Is the left spoiling for a fight? If one looks at the wave of reports and op-eds suggesting conservatives are going to take up arms in response to the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s home, they could not be blamed for coming to that conclusion.
Desperate to prevent a total and devastating defeat for Democrats in the upcoming congressional elections, the activist media seems to be trying to leverage the raid to put their allies in Congress in a more favorable position. The nature of their reporting seems to be intended to preemptively cast blame on high-profile conservatives in the media if some do decide to engage in violence.
The Atlantic published a piece noting that “MAGA-world denizens have called for violence and civil war.” As proof, the author pointed to users on social media platform Truth Social, one of which wrote, “F*ck a civil war, give them a REVOLUTION. We out number all of the 10 to 1.”
The article also brings up another random user who wrote: “It certainly feels like they’re treating it as a hot civil war. When this is all said and done, the people responsible for these tyrannical actions need to be hanged.”
Of course, the author understood he would not be able to make much hay out of random folks on social media, so he then turned to conservative pundits to make his point. He wrote:
The Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump outlet, wrote “This. Means. War”—which was “quickly amplified by a Telegram account connected to Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s onetime political adviser,” according to The New York Times. Bannon called the FBI “the Gestapo” and said, “We need to choke down the FBI and choke down the Justice Department.” Another former Trump adviser, Michael Caputo, said, “With this militant raid on President Trump’s home, we have become Russia. The FBI is the KGB.” And Fox’s Dan Bongino called the FBI’s action “some third-world bullshit.”
Not to be outdone, the New York Times published a similar piece in which the author quoted a tweet posted by conservative pundit Steven Crowder:
What a surprise, the MSM is doing what the MSM always does, which is taking us out of context. pic.twitter.com/89DtQyHIpr
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) August 10, 2022
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who can always be counted on for an asinine take, penned an op-ed in which he parroted the same talking points. “I would like nothing more than to be wrong about this. But the reckless response by the GOP-Fox News axis to the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago makes it feel as though we’re falling into the abyss,” he wrote.
In such a dangerous and unstable time, we need political and opinion leaders to appeal for calm. Instead, Fox News and other conservative outlets exploded with talk of “war” and “assassination,” an “attack” on the country and Trump supporters, and calls for revenge against a “corrupt” American “KGB.” Elected Republicans erupted in cries about the “weaponized politicization” done by a Democratic “Gestapo” and a “tyrannical FBI,” and about the need to “make sure these tyrants pay the price.” They called for retribution: “Destroy the FBI.” “No one is safe.” “You’re next.” “They’re coming for YOU.”
Of course, Milbank did not list any actual calls to violence. We already know why.
It’s because no high-profile conservative influencers are pushing for violence or “civil war.”
Nevertheless, our once-vaunted Fourth Estate still seems intent on blaming any potential violence on folks like Crowder, Bongino, and others. Is it possible that some nutjobs could carry out violent acts in response to the raid?
Of course it’s possible. Anything can happen.
But this does not mean that these commentators are responsible. Moreover, the vast majority of conservatives would vehemently oppose such actions, as evidenced by the outpouring of condemnation coming from the right after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
Unlike the left, many of whose prominent figures either covered up for or justified the wave of violence that occurred after the murder of George Floyd, conservatives are not going to co-sign any bloodshed perpetrated by people who identify with the right.
But we already know what this is about, right? It’s about the midterms. The Jan. 6 hearings are failing to turn people against former President Donald Trump or Republican politicians. Democrats have little to run on. So, of course their comrades in the activist media are going to try to use the FBI raid to further their agenda. After all, what else do they have left?