Demonizing America’s Mainstream Right

A West Point think tank has issued a report titled “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.” Perhaps it should have been titled “Demonizing America’s Mainstream Right,” because the paper, while focusing on domestic terrorists, links them ideologically to law-abiding, Constitution-revering, mainstream conservative American citizens, making it easy for left-wing media to demonize the latter and for the government to target them.

The report, which warns America about “violent far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, was issued last week by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It was written by Arie Perliger, who directs the Center’s terrorism studies and teaches social sciences at West Point. The CTC normally produces reports on al Qaeda and other violent Islamic groups throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Previous reports similar to this latest one, for example, featured such topics as “Crime and Insurgency in the Tribal Areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” “Radical Islamic Ideology in Southeast Asia,” and “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq.”

But this latest study looks within our own borders and connects limited government activists to three movements it identifies as a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement, and a fundamentalist movement.

The first group is fairly self-explanatory: violent racists like the KKK (no mention in the report of their origins in the Democratic party) and skinheads. The third group, the fundamentalists, is identified by the report as including mainly Christian Identity groups such as the Aryan Nations. They “fuse religious fundamentalism with traditional white supremacy and racial tendencies,” “promoting ideas of nativism, exclusionism, and racial superiority through a unique interpretation of religious texts.” The report goes on to discuss the various facets of the movements and their motivations. Certainly when such groups perpetrate violence it is legitimate to identify them as domestic terrorists.

But the characterization of the middle group is where the report gets interesting and more problematic. After describing liberals rosily as “future- or progressive-oriented” and conservatives as paranoid about a New World Order and clinging to an idealized past, the report asserts that the “anti-federalists” want to undermine “the influence, legitimacy and effective sovereignty of the federal government and its proxy organizations.” The members of this movement

espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government.

This pretty much describes every conservative I know, especially in the face of the accelerating big-government bloat and Constitutional revisionism of collectivist Barack Obama, The Man Who Would Be King. The report’s suggestion then, whether intentional or not, is that mainstream conservatives are ideologically sympathetic to racist terror groups.

“The far right represents a more extreme version of conservatism,” the report continues, “as its political vision is usually justified by the aspiration to restore or preserve values and practices that are part of the idealized historical heritage of the nation or ethnic community.” Remove the bit about “ethnic community,” which is a consideration that is far more important to the race-obsessed left than to the right, and conservatives would proudly stand by that vision.

Extremists in the anti-federalist movement, the report notes, direct most their violence at the government and their law enforcement proxies – something mainstream conservatives, who are fiercely supportive of law enforcement (while the left high-fives each other for defecating on cop cars) would certainly not endorse.

It adds: “While far-right groups’ ideology is designed to exclude minorities and foreigners, the liberal-democratic system is designed to emphasize civil rights, minority rights and the balance of power.” Translation: conservatives have a racist, xenophobic streak, but the left is inclusive, tolerant, democratic, and non-totalitarian. Um, no.

This is not some obscure academic paper – the CTC describes itself as “the largest provider of counterterrorism education to federal, state, and local government in the United States.” This paper will have an impact on how our own future military leaders view not just the violent terrorists the report addresses, but also, potentially, the mainstream conservatism to which it links them.

Progressive websites like the Daily Kos and Think Progress are predictably crowing about the report and attacking conservative umbrage about it. “Aren’t conservatives supposed to be hawkish on terror?” taunts The Atlantic Wire. “Conservatives love appealing to these kinds of studies when arguing that we need to get tough on terror, right?” Right. We are – and should be – hawkish on terror, and domestic terror is no exception. The issue is not that conservatives want to whitewash far-right terror groups, but that this report opens the door to viewing principled conservatives as suspicious and threatening.

Want to talk whitewashing? It is the radical left (including the Obama administration) and their media accomplices who sweep Occupy Wall Street violence under the rug, embrace domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers as esteemed academics, ignore New Black Panther threats of a race war, and dismiss Islamic terror on our own soil as “workplace violence” – all the while demonizing Tea Partiers as violent and racist, without a shred of evidence of either.

I look forward to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point issuing a counterbalancing report warning Americans about the danger from violent far left movements and linking them to progressive philosophy. The report could identify groups that our media and government either turn a blind eye to, such as the militantly racist New Black Panthers, or that they view approvingly and whose innumerable violent crimes they ignore, such as the simultaneously anarchic and big-government anti-capitalists of Occupy. It could characterize such threatening movements as not only stemming from socialism and leftist identity politics, but also being empowered by having their representative occupying the White House.

I look forward to that report – but I’m not holding my breath.

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  • Sdsali

    this is becoming scarily reminiscent of the 30's. Somebody has already been put in jail for daring to diss Islam. I am beginning to look for my mountain retreat.

  • pierce

    I have found my mountain retreat. It is quiet opposition to what is happening. I have never seen a more disgusting scenario than the one I see in front of us. At no time in the past could I have expressed my fears, but the last 4 years, UGH.

  • Demetrius M

    I don't hate all government, just the one currently sitting.
    Okay, okay… and the one during the 90's.
    Alright already, and that brief one from '77 to '81.
    And perhaps the last two years of GW Bush where he seemed to just give up.
    Oh, almost forgot, the other Bush, the old guy. The one with the expensive lips. He kinda screwed the pooch as well.
    So I suppose during my lifetime, I witnessed some pretty crappy examples og government.
    Thank G-d for Mr.Reagan who outshines them all put together and may rest in peace.

  • White Hunter

    A federal government that has become "corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals' civil and constitutional rights"? Oh dear. How could anyone possibly believe THAT? Has Prof. Perliger O.D.'ed on some of that newly legalized "medical marijuana"? Or is "Arie Perliger" just the nom de plume of, say, Morris Dees? The only Klan that still threatens the U.S. today is the Kennedy one–RFK, Jr. (the snarling, litigious "environmentalist") and his cousin, JPK III (who just took over Barney Franks's seat in the House). [continued…]

  • White Hunter


    In case "Arie Perliger" hasn't noticed, the few Klansmen still burning crosses (if any are) today are all FBI undercover agents or informers; and Aryan Nations/The Order hasn't existed since Robbie Matthews deservedly lost a shootout with the FBI on Whidbey Island decades ago. The real and present danger today is exclusively from scowling, scruffy young males from Pakistan and Yemen with names like Mohammed or Hamid, not from Americans who voted for Romney. But of course saying that out loud makes me a "racist, right-wing, islamophobic extremist."

    That this mendacious, paranoid, left-wing rubbish is being used to indoctrinate West Point cadets is frightening indeed.

    • burkasrugly

      White Hunter you are sooooo right! Loved your comment about "the real and present danger today is exclusively from scowling, cruffy young males from Pakistan and Yemen with names like Mohammed or Hamid, not for Americans who voted for Romney." This is truly scary that WEST POINT is doing this. What in the world is happening?????

  • κατεργάζομαι

    ALINSKY RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

    ~ William F. Buckley once said that Saul D. Alinsky was "very close to being an organizational genius."
    I am inclined to agree.

  • artist

    This isn't the only DOD report or White Paper outlining conservatives as mutant enemies of the USA. Take a look at this:

  • I am John Galt

    Funny how the left trumpets multi-culturism yet wants all Americans to conform to THEIR ideals.

    • Viet Vet

      Multiculturalism and Diversity are opposites of The Great Melting Pot.

      • Mark

        Becoming The Great Salad Bowl (separate and unequal, fighting the other ingredients for "justice", space filled with (hot) air, where the whole is less than the sum of its parts).

  • cxt

    IMO Alinsky was an idot–his stuff only works:

    A-A "low information" populace

    B-A weak media that instead of doing its job decides to put its thumb on the scale

    C-A divided population with little real connection to one another.

    D-A pretty "civilized" nation where those being "picked on" can be comfortably presumed not to turn violent at such unfair treatment. Think how the Muslim Bortherhood for example would deal with Alinsky and his "ideas."

    Whoa……..looking back over my "off-the-cuff" maybe I spoke too soon. ;)

  • Atlas_Collins

    This surprises anyone?

    I'm quite sure "they" have a rather thick file on me already.

    Tyrannos Omnes Oportet Perire and Molon Labe and all that …

    … or to be more in-tune with the present day vernacular: Phuck Them!

  • Viet Vet

    SOCIAL STUDIES, huh. It appears the left, as they have done with every other U.S. institution, have infiltrated West Point. And they sure don't know what the term Federalism means either. The Founding Fathers described the system of Federalism, as 'States Rights'. So accusing the right of being anti states rights is perfectly myopic.

    There is in fact a far right. It is Libertarians (big L), who are anarchists. But American conservatives are right there with the Founding Fathers with Limited Government. Conservatives are in lock-step with the Founders, to wit: free-enterprise economy, limited government, property rights, religious freedom, firearms freedom, love of liberty, etc. The Founders were very wary of centralized government, therefore, outside of establishing a republican form of government, setting up their branches and responsibilites, their whole effort was to limit its power. We know this because they said this. And yes, government that usurps power that the constitution delegates to the citizenry is tyrannical government. This "study" is, at least in part, at war with the Founding Fathers and the Constitution.

  • Viet Vet

    "…espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government."

    LMAO…this paragraph proves it. They would have gone absolutely bananas in 1774-1775. Imagine, the Committees of Safety and Committees of Correspondence that the Colonists had set up to spy on and keep track of British troop movements, and other goings-on, etc. Meeting in dark houses, cellars, etc., plotting strategy against the government. I would think that West Point would have a better handle on history, but of course this has nothing to do with West Point itself and is no more than a acolyte propagandist of the present government using West Point for credibility.

  • Viet Vet

    You mean Progressive philosophy. Always capitalize Progressive, as it must be distinguished between progressive, such as say, Teddy Roosevelt was concerned, or all natural progression, and the Progressive that is on the first page of the Communist play-book, that is a euphemism used for distraction or obfuscation.

  • Geppettwo

    Obama was reelected because these smear tactics are working. Conservatives are being defined by the Left as the new KKK. The Right do not have the ear of the majority of Americans who form their opinions on the message they're listening to. It's called the "main stream media" because it reaches the largest audience. Watch a few of the more popular shows, listen to the commercials, listen to the lyrics of what constitutes today's pop music, look to who and what is popular in and coming out of Hollywood and you get a measure of the target audience. Many of these folks vote. Many think they know what they're voting for and what the candidates represent because they've been “informed.” They're constantly being fed the notion, by both sides of the political spectrum that the American voter is alert, sophisticated and knows what is right and what it means to be an American and can be trusted to vote accordingly. Many don't have a clue that they're being fed a diet of agitprop designed to pacify, engage and indoctrinate, not inform. Try and tell them that and see how far you'll get. You're just one of these dangerous, conservative radicals who should be locked up, shut up and not allowed to gather in public places. They've been told by folks they admire and respect, Obama prominent among them. America is in big trouble.

    • Viet Vet

      Low-information voters, who get what information they get, spoon-fed to them by the drive-by-media, are an extreme danger to American liberty. Thomas Jefferson spoke to this ignorance in his 'Tree of liberty' letter to William Smith, where he talked about rebellion every 20 years.

  • BillG

    Good example why military folks should stick to military issues period. This 'opinion' piece pits the authors' opinions against conservatives regarding domestic issues. In what way are their opinions worth more?

    The fathers of this republic were very conscious of the dangers of a standing army, which explains why they favored a citizens militia first and a small or non existent standing army next, only on an as needed basis. The Swiss successfully use this model.

    As tax payer, paying the salary of these 'think tank' types, I want to tell them stop wasting my money. If you haven't got better things to do, I need to reduce staff. These guys strike me as a good first step.

  • Ghostwriter

    I have no problem with foreigners. As long as they don't threaten my country,come here legally,and scream for my death,I have no problem with them.

  • Herb Benty

    Look, BIG GOVERNMENT, MY BIBLE tells tells me about a GOD who loves His creation- mankind, and, who will soon destroy evil… period. IT is the job of christians to show LOVE to people that is showered on us from GOD. Those two sentences sum up Christianity. Useing this BIBLE to justify violence is like taking the US Constitution and useing it to take over the world. There is no such thing as a Christian domestic terrorist, but I'll bet there are Christians who make the" left" very uncomfortable because of the " different spirit".

  • mlcblog

    I distinctly recall as an adolescent listening to my leftist family make up out of whole cloth the things they would say against other people — the so-called right wing. They conjectured all sorts of things, including hall closets full of machine guns, and then broadcast their ideas as fact — with no proof or documentation at all. I continued to hear this strange paranoid conjecture all through my tenure as a leftist radical and even must have engaged in it myself. They make it up and love to tell it.

    • SoCalMike

      They just make it up as they go along and tell it like it's real.
      Every single day…..

      • mlcblog

        Bless you. I draw strength from others who share the same observation.

        Now, I see they are "documenting" and "proving" their ideas, but with flawed logic and flawed studies, as in the climate change fiasco.

  • SoCalMike

    SoCalMike's First Law of Economics
    Those who make a living off OPM (Other People's Money) are poisoned with perverse incentives to get the facts wrong and to do wrong idiotic self-defeating things.
    So our Best and Brightest set out pretending 80 year old grand mothers in wheel chairs from Nebraska pose an equal threat as a jihadi.
    Our Best and Brightest declare the Muslim Brotherhood moderate and send HAMAS taxpayer dollars and weapons as they openly espouse Jew hatred which our Best and Brightest masterfully dissimulate, deny and evade.
    Our Best and Brightest give countries like North Korea and Pakistan money to develop their nuclear weapons. They aren't usually pressed to ask why they do this even after Pakistan hid Bin Laden and put the doctor that led us to him in jail. Career parasites are so creative they would probably utter something about "access" but we will never know because the collection of false media prophets and cowed Republicans will never dare ask and if they dared, People For the American Way would mobilize to ruin them.
    Our Best and Brightest ignore and downplay a nuclear Iran while poising to throw Israel under the geopolitical bus in order to gain brownie points with the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad.
    Should we really be surprised West Point's Best and Brightest now pretend ordinary rank and file Americans pose the real risk while they censor themselves and refuse to name the real enemy??
    Only OPM allows you to get it wrong over and over again because you have no incentive to get the facts straight.
    Career parasite BHO has never made a dime of his own money so he deletes all specific references to name the enemy from our national intelligence and military documents.
    And not one of the other career parasites in any branch of government or media has called him out for this or challenged the sanity or rationality of such poisonous self-defeating stupidity being displayed front and center in the policy world.
    OPM poisons.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The left using West Point as a focus of anti Americanism, will wonders never cease. The report
    can be stuffed and we know where in the can be done, The Obama regime needs falsehood
    in fine propagandist form to create large straw men to focus on out of the shadows of lies
    and distortion in order to turn people to violence against true patriots, times are going to
    be tough, do not let this type of crap gain any traction………………………..William

  • popseal

    It seems that America is lurching toward events that do not have happy endings for the country. It's the large constituency that thinks Bam is as good as chocolate ice cream that irks me. A woman at my gym was standing in front a TV yesterday gushing about how like a god he is, so 'dignified' and cultured!