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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

As Trump's Path to Election Success Vaporizes, His More Extreme Supporters Get More Desparate and Violent

The following three paragraphs from Heather Cox's Richardson's overnight newsletter hint and the desparation and violence we can expect between now and January 20th:

The lies about the election spread by Trump and his loyalists are radicalizing Republican true believers, according to security officials and terrorism researchers. They worry that fringe conspiracy theories are going mainstream. Polls suggest that 77% of Trump supporters believe that Biden stole the election—although there is no evidence of fraud—and officials worry those true believers are turning to violence. 

Elizabeth Neumann, who resigned from her job as Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy at the Department of Homeland Security in April out of concerns that Trump was exacerbating right-wing violence, noted that “the conservative infotainment sector makes money off… outrage.” Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, who was a senior adviser in the State Department, Defense Department, and the National Security Council, agreed with others that Trump is promoting radicalism by spreading conspiracies and disinformation. "Leadership matters," she said. "It really matters that the president of the United States is an arsonist of radicalization. And it will really help when that is no longer the case."

In Houston, Texas, today [Tuesday, Dec. 15], police arrested a former police department captain for running a man off the road and pointing a gun at his head in a misguided attempt to foil a massive voter fraud scheme. Sixty-three-year-old Mark Anthony Aguirre claimed to be part of a citizens’ group investigating voter fraud. Believing his victim was hiding 750,000 fraudulent ballots in his truck, Aguirre rammed the truck with his SUV and held the driver first at gunpoint and then with his knee in the man’s back until police came. Upon inspection, it turned out the truck was full of air conditioning parts. The district attorney, Kim Ogg, said “His alleged investigation was backward from the start—first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened…. [W]e are lucky no one was killed.”

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