I was reading the article in the Appeal Democrat entitled “San Diego veteran’s path to Trump, QAnon and a deadly insurrection” (Page A10, January 9, 2020), when I was struck by the similarities in Ashli Babbitt’s story when compared to that of Islamic radicalization. Many will say “Ah you are really reaching!” but bear with me. 

Definition: Radicalization is “the process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly radical views in opposition to a political, social, or religious status quo.” 

Islam has recast the “Great Evil” in the world as the “Unbelieving Infidel.” In the US, we have the demon known as the “Socialist/Communist,” AKA “Radical Liberals.” The perceived threat is that these demons will take over and destroy their respective God-blessed countries.

Both have “Strong Leaders.” In Islam there are “Radical Imams” who draw followers to themselves and who further radicalize their beliefs. In the U.S., we have Donald Trump and QAnon. They wrap themselves in religious dogma or, in the case of the U.S., in conspiracy theories and patriotic dogma. Both are immune to facts or common sense. Both reject the scientific or intellectual communities, preferring to keep their followers in the dark ages. Both foster polarization and isolationism. 

Both believe that their opposition is totally radical and that they must therefore take extreme measures to defend their own extreme position. This ultimately devolves into a Holy War, i.e. Jihad; or, in our case, violent attempts to overthrow our constitutional government. We must reject radicalization, as it distorts reality and, if left to fester, will impact our American democracy and way of life. God forbid.

Ashli Babbitt’s death was unfortunate, unnecessary and ultimately did nothing to overturn a properly run election process. Donald Trump lost the presidential election, lost the majority in the Senate, his political party is in total disarray and he is directly or indirectly responsible for many tens of thousands of COVID deaths, and, in one way or another he will leave office in disgrace. Avoid the radical extremes of our society as invariably they are the refuge of woefully misguided souls and losers.




David Hudspeth,

Yuba City

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