Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Documenting Hate

A New Wisconsin Neo-Hate Group?

State chapter of “Proud Boys” is anti-immigrant, anti-feminism, pro-"western values.”

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Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes pumps his fist during a rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on April 27, 2017 in Berkeley, Calif. Protesters marched in opposition to the cancellation of a speech by American conservative political commentator Ann Coulter at the University of California-Berkeley. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images.

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes pumps his fist during a rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on April 27, 2017 in Berkeley, Calif. Protesters marched in opposition to the cancellation of a speech by American conservative political commentator Ann Coulter at the University of California-Berkeley. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images.

In May, eight men met at Mackesey’s Irish Pub in downtown Madison to drink beer and talk politics. The men, all of them white and most in their 20s, had met online and were getting together for the first time.

The meeting would establish the Wisconsin chapter of an emerging national group called the Proud Boys. For Thaddeus Pall, it was a rare opportunity to openly express his support for President Donald Trump in liberal Madison.

As the men were leaving the bar for a member’s apartment, Pall, then 26, separated from the group to buy cigarettes. According to Madison police, as Pall was returning to his new friends, he was approached on the street by men in hoodies with what Pall described as baseball bats or wooden sticks. He told police the men had targeted him as a Trump supporter because of his T-shirt, which read: “Basket of Deplorables 2016.”

Pall said one yelled, “He is wearing a Trump shirt! He’s a Nazi!” and three surrounded him, pummeling his head, hands and arms and shattering his cell phone. Pall told the officer he did not know who the attackers were but thought he knew what they were: anti-fascist activists known as “antifa.” An “antifa” website later published a blog post detailing the attack and claiming responsibility.

After the beating, Pall tweeted a photo of his face and hands covered in blood. As a member of the Proud Boys, a libertarian men’s club that conveys special status on members who are attacked by anti-fascists, Pall had just achieved the highest degree of membership.

Thaddeus Pall was attacked in May 2017 in downtown Madison, Wis., by a group of men he suspected were anti-fascists. The FBI has investigated the attack, which Pall said came after he and other Proud Boys members met at a Madison bar. No charges have been filed. Photo from the Madison Police Department.

Thaddeus Pall was attacked in May 2017 in downtown Madison, Wis., by a group of men he suspected were anti-fascists. The FBI has investigated the attack, which Pall said came after he and other Proud Boys members met at a Madison bar. No charges have been filed. Photo from the Madison Police Department.

But Pall, a former Madison resident who now lives in northern Michigan, said in an interview that he is no longer active in the Proud Boys, although he said the attack did not alter his feelings about the group.

“I think people need to calm down. It’s just politics. People can have different views. We all want the same things — we all want a better planet, a better world, a better future. This disagreement is really about how you get there,” Pall said.

The Proud Boys were founded at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign by Gavin McInnes, a New York-based conservative online talk show host and co-founder of Vice Media who has since cut ties with the company. He estimates the membership at about 5,000 men nationwide.

McInnes and his followers believe there are 10 ways to “save America”: Abolish prisons, give each American a gun, legalize drugs, end welfare, close borders to illegal immigrants, outlaw censorship, venerate the housewife, glorify the entrepreneur, shut down the government and declare “the West is the best.”

Members also traffic in inflammatory language. A female reporter arranging an interview for this story with Wisconsin Proud Boy members in September was asked by the interview subject whether he should bring condoms. In a later interview, McInnes told the reporter she should give up her career, that “you need to find a man,” and that she would run out of eggs if she did not get pregnant soon.

Several Proud Boys members say they joined the group after watching founder Gavin McInnes on his online talk show. Photo from compoundmedia.com/show/the-gavin-mcinnes-show/

Several Proud Boys members say they joined the group after watching founder Gavin McInnes on his online talk show. Photo from compoundmedia.com/show/the-gavin-mcinnes-show/

In McInnes’ view, there is a demand for men’s clubs like the Proud Boys because, “There’s a real war on masculinity in this country that starts in kindergarten and goes all the way to adulthood. And it’s not natural.”

The interviews were part of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s reporting for Documenting Hate, a project led by the nonprofit investigative news organization ProPublica. More than 100 news outlets and other groups are collecting data and stories on hate and discrimination incidents for the project.

‘Cereal’ beatings

The Proud Boys call themselves “proud Western chauvinists” who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Initiation into the group is a multi-step process. A first-degree member simply declares he is a Proud Boy. Initiation at the second degree involves getting punched by other members while naming five breakfast cereals. Third degree is earned by getting a Proud Boy tattoo. Fourth degree is a “consolation prize” if a member “endures a major conflict related to the cause,” as Pall did.

A Proud Boy is initiated by being punched while reciting the names of five breakfast cereals.

Members often greet each other with the group’s ironic rallying cry, “Uhuru!” The word is Swahili for freedom and was taken from a video showing an activist calling for whites to make slavery reparations to African-Americans.

The Proud Boys also have a “no wanks” policy urging members to avoid masturbation and pornography to motivate them to get “off the couch” and meet women.

Group members have participated in recent rallies that drew anti-fascists in Portland and Berkeley that turned violent. The attack on Pall in Madison has been investigated by the FBI; federal authorities have called “antifa” members domestic terrorists. No charges have been filed.

McInnes has fiercely distanced the Proud Boys from white nationalists and the recent deadly demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. But experts say some of the group’s beliefs overlap with so-called alt-right ideology.

CV Vitolo-Haddad is a University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral student whose blog post about another graduate student’s alleged history of racist and anti-Semitic messaging prompted the end of that student’s teaching position. The student was recently vetted as a possible new member of the Wisconsin Proud Boys. He told local media he is not and has never been a racist. Photo by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

CV Vitolo-Haddad is a University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral student whose blog post about another graduate student’s alleged history of racist and anti-Semitic messaging prompted the end of that student’s teaching position. The student was recently vetted as a possible new member of the Wisconsin Proud Boys. He told local media he is not and has never been a racist. Photo by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

In October, a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, who at the time was being vetted as a possible new member of the Proud Boys, was relieved from his teaching assistant position. Doctoral student CV Vitolo-Haddad had written a blog post showing the graduate student had spread racist and anti-Semitic messages at Oberlin College in 2013 plus a 2016 tweet about “gassing” Jews.

The student claimed the 2013 incidents were jokes intended to provoke an overreaction, according to news reports from the time. An email to the student was not returned.

Just a drinking club

Late one night in early October, as a full moon swelled above the outside patio of The Explorium Brewpub at Southridge Mall near Milwaukee, three Proud Boys — Patrick, Eric and Brad — met to drink beer and explain their vision for the future of America.

Proud Boys members Brad, left, and Eric meet at The Explorium Brewpub at Southridge Mall in Greendale, Wis. The men, who asked that their last names not be used to avoid retaliation from anti-fascists, say the Proud Boys is a drinking fraternity that opposes white nationalism. Some members believe feminism is “cancer” and that women would be happier as homemakers and not in the workforce. Photo by Alexandra Hall / WPR/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Proud Boys members Brad, left, and Eric meet at The Explorium Brewpub at Southridge Mall in Greendale, Wis. The men, who asked that their last names not be used to avoid retaliation from anti-fascists, say the Proud Boys is a drinking fraternity that opposes white nationalism. Some members believe feminism is “cancer” and that women would be happier as homemakers and not in the workforce. Photo by Alexandra Hall / WPR/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Patrick seemed friendly and approachable. Eric and Brad arrived wearing matching black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirts, the uniform of the Proud Boys. Eric appeared wary; Brad was combative.

Earlier Brad had warned in text messages that the group had nothing to do with the “alt-right” or white nationalism, that such an association would put them in physical danger, and he threatened to call off the interview.

All three asked to be identified by first name only. “Antifa” members had posted personal information about Eric and other Proud Boys members online following the Madison attack. Patrick, who also declined to be photographed, said he feared he could lose his job.

Asked to describe the group, Brad took a slug from his beer. “First and foremost, we’re a drinking fraternity,” he said.

The Proud Boys “sizzle reel” where Gavin McInnes explains his vision for the group.

The men said they learned about the Proud Boys by watching YouTube videos of McInnes, who hosts an online talk show that combines right-wing politics with satire. During the 2016 election cycle, Brad said, he listened to McInnes’ show daily while he got ready for work. It was the group’s use of unfiltered expression that drew him in.

“Everybody has a platform. We have a platform. Black Lives Matter has a platform. And you know, I’m sorry for the people who don’t like it, but the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis have a platform. That’s free speech,” he said.

Brad and the other members said they also are tired of the pressure to feel guilty for being who they are.

“None of us ever knew anybody that owned a slave,” he said. “Personally, my family didn’t emigrate here until the first World War. I share no white guilt. I’m not guilty about any of the things that happened here 200 years ago. I wasn’t here. My relatives weren’t here. We didn’t move here until way after the Civil War. So I’m done being villainized as the white devil. I’m not him.”

The Proud Boys say there is no public space for people to support Trump without being labeled “Nazis.”

Eric, president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Proud Boys, shows off his tattoo, which is part of initiation into the group. Another ritual involves getting punched by other members while reciting breakfast cereal names. Photo taken Oct. 4, 2017. Photo by Alexandra Hall / WPR/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Eric, president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Proud Boys, shows off his tattoo, which is part of initiation into the group. Another ritual involves getting punched by other members while reciting breakfast cereal names. Photo taken Oct. 4, 2017. Photo by Alexandra Hall / WPR/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

“It’s now counterculture to call oneself a conservative,” Patrick chimed in. He recalled feeling alienated recently when he was told he could not use the bathroom at his neighbor’s house because of his “Make America Great Again” hat.

“We were all hanging out drinking beers in the backyard, and I laughed, thinking they were joking, and they were dead serious. They now look at it as a personal affront to them if you have a different political view … it used to be the liberal was the defender of free speech and to stick up for people that have contrary opinions,” he said.

Patrick and Brad said they both voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. All three are now avid Trump supporters.

Eric, who is now the Wisconsin chapter president, said he was attracted to Trump’s rejection of political correctness: “He kind of just put it in your face and didn’t care what people thought.”

Rather than provocateurs, Eric sees the Proud Boys occupying a middle ground.

“I liked that they weren’t (a) white supremacist, white nationalist group, but they weren’t trying to appease the left,” he said.

He said he was also drawn to the group’s respect for the traditional family.

“It’s basic family values … morals. The values that our grandparents were raised on,” he added.

Asked about his view of feminism, Eric responded, “It’s cancer … I just think it’s taken so much away from the traditional family that it’s contributed to the degradation of the American family. When it came to equality for women and equal rights and votes, OK yeah, that’s all good and well. But now it’s just turned into kind of what’s seeming to be anti-male basically.”

Late one Friday night, after agreeing to consider an interview, Eric sent a Wisconsin Public Radio reporter a Facebook message that read: “Should I bring the condoms? Because I know that when you get the truth, you’ll be ready.”

Eric, president of the Wisconsin Proud Boys chapter, sent this message and apology to a Wisconsin Public Radio reporter requesting an interview with him. Photo by Alexandra Hall / WPR/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Eric, president of the Wisconsin Proud Boys chapter, sent this message and apology to a Wisconsin Public Radio reporter requesting an interview with him. Photo by Alexandra Hall / WPR/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Around 8 the next morning, Eric messaged an apology, explaining that he had gotten “a little rowdy.” He later explained that he had been having drinks with friends and “thought it would be a funny way of blowing you off.”

Proud Boys reject ‘alt-right’ label

McInnes said he got his ideas about Western values from Pat Buchanan’s 2002 book “The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization.”

“The West is about you doing it your own way and not being hindered by rules,” McInnes said in an interview.

“It’s about the frontiersman, it’s about being an explorer. It’s about grit, it’s about mobility. It’s about Lewis and Clark. It’s about Columbus … Look at Malaysia and Indonesia and all these Muslim countries — they’re steeped in religious dogma,” McInnes said. “That’s not Western.”

Right-wing provocateur Gavin McInnes says he founded the Proud Boys in response to the “war on masculinity.” Here McInnes appears on his online talk show, “Get Off My Lawn.” Photo from crtv.com/category/get-off-my-lawn-with-gavin-mcinnes.

Right-wing provocateur Gavin McInnes says he founded the Proud Boys in response to the “war on masculinity.” Here McInnes appears on his online talk show, “Get Off My Lawn.” Photo from crtv.com/category/get-off-my-lawn-with-gavin-mcinnes.

McInnes rejected descriptions of his group as being part of the “alt-right” or white nationalist movements. He said the Proud Boys do not discriminate based on race or sexual orientation, and some of the Proud Boys members are black.

Ryan Lenz, senior investigative writer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, says the Proud Boys’ “West is the best” messaging overlaps with white nationalist themes. Photo from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Ryan Lenz, senior investigative writer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, says the Proud Boys’ “West is the best” messaging overlaps with white nationalist themes. Photo from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Yosef Ozia is African-American, a libertarian and a member of the Proud Boys in Atlanta.

“Me being in the group, I have met all different colors of the rainbow. Different backgrounds, different religions, all that. From Sikhs to Muslims. From me being Jewish, to Christianity,” he said.

Despite the Proud Boys’ defense of free speech, the group and its founder have threatened to sue journalists and others, including Vitolo-Haddad, for linking the group to white nationalism. Brad threatened to sue Wisconsin Public Radio if a reporter brought up questions related to the topic in an interview.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremism in the United States, said it did not include the Proud Boys in its 2016 list of “hate” groups. Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said the group did not exist at the time the report was being prepared, but that researchers would take a look at the group for 2017.

Explained Ryan Lenz, SPLC’s senior investigative writer: “As the ‘alt-right’ took to the streets or took to the Internet … what the Proud Boys were to become in relation to that was not quite clear. We were aware of their presence, we were aware that they were attending these rallies, we were aware that they started these fight clubs and other things like that, but … I don’t think they even knew what their group would become. I’m not so sure they know quite yet.”

But Lenz said there are echoes of white nationalism in the Proud Boys’ rhetoric.

“When you talk about Western ideals … what you’re talking about is European ideals and the descendants of Europe. America for that matter, as many in the alt-right and many racists argue, is the natural successor to Europe, which was a great ‘civilization,’ ” Lenz said.

“It was only when immigration from other continents started to infuse in Europe and then ultimately in the United States that they would argue the greatness of that continent and this country were undermined.

“Western values,” he added, “are the values of whiteness.”

McInnes: Feminism relies on ‘blatant lies’

What is not equivocal is McInnes’ stance on other groups, including Muslims and women. McInnes’ Twitter profile describes him as a libertarian family man who favors closed borders and a free market. He lists himself as pro-West, gun, life, gay, Israel, Trump, cop and First Amendment. He opposes Nazis, the “alt-right,” feminism and Islam.

This is Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes’ Twitter profile, in which he states that he opposes Nazis, Islam and feminism and supports guns and the First Amendment. Image from twitter.com/Gavin_McInnes

This is Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes’ Twitter profile, in which he states that he opposes Nazis, Islam and feminism and supports guns and the First Amendment. Image from twitter.com/Gavin_McInnes

“I would say that feminism was done in maybe 1979,” McInnes said. “And since then, it’s just been women inventing problems and lying to create a world where feminists are needed. Like saying one in four women will be sexually assaulted or raped in college — or saying that women earn less than men and there’s a wage gap. Like just blatant lies to justify their existence.”

Wisconsin’s Proud Boy chapter logo features the group’s “Uhuru” greeting, which means freedom in Swahili. The word is taken from a video in which an activist calls for whites to make slavery reparations to African-Americans. Photo from https://www.facebook.com/Proud-Boys-Wisconsin-227778521060978/

Wisconsin’s Proud Boy chapter logo features the group’s “Uhuru” greeting, which means freedom in Swahili. The word is taken from a video in which an activist calls for whites to make slavery reparations to African-Americans. Photo from https://www.facebook.com/Proud-Boys-Wisconsin-227778521060978/

McInnes said he believes that women gravitate towards occupations that pay less.

“Women tend to choose jobs that are less strenuous, less risky, they tend to want to go home for their daughter’s piano recital rather than stay at the office all night, and that costs them promotions down the line,” he said.

Alice Le Fae belongs to the Proud Boys’ Girls — a group of women who are married to, dating or otherwise support members of the Proud Boys. She said being a full-time mother is more “fulfilling” than focusing on a career.

“We’re not feminists, but we love femininity, which has kind of been a lost thing in Western culture,” Le Fae said. “Our generation and the generation underneath me was kind of raised to be a career woman, go out and do your own thing. … That’s something that we’re proud of is the old Western culture and being a housewife, raising families.”

The Proud Boys who gathered in Milwaukee say they do not share McInnes’ stance on Muslims. But they are concerned about Sharia Law coming to the United States.

Said Lenz: “The reality is that the ideologies that people have who gravitate toward being a Proud Boy, the ideologies of anti-Islam as Gavin has on his Twitter page, or anti-feminism, these are things that play deeply into the grains of the ‘alt-right,’ and whether you know it or not, you’re becoming a very distinct element of the ‘alt-right.’ ”

Offensive statements all ‘a joke’

McInnes called Eric’s invitation to bring condoms to the interview in Milwaukee a joke.

“If you’re gonna play with the big boys as a journalist,” McInnes told the reporter, “you should have a sense of humor. You can’t be a church lady and simultaneously a feminist. … Are you like one of the guys and you’re not a woman when you feel like it?”

He added, “Women don’t want to be equal to men, they want to be treated special. I think that the left is willfully ignorant of jokes when it suits them. You’re sophisticated enough to know the humor in someone having to name five breakfast cereals when they’re getting beaten up.”

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes uses humor in messaging that some people find offensive. McInnes says most women would be happier if they stayed home and raised children. This is a screenshot from McInnes' Twitter feed. Image from twitter.com/Gavin_McInnes

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes uses humor in messaging that some people find offensive. McInnes says most women would be happier if they stayed home and raised children. This is a screenshot from McInnes’ Twitter feed. Image from twitter.com/Gavin_McInnes

Lenz said it is common for groups like the Proud Boys to use irony and humor as a tool of plausible deniability.

“If someone were to become critical of the Proud Boys, all they would have to do is look to the process by which one becomes a Proud Boy and they can say, ‘Look you guys are stupid, you’re actually taking this on face value and thinking we’re a threat?’ ” Lenz said.

“So it’s this weird sort of thing. You don’t know if it’s actually real or if it’s a joke. But I’ll tell you this, in the streets, during these ‘alt-right’ rallies, when the Proud Boys show up to defend the First Amendment principles of racists and extremists, that is not a joke. It’s very real and very serious.”

Alexandra Hall is a Wisconsin Public Radio Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow who is embedded in the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s newsroom. The nonprofit Center, (www.WisconsinWatch.org) collaborates with WPR, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

23 thoughts on “Documenting Hate: A New Wisconsin Neo-Hate Group?”

  1. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    More nutty Lefties.

  2. Rita says:

    Sorry to see this attention given these fools in Milwaukee Urban. Jackasses are a fact of life all over. Let’s not dwell on them. Libertarian is to the right of the conservative, Conservative Digest, not left at all.

  3. Brewer says:

    He took a beating during his “cereal” initiation. Whiny cowards.

  4. Max says:

    WCD … these people are all Traitor Trump supporters, what a ditzy comment by you. Insulting to all, as Rita says, the best strategy is to ingnore haters and call out serial laughable nonsense from WCD.

  5. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Conservatives do not hate only the Left with the Klan, Steyer, Soros, Buffet, BLM, ACLU, SLPC etc. we do not have THESE people in the Conservative ranks.

  6. John Casper says:

    Rita, respectfully disagree.

    When Americans want to use the First Amendment as a shield to spew white supremacy, that’s newsworthy.

  7. TransitRider says:

    WCD, these guys are not “lefties”. Just look at the photo at the top of this page. The guy is wearing a Trump MAGA cap.

  8. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Lefties always do that like Charlottesville. There are no people like that in the Conservatives, GOP. we are not violent or threatening, only the Left does that.

  9. John Casper says:

    WCD, since you’re not a “lefty,” how would you know?

    Please link to your claims of violent “lefties.”

    “Dylann Roof loses bid to fire Jewish, Indian lawyers — his ‘political and biological enemies'”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/09/19/dylann-roof-wants-to-fire-jewish-and-indian-lawyers-his-political-and-biological-enemies/?utm_term=.535121b4331f

  10. Jason Troll says:

    I could write this article. I would write how the Left was inspired by the Charles Manson murders in 1969. Manson had directed his “family” members to go out into the dark of night to do “something witchy. ” Bernadine Dohrn (Whitefish bay) one of the leaders of the leftist hate group the Weather Underground, stated after the murders, “Dig it! First they killed those pigs. Then they ate dinner in the same room with them. Then they even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!” – Dohrn looked to Manson as a hero and admired his methods. You would think the left wing would disassociates from this hate. Nope, she is a college professor at Northwestern University continuing to push her hate and she pals around with Billionaire George Soros.

  11. John Casper says:

    Jason, you had to go back 48-years to find an example of violence that you claim was on the left?

    Define what you mean by “left.”

    If Manson and Dohrn were so inspiring, why haven’t there been any more graphic examples, such as you described, on the “left?”

    Was the “war council” because Vietnam was fought mostly by poor Americans, who couldn’t afford college?

    “Donald Trump’s Draft Deferments: Four for College, One for Bad Feet”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-draft-record.html

    The chicken-hawks, Bush and Cheney, avoided Vietnam too.

    Are you giving the “left” credit for getting rid of deferments and creating an all-volunteer military?

  12. jason troll says:

    I guess that would be the Roy Moore argument, Casper. It is relevant because Manson died and Millennials get confused by Charlie and Marilyn.

  13. John Casper says:

    jason troll 2, can’t think of your own handle, or are you and “Jason Troll” sharing?

    Are you here, because wingnut central think “Jason Troll” went a little too far?

    Why would you bring Roy Moore into Jason Troll’s insertion of the Tate Labianca murders? Unlike Manson, Roy doesn’t have a swastika carved into his face.

    “Marilyn Manson, infamous ‘shock rocker.’ In 2000, explained his plan to vote Republican with ‘if I had to pick, I’d pick Bush, and not necessarily by default.'”

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/marilyn-mansons-shocking-trump-video

  14. Old Man Yells at Cloud says:

    I think it is telling that instead of admonishing this behavior, some of the commentators above simply try to deflect the blame to other people.

    Why is it so hard for someone like WCD to say that these “Proud Boys” are no good without wrongly saying they are from the left? How can one possibly claim that no hate or violence is coming from the right? Groups like this have Trump and MAGA all over their propaganda, last I checked that is the GOP right now.

    Everyone is caught in a Pot Kettle Black, the sooner you realize, the sooner you can start to have an intelligent conversation. You can’t just make stuff up to make yourself feel good.

  15. John Casper says:

    Old Man,

    Thank you. Excellent question.

    WCD, Jason Troll, jason troll, and others understand the “Overton Window.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    Unthinkable
    Radical
    Acceptable
    Sensible
    Popular
    Policy

    By hiding behind handles, they spew “unthinkable” opinions. That opens up more space in what Overton called the “window of discourse.” Gov. Walker and WIGOP sound less extreme when they promote their socialism for the elites, austerity for everyone else.

  16. MKE Kid says:

    Holy cow. WCD and Jason Troll, don’t you think it’s a bad idea to go online and comment in a public forum after you’ve been drinking? Please don’t tell me you’re sober when you post such ridiculous and laughable comments.

  17. Jason TRoll says:

    Like this author we can all cherry pick and present some message of Trump equaling hate. Two to three times a week a group of young African American men stand at the corner of 3rd and Wisconsin closest to the Reuss Plaza or Blue building. They dress up in religious costumes and quote scripture. Curious pedestrians walk by and our greeted with racial slurs. Should I assume that since 96 percent of all voting African Americans voted for Obama in 2012 and that Obama and his message of hating cops is hate speech, therefor like this article Obama is hate.

  18. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    We have the biggest Conservative organization in the state, who have been active since 1964. Have been leader in GOP for 50 years.
    None of these people in either group and never will be.

    Conservatives do not riot, demonstrate, violently in any way. We work hard every day have jobs then go to church have families etc. Do not have time to riot, cause violence of any time. That is purely the problem of the left and the Dems.

  19. John Casper says:

    Jason TRoll,

    What scripture are you quoting?

    Why are you greeting pedestrians with “racial slurs?”

    Why do you hate cops?

  20. John Casper says:

    WCD, what church do you attend?

    Did you mean to write that no one who attends a Temple is “conservative?”

    When did you last visit someone in prison, who wasn’t a relative?

    Matthew 25: 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  21. Eric S says:

    No true Scotsman, indeed

  22. Terry says:

    More far right wing crazies out marching and blaming others for their sad lives

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