I have to admit, I kind of almost agree with OAN anchor Pearson Sharp in the video above, about traitors being executed. And he should be in the first batch lined up against a wall and shot... along with the rest of the seditionists eagerly sowing discord on behalf of profit and fascism. The most recent poll I saw on the failed Trump coup was done just over a week ago by Monmouth. When asked what the 1/6 "incident" at the U.S. Capitol should be called, a large majority (72%) of the American public feels "riot" is an appropriate descriptor. Over half (56%) say it is appropriate to refer to it as an "insurrection." Just 33%, though, say calling it a "legitimate protest" is appropriate... [T]here is a wide gap for applying "insurrection" to the event-- ranging from 85% of Democrats to 48% of independents and just 33% of Republicans who feel the term is appropriate. Conversely, 47% of Republicans and 39% of independents would call the incident a 'legitimate protest,' although only 13% of Democrats accept that characterization."
Where do these crackpots get these ideas? Writing for Newsweek yesterday, Ewan Palmer reported that QAnon followers believe there was a coup-- but turned it on its head and think it was a coup against Trump rather than a coup by Trump. And when far right seditious media outlets like OAN urge mass executions of Democrats, the QAnon followers drool gleefully.
Esquire's Jack Holmes' reported on the OAN treason rant as part of a look at the far right's growing appetite for political violence. "However much crazy you think is percolating in American society right now," he warned, "you are very likely underestimating the situation. Parts of this country seem to have filled the void left by the guy who departed the presidency a few months back-- having served as a vector for various strains of national madness for half a decade-- with an absolute deluge of unhinged nonsense. The Frankenstein's monster of the conservative movement has ceded the scene to what basically amounts to a gigantic pool of ectoplasmic paranoia. Much of it seems devoted to the proposition that Donald J. Trump was unjustly driven from office, but it's also, like his political rise, clearly rooted in far deeper anxieties about a changing American nation."
QAnon has long served as a vanguard of the proto-violent far right, spinning up fairy tales that all end with the conclusion that opponents of The Movement can justifiably be killed. After all, they're pedophilic human traffickers who drink the blood of children! Any measures to stop them are justified. But the election-fraud mythology, in which a massive campaign to steal the election was carried out by hundreds (thousands?) of people across a bunch of states-- even if its proponents have, months later, still failed to produce a shred of evidence thereof-- is now developing as a somewhat more secular theory for political violence, as an unnerving segment from the One America News Network demonstrated on Wednesday night.
Don't let the terrible production values or the alien delivery distract: this sicko is calling for mass killings of his fellow citizens. Granted, Pearson Sharp calls them "executions," which has the veneer of legalese, but the guys who planned to kidnap the governor of Michigan also planned to put Gretchen Whitmer on "trial." What will the trials look like for people accused in this massive election fraud, which seamlessly morphed into a "coup against the presidency" and "treason" as Mr. Sharp ran through the same tired nonsense we've been hearing for months? Will Cillian Murphy be there? And why are we talking about the punishment before the rule-breakers have even been identified, much less charged with a crime and tried before a jury of their peers? None of this inspires confidence that, if this guy or his fellow travelers were making the decisions, constitutional rights would be at the forefront of the considerations. It kinda sounds like they just want to kill people!
Of course, it all makes sense once you accept that these folks are starting from a conclusion-- the country has been stolen from us by The Others, and anything is justified if it means we can seize back control-- and filling out the rest of this rich tapestry of insanity from there. In this telling, the Arizona audit, in which a cavalcade of clowns has very likely broken the chain-of-custody of the ballots, will be the first domino to fall in some great unravelling of the grand conspiracy. This would be absurd if the existence of real fraud were necessary to generate this outcome, but none of that is a concern here. The outcome is preordained. We just need to find a way to get there. The Daily Beast's Will Sommer, who surfaced the clip, reports that it's already gaining traction with the Q people, who have been psyching themselves up for this eventuality for some time. The uncomfortable truth is that there is a growing constituency for political violence in this country, built around the totem of a former president who is still entertaining the notion he will be restored to power in August. But it's really about much more than him.
In case you've forgotten, Peter Meijer is a Republican who represents the Grand Rapids are of Michigan. He's correct in his assessment and I had the same thought when I wrote the title of this post.