Montana is a purple state well known for the independence of its voters, where ticket-splitting is an accepted phenomenon. In 2016, Montanan’s voted for a Republican President Trump, a Democrat Governor Bullock, and an overwhelmingly Republican controlled state legislature. In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Politics: Montana has split its presidential and senatorial votes in 10 out of the last 18 relevant elections spanning from 1908-2012. While the hyper-partisan political chaos so prevalent in Washington, D.C. has yet to control centrist Montana, political extremists are gaining ground in both parties here.
A political extremist is someone whose beliefs and values are sourced from the fringes of the ideological spectrum. Natural conspiracists, extremists are motivated by anger, fear, hatred, and self-righteousness — usually directed at government by the right or at business by the left, but can also be found directed at different races, ethnicities, and nationalities. Frequently a single issue like immigration, bonding, climate change, healthcare, or animal rights is the seed of their discontent.
Extremists are by nature highly motivated authoritarians. The core principles of liberty, democracy, and human rights only have meaning when these concepts apply to them. When these principles impede their ideological mission, they are cast aside to ensure that their radical extremism prevails. The tactics they are willing to engage in in pursuit of their mission are often egregious. Censorship, intimidation, manipulation, and alternate facts are their tools of choice.
What Do Some Political Extremists Believe?
|On the Left:|
|Environmentalists:|| Targets include: Extraction industries like oil and gas production, logging, mining, and construction industries that support extraction. |
Tactics include: Lawsuits, tree spiking, pipeline sabotage, arson, monkeywrenching, and trespass.
|Socialists:|| Targets include: Corporations, the successful, the wealthy, and our nation’s capitalistic origins. |
Beliefs include: The ‘Green New Deal’ which, at its core, is a ten year plan for the elimination of fossil fuels and complete government control of our energy sector. Promoting debt free college tuition and living expenses at an estimated annual cost of $50B. Abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), promoting sanctuary cities, and allowing open borders. Increasing the top marginal tax rate from 37% to 70%. And replacing the Electoral College with direct democracy.
|Antifa:|| Targets include: Any free speech that they disagree with, whether it be spoken or otherwise expressed, is their most common target. |
Tactics include: Fear, intimidation, and destruction. As the most violent faction of the extreme left, Antifa has made it their mission to stifle political expression with violence. Their claim to be anti-facist provides cover for their senseless violence.
|On the Right:|
|John Birch Conspiracists:||Targets Include: Communists, Expanded Government, and all perceived socialism. |
Beliefs Include: Abolishing the United Nations to protect against the New World Order and its corresponding “one world government” that they believe would overturn our Second Amendment to confiscate firearms. Oppose all foreign trade agreements. Creating legislative protections to prevent the government’s alleged plan for mass depopulation of rural areas. Preventing the government from deploying airborne mind control agents or other chemicals via methods like “chem-trails” to sterilize us. Abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning the US monetary system to a gold standard.
|Fundamentalists:|| Targets Include: Obtaining complete control of our evolving social dialogue. |
Beliefs Include: Prohibiting all abortion and relegating women to chattel status, without exception for cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk. Firmly oppose most all government investment (even in infrastructure), all social safety nets, the public education system, and public health initiatives. Aligned with anti-vaxxer claims that vaccines cause autism or other brain disorders despite the lack of scientific evidence to support these theories.
|White Supremacists:|| Targets Include: Secession from federal and state governments to establish a “white” homeland. |
Beliefs Include: Strong anti-government sentiments such as transferring all public lands to private hands. Their “white” race is superior to all other races, entitling them to rule over or have privileges over other races. Effectively eliminate all federal rights followed by secession.
What Can We Do About It?
Extremist Chronicles exists to shine a light on the extremism sabotaging Montana from both the right and the left by making public the radical views and behaviors of those in elected or leadership positions. If you are deeply committed to Montana and have a story of extremism to share, please send it to ExtremistChronicles@gmail.com so that citizens all over our state can make more informed choices about our leaders.
Thank you for joining us. Together we will build a better Montana.