Far-right terrorism is currently the most active and dangerous domestic threat to the security of America.
Radical groups such as the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, QAnon and the Oath Keepers represent the dangerous radicalization that is presently supported by far too many Americans.
These groups are hateful, dangerous and should be reviled and shunned from society, and yet the Republican Party and its leaders have embraced their disgustingly evil conspiracies and frequently encourage their appalling and terroristic actions.
All Republicans, party leaders especially, have a moral and ethical obligation to condemn these groups and purge their ideologies from the party and from the nation, or their hate will destroy this nation, and even more American lives will be lost.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI both describe white nationalism and far-right terrorism to be one of the most, if not the most, pressing dangers to our country currently.
These groups received even more implicit support when 43 members of the GOP voted to acquit former President Donald Trump of charges of inciting insurrection, displaying a cowardly unwillingness to convict a man of a crime he is unquestionably guilty of.
Despite his belief that the former president is guilty, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted to acquit Trump of the charges brought against him. In a weak defense, McConnell said the trial was unconstitutional because of the delay in the trial, a delay that McConnell caused himself.
This circular logic is an excuse for McConnell to remain neutral in the eyes of these far-right terrorists in an attempt to keep them in the Republican Party. It is an unacceptable breach of trust with the American people, who need to see that these groups will face consequences for their actions.
The far-right groups that stormed the Capitol had support from within the GOP, including far-right conservatives Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) who still peddle in racist, anti-Semitic, and wildly untrue conspiracies that threaten national security and the safety of average Americans.
Despite having denounced QAnon after being stripped of her House committee assignments, Greene continues to spread conspiracy theories about the election and about President Joe Biden.
For Republicans to fail to censure these dangerous radicals, and to instead censure the only Republicans with the courage to refuse to overturn an election, sets a dangerous precedent, and shows America and the world they cannot trust the Republican Party.
Each of the aforementioned groups were involved in the Capitol attack, and the federal government is investigating members of the Proud Boys, Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers for their involvement in the attempted insurrection.
The defense of these groups by Republican senators, and the implicit condoning of the attack through the acquittal of Trump shows these hate groups that they have a home in the Republican Party, and that they will be protected from the repercussions.
Rather than confronting the dangerous elements of their own party — and attempting to reclaim some modicum of decency — Republicans still blame violence on the left, refusing to accept responsibility for the attacks on democracy.
They have compared the Capitol riots to Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, and some have gone as far as to blame some of the violence on "Antifa," which isn't an organization but an ideology. Still, anti-fascist groups had no involvement in the Capitol insurrection.
"I don't think those are fair comparisons at all, (on one hand) you have people who have been oppressed for hundreds of years fighting for basic human rights, just trying not to be killed by police, on the other hand you have neo-nazis and white supremacists who are just throwing a fit," said Cameron Adams, president of ASU Young Democrats.
"I don't know if they actually believe it, or if they are just creating it to have their supporters believe it," said Adams, a junior studying global studies.
This false equivalency is a blatant attempt to shove responsibility for hate groups off of the Republican Party, and it is not fooling anyone.
While these groups were certainly emboldened by having blatant white supremacy spewed daily by the former president, the Republican Party is led by enablers that have allowed these hateful groups and their despicable rhetoric to fester throughout the party, and they must act against these groups before they hurt anyone else.
"I think it really falls on their leaders, the Republican Party, to get their act together," Adams said.
And until Republican leadership stops enabling harmful conspiracies, we as Americans should not let them anywhere near government or positions of power, because they have shown countless times they will only abuse it to harm those in our society who are most vulnerable.
Democracy is fragile, and our nation is fragile. Republicans have preyed upon the desperate to fuel hate and bigotry and use these things to destabilize our government and keep themselves in power.
They must act to protect America from hate groups and conspiracy theories, or they will be complicit in the destruction of our nation.
Get your act together, Republicans, or get out.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @TKGeraldMusic on Twitter.
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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