Trump’s Private Militia

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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01 December 2018 11:28
 

63 million people voted for Trump in 2016.  Of these, I’m guessing that at least 30 million have guns, and at least 5 million of these have machine guns (AR-15’s) with stockpiles of ammo.

Question:  If Trump was facing impeachment, or a prison sentence like Paul Manafort, and if he tweeted for armed supporters to come and protect him, do you think an armed white supremacist militia numbering several million would descend on Washington D.C.?  What would be the response of the Pentagon in such a case?  Loyal to the Commander in Chief?

In your opinion, is their a growing danger of the U.S. slipping into an autocracy? 

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:  “Trump’s ‘nationalistic’ fearmongering is taking us to that dark place.  In his demagogic demonization of immigrants, political opponents, and the press, and in his shameless lying, Trump has shown he will go to any lengths “to stir up hatred and anxiety” to keep his grip on power.  It’s been argued that if tyranny comes to the U.S., it will sneak up on us, like a frog that fails to jump out of a pot of water because the heat is turned up gradually - until it boils.  “Is it just me, or is it getting really hot in here?”  -  Will Bunch in the Philadelphia Inquirer

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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01 December 2018 11:55
 
unsmoked - 01 December 2018 11:28 AM

In your opinion, is their a growing danger of the U.S. slipping into an autocracy?

Voter apathy, IMHO, is one of the greatest dangers to US politics atm.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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01 December 2018 17:26
 

After reading Bob Woodward’s book Fear, I don’t think the scenario of the OP could happen under this Administration.  There are too many people, highly placed, who would not allow Trump to continue to that point.  And the heads of all the military branches were not hesitant to speak out against Trump’s racist comments on Charlottesville.  If Trump got dangerously crazy, I have no doubt that any number of people in the WH would wrestle his phone away from him.  Mike Pence would take over.  Any rabid supporters who came near the White House with firearms would be stopped by much stronger and saner forces.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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01 December 2018 17:58
 
unsmoked - 01 December 2018 11:28 AM

Question:  If Trump was facing impeachment, or a prison sentence like Paul Manafort, and if he tweeted for armed supporters to come and protect him, do you think an armed white supremacist militia numbering several million would descend on Washington D.C.?

My guess would be that some of Trump’s armed supporters would come, but the vast majority would not. I think that most of his supporters in these militias are actually, scared, cowardly people. Why else would they feel so compelled to collect firearms? Most are middle-aged to elderly white supremacists with chips on their shoulders. They are old, fat guys who fantasize about killing other people, especially people with dark skin, à la Dirty Harry, but if the time actually came to act in such a way, they would chickenshit out.

The ones that scare me, the truly dangerous ones, are the young ex-soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. These guys were sent to risk their lives in pointless wars based on lies and misinformation. They saw death, injury and hardship. Many are scarred for life physically and mentally, and for what reason? Both Afghanistan and Iraq are failed states. The wars fought in them are already forgotten, even as the Afghan war continues to linger on. The self-sacrifice these soldiers made is taken for granted. They came home to an apathetic country; a country embarrassed by the poor outcomes of these wars; a country which wants to forget the massive loss of life, resources and national treasure pissed away needlessly.

The mentally damaged ones came home to a void. They missed the camaraderie, intensity and sense of purpose the war gave them. They filled the void by joining these far-right paramilitary militias. They are highly-trained, battle-hardened killers. Trump is their dog-whistle racist, Christian-fascist, commander in chief. They will come when he calls.

 
 
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hannahtoo
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02 December 2018 07:42
 

I disagree with your characterizations, CC.  While there are bound to be some crazies in a US population of 350 million, I think your descriptions of gun owners and vets are dismissively cartoonish.

 
EN
 
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EN
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02 December 2018 08:42
 
hannahtoo - 02 December 2018 07:42 AM

I disagree with your characterizations, CC.  While there are bound to be some crazies in a US population of 350 million, I think your descriptions of gun owners and vets are dismissively cartoonish.

Agree.  I live in a Red, gun-loving, Vet-filled state, and I don’t see any of this developing. There will be crazies, to be sure. But the vast majority won’t want to get involved in violence or civil disruption .

 

 
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02 December 2018 10:57
 

Interesting article on this subject - “It Can’t Happen Here”:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-donald-trump-dictatorship-power-perspec-0922-20160921-story.html

quote:  “Bad things can happen to good countries. Some countries, like the United States, have stronger institutional protections. But history teaches that no country is immune.”

(Richard C. Longworth is a distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former chief European correspondent for the Tribune).

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/books/review/classic-novel-that-predicted-trump-sinclar-lewis-it-cant-happen-here.html

quote from this review of Sinclair Lewis novel:

“Still, there are enough points of resonance to cause palpitations in the heart of any anxious 21st-century liberal. Like Trump, Windrip sells himself as the champion of “Forgotten Men,” determined to bring dignity and prosperity back to America’s white working class. Windrip loves big, passionate rallies and rails against the “lies” of the mainstream press. His supporters embrace this message, lashing out against the “highbrow intellectuality” of editors and professors and policy elites. With Windrip’s encouragement, they also take out their frustrations on blacks and Jews.”

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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02 December 2018 11:16
 

In 1932 The Bonus Army marched on Washington.  If seventeen thousand veterans will rise up for a stipend then what would a rallying cry from the Commander in Chief elicit?  It can happen.  It has happened.

 
 
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02 December 2018 14:37
 
EN - 02 December 2018 08:42 AM
hannahtoo - 02 December 2018 07:42 AM

I disagree with your characterizations, CC.  While there are bound to be some crazies in a US population of 350 million, I think your descriptions of gun owners and vets are dismissively cartoonish.

Agree.  I live in a Red, gun-loving, Vet-filled state, and I don’t see any of this developing. There will be crazies, to be sure. But the vast majority won’t want to get involved in violence or civil disruption .

 

Actually, I was not referring to “gun owners” in general, I was singling out right-wing extremists who belong to these militias. And again, the military veterans I was writing about are only the ones who have joined these militias, not the majority of ex-soldiers back from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Perhaps my writing was unclear on this point.

 

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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02 December 2018 15:59
 

Can you provide some specific info on these “militias”?  Number of militias and number of members?  The one that comes to my mind was the ragtag band that took over the HQ at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon a few years back.  They were disorganized and ultimately ended up in custody.  For some strange reason, the leaders (Clive and Ammon Bundy) were acquitted of charges, though many of the other involved were convicted.  I never understood why.

But so far the militias seem to have done small actions in out-of-the-way places.  Nothing like storming Washington DC.  During the Malheur incident, the majority of local and state residents did not support the occupation.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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02 December 2018 20:56
 
hannahtoo - 02 December 2018 03:59 PM

Can you provide some specific info on these “militias”?  Number of militias and number of members?  The one that comes to my mind was the ragtag band that took over the HQ at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon a few years back.  They were disorganized and ultimately ended up in custody.  For some strange reason, the leaders (Clive and Ammon Bundy) were acquitted of charges, though many of the other involved were convicted.  I never understood why.

But so far the militias seem to have done small actions in out-of-the-way places.  Nothing like storming Washington DC.  During the Malheur incident, the majority of local and state residents did not support the occupation.

According to the SPLC Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 953 Hate groups operating in the United States.

https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

Their website states:
“The SPLC is the premier U.S. organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists – including the Ku Klux Klan, white nationalists, the neo-Nazi movement, antigovernment militias and others.”

I know there are both current and ex-military personnel in these far right militias from two sources. One is from a an in-depth documentary from Frontline + ProPublica, called: Inside Neo-Nazi Group with Members Tied to the U.S. Military.

https://tinyurl.com/yb5zofyh

The other is from the documentary by Deeyah Khan, White Right: Meeting the Enemy, which is currently on Netflix. In the documentary she personally meets neo-Nazis and at times takes her life into her hands doing so. Khan is a Muslim woman whose family originally came from Pakistan. Although I haven’t seen the documentary yet, I did hear her speak about it to Russel Brand on his podcast Under the Skin with Russel Brand. She talked about personally encountering many U.S. military ex-soldiers who have joined these groups. She was surprised by their numbers.

 
 
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03 December 2018 08:00
 

When the US Civil War occurred, there were millions of people willing to take up arms, and the sentiments were split along the Mason-Dixon Line.  We are not anywhere near that situation.  Today we have occasional violent protests, as in Charlottesville or in Portland, but fortunately only a handful of people have been killed, and majority sentiment is definitely against the disorder.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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03 December 2018 10:21
 

Don’t worry. When “Trump’s Private Militia” tries to take over, the “UN Black helicopters” will sweep down from Canada and save us.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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03 December 2018 11:18
 
hannahtoo - 03 December 2018 08:00 AM

When the US Civil War occurred, there were millions of people willing to take up arms, and the sentiments were split along the Mason-Dixon Line.  We are not anywhere near that situation.  Today we have occasional violent protests, as in Charlottesville or in Portland, but fortunately only a handful of people have been killed, and majority sentiment is definitely against the disorder.

If polls encourage the Democrats to take on the NRA and try to impose sane gun control - would millions of Trumpers be willing to take up arms?  https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-control-in-other-countries-outside-the-us-2018-3

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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03 December 2018 14:27
 
unsmoked - 03 December 2018 11:18 AM
hannahtoo - 03 December 2018 08:00 AM

When the US Civil War occurred, there were millions of people willing to take up arms, and the sentiments were split along the Mason-Dixon Line.  We are not anywhere near that situation.  Today we have occasional violent protests, as in Charlottesville or in Portland, but fortunately only a handful of people have been killed, and majority sentiment is definitely against the disorder.

If polls encourage the Democrats to take on the NRA and try to impose sane gun control - would millions of Trumpers be willing to take up arms?  https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-control-in-other-countries-outside-the-us-2018-3

Geez, you are really lookin’ for reasons to rumble, eh?  Does a sane Republican majority think that measures like making bump stocks illegal or requiring registration of guns would be worth “taking up arms”?  I mean doesn’t that kinda defeat the premise of saying that gun owners are responsible people and not aggressive?