But let’s say he has a radical change of heart or is defeated in 2020 and the American government decides that the time has come to remove those elements from the military and the police that Trump is talking about, those who support his thinly disguised racist agenda—because, let’s be clear, there are many of them, even if they are not in command.

Could that be done? Putting aside the treatment of the Japanese during World War II, among white people there are only a couple of precedents for such a purge in U.S. history: the removal of military officers, diplomats and other officials with real or suspected Confederate sympathies during the American Civil War (many of whom left of their own accord), and the ugly campaign against alleged communists in the McCarthy era of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Provocateurs like Tarrant are hoping for draconian measures, looking to provoke a conflagration. “Civil war in the so called ‘melting pot’ that is the United States should be a major aim in overthrowing the global power structure and the Wests’ egalitarian, individualist, globalist dominant culture,” Tarrant’s manifesto tells us. He’s hoping “the conflict over the 2nd amendment” will lead to that fratricidal fight and “eventually balkanize the U.S. along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.”