Conservatism Has a Violence Problem

‘The numbers don’t lie.’

American conservatism has a violence problem.

The current secretary of energy, Rick Perry, once publicly suggested that the chairman of the Federal Reserve deserved to be beaten up because of his interest rate policy. Greg Gianforte, a member of Congress from Montana, physically assaulted a reporter who asked him a question he didn’t like. President Trump has repeatedly alluded to extrajudicial physical force, including suggesting that his supporters might resort to violence if they didn’t get their way.

The most extreme version of conservatism’s violence problem is the most tragic: the pattern of mass shootings by people espousing right-wing views, sometimes encouraged in online forums.

Last year, 39 of the 50 killings committed by political extremists, according to the Anti-Defamation League, were carried out by white supremacists. Another eight were committed by killers with anti-government views. Over the past 10 years, right-wing extremists were responsible for more than 70 percent of extremist-related killings. “Right-wing extremist violence is our biggest threat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the A.D.L., has written. “The numbers don’t lie.”

Over the years, Republicans have sometimes called on Muslim leaders to ask themselves why their religion has produced a disproportionate share of the world’s terrorist attacks — and to do something about the situation. I’d urge those Republicans to take their own advice. Right-wing terrorism is killing far more Americans these days than Islamist terrorism.


Someone deeply ashamed of what Trump and the GOP is doing to the country will flag this.
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