GOP Politicians and Conservative Groups Set the Stage for Attempted Kidnapping of Michigan Governor - 2020-10-21
Despite evidence that Michigan had one of the nation's best coronavirus responses, right-wing organizations, politicians, and media continued to attack Whitmer up until the kidnapping plot became public in October, and even afterwards.
Some rhetorical techniques that politicians, media figures, and right-wing groups used to malign Whitmer mirror classic fascist propaganda techniques. One such technique is an "us versus them" mentality, which many used by casting Whitmer as a tyrant or dictator eager to use martial law and endanger people's health. On the other side were patriots exhibiting their constitutional rights to free speech and to bare arms while protesting a malicious ruler.
Whitmer told the AP in October that attending protests were Republican lawmakers and at least one sheriff "who fraternize with these domestic terror groups, who egg them on, who encourage them, who use language that incites them. They too are complicit."