What is the Patriot Movement?
Adapted from Berlet & Lyons, Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort
The Patriot movement is bracketed on the reformist side by the John Birch Society and the conspiracist segment of the Christian Right, and on the insurgent side by groups promoting themes historically associated with White supremacy and antisemitism. A variety of preexisting far-right vigilante groups (including Christian Identity adherents and outright neonazi groups) were influential in helping to organize the broader Patriot movement. The Patriot movement, however, drew recruits from several preexisting movements and networks:
Multiple themes intersected in the Patriot movement: government abuse of power; fears about globalism and sovereignty; economic distress (real, relative, and anticipated); apocalyptic fears of conspiracy and tyranny from above; male identity crisis, backlash against the social liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and more.
The Patriot movement, using conspiracist and producerist rhetoric, identified numerous scapegoats. Each unit, and in some cases each member, could pick and choose from the following list:
The contemporary Patriot Movement began to emerge during the G.H. W. Bush administration and continued to grow under the Clintonadministration. Both presidents were seen as liberal globalists in the eyes of the Patriot movement.
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