If the United States descends into a second civil war, Idaho will likely be the first state to secede.
According to a report from the New York Times, conservative Republican leaders there have their hands full trying to fend off far right-wing extremists and militia members who are poised to take governmental control of the state.
Far-right extremists, of course, have maintained a heavy presence in the Pacific Northwest for over two decades. And per the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least nine hate groups operated in the Spokane and northern Idaho area in 2018, including Identity Evropa, Proud Boys, ACT for America, and America’s Promise Ministries.
Today, several candidates representing the resurgent John Birch Society, a once-popular conspiracist group that opposed the civil rights movement and equal rights for women and was eventually exiled by the Republican Party decades ago, are proposing “machine guns for everyone” and advocating the takeover of federally-owned lands.
And in a race for Idaho’s top office, Trump-backed extremist Lt. Gov Janice McGeachin (R) is running to unseat current Gov. Brad Little. The GOP primary is Tuesday and the winner is a virtual lock to win the general election in November.
“The bitter intraparty contest between Ms. McGeachin and Mr. Little, set to be settled in the state’s primary election on Tuesday, reflects the intensifying split that is pitting Idaho’s conventional pro-gun, anti-abortion, tax-cut conservatives against a growing group of far-right radicals who are agitating to seize control of what is already one of the most conservative corners of the Republican Party in the country.”
The New York Times
While Idaho has been a hub for the anti-government / conspiracy theorist / white supremacist type for years, they’d never been a threat to take over the state’s governmental apparatus until now.
Via that New York Times report, former lieutenant governor Jack Riggs confirmed Idaho’s Republican Party is being increasingly taken over by wild-eyed zealots who don’t share real Republican values and are seemingly eager to pick up their arms to fight the U.S. government.
In the 2020 Presidential Election, Donald Trump won 64 percent of the vote in Idaho, carrying 41 of the state’s 44 counties.
When discussing the rise of extremism in Idaho, Tommy Ahlquist, a developer who finished third in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary, told Politico:
“It’s just this national rhetoric, and running to a narrative created by Trump that he started when he knew he was going to lose, and started telling the lie.”
“And that filters down to Republicans in our state. And in a state as red as ours, that’s still the narrative because that’s what they do to get elected.”
The Idaho primaries will take place Tuesday, May 17.Tags: 2022 Midterm Elections, MAGA