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Wed Jan 27, 2021, 11:51 AM

Rebekah Mercer Raised Specter of "Armed Conflict" in 2019 Book [View all]

The Intercept
Matthew Cunningham-Cook
January 27 2021, 6:00 a.m.

Joe Biden has been sworn in as president, but the divisions exemplified by the January 6 assault on the Capitol are here to stay, if billionaire heir and far-right financier Rebekah Mercer has any say in the matter. That’s according to her little-publicized 2019 book “What I Believe,” a transcription of a speech she gave in 2018 to the right-wing publishing house Encounter Books.

“[W]hat is the state of [the American] experiment today?” Mercer asked. “‘Now we are engaged in a great civil war,’ said Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg in 1863. One hundred and fifty-five years later, it is barely hyperbolic to echo the Great Emancipator.” Raising the specter of violence, Mercer writes, “We are not yet in armed conflict, but we are facing an ever more belligerent, frantic, and absurd group of radicals in a struggle for the soul of our country,” referring to antifa specifically and casting her opposition to progressives more broadly in existential terms.

Mercer has been financing a host of right-wing individuals and groups involved in the storming of the Capitol, The Intercept reported earlier this month, from Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward to “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, in addition to her role as a financier of news website Breitbart and the social network Parler. In 2020, Mercer’s father, Robert Mercer, donated $1.5 million to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, and the Mercers donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee.

The far right has used extensive “civil war” rhetoric, including on January 6. “How we got to this point is that fascist billionaires like Rebekah Mercer have bankrolled and fueled the rise of violent white supremacist and authoritarian forces in this country,” said Saqib Bhatti, the co-executive director of the Action Center on Race & the Economy. “Mercer co-founded Parler, the app that fascists used to plan violent demonstrations before it was shut down. She and her family have helped fund reactionary causes and candidates, including one of the patron saints of the insurrection at the Capitol, Ted Cruz. Mercer is not warning us against armed conflict, she is threatening us with it.”


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