In The Wake Of Jan. 6, Families Are Searching For Ways To Deradicalize Their Relatives | Talking Points Memo

As Virginia approached the peak of its COVID surge last January, Robyn Sweet was sick with the disease and caring for a patient who was dying from it.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
1 Like

Her father, a participant at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, was arrested in the days after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Douglas Sweet was charged with violent conduct on Capitol grounds, impeding a government function, and criminal trespass.

Well, Ms. Sweet, your father will spend a number of years in prison. Perhaps that will help him achieve some clarity.


I’ve never held much belief in setting up re-education camps, but some of these people need more than a gentle nudge.


Good luck with it


My very tight family started to fracture in the earty-90s. I was called a traitor because I voted for Bill Clinton. In the 2000 election, my father said the vote counting had to be stopped because people like me would cheat (I’m an A student who became a dentist and I run my own practice - you know, a criminal).

This has gotten progressively worse and has consumed 2/3 of my family who are now Trump-loving Nazis.


Just drop a dime on your crazy relatives. I cajoled the Secret Service into paying a sister a visit back in '08 when I got word some of her anti-Obama Facebook bullshit was treading perilously close to criminal. I’m sure she’s on some permanent list somewhere for having done it. Haven’t spoken to her since. Good riddance.

Shunning is a lost art.


A few random points:

“Sweet, the daughter of the Jan. 6 defendant, told TPM that she believes her father was more susceptible to extremist views in part because of isolation: he was living alone, without a spouse and with children who had left and moved away.”

Historically, mortality rates have been much higher than now (COVID notwithstanding). Consequently, lots of people lived alone because of spousal deaths, etc. These people were called “shut-ins.” Yet they didn’t run out and create insurrections.

Two: Violence in society is normally the province of the young. Yet this person is talking about her FATHER. What’s with the rise of geezer violence? Fox News?

Three: Note the long ladder in the riot photo. How did people who travelled considerable distances, many by plane, just happen to come across that in DC?

Four: Is being all therapeutic with these people and handing them tea and cookies the right approach? Or is it precisely their feeling of entitled impunity such that, regardless of their talking about how they’re groaning under vicious oppression, they intuit that nothing will ever happen to them?


We have a problem because people have been radicalized. We’ll have a catastrophe if we let Fox, OAN, Facebook, Republicans and their Russian trolls continue to do it. It must be stopped and it begins with the complete toxification of the Big Lie. Any support for it must be considered disqualification for public office.


We are making too much money off the OutRage Industry to develop much of an interest in deradicalization.

There are theatrics in politics…but they should be secondary to policy.


I would suggest Censure. Nothing seems to affect a Republican more than being censured :rofl:


That just proves the power of propaganda and why some “Americans” have invested billions in rightwing media. As long as the government refuses to regulate the flow of lies coming from these outlets the problems will continue.

My extended family is in much the same condition and it’s gotten worse. They’re all from Texas.


Um, belief in the big lie is a prerequisite for candidacy in a GOP race. Any GOP race. And progressives/liberals/Dems can scream all they want about how Big Lie candidates are bad for the GOP and Democracy, and the nation. But Republicans don’t give a shit what outsiders think of their candidates.
Right now we’re in a place where Trumpers are going to have to die out before sanity returns, just like we all waited for rabid segregationists or homophobes to die off before finally their views and sway over policy waned. Marriage equity took nearly 50 years after Stonewall to occur. Lynchings were happening 60 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Your grandchildren will be dealing with crazy Trumpers. We’re stuck with much of this insanity for the next generation.


One thing I have noticed about “radicalization” is what Sutherland calls Differential Association…interactions with those supporting the radicalization more than others.



Outside of something drastic happening to the pillars of the right-wing noise machine, I think the next-best mechanism to deal with this is good old social disapproval. Things like smoking and drunk driving aren’t done by self-respecting people that much any more. Talking like an ass about politics might be similarly malleable. If people laugh at and scorn you in the break room when you start up this way, it might make people think, or at least shut their idiot mouths more.


Or get you shot.


Good lord.


This article is “alarming”, but, to me, it is encouraging…because this problem is being brought more to the forefront as something greater than “politics” as usually practiced.

Radicals do not work well with others unless they, too, are radicals.

That’s a bad recipe for the type of politics required for our Republic.


Realistically…it took years of institutionalized lying and misinformation bolstered by the unfettered efforts of RW " news" oullets to help people abandon their senses…some will never embrace what is real…all of our lives will be lessened by this current reality…


You have a point. My older sister used to laugh at her RWNJ husband and later joined his idiotic ways. Its distressing to my other sister, my brother, and me because we know how stupid she’s being. Most distressing, however, is that they have disowned their daughter when she came out as a lesbian. At least she knows that the rest of us support her.


Combine First Amendment rights with the increasing belief that the Second Amendment was intended to support armed insurrection (thus negating the entire rest of the Constitution), and you’ve got trouble (right here in River City).

Incitement from foreign “actors” and disinformation (read “lying”) flowing from the Right/White wing media complex (aka “The Mighty Wurlitzer”) and it will spell the end of democratic government … unless the lies are stopped and controls placed on the weaponry. So far, either one has proved impossible, under the US money-driven political system. So maybe we start by controlling the money?