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Richard Spencer and His Kook-Right Ilk are Agents of Russian Influence

August 14, 2017

Kremlin intelligence is manipulating the far-right. It’s time to push back.

The weekend’s bloody chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a far-right protest devolved into rioting and murder, has shaken the country and shocked the world. The bucolic college town was transformed into a charnel house when a right-wing young man barreled his car through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19, six of them gravely.

The accused killer, James Alex Fields, age 20, was quickly taken into custody, and he turns out to possess all the expected traits: a young man with an unstable home life and mental health problems serious enough to have kept him out of the military, possessing an affection for Nazi memorabilia and views. These are precisely the sort of maladjusted young people – nearly all of them male – who under slightly different circumstances turn to jihadism. Our domestic radicalism problem knows no specific background, religion, or ideology.

The Charlottesville mayhem has concentrated minds on the continuing presence of the kook-right among us, angry young white men who assemble brandishing flags of the Confederacy and Nazi Germany. Make no mistake: the weekend was their triumph, notwithstanding that most of them resemble cosplayers more than hard-bitten radicals. A movement which barely exists outside the Internet got a few hundred members together and garnered world attention.

Nothing about the weekend’s ugliness has gotten more attention than our president’s stunning inability to condemn these neo-Nazis and their violence. Why Donald J. Trump singularly failed to rapidly denounce Fields and his ilk is a troubling question – not to mention one that’s difficult to answer. After all, the kook-right is tiny in numbers, are hardly major campaign donors, plus are repulsive to normal Americans, so why would any president delay condemning them?

The Nazified far-right thereby has joined the highly select pantheon of people whom President Trump won’t denounce no matter how badly they misbehave – whose only other member is Vladimir Putin. It bears examining whether Trump’s stunning silence may not be a coincidence.

Read the rest at The Observer …

 

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