Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
Have you noticed that the substance sounds strikingly similar to one of Obama’s most famous rhetorical attacks from the 2008 presidential campaign, uttered almost a year to the day before the Homeland Security report was released?
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. … And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
The “bitter” people in the heartland didn’t vote for Obama, so now they are under the watchful eye of his Homeland Security Department and being openly maligned as extremists who have seized Obama’s “historical election as a recruitment tool.”
Obama’s demagoguery already may have damaged the reputation of law-abiding conservatives who are no threat to the government. But Homeland Security still should do the honorable thing and retract its report like Missouri state police did a few weeks ago after a similar case of political slander.