Extremism ReportOur government is openly condemning conservatives for what we believe. On April 7, the Extremism and Radicalization Branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an “Assessment” entitled, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. This report should be of great concern to all Americans – for many reasons. Among them, our federal government promises to monitor groups and individuals based on their thoughts and beliefs. The report makes no distinction between those who advocate violence and those who promote and uphold constitutional principles.

The Assessment is troubling because its charges are based on conjecture, with no statistics or research to substantiate its claims. The Assessment warns against conservative thought – specifically beliefs in national sovereignty, border security, 2nd Amendment rights, and a pro-life advocacy – as a rallying point for the perpetuation of more conservative thought.

What the Report Says:

  • “Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures.”

There is nothing “perceived” about the loss of jobs. In discussing the 5.1 million jobs lost since December 2007, Keith Hall, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said “These declines have been widespread across industry sectors, but particularly sharp in manufacturing, construction, and temporary help services.” Last month 161,000 jobs in manufacturing and 126,000 jobs in construction were lost.   There have been over 800,000 home foreclosure filings this quarter.

  • “Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use.”

Apparently, citizens are no longer allowed to disagree with the administration in power. In the 1990’s Democrats and congressional Republicans worked together to reform welfare. It seems that now, any disagreement with the administration’s “expansion of social programs to minorities,” will be met with intimidation from federal law enforcement.

  • “Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages.”

Illegal immigrants were, and still are, taking American jobs. Why is Homeland Security more concerned with the thoughts of American citizens than the crimes of illegal immigrants? The so-called “perception” to which the report refers, was understood by a broad spectrum. A 2006 Time Magazine poll showed that 36 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats felt that illegal immigrants “take jobs away from Americans.”

  • “Rightwing extremist paranoia of foreign regimes could escalate or be magnified in the event of an economic crisis or military confrontation…The dissolution of Communist countries in Eastern Europe and the end of the Soviet Union in the 1990s led some rightwing extremists to believe that a ‘New World Order’ would bring about a world government that would usurp the sovereignty of the United States and its Constitution, thus infringing upon their liberty.  The dynamics in 2009 are somewhat similar…”

When the Supreme Court cites laws of other countries and when members of Congress suggest that the UN Security Council should make our national security decisions for us, that is an infringement of American sovereignty.

  • “DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat…The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.”

This is perhaps the most disturbing argument being made in this report. To lump our veterans in with terrorists is unconscionable.