Not so long ago, the GOP rode on a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment following 9/11 and the War on Terror – cruising to victory in both the 2002 Bush midterms and in 2004 when they managed to keep a trifecta hold on their power. It never really went away as a tactic in their playbook, even though they resorted to being even more openly racist in the next decade, as they criticized President Obama for being too soft on ISIS and acting as though an attack on the US from ISIS militants was imminent. It also played some role in their 2014 and 2016 victories, while also forcing the Democratic Party to be on the defensive about foreign policy.
Now, however, the tables have turned – as more Americans are coming to grips with the reality: Domestic terror attacks are much more of a threat than foreign ones. A recent poll from NORC indicates that voters are finally acknowledging it, with 75% of Democratic voters agreeing that anti-government and white supremaicists are a clear and present danger to our national security, and even a full 57% of Republican voters agree, despite the party’s continued parroting of common white supremacist talking points, and 55% of independents also believe domestic terrorists are a greater threat.
Over the course of 2020, the number of hate crimes peaked to its highest level in over 25 years of data – a number that isn’t likely to fall any time soon, with terror experts suggesting that the results of last year’s census could incite more violence among white supremacist groups. These numbers are also breaking just as more news is dropping about the January 6 insurrection. It is therefore crucial that Democrats continue forcing their opponents to take a side on the insurrection and on the Proud Boys if they want to win in 2021 and 2022.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making