This one comes not from Glenn Beck, but from a group of “patriots” who are nothing more than glorified Doomsday Preppers.
A group of self-appointed “patriots” are moving forward with an idea for a planned community of several thousand families of “patriotic Americans” in Idaho, a project named The Citadel, envisioned as a “martial endeavor designed to protect Residents in times of peril (natural or man-made).”
“The Citadel is not profit-driven. The Citadel is Liberty-driven: specifically Thomas Jefferson’s Rightful Liberty,” the group organizing the project says on its website. “Marxists, Socialists, Liberals and Establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles.
Their language is slightly different in some ways and very similar in others, but I view these new “liberty” retreats that are popping up in the same way that we may view the militia movement of the 1990s or even the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas.
From my perspective it’s what you get when you mix the hysterical rhetoric of the NRA and the conservative entertainment complex with the psychosis of so-called sovereign citizens, and I would not be shocked if they suffer a similar fate after they drink their own Kool-aid and begin living under the assumption that they are exempt from the law.
A major difference between the 1990s and today is that today they have a lot more money, a lot more guns, and a lot more exposure in mainstream politics thanks to the likes of Fox News and Glenn Beck who are making millions of dollars by legitimizing this alternate lifestyle and view of the world. And because of this quasi-legitimization, their ranks are swelling.
From the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest report on the “Patriot movement.”
The antigovernment “Patriot” movement has experienced a resurgence, growing quickly since 2008, when President Obama was elected to office. Factors fueling the antigovernment movement in recent years include changing demographics driven by immigration, the struggling economy and the election of the first African-American president. In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 1,274 anti-government “Patriot” groups that were active the prior year. Of these groups, 334 were militias and the remainder includes “common-law” courts, publishers, ministries and citizens’ groups.
Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. Antigovernment groups do not necessarily advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, though some have. Many warn of impending government violence or the need to prepare for a coming revolution.
If there is a group of Americans that anyone should be afraid of, it’s these people. People who consider Alex Jones to be a heroic figure.
I would caution liberals who dabble in libertarianism to take a good, hard look at what exactly that kind of ideology enables.