Every four years, members of one political party or another have to accept defeat in the Presidential Election. But a University of Colorado assistant professor said this time is different — he expects mainstream Trump supporters will continue to deny the legitimacy of the election and new administration.
Benjamin Teitelbaum, assistant professor of ethnomusicology, international affairs and extremism, said there is a population in the U.S. who believes democracy does not work for them.
Teitelbaum said he predicts many of these people will flock to new social media apps. He noted that one alternative app called Telegram grew by 25 million subscribers after crackdowns from other mainstream social media sites.
“Of course, that means an even more isolated echo chamber than what we’ve seen in the past, less communication, and more parallel universes and parallel truths in our society,” Teitelbaum said.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has been tracking a rise in right-wing extremism and hate crimes in recent years. ADL Mountain States Region Director Scott Levin said he agrees that more people are becoming attracted to what was formerly seen as a fringe.
“Whether you were an extremist or not, you might have acted on your worst urges if you were at the Capitol on Jan. 6,” Levin said.
Both Levin and Teitelbaum said leaders and regular citizens must reject extremism more unequivocally than ever.
“Some of the most impactful changes that can take place in a society are face-to-face conversations between neighbors” Teitelbaum said.
Levin said communities must have these conversations with neighbors and friends, and expect everybody from the mayor to the president to make it clear that it is not acceptable.