Twitter divided over Neumann's approach to Republican 'radicalization'

Trump ex-DHS official warns many Republicans are now ‘radical’ and could turn violent—Twitter implodes

Elizabeth Neumann in front of a black background

Screenshot / YouTube

How can you build bridges when the other side keeps blowing them up?

A stormy debate ensued on Twitter following Elizabeth Neumann’s interview with MSNBC. Neumann lambasted Trump’s radicalism for having “contaminated the entire pool that voted for him.”

But Neumann is a Republican who served in the Trump administration as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy at DHS.

So these statements packed one almighty punch.

Here is the video of her remarks that set off a Twitter tempest:

Neumann urges we help the ‘deceived’

A photograph of a parade figure of Donald Trump wearing a "liar" sign.

Pixabay

What if you see Trump supporters as struggling addicts or conned members of a cult? They have effectively been drinking the “Kool-Aid” for the last four years. In this case, they need to be supported, not snubbed.

These were not Neumann’s words, but she did appear to be imploring for compassion and understanding to bridge the nation’s thorny lines of partisanship in the wake of the contested election.

As a Republican, she espouses center-right and conservative policies, but she recognizes that in order to balance the very far-right and the very far-left, “it is going to be a long slog.”

Neumann called for the need to “help what are otherwise very good people in this country who care passionately about this country but they’ve been deceived.”

A Tempest on Twitter

A laptop screen showing the Twitter logo

Screenshot / YouTube

The breaking news clip received mixed reviews on Twitter. Many users applauded Neumann’s attitude. Like President-Elect Joe Biden, who swore he would be a “President for all Americans – whether you voted for me or not,” she appears to be advocating for the high road: forgive and move on.

Many users on Twitter were not so sure about these “very good people,” who had been “deceived.”

While others are tired of fighting…

We are in a ‘dangerous setting right now’

Truck with a Trump flag streaming in the wind

Screenshot / YouTube

Speaking to the MSNBC anchor, Neumann had stark warnings about the “dangerous setting right now.”

The “contaminated” pool of Trump supporters “believe an entirely different set of facts.” Neumann pointed out that, just “ten years ago, Republicans would have found those beliefs radical.”

The Million Maga march that took place in Washington D.C. on Saturday was a clear reminder that the heart of Trumpism beats strong in America. Violent clashes between protesters led to the arrest of 20 people, including several on gun charges.

The violent fringes are recruiting through radicalization

Kyle Rittenhouse walks through the streets of Kenosha proudly carrying an automatic rifle.

Screenshot / CBS / Twitter Tariq Nasheed

The past year has been marked by protests erupting in cities all the way from San Francisco to New York. Neumann called out the “radicalization factor” within the Republican party, which “allows the extreme violent fringes to recruit.”

The rise of Trump vigilanteism is real. Civilian far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, Patriot Players, and Kenosha Guard are swelling in ranks. The summer killings of Aaron Danielson in Portland, and the two people shot dead by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin bears chilling testament to the growing tension.

As Neumann said, “We are in a very dangerous setting right now where we have a large recruiting pool for people to choose to go a path where it’s violent.”

‘We must outlove the haters’

Philly's iconic John F. Kennedy Plaza Love Park Image

Shutterstock

This is about more than just the election — but saving the deceived, according to Neumann. She affirmed, “It’s less even about are we ever going to win an election again and opposing Trumpism.”

You cannot do it from an aggressive talking down to kind of way.

Among the raised eyebrows of forgiving extreme radicalism, there was a surge of enthusiasm for Neumann’s Christian and gracious approach. As Barack Obama cautioned, it will take “more than one election to reverse those trends.”

Biden has a stony uphill path to lead the nation to unity. As any parent would know, however, actions and example speak louder than words.

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