*Writing about Donald Trump’s presidency is exhausting. There are daily scandals and you have to decide which outrageous lie to debunk. Trump lies so much it’s impossible to keep up.
A lot of times it seems as if you’re writing the same story over and over again — especially when it comes to far-right domestic terrorism. I’ve written about Cesar Sayoc, Lt. Christopher Hansson and Brenton Tarrant, who carried out the recent mass murder in Christchurch, New Zealand. All of these terrorists have been linked to Trump’s white nationalist rhetoric. I’ve talked about how there are more out there and discussed how the president is inspiring violence against his own people.
However, The Intercept’s in-depth article on Michael Hari, and a band of domestic terrorists who tried to blow up a Bloomington, Ill. mosque, is truly blood chilling. The article describes how Hari went from being an angry white man, who was frustrated with his lack of economic opportunities, to a fully-fledged, bomb-making terrorist. The Intercept article also details how Trump’s rhetoric played a key role on his road to radicalization.
Hari fit all the check marks of a Trump supporter, he was a rural dweller, he worked in law enforcement, he was both a gun and QAnon enthusiast and more importantly, he was a religious fundamentalist. Hari belonged to an arch-conservative Baptist sect. In many ways, Hari sounded a lot like the ISIS recruits who fled the West to join the Caliphate. Hari and ISIS recruits were both afraid of the changing modern world. However, Hari fully bought into Trump’s rhetoric of wanting to go back to the “good old days.”