terrorist organization,” he writes.
At last the Republican Party comes clean: It stands for terrorism and Trump, against democracy https://t.co/p8zHRAzUjb
— Salon (@Salon) February 7, 2022
DeVega, a senior politics writer for the left-wing online magazine, criticized the GOP for refusing to “purge” those Republicans who “supported, endorsed and participated in Donald Trump’s coup attempt,” accusing them of “completing the ‘legal’ part of Trump’s coup, even after the illegal part had failed (at least in that moment).”
“Although that coup attempt was not successful, the campaign against American democracy continues and is escalating, largely undeterred,” he added.
He also accused Republicans of pretending “to be legitimate partners in the very system of democratic governance they are working to destroy,” as well as adopting the systems of “authoritarian pseudo-democracies” by allegedly passing laws to hinder Democrats from winning future elections.
“Emulating the systems of authoritarian pseudo-democracies like Russia, Hungary and Turkey, the Republicans want to replace a system of ‘free and fair’ elections (however imperfect those have been in practice) with what experts describe as ‘competitive authoritarianism’ or ‘managed democracy,’” he wrote.
According to DeVega, last year’s Capitol riot proves that if Republicans were to lose the popular vote, they would “resort to illegal and quasi-legal means to obtain, keep and maximize power.”
Blasting “hysterical and imaginary claims of censorship” by the right, he warned of “Trump and his spokespeople” encouraging “eliminationist violence” against the “imaginary ‘Left-wing MOB’ that is ‘destroying our Nation.’”
He also accused former President Trump of having “hinted at the possibility of widespread racist violence, directed in particular against Black people,” while the “right-wing propaganda echo chamber” circulates “the white supremacist ‘Great Replacement’ fantasy.”
“These claims are an encouragement to preemptive violence against Black and brown people, Muslims and other perceived undesirables,” he added.
For years, DeVega writes, former President Trump “and the larger neofascist movement behind him” have used “stochastic terrorism” — a propaganda technique in which
“coded appeals are used to encourage political violence” — to achieve their goals.
But it is “nothing new,” he claims, as it “has been a key feature of right-wing media and the ‘conservative’ movement” for decades.
He also claimed that the 2021 Capitol riot emboldened “Republican fascists and the larger white right,” resulting in “millions of Republicans and Trump supporters [who] are prepared to support political violence in order to return Trump to power and to protect what they understand as America’s ‘traditional values’ (meaning white privilege and white power).”
“An unknown proportion of those people are willing to engage in such violence personally,” he asserted.
Arguing that “[m]any Trumpists and other neofascists are flying all-black U.S. flags at rallies or outside their homes to signal that they will offer no mercy in a future armed battle against Democrats, liberals, progressives and others deemed to be ‘un-American,’” he warned of a dark and violent future.
“White supremacist and other neofascist paramilitaries are marching in the streets of major American cities in a campaign of intimidation (and recruitment),” he wrote. “Historically Black colleges and universities have been targeted by bomb threats.”
“In an eerie repeat of one of the worst chapters in human history, Republicans and their followers are endorsing book bans — and even staging public book burnings,” he added.
Describing former President Trump as “an entrepreneur of racial and ethnic violence,” he compared the 45th president to foreign leaders who’ve “used fear, lies, stereotypes and other dehumanizing and eliminationist rhetoric and threats of violence to encourage ethnic genocide.”
The essay concluded by warning of the many white people willing to target black and brown people in violent campaigns.
“Trump has made it clear that he wants a ‘race war,’ in which Black and brown people are targeted for wide-scale violence by white people,” he wrote.
“There may be thousands, or tens of thousands (or even more) of white people willing to follow his orders,” he added. “The danger is extreme.”
In October, a shockingly anti-white and anti-Christian Salon piece by DeVega referred to “the Republican fascist movement” as “objectively evil,” hoping that “people of color” die out in the battle against “multiracial democracy,” while accusing “white Christians” of embracing lies, terrorism, white supremacy, and fascism.
Last February, another Salon essay penned by DeVega accused Republicans of resembling “good Germans” of the Nazi era — wishing to believe they are decent people while hiding behind “fictions of plausible deniability for the evils committed by their leader,” as he described today’s conservatism as seeking “friendly fascism” masked in an appeal to return to “traditional values.”
The essay comes as the left continues to routinely describe conservatives as a domestic threat to democracy.
On Monday, the Washington Post published a piece declaring that the GOP “has become the Jan. 6 Party” that “stands for insurrection and authoritarianism” and “antidemocracy.”
The essay concludes that “the party of death” is now “a radical nationalist-populist party that poses a dire danger to U.S. democracy — and to the lives of ordinary Americans.”
Last month, the New York Times published a piece claiming the U.S. may be on the verge of collapse due to right-wing threats on democracy while calling to intensify “war games” for scenarios concerning the 2024 presidential elections such as “insurrection, secession, insurgency and civil war” in order to avert “political decay” of the country.
In August, left-wing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore compared rioters who entered the U.S. Capitol in January last year to radical Taliban terrorists, calling the former “our Taliban” and claiming that, along with their Afghan counterparts, they are “at their best” when seizing symbols of power.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein