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Capturing regional political control is often a thankless task. But that kind of diligence can create a bulwark against a corrupt administration seeking to punish dissent.
We now know that the FBI labeled Donald Trump’s supporters as a distinct category of domestic extremist. While this formal step toward the criminalization of political opposition in the United States is horrifying, it should not really come as a surprise.
After all, the FBI and Department of Justice have spent the last few years repeating the lie that “right-wing extremism” is the most serious domestic threat to the nation. Federal law enforcement agencies cook their statistics on politically motivated domestic threats by excluding groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa from the category of left-wing violence, thereby removing the most egregious example of domestic terror in recent memory — the riots of 2020 — from the data. It is clear that the Democrats are accelerating their efforts to make organic right-wing political organization a criminal offense leading up to the 2024 election, and this poses a serious threat to those who still operate under the assumption that they are protected by the First Amendment.
Popular political organization is a fundamental right. From the Boston Massacre to the Sons of Liberty dumping tea in Boston Harbor, protest has been woven into the American identity from the beginning. American schools regularly praise civil rights or anti-war marches from the 1960s; media depicts the leaders of these movements as national heroes who changed the course of history. It is no wonder that conservatives, who have routinely watched the left get its way after popular political action, would seek to organize their own movements in response to a government that cares little about their concerns.
When the right begins to organize, however, conservatives soon learn that a very dangerous set of forces is arrayed against them. A small misstep can turn into a legal disaster.
After months of leftist rioting and looting where government buildings were placed under siege and militant activists established autonomous zones, many Trump supporters were understandably confused about the rules surrounding popular political actions. The vicious persecution of protesters involved in the events of January 6, 2021, quickly made it clear that the American judicial system had bifurcated: one standard for friends of the regime and one standard for its enemies.
Even more disturbing than the politically motivated prosecutions, however, was the number of federal agents or informants who were present in the crowd that day. It remains unclear just how many of the protesters were working with or for federal law enforcement agencies. But it is clear that the number was high and that some of those individuals played a role in shaping the events that unfolded.
Every totalitarian government knows that in order to maintain control, officials must keep the populace jumping at shadows, terrified to organize or take action.
Groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, which have been identified as flash points by the Biden administration, appear to have been deeply infiltrated by the domestic security apparatus. FBI agents and informants have also played a prominent role in engineering other “right-wing” plots like the planned kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The regime leaders are looking for a very particular type of domestic enemy that will justify the expansion of policing powers, and they are more than happy to manufacture them if necessary.
While the January 6 protest has given the regime its most viable pretext for ratcheting up persecution, federal law enforcement has often decided to intimidate political opponents with no real justification.
The Justice Department threatened parents who showed up at school board meetings to protest doctrines like critical race theory and trans ideology that were being forced onto their children by progressive activists masquerading as teachers. Dozens of parents have been investigated by the FBI for daring to challenge the government’s victimization of their children.
We also know that agents from multiple FBI field offices surveilled and investigated Catholics who attend the traditional Latin Mass, singling them out as potential domestic extremists. When you cannot attend a church service or disagree with a school board member without drawing the attention of the national police force, you no longer live in a constitutional republic. You live in the total state.
Now, to be clear, the Biden administration is unlikely to ban all opposing political parties in the United States. At least not formally. For all of their delusional ranting about the rise of a Christian theocracy, most establishment Democrats understand that the Republican Party, as it is currently constituted, is a valuable asset to the regime.
Let’s be honest: Republicans are glorified losers and they are comfortable with that role. Any political party that believes power is bad and should never be used, even if you happen to win an election accidentally, is no real threat to the ruling elite. Most Republican politicians will pretend to care about advancing the ball on one or two issues, but in reality, they are happy to collect their salary, be honored at the local Rotary Club, and call it a day.
The Republican Party is a safe place for marginalized middle America to park its political energy while being farmed for political donations and tax dollars. If a candidate like Donald Trump comes around threatening to provide real opposition, he can simply be slandered and indicted until the “opposition party” goes back to picking safe losers like Mitt Romney or Mike Pence. No reason to destroy a perfectly useful pressure release valve.
While many conservatives had been unsatisfied with this dynamic for a long time, Trump galvanized that feeling into a movement with real momentum. People can and should criticize Trump for his lack of personal discipline and inability to realize the type of change necessary, but the energy he captured was real, and it scared the establishment for a reason. The left called George W. Bush a war criminal and John McCain a baby-killer, but they never tried to put either man in jail to keep them from running for president. Trump may not have been capable enough to pose a threat to the swamp, but the spirit he captured was one of real opposition, not the safe and controlled neoconservatism that has played Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters for so long.
That is why federal law enforcement has largely focused its efforts on parents, traditional Catholics, and meme makers. While Republicans squabble over how much taxpayer money to launder through foreign vassal states, real political discontent continues to grow in the organic communities that have been abandoned by our political elites. Every totalitarian government knows that in order to maintain control, officials must keep the populace jumping at shadows, terrified to organize or take action due to the high probability that agents of the state are working to criminalize their activity. This tactic is particularly effective in our current environment, where Americans believe instinctually that they have the freedom to organize but are also aware that simply making a meme or standing in the wrong crowd can completely ruin their lives.
In politics, the organized activists always beat the disorganized masses, which is why preventing effective organization is the first priority of our aspiring total state. So how should those who recognize this fact organize if they know that the state is actively looking to manufacture scary political enemies that it can parade around to increase its power?
The first step is to avoid giving the regime easy targets, but as we can see from its targeting of parents and churchgoers, the regime is happy to focus on groups that are usually seen as benign. The smartest move for most conservatives is to start local, securing control of sheriff’s offices, county commissions, and school boards.
Large national-level demonstrations are not likely to bring sweeping change and are far more likely to become targets of subversion. Capturing regional political control is often a thankless task. But that kind of diligence can create a bulwark against a corrupt administration seeking to punish dissent.
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Auron MacIntyre is the host of “The Auron MacIntyre Show” and a columnist for Blaze News.