President Donald Trump has instructed his followers to not engage in political violence following the deadly riots on the Capitol on Jan 6. But the video in which he made the plea has barely made a dent in the groundswell of extremism that was seen last week and has proliferated online since.
A vast swath of the president’s diehard base in MAGA Nation — the conspiracy theorists, the militia members, and the followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory — has disregarded Trump’s Wednesday remarks. Instead, they are dissecting his phrases and using those cues as rallying cries, doubling down on their plans to keep the MAGA movement going after Trump leaves the White House.
The absence of a formal Trump concession to President-elect Joe Biden has emboldened their chatter and bolstered their ideology. So, too, has the clamp-down by social media platforms on MAGA extremist content — Trump’s own posts included — which has given white nationalist and unapologetically fascist groups openings to recruit Trump fans to their cause…
At the root of these extremists’ continued fervor is a key observation: Trump still has not acknowledged that the election was legitimate and admitted his defeat to Biden. In his video on Wednesday, the president did not acknowledge he had lost the November election. And by not doing so, the outgoing president is seen as giving tacit approval to his followers’ plans to wage war against the political establishment.