A challenger to Paul Ryan in the Republican primary contends the speaker is betraying the GOP grassroots by failing to forcefully condemn “Antifa.”
Ryan recently criticized the president by proclaiming “there are no sides” when it comes to the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Businessman Paul Nehlen said Ryan could not bring himself to criticize the militant leftists known as “Antifa” who had instigated the violence in Charlottesville.
“Paul Ryan is a coward,” said Nehlen, author of the new book “Wage The Battle.” “What he is doing is working to further divide the country so that he can keep his hands on the levers of power. People aren’t buying what Ryan is selling in terms of this fake narrative that there is only one side to the violence.”
Nehlen argues the populist wave in American politics has yet to crest and, as shown by the rise of both Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders, is deeply affecting both parties. Whichever party can capitalize on these sentiments, he believes, will succeed.
However, instead of appealing to populist sentiments on issues such as trade and immigration, the GOP leadership has attempted to crush the grassroots of its own party, even if it means siding with militant leftists against Trump, Nehlen said.
“The establishment on both sides of the aisle are scared to death of the populist supporters of President Trump and Bernie Sanders,” he said. “What the liberal media and the establishment Republicans were attempting to do to economic nationalists was smear and tarnish them with labels such as racist and supremacist, when in fact the group has simply rejected the failed globalist orthodoxy. And now, in order to keep their hands on the levers of power, the so-called GOP leadership has made the craven and calculated decision to stand with Antifa against the populist uprising in this country.”
Indeed, Antifa attacked Trump supporters attending the president’s Tuesday night rally in Phoenix. Police were forced to use tear gas after protesters threw projectiles at law enforcement.
Video footage also showed Antifa attacking Trump supporters attempting to leave the venue in a pickup truck. Reuters drew criticism by describing the violent protesters as “peace activists.”
Tuesday’s rally also featured Trump condemning Antifa by name.
Nehlen argued Ryan should be willing to do the same and rejected the argument that denouncing only the “far right” would give Ryan some kind of moral righteousness.
“The rational majority of America rejects this phony ‘moral high ground’ argument,” he told WND. “We choose the factual high ground. Antifa are far worse inasmuch as their violence is PC sanctioned by the liberal media, the pseudo-intelligencia on college campuses, and the D.C. globalists, including Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Bill Kristol and so many others.”
Like Ryan, Romney, along with other establishment Republicans such as Mitch McConnell and John Kasich, have placed all the blame for political violence on the “far right” while ignoring Antifa entirely.
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However, Nehlen sees signs of hope in the president’s denunciation of the violent group. He noted more than 200,000 Americans have signed a petition calling on the president to recognize Antifa as a terrorist group.
He also argued Antifa’s repeated attacks on ordinary Republicans and Trump supporters, not just the “far right,” is awakening Republicans to the threat the group represents.
But as Nehlen observed, despite their radical tactics and stated beliefs, the Antifa agenda is largely in agreement with the politically correct beliefs of most corporate leaders, professors and journalists. Along with Antifa, many of these elites have urged restrictions on free speech following the violence in Charlottesville.
For that reason, Nehlen said it is more important than ever for Republicans to have leaders who will fight for Americans’ constitutional rights. And he is outraged that Ryan had urged restrictions on Second Amendment rights in response to Charlottesville, even though no fatalities or injuries resulted from firearms at the event.
In response to a question about the 2012 Sikh temple shooting, Ryan recently suggested on CNN he would implement a form of gun control which would strip Second Amendment rights even from those merely accused of a crime.
“We’ve got to do a better job of making sure that criminals don’t get guns or that people who are suspected of terrorism – like domestic terrorism – don’t get guns,” Ryan said. “Just like we saw … Heather Heyer was killed by an act of domestic terrorism. This fits into that category, so I think we have to do a better job of making sure that terrorists not get guns.”
Nehlen said this is typical of a supposed GOP leader who seems to go out of his way to attack both fellow Republicans and conservative principles.
“Paul Ryan took a question about someone who is a diagnosed schizophrenic who’d been prescribed antipsychotic medication and who plowed into a crowd with a car and made it a referendum on guns,” Nehlen fumed. “Paul Ryan conspired with CNN to select who was in that room along with approving what questions were asked so this wasn’t a slip-up. Ryan deliberately flipped the narrative to favor gun control.”
Nehlen said the Republican grassroots must no longer tolerate leaders who spend more time fighting their own party instead of the enemy. And among the most dangerous enemies, Nehlen said, is Antifa.
“We are waking up,” Nehlen said of grassroots conservatives. “And it is imperative that we, as the voice of true conservative values, don’t back down one inch on exposing the PC Marxists in our midst for what they are.”
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