David Neiwert is a correspondent for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the author of the book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump. On Sunday, he took to Twitter to make a point about the state of polarization in America, and how far certain factions of the American right have gone in their rhetoric and actions—and how thoroughly media centrists have let them go there. His 38-tweet thread went viral, and it started with our commander-in-chief:
Neiwart was making reference not to Trump's attack on Christine Blasey Ford, which attracted much recent attention, but to his words about the American left on Saturday night:
'You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that's what they've become. Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob.'
As Neiwart noted, the rhetoric was notable both for its extremism, and for the lack of real reaction it prompted from mainstream media. He then used Trump's words as a launching point for a sobering analysis of the right wing:
The best way to digest his message is by reading the entire thread here. His central thesis is that the right seems obsessed with the idea of civil war against the left, to the point that they project those desires to their opponents even as they fantasize about the world that would emerge in the aftermath and stockpile weapons. It’s not just the Alex Jones’ far-right lunatic faction, either—it trickles in worrisome ways to more “mainstream” figures. And as the right proclaims how dangerous the left has become, the truth is that only one side of this country speaks the language of violence with regularity, and only one party has true power at the local, state, and federal levels.
That’s enough from me—the thread bears reading on its own, and the evidence Neiwart summons makes for a hard, compelling read about our future. Do yourself a favor, though, and don’t read this right before bed.