Trump’s extreme-right backers angry and not going anywhere

Washington: The American far right is angry: Angry at Joe Biden, angry at Donald Trump, angry at the enigmatic “Q” and angry with themselves.

The online postings and chatrooms of extremists have been brimming with disappointment and dissent since the failed January 6 insurrection against Congress and the inauguration of Joe Biden as president.

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy movement -- and its Delphic prophet Q -- are most in disarray, their millenarian predictions of chaos and doom accompanying Biden's elevation to the presidency not (or not yet) coming true.

Ultranationalists like the Proud Boys, armed militias such as the Oath Keepers, and dangerous white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been pushed further underground, with followers who took part in the Capitol attack being swept up by law enforcement.

Experts in extremism and domestic terrorism say these groups have been dealt a blow by Trump's exit from power.

But they also maintain that the groups are not disappearing, and in some ways are now more motivated toward undertaking more dangerous attacks.

The more extreme groups are looking at the large pool of disheartened QAnon types for recruits, they say.

“The rhetoric remains heated, people are not cooling off. They are not adjusting well to Biden,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which researches extremism.

Far from depleted, said Colin P. Clarke, Director of Policy and Research at The Soufan Group, “the energy and momentum that the far right has is stronger than any time in recent memory. - AFP