Commentary: Making sense of a weaponized FBI

News & Politics

In what seems to be a largely objective report, Newsweek points out the “impossible” situation in which the FBI now finds itself. The federal agency has been charged with keeping tight surveillance over “domestic terrorism,” and this means for the present administration going after “Donald Trump’s followers” as a dangerous threat to domestic peace and order. Not surprisingly, this move has led to a reaction among Republican lawmakers and journalists who insist this surveillance operation represents a “weaponization” of an agency that is supposed to be above politics.

Unfortunately, the bureau has now been turned against a particular national party. Moreover, the FBI’s reference to Trump’s followers can be broadly and not at all unreasonably understood as referring to the many millions of American citizens who voted for the Republican candidate in 2020. Sweeping attacks on “MAGA extremists” have come repeatedly from Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats in Congress, and we may assume these partisan speakers were not denouncing only one small group within the Republican fold. This demonization makes it clear exactly who is being demonized. It is those who had the temerity to vote against the state party.

Although such slander and harassment are divisive, they are also purposeful. They represent attempts to gear up for what will likely be a venomous presidential race next year by putting the other side on notice. Democrats expect the beleaguered opposition to play nice. If the Democrats pull out their predictable bag of tricks to win a close race, no disruptive complaints will be allowed. Just remember what happened to Trump, who was bombarded with criminal arraignments by Democratic judges for making too much fuss over the outcome of the last presidential election!

And what about all those obvious Republican voters hanging around the Capitol on January 6, 2021, who were unceremoniously thrown into prison for years for making a commotion? The demonstrators didn’t unleash the kind of violence that the “Summer of Love,” supported by Democratic politicians and operatives, did back in 2020. But let’s not make such invidious comparisons. Neither Democrats nor their minions in the deep state want unsettling outbursts to mar next year’s presidential election, especially since the Democratic incumbent will be spending the campaign season once again out of harm’s way. Nor is Biden likely to debate his Republican opponent, particularly if that opponent is the no-holds-barred Trump, who will stress Biden’s undeniable dementia.

Mind you, neither the Democrats nor the “public servants” who back them are just being mean. Their attempt to intimidate “MAGA extremists,” most broadly understood, advances their goals. Biden’s handlers and their allies in the Justice Department and government surveillance agencies want a clear path to victory. They certainly don’t want those who are supposed to lose to protest their defeat too loudly, and they most definitely don’t want the losers to behave the way Democrats did in 2016 and in other off years when Hillary Clinton, Jamie Raskin, and sundry Democratic politicians went bonkers contesting election results. It has to be driven home how the expected losers should behave when the inevitable befalls them. Complaints will be treated as insurrectionary actions, and those who might act up are already under surveillance.

This doesn’t mean that no semblance of opposition will be permitted in the new order. “Democracies” are supposed to have opposition parties, but in the new version of democratic government, which is already thriving in Germany, Canada, and in other supposedly constitutional regimes, the permissible parties all look alike. Those that don’t, and which for example want to limit immigration and remove hate speech laws, are stigmatized by the state and the state media as fascist, racist, or simply “undemocratic.” The unwelcome dissenters are also placed under state surveillance, exactly as Biden and the FBI are doing to their uncooperative opposition in our former constitutional republic.

But Biden’s handlers are holding out a peace branch to “moderate” Republicans since not all Republicans are supposedly of the MAGA strain.

We also have anti-MAGA Republican officeholders who want to find “common ground” with the ruling party and the deep state. A party led by the likes of Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) would pose no threat to those in charge, and they would provide the appearance of bipartisanship in what would continue to present itself as a paradigmatic democracy. Meanwhile the troublemakers on the “extreme right” would go on being surveilled, and those who made too much noise would be tried in courts in safe Democratic districts for racketeering and other imaginative charges.

Please note that every communist regime in post-World War II Eastern Europe took power in this fashion. There is absolutely nothing different that the left is now doing in this country to achieve the same result, which is a one-party dictatorship. The only new feature is that we’d be getting woke indoctrination together with political oppression.

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

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