In hindsight, it seems no coincidence that Trump aligned himself with the latent militant white nationalist movement from the beginning, determined to remain in office at all costs. Worse, the republican party is largely united behind Trump, attacking federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the IRS with a midterm strategy to erode confidence in our institutions. After all, Trump got “elected” promising to “drain the swamp.”
It’s also no coincidence that militant white nationalists are taking increasingly radical action. Starting in 1995, Timothy McVeigh pushed the boundaries of domestic terrorism by targeting large numbers of innocent people. McVeigh used a truck bomb to destroy Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 innocent people, including 19 children in the building’s daycare center, and injuring 800 more. The bombing was intended to ignite a revolution against the U.S. government in response to the federal agents killing Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas, and Randy Weaver’s remote cabin in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
Before McVeigh’s attack, most extremists like the Ku Klux Klan targeted specific people and made threats in advance. They also mostly distanced themselves from McVeigh’s approach. Until Trump. Now armed with AR-15s, individuals brazenly attack soft targets in mass murders of innocents for maximum horror. Imagine if militant white nationalist Ricky Shiffer armed with an AR-15 had successfully entered the Ohio FBI building. And yet, Republicans continue inciting these attacks.
It is also no coincidence that Biden nominated Merrick Garland as U.S. Attorney General. Who better than a top Justice Department official who already had multiple convictions of domestic terrorists? Garland’s “Do not bury the crime in the clutter” style was instrumental in the speedy conviction of McVeigh who was executed in 2001. Garland also convicted infamous Unabomber, Theodore Kacynski, in 1998. Garland’s nomination as A.G. was confirmed two months after the January 6th insurrection.
While Republicans push their midterm message of divisiveness and destruction, Democrats risk life and limb to promote inclusivity, safety, and a better life for all. Is it a coincidence that the symbol of redemption of mankind is the garland? I think not.
Chicago native Lorraine Evanoff earned her degree in French from DePaul University then became a Certified Financial Manager. She worked as a finance exec in film production for seven years in Paris, then in Silicon Valley during the dot-com era, and later for various Hollywood production companies, notably as CFO of National Lampoon. She is currently living in Los Angeles with her husband.