Is This What Right-Wing Extremism Looks Like?


By David E. Smith, Executive Director - Illinois Family Institute

President Barack Obama's head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Janet Napolitano, has created a firestorm of controversy with the release of a "rightwing extremism" report. To paraphrase this report, returning U.S. military veterans, pro-life proponents, anti-illegal immigration activists and Evangelical Christians -- including conservative Catholics -- may be considered threats to the American government or possibly terrorists.

The Obama administration sees you, pro-life and pro-family citizens across the nation, (including IFI email subscribers), as a possible threat. While you may think you hold valid concerns and are being good citizens by exercising your First Amendment rights to make this country a better place, the Obama administration suggests that you should be classified with the likes of domestic terrorists.

This report is not innocuous. It is designed to be used by the nation's law enforcement community and could affect our freedoms to peacefully protest at abortion mills, hold marriage rallies, or assemble for prayer at the capitol. The dominant media and even our schools may use this report to further communicate and teach liberal socio-political ideology and against "right-wing extremism", as they refer to it.

According to an AP story:

"[T]he DHS warns imposing new restrictions on firearms and returning military veterans who have difficulties assimilating back into their communities could lead to terror groups or individuals attempting to carry out attacks. DHS states returning war veterans have skills and experience that are appealing to right-wing groups looking to carry out an attack.

"The report says right-wing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily "hate-oriented" and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority or rejecting government authority entirely."

Napolitano signed off on the document which identifies certain conservative movements as being prime breeding ground for hate-mongers and threats to national security.

Quoting the DHS report, "many right-wing 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."

So those of us who disagree with President Obama's administration on the sanctity of life and want to see our immigration laws enforced are now considered extreme? It's ironic that for the last 7+years, the anti-war haters have told us that it's patriotic to oppose injustice. Apparently we have a new definition of injustice.

On April 16th, Napolitano issued a half-hearted apology regarding the unclassified national warning, while also saying she regretted the legalese-worded footnote which pointed to pro-family activists, defenders of state's rights and members of the clergy as possible terrorist threats. However, in defending the ominous DHS document, Napolitano continually refers to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh as an example of how anti-government sentiment can manifest itself into violence. Glaringly absent in the report are people like unrepentant former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers as an example of left-wing extremism.

The most important aspect of this official government document is how law-abiding American citizens -- who differ in their opinion about the administration's policy -- may now be considered a threat to the state. However, more insidious is what lies in between the lines and where this is heading. Clearly, the DHS intelligence report gives a glimpse into the mindset of those in charge of stated government policy. Pro-life and pro-family citizens and organizations like IFI are on notice: we are being targeted.

Historically, totalitarian regimes, including Adolph Hitler's Nazi Germany, used similar methodology, blaming the Jews for all the problems which befell that nation after Germany's surrender at the end of World War I. We know well that Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat.

Perhaps comparing the horrors of Nazi Germany and what led to one of the darkest periods in the history of mankind to Napolitano's salvo against conservative Americans and members of the military is premature. Yet with less than one hundred days into the Obama administration, the President is aggressively pursuing his radically liberal agenda. This report seems to indicate that the Obama administration is willing to use the heavy hand of government against his political opponents. This report is simply a shot across the bow of those who hold views eschew from an administration whose far left views have amazed even the most nonpartisan observers of American politics.

No matter conservative or liberal, Republican, Democrat or Independent, the Department of Homeland Security's "right-wing extremism," report should be considered chilling. The nine-page DHS report questions the patriotism of millions of Americans who have done nothing wrong, but hold a belief system contrary to that held by those currently in power. Is this report a frightening harbinger of what may be to come? This report's importance must not be overlooked or dismissed.

To read more about the DHS report, click here.


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