We’re getting hints that the 2020 presidential campaign is going to feature something fairly new to American politics: the open participation of the radical right in harassing and threatening liberal Democrats and their nominees, in support of Donald Trump and the Republican establishment.
Over the weekend, white nationalists from the openly fascist group Patriot Front vandalized Democratic Party headquarters in Los Angeles by plastering their racist stickers and fliers around the building housing their offices. And that’s only the most recent incident.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. The stickers and fliers featured typical Patriot Front slogans: “Not stolen, conquered,” “America First,” “Reclaim America,” “America is not for sale,” and “Two Parties, One Tyranny.”
“It is clear that this vandalism is intended to intimidate and suppress voters. It will not work,” Democratic Party Chairwoman Ada Briceño said in a statement. “We stand united in the strongest possible condemnation of hate. We want to assure voters that intimidation is not tolerated.”
There have been previous indicators that far-right extremists are preparing to take an active role in the 2020 election, starting with the inclusion of extremist Oath Keepers as “security forces” at Trump rallies.
Patriot Front fascists, meanwhile, have become more public and emboldened to take their extremism offline and into the real world, manifested by their recent march down the National Mall in Washington, D.C. They have played a central role in the sudden and significant increase in white supremacist propaganda incidents over the past three years.
More recently, men from the street-brawling hate group Proud Boys have begun appearing at Democratic campaign rallies to harass people—notably at events for Bernie Sanders in particular, at which the extremists have harassed Sanders and his supporters as “socialists” and “communists.” At one event in Denver, the Proud Boys entered the rally making the white nationalist “OK” hand signal. At a Sanders event in Tacoma, Washington, Proud Boys managed to sneak into a secure media area and wave Trump flags while wearing red MAGA hats.
Proud Boys have also been making their presence felt at Trump campaign rallies, including a recent event in Colorado. “We are aligned with Trump in that we believe in America First,” said one Proud Boy. “There’s an America First agenda. And ‘America’ means everybody that’s here in America. We’re sick of people dividing each other across lines of race and ethnicity.”
Republished with permission from Daily Kos.