Trump is a radical cleric, Trumpism is his religion
Guess who else was a radical cleric, Osama bin Laden. His religion was Islamic extremism. Trumpism and Islamic extremism are polar opposites but they have one thing in common, they are both dangerous ideologies.
Here is the irony of it all, which makes me truly believe that what goes around comes around. When Islamic extremism terrorised the world, there was alot of scorn and fear from right wing people and obviously any peace loving person when we all saw bombs explode and mass shootings in churches, malls and every target they could think of. Since 9/11, we became accustomed to heightened islamist terror. Radical islamic clerics were no longer considered mainstream faith leaders, they became 'most wanted persons’ with bounties on their heads. America led the charge, and so did other high risk countries who were marked for destruction because they supported the US war on terror.
What we saw Wednesday was an assault on democracy by the most radicalized of Trump supporters. When we thought the Trump curtain had finally fallen, we all got a rude shock. And then there is the base, the white Evangelicals, and right wing ideologues who preached apocalyptic scenes of an islamized America. They too have been radicalized by this radical cleric. So it’s no wonder that almost half of the Republican party weren’t quite bothered by Wednesday’s episode. Civil war mongers obviously approved of it. And this where we are.
This is a teachable moment for sure. Countless times I have heard Muslims denounce actions of Islamic extremists and the response has been cynical. When George W. Bush said Islam is a religion of peace, he got all the conservative beating after each and every terror attack. There was no way conservatives would separate true Muslims and these extremists. And these mainstream muslim faithfuls were treated with suspicion and at the same time told to denounce islamic extremism. These conservatives came short of associating left wing people with islamists going so far to call them their apologists.
The shoe is on the other foot. Do we now play the politics of religion or religious fundamentalism, or do we embrace politics of democracy that is free for all and frees all. The politics of religion have always been here and left a trail of destruction as far back as when the Pope ruled. It took dissenting voices to bring to an end the Christian fundamentalism that was too toxic that it overshadowed the message of Christ. Hinduism in today’s India has left that country’s nationalism even more dangerous for minority religions. And we can’t overstate the trail of destruction that islamists have left in the world in the last 20 years. Not to mention Buddhists killing Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
When I saw a 'Jesus saves' banner on Capitol Hill building on January 6th, I cringed at the thought that Jesus followers had now become radicalized Trump followers. After all, you cannot serve two masters. Then a woman gasped with euphoric emotion that this was a revolution. Following up in christian social media pages, the rhetoric is the same, and the obvious denial that Trump supporters ever did this. But those who are honest enough either denounced or encouraged it. Condemnation of Trump by faith leaders like Russell Moore has earned him the title traitor just like the staunch christian Mike Pence. It became clear that the base was fully radicalized not by the politics of conservatism but by the politics of Trumpism. Trump is the high priest this cult and terror group, and yes they will cause terror before and after he leaves office.
Biden will have to contend with what Obama dealt with. Domestic terrorism. These are not voices wanting to be heard. These are agents of chaos and destruction of social order and norms. After all, their commander is a breaker of norms. In fact one far right extremist, Ali Alexander, declared he ‘didn’t care about Trump staying in office, he just wanted war.’
Trump would be jailed by now in an ideal world. Further down the road he will because he has criminalized the presidency. This may just be the beginning of the worst 20 years of domestic radicalization if we are to follow the islamic extremism timeline. Trump may just be your next Osama bin Laden. Only this time he is a rich white male. Thanks to Twitter calling out this domestic terrorist leader, it’s his kind of rhetoric that inadvertently stirred domestic terror in Obama administration. Not just in the stock market, which in my opinion I have stated before was a blow back to Obama presidency by the likes of Trump on Wall Street. But simply labelling Obama as muslim and 'not born in America’, became a dangerous lie that saw a spate of attacks by right wing extremists in retaliation to delegitimize the first black president. Not to mention that the government was still dealing with attacks by islamic extremists.
The Biden administration should be on high alert to what is coming their way. Calls by national and faith leaders to heal have been met with 'I don’t think so’. Biden should not be naive to think that they will heed to his call 'to heal and move on’, because Trump doesn’t believe in reconciliation, even if he said it out loud in a taped video message. It’s reported now he regrets it. How about a Guatanamo Bay for domestic terrorists. Biden may well promote the politics of democracy, because the world and America needs it. We need this reassurance from America that you still believe in democracy and the rule of law.