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The violence against elected officials by hate groups in the USA this past week was a real shocker. Racism and homophobia are penetrating into the mainstream. “Rage on the Right” is certainly nothing new, it’s long been a part of the right-wing militia movement, the militant wing of the “patriot movement” who say they are protecting civil liberties against a government they see as an enemy (see Rage on the Right, 2003.) But a new study just published, Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism (summary here), shows that various streams are mingling.

Listen to this interview with the author of the new study, Mark Potok, on NPR. A survey on Republican political opinions shows that

  • 2/3 of Republicans think Obama is a socialist
  • 47% of Republicans believe the “birthers’” idea that Obama was not born in the US and is therefore not legally eligible for the Presidency
  • 38% say that Obama is doing some of the things Hitler did
  • 24% say he may be the Antichrist

Today, the face of the government is the face of a black man. That draws the anger, fear and frustration of the white racist militiant right. And coincidentally, the Democrats are losing support among white men. The next Republican presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has the uncanny ability to play to exactly that crowd.