Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Clear and Present Danger

According to recent reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are clear signs of a resurgence in the virulent “Patriot” movement–a broad coalition of previously autonomous and loosely related anti-government paramilitary militias, anti-tax rebels, “sovereign citizens”, and so-called Constitutionalists–thought to have reached its zenith in the 1990s.


An inverted flag is a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

Catalyzed by shifting demographic trends toward Caucasian minorities and the fringe conspiracy theories that are increasingly disseminated by mainstream media figures like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Michael Savage, and others, the anti-government movement is growing all across the United States. Feeding this extremism are the same usual radical ideologies, radical religious beliefs, pent-up anger, and frustration that can lead to violence-from ‘lone wolf’ hate crimes to acts of mass-casualty domestic terrorism.

Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. “This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10 to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the recent assassination of Dr. George Tiller, and any of the other 75 plots, conspiracies, and racist rampages since, underscore the need to sufficiently focus on the dangers of homegrown extremism.  We should be prepared for the possibility that these groups are becoming even more dangerous than those of the 1990s because their surge is spurred by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they are becoming more unified around a common cause in their fear of a black president, and perhaps worst of all, their unifying ideology is receiving tacit support from mainstream media and political figures.


A member of the Arizona Militia movement “on operation”.

The militia movement was born of anger at the government, fear of gun confiscation, and susceptibility to elaborate conspiracy theories.  Although white supremacists were certainly involved in the 1990s movement, and many splintered groups and individuals found solidarity with or at least tolerated more run-of-the-mill hate groups, the orientation of the militia movement remained primarily anti-government and conspiratorial.

Today, the face of our government is black, and erroneously thought to be Muslim.  This new concoction of Nativist xenophobia, direct racism, and hostile anti-government ideology may prove more toxic than any homegrown threat the decent people of this Nation have yet faced.  The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that the election of Barack Obama,

…coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president’s country of birth.

As an example, witness yesterday’s frontpage at the Arizona Citizen Militia website, which includes a plethora of WorldNetDaily links and YouTube videos supporting all the latest and greatest conspiracy theories:  Birth certificate, FEMA camps, socialist indoctrinations, secret Muslim cabals, New World Order, etc.  About the only thing factually accurate on the page was the date.

The threat of Martial Law has increased

A Global Financial Apocalypse is bearing down on us

Foreign military troops are inside the USA for “training”

FEMA Concentration Camps are being readied

We will not go quietly

We aim to misbehave

We have NO FAITH in the Obamunist regime.  We have NO CONFIDENCE in the Obamunist regime.  We have NO TRUST in the Obamunist regime.  We owe the Obamunist regime NO ALLEGIANCE .

We WILL NOT surrender to their Marxist agenda.  

We will NOT be “ruled” by Obamunists.

WE WILL NOT SURRENDER OUR ARMS, no matter what paper might be signed by this “pretender to the throne”. If he cannot PROVE that he is a natural born citizen of our nation, he is not a lawful office holder.  Nothing that he does while in office will be valid, Constitutional, or lawful.  We owe nothing to such a false leader.  

We owe everything to our Lord, our families, and our Constitution.  

When they come for your arms, give them nothing, but take from them EVERYTHING .


Incidentally, they also warned:

ALERT – 1515 hours MST 11 September 2009

Unverified Report – 75% probability of a Nuclear device being set off SOMEWHERE in the midwestern USA within the next 48 hours.


All Arizona units are at RIBBON status as of 1530 hours MST 11 September 2009.

Please visit this website every day for updates. May the Lord save our Republic.

If you’re in the midwest, I suppose you ought to get your affairs in order. Obviously, this kind of rhetoric is on the extreme fringe.  Perhaps most troubling is the appearance of these same themes entering the mainstream, and the common thread that runs through them all.  The effect amounts to a self-perpetuating and concerted effort to delegitimize the office and authority of the duly elected President of the United States. This ‘need’ for ‘revolution’ isn’t exactly subtle in this FOX News promo for today’s live broadcast of Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project:

What’s troublesome are the “respectable” mainstream pundits, writers, and politicos who stoke the fires of these conspiracies in order to keep the base riled up, win the attention of potential supporters (lacking critical thinking skills).  From Glenn Beck to Lou Dobbs to Liz Cheney to Camile Paglia to Sean Hannity, all have lent some measure of careful credence to the most egregious of lies about the President, his staff, wife, associates, and his proposed policies.


Conservative political commentator and talk show host Laura Ingraham.

A more insidious form of conspiracy stoking is the sort of concern trolling performed by “intellectual” hacks like Jim Geraghty, who list and describe the theories, quietly imply that they don’t necessarily believe them, but conclude that there just isn’t enough evidence to be certain. This technique serves to provide cover to the outlandish and most extreme of the lot, by granting tacit support.

The more radical the right-wing fringe gets, the more dangerous they become. “Mainstream” voices legitimatizing their radical beliefs just intensifies their feeling that something needs to be done, because the country is in a crisis. Encouraging people to believe the president is illegitimate encourages them to believe that he needs to be removed by any means necessary. It’s stupid, it’s irresponsible, and it’s remarkably dangerous.

As we move past another anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, we are painfully reminded that United States has enemies abroad.  Though foreign threats may not have waned, let us not forget the dangers that lurk within our own borders.  We have a responsibility to do all that we can to dispel the disinformation that feed these movements, and hold accountable those members of the mainstream media establishment and the body politic who would propagate the radical ideologies that sustain them.

“We’re again entering some dangerous territory, where violence is a real concern,” Potok said. “But this is not just a law enforcement issue. Americans need to reject the politicians and pundits who aid and abet this movement by pandering to its paranoia and conspiratorial worldview.”

We cannot silence people like Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.  Any attempts to do so are likely to amplify their hatful message, making them ‘martyrs’.  What we can do is use the indefatigable power of truth to nullify them.  A victory for decency can only be declared when we, collectively as a nation, destroy their relevance.


  1. anna shane

    … wrote a great column a few weeks ago, using Mad Men, and the changes that were feared when JFK was elected and women got uppity.  I was in the 8th grade, and my dad was a professional engineer, and I do recall those very white times.

    Now it’s the same fear, as white people are on their way to being minorities, and china is the new big economic world power. These guys are afraid.

    But what’s strange is the pack is leading the leaders, and so the entire pug party sounds crazy.  Ironically this is bottom up, populist, only not majority populist, cause they don’t have the majority.  Only stupid white people, who used to be the majority when whites were by far the biggest group, but, no more.

    They are scared, and threats against this president are up 400 percent over the last one.  The news people say anything, playing to their base. Barack can say, no insurance for undocumented workers, and they say, he’s lying, the so-called newsmen say that.

    when some headline reads “wacky Palin makes false claims about presidential speech, I’ll believe sanity is back on its way in.    

  2. sricki

    What we can do is use the indefatigable power of truth to nullify them

    How powerful is truth, really? Truth Itself may not tire — it is what it is. But those who speak it? When I open my mouth about politics, I would like to believe I speak the truth (wouldn’t we all, though?). And honestly, I’m pretty fatigued. I spent near an hour arguing politics with my father this evening, and my contention that racism lies at the heart of much of this animosity toward Obama over health care did not go over well. My father, an extremely intelligent man, would not listen to reason. I told him about the racist signs and slogans. You know what he said? First he said I was seeing these images on the internet and they’d been doctored. Then he said I was just playing the race card and that it was a cop-out. Then — and this is even more special — he said the people holding racist signs were plants. Planted by us — the Left — to make the Right look bad: To make them look like racists because, of course, there is no WAY racism ever factored into any of those pasty, pink tea fuckers’ outrage. Right?

    Truth. Reality. What are they, really? One might say that they exist independently of ideas and opinions: That they simply are, regardless of how anyone feels about them. Maybe that should be the case, but I’m not so sure it actually is. Nothing exists in a vacuum.

    Perception is reality. I have my reality. You have yours. I seriously doubt they are exactly the same. They are probably a lot alike, but not identical. My view of the world is colored by my experiences. We all view the world through tinted glass, and no two hues are exactly the same, because no two lives are exactly the same. Now, for most of us, those small differences are no big deal. You and I look at a tree, and we both see a tree — we may disagree on little things, like the precise color of the bark or the leaves — but neither of us looks at it and goes, “No, that’s not a tree, that’s an Ent.” (At least not assuming we’re both relatively sober and haven’t been partying with Spiff.) Some people would probably tell you that, with the exception of people who are actively psychotic, everyone’s reality is pretty similar. Reality is what it is. Right?

    Obama isn’t a socialist. I know it. That is my reality.

    Just as deeply as I know that Obama is not a socialist, my father knows that he is.  That is his reality.

    I happen to be right.

    He says I happen to be wrong.

    You see that? That’s a big green ball.

    Yes it is.

    That is what I see. A big green ball. And I dare you to prove that it isn’t.

    Okay, so you admit you can’t prove that’s what I see — but you still think you can prove that, in the real world, independent of my distortion, it’s still red? You can prove that it’s red to you and to everyone else who’s not colorblind? That it’s the primary color at one end of the visible spectrum? That it looks the way it does because of wavelengths of light?

    Okay. Maybe evidence exists. Maybe technically it’s “provable” — but it’s complicated. And I don’t want to listen. You can’t make me listen. And I don’t believe in science. You can’t make me believe in science. That’s a big green ball, and if I can find enough people who agree with me on that, then I’m not crazy.

    Does the fact that a lot of people believe it’s a big green ball make it true? No… maybe not. It retains the same properties it had before we even laid eyes on it. But if enough people believe it — truly, honestly, deeply, genuinely believe it — it DOES become reality. Or at least one reality. There are plenty of ’em.

    I don’t have to be so extreme about this example, either. I could be a little more reasonable. Maybe it’s not a big green ball. What do you see? A big red ball? But couldn’t it also be a medium carmine dot?

    Prove that Obama is an American citizen.

    Prove he doesn’t hate white people.

    Prove he’s not a socialist.

    Prove it.

    For every piece of evidence you provide, I can come back at you with another question — there is always room for doubt. I could hold the man’s birth certificate in my hand, and if I was determined enough not to believe in his citizenship, I still wouldn’t have to buy its authenticity. After all, the man has the resources of the federal government at his fingertips. You think he couldn’t create a convincing forgery? PROVE IT’S REAL.

    You can’t.

    Shout truth at the top of your lungs, but it won’t necessarily change MY reality. I will incorporate into my belief system the “evidence” that supports the things I already hold true. Evidence which contradicts what I believe or want to believe will be discarded. End of story.

    But what’s the alternative? Go silent? Let them win? No, of course not. You are right — your diary is correct — keep fighting, keep telling the truth, keep bombarding them with facts. But don’t expect too much. Don’t get your hopes too high. We can save the middle. We can save the uncertain. But we cannot change the skewed realities of what I am coming to believe is a rather large percentage of our population — and not just an ignorant/uneducated part, but learned people like my parents as well. They have their reality, and try as we might to inject ours, they have a deathgrip on their own — and they’re not letting go, no matter how much evidence and truth you bring to the conversation.

  3. Jjc2008

    I’m not.

    During the primaries one of the constant debates I, as a Hillary supporter, had with some Obama supporters, is that they seemed to believe that it was a “Clinton” problem.  That the Clintons, and most especially Hillary, was so polarizing, that there could be no bipartisanship.

    I did not believe that then.  I think many will have to face the truth.  This issue, this “clear and present” danger has been building as a backlash to or since the sixties.  These are the people who believe that American before Civil Rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights was apple pie and happiness for all.

    I came of age during the JFK years.   I was just a young teen and did not quite get it all.  But when I went to college in Central PA I had quite a shock.  I came from a very ethnic, working class, factory town.   Suddenly I was in the midst of people who saw me as the alien.  I was an Italian American catholic girl.  Often I heard “Italian” jokes.  And people pretending to talk in broken English. I guess they wanted to show me how much they knew about Italians.   We had a few black students.  For some they were the first blacks they saw outside of television.

    As we got closer, I realized how different their lives were.  No one they knew had voted for JFK.  Every one I knew had voted for him.  Their mothers had all been stay at home moms.  In my neighborhood, all the moms were factory workers.  

    As I aged, and became more politically involved and found my voice, it really started to show how our early years affect us.  Some of my college friends still lament the loss of the  wonderful life of the 1950s.  I looked at them and said, “It was only wonderful if you were a white anglo saxon protestant male…..everyone else took a back seat to their needs.”   Boy did that get me some odd looks.

    I have a few friends now whose husbands simply dislike me.  At times it is hurtful.  And a few of those few just want me to shut up, not speak my mind.  That’s how they deal with husbands who still use the N word, still swear (Hillary, Obama, any dem) is out to take away their guns.   During the primaries one would love to introduce me at gatherings as a “Hillary supporter” with a mocking tone.  

    I have seen this for much of my life.  Whenever there is a democratic president trying to fight for the rights of the people, ALL the people from the poor, the minorities, the immigrants, the women, those who are not Christian, not heterosexual, I have seen the anger.  

    I knew it would be as bad, if not worse, with Obama as it was with the Clintons.  Bill Clinton tried to navigate around it and failed. Obama is trying to navigate thu it with bipartisanship, and imo he is failing.   Those people, the 9/12 types have tunnel vision, are biased and close minded.   Giving in to their demands will keep us going backwards.  Their anger is intensifying.  I don’t know if anything or anyone can ever appease their hate and bias.

  4. Who not only prays for the death of the President but also believes that every gay person is a child molester and that every gay person should be executed.

    Of course he also preaches that men must pee standing up, but we already know that he is insane.  The problem is, people listen to him, and those people are getting closer and closer to carrying out the wishes of him and his likeminded homicidal maniacs.

  5. Hollede

    I am a firm believer in the rights of Americans to disagree and protest and speak their minds.

    However, what we are seeing is a ‘call to arms’ by a very dangerous sub-group in our country. We have seen this before, but never to this degree.

    What is even worse is this increase in violent rhetoric and insanity is being promulgated by fox, insurance companies and other corporations, and republican politicians.

  6. NavyBlueWife

    These crazies have finally beaten me down.  I don’t want to listen or think about their crazy anymore.  They’re the ones putting the country in crisis.  Sometimes I wonder what country I am living in…then again, I am in Texas.  I’ll feel better when I move out of here.  Until then, I swear I have political agoraphobia.

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