Extremist ideologies are proliferating, and it has become taboo in what we used to call polite society to criticize ideas that, not long ago, would have been seen as shockingly beyond the pale. These developments should worry us, no?
Start in Germany, where, last week, more than 3,000 police launched dawn raids at 150 sites—including a barracks of the KSK, Germany’s special forces command—to foil a plot to overthrow the government.
German federal prosecutor Peter Frank said the plotters embraced “the QAnon ideology.”
QAnon is a made-in-America, far-right movement that helped inspire the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Its arcane ideology has spread to other countries.
According to Frank, the plotters also adhere to “various narratives of the Reichsburger ideology”—the belief that the Third Reich, the empire declared by Hitler, still exists and that the Federal Republic of Germany is illegitimate.
In the broader Middle East, those who call themselves jihadists are no less determined to restore a bygone empire. Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans understood the dangers posed by such ideologues and set out to destroy Al-Qaeda and its host, the Taliban.
Twenty years later, President Biden abandoned that mission—in just about the most chaotic and shameful way imaginable. He bragged that he was ending a “forever war,” but there were then just 2,500 American troops assisting and training Afghan forces. For comparison, we have more than 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea. And more than 25,000 troops were deployed to the U.S. Capitol following Jan. 6.
Okay, but at least Al-Qaeda is no longer a threat, right? Not exactly. As documented by Bill Roggio, editor of FDD’s Long War Journal, the “Taliban’s claim that al Qaeda has no presence in Afghanistan is false.” Are you confident that our spies know what the terrorists are up to?
A regime with a related ideology (or theology) rules Iran and continues to make progress toward a nuclear weapons capability. Biden continues to offer the regime riches if it will just make haste more slowly. The regime continues to decline the offer.
Not long ago almost everyone believed that the People’s Republic of China, as it became wealthier, would moderate. But Xi Jinping, whose role models are Stalin and Mao, is now China’s commander in chief. He plans to replace the United States as leader of what we persist in calling “the international community”—giving Communism the final victory. He has made clear that peaceful means may not be sufficient to reach his goal.
Similarly, when the Soviet Union collapsed, it was widely assumed that Russia would become more European. Instead, Vladimir Putin has embraced a despotic, ultranationalist and neo-imperialist ideology. The brutal war against Ukraine is the most visible result.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch—or rather back at Mar-a-Lago—Donald Trump dined with Kanye West, whose weltanschauung is not unlike that of the Reichsburgers. On Alex Jones’ radio show a few days later, he expressed them succinctly: “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.” He added that he does “not like the word ‘evil’ next to Nazis,” and “I also love Nazis.”
Joining Ye (as he prefers to be called) and Trump at the table was 24-year-old alt-right provocateur Nick Fuentes, who has said he supports “Czar Putin” and the Russian war to “liberate Ukraine from the Great Satan and from the evil empire in the world which is the United States.”
I’m not suggesting that Trump agrees with such views. I am suggesting he demonstrated abysmally poor judgment by breaking bread with these extremist whackadoodles.
Finally, let me point out that President Biden is championing a variety of extreme positions, including those of the ideology known as Wokeism.
Take his administration’s refusal to even attempt to provide security along the southern border. Such purposeful inaction is applauded by Amnesty and other globalist groups that “condemn any policies and practices that undermine the rights of people on the move.”
Another example: The Biden administration is now instructing the U.S. military to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Burdening the military with this mission will have zero impact on climate change. That’s indisputable. Chinese, Russian, Iranian and North Korean generals must be amused.
At the same time, Biden is easing sanctions for oil production on Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, whose ideology, Chavismo, has ruined his formerly wealthy and democratic nation.
We’ll conclude with the peculiar case of Sam Brinton, a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Energy. I’d venture to say he was not hired because he is uniquely qualified, but rather so that Biden could “make history” by checking one more “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) box.
Brinton often dresses as a woman (more or less), and lectures about puppy role-playing sexual fetishes, adults who like to wear diapers and pretend they’re babies, as well as bondage and other forms of degradation.
House Republicans last week demanded his resignation. “It is simply not possible for an individual to represent American values and simultaneously violate the felony laws of the land,” they wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
No mention was made of the beyond-the-fringe brand of gender-identity ideology Brinton both represents and promotes. To even call attention to such extremism is now taboo—though I guess it’s a taboo I’ve just broken.
Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for The Washington Times.