In September 2022, President Joe Biden convened a summit known as United We Stand to denounce the “venom and violence” of white nationalism forward of the midterm elections.
His remarks repeated the theme of his prime-time speech in Philadelphia on Sept. 1, 2022, throughout which he warned that America’s democratic values are at stake.
“We should be trustworthy with one another and with ourselves,” Biden mentioned. “An excessive amount of of what’s taking place in our nation in the present day just isn’t regular. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans characterize extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Whereas that message could resonate amongst many Democratic voters, it’s unclear whether or not it would have any impression on any Republicans whom Biden described as “dominated and intimidated” by former President Donald Trump, or on impartial voters who’ve performed decisive roles in elections, and can proceed to take action, notably as their numbers improve.
It’s additionally unclear whether or not Trump-endorsed candidates can win usually elections, by which they’ll face opposition not solely from members of their very own occasion but additionally from a broad swath of Democrats and impartial voters.
What is evident is that this midterm election cycle has revealed the efficiency of conspiracy theories that prop up narratives of victimhood and messages of hate throughout the advanced American panorama of white nationalism.
Campaigning on conspiracy theories
In my e book, “Homegrown Hate: Why White Nationalists and Militant Islamists Are Waging Battle on the USA,” I element how the white nationalist narrative of victimhood and explicit grievances have gained traction to turn into ingrained within the present-day Republican Celebration.
I additionally look at 4 key strands of white nationalism that overlap in varied configurations: religions, racism, conspiracy theories and anti-government views.
Conspiracy theories permit white nationalists to depict a world by which Black and brown persons are endangering the livelihoods, social norms and morals of white folks.
Basically, conspiracy theories are based mostly on the assumption that particular person circumstances are the results of highly effective enemies actively agitating in opposition to the pursuits of a believing particular person or group.
Primarily based on the interviews I carried out whereas researching my e book, these explicit conspiracy theories are handy as a result of they justify the shared white nationalist objective of creating establishments and territory of white folks, for white folks and by white folks. Whereas conspiracy theories are usually not new, and definitely not new to politics, they unfold with growing frequency and pace due to social media.
The “nice alternative concept” is one such baseless perception that’s enjoying a job within the anti-immigration rhetoric that’s central to the 2022 methods of many Republican candidates who’re operating for seats in any respect ranges of presidency.
That concept erroneously warns believers of the risk that immigrants and folks of coloration pose to white id and establishments.
For months on the 2022 marketing campaign path, Republican Blake Masters, a enterprise capitalist who’s operating for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, has portrayed immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border as a part of an elaborate plot by Democrats to dilute the political energy of voters born in the USA.
“What the left actually desires to do is change the demographics of this nation,” Masters mentioned in a video posted to Twitter final fall.
The lie of the ‘Huge Lie’
Except for the inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric, the conspiracy concept at present having the largest impression on native, state and federal political campaigns throughout the nation is Trump’s “Huge Lie” that he gained the 2020 election.
Of the 159 endorsements Trump has made for proponents of the Huge Lie, 127 of them have gained their primaries in 2022.
As well as, Republican candidates who align themselves with the Huge Lie are additionally rising victorious in races for state- and county-level places of work whose obligations embrace direct oversight of elections.
The continuation of QAnon
On his social media website Fact Social, the previous president quotes and spreads conspiracy theories from the quasi-religious QAnon. A serious tenet of QAnon is the assumption that the Democrats and folks considered their liberal allies are a nefarious cabal of sexual predators and pedophiles.
Trump just isn’t the one Republican politician who welcomes and spreads such disinformation.
Two of the most outstanding politicians who’ve been linked to supporting QAnon are U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, each of whom have been resoundingly endorsed by Trump.
Democracies underneath risk
The blatant use of conspiracy theories for political achieve displays the open embrace of white nationalism in not solely the USA but additionally all through Sweden, France, Italy and different elements of the world.
For my part, the conspiracy theories that drive the 2022 midterm campaigns mirror the worldwide risk of hate all over the world.