Hillary Clinton is spawning outrage for her claim that Trump supporters require “deprogramming.”
“Maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members,” Clinton said of those who still support Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. “And sadly, so many of those extremists, those MAGA extremists, take their marching orders from Donald Trump, who has no credibility left by any measure … He’s only in it for himself.”
Such comments raise questions about Clinton’s definition of “democracy.” American democracy has been built over 200 years on the respect for diverse opinions including the most extreme ones.
“One will wreck our democracy. One violates the law on a regular basis. One appeals to the worst in our collective psyche. The other gets things done,” Clinton said in the interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “Why is that a hard choice?”
Her comment also comes as reports say that the FBI is targeting Trump supporters as “domestic extremists.” The late Paul Weyrich, founder of the institutional conservative movement in America, predicted in 2003 that Hillary Clinton would use the Justice Department to target conservatives for their wrong think as a result of the PATRIOT Act. His prediction seems to have come to pass.
President Joe Biden has similarly othered Trump supporters and called them a threat to the country.
“Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are a threat to the very soul of this country,” President Biden tweeted last September. “MAGA Republicans aim to question not only the legitimacy of past elections but elections being held now and into the future.”
The New McCarthyism
Clinton’s sentiments and those shared by Biden also echo McCarthyism in which Americans faced ostracism and harassment because of their political beliefs. Now Clinton seems intent on creating a new Left-wing McCarthyism targeting individuals on the right who support her nemesis, Donald Trump, with the intent of undermining him using propaganda against his backers.
The original McCarthyism ironically targeted Clinton’s mentor Saul Alinsky, the radical activist known best for his 1972 book “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky’s FBI file accused him of associating with communist front groups.
The term “deprogramming” instantly conjures images of Maoist China, Communist Vietnam, or the Soviet Union in which “counterrevolutionaries” and “reactionaries” were subjected to re-education camps. Inmates in such camps were subjected to continual political indoctrination accompanied by humiliation until the inmate complied with their overlords’ demanded ways of thinking.
Trump supporters claim that those who were arrested in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot have been treated much worse than the Antifa rioters who burned down cities from coast to coast during the George Floyd riots. Such claims are disputed by Democrats.
This alleged unequal treatment includes solitary confinement, which human-rights activists consider cruel and unusual punishment.
Amnesty International considers solitary confinement a form of torture.
Trump supporters who engaged in violence should be punished, but people should not be painted with a broad brush.
“… I don’t want the media and I don’t want Democrats and politicians painting with a broad brush that just because, you know, in a hundred or a couple of hundred people assaulted law enforcement, that somehow 75 million Americans that voted for Donald Trump are somehow suspected domestic terrorists,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., told Fox News in June 2021.
Turley Criticizes Amanpour
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley criticized Amanpour for eliciting Clinton’s response, suggesting that he did not take her seriously.
“The fact that Amanpour elicited these comments only magnified the unease over the underlying intolerance for opposing viewpoints. In an interview with James Comey, Amanpour pressed Comey on why the FBI did not ‘shut down’ President Donald Trump’s ‘hate speech’ during the 2016 presidential election,” Turley wrote on his blog. “Comey correctly pushed back on Amanpour by noting that she was suggesting something grossly improper and unconstitutional: ‘That’s not a role for government to play. The beauty of this country is people can say what they want even if it’s misleading and it’s demagoguery.’”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting. He writes opinion pieces from a conservative perspective.
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