Right-Wing Populism in America:
Too Close for Comfort

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This Website Provides Online Resources, Updates, and Background Material


Exploring the Different Sectors of the US Right

There is much overlap and sectors are not mutually exclusive.
Methodologies range from cautious moderation, to militant activism, to insurgency, to violence.

Right-wing populist, apocalyptic, and conspiracist styles can be found in several sectors.
Forms of oppression—racism, xenophobia, sexism, heterosexism,
antisemitism, Islamophobia, Arabophobia, nativism, ableism, etc.—vary in each sector.

Sectors of the Right arranged as a list

Mapping the Different Sectors of the Right <<<
(Explanatory Text from the book)

What is the Hard Right?

Mapping the Different Sectors of the Right

Since the 1970s, the political center of gravity in the United States has moved dramatically to the right. This shift is often identified with the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich, but the Democratic Party, too, has largely embraced traditional right-wing positions regarding “welfare reform,” “crime,” “illegal aliens,” and a host of other issues. The right turn has been driven by both elite policymakers and a range of mass-based political movements, from the electoral activism of the Christian Coalition to the insurrectionism of citizen militias.

We use various terms to describe specific gradations of right-wing politics, populist and otherwise.

The Reactionary Right seeks to turn the clock back toward an idealized past.

Conservatism emphasizes stability and order, and generally some combination of cultural traditionalism and “free-market” economics.

Ultraconservatism goes beyond the conservative defense of the established order while stopping short of demands to fully eliminate pluralist institutions.

The Christian Right is motivated by religious interpretations of cultural, social, and economic issues, and has branches that otherwise fall into all the other sectors of the Right, including the Hard Right and the
Far Right.

The Hard Right takes an inflexible approach to politics and rejects pluralist discourse in principle or in practice. Hard rightists may be either elitist or mass activist in their organizing, and may include both ultraconservatives and far rightists.

The Far Right squarely rejects the existing political system, and pluralist institutions generally, in favor of some form of authoritarianism. [This sector is often called the "Extreme Right" -- However Matthew and Chip have issues with the use of the terms "extremism"and "hate groups."]

Fascism, in our usage, is the most virulent form of far-right populism. Fascism glorifies national, racial, or cultural unity and collective rebirth while seeking to purge imagined enemies, and attacks both revolutionary socialism and liberal pluralism in favor of militarized, totalitarian mass politics. There are many definitions of fascism, and the term is often misused.

Matthew N. Lyons, “What is Fascism?”
The literature on fascism is vast. A few general discussions we have found particularly useful are Roger Griffin, Nature of Fascism; Payne, Fascism; Eley, “What Produces Fascism,”  pp. 69–99; and Mayer, Dynamics of Counterrevolution in Europe.

The Core Elements of Right-Wing Populism


right wing populism in america cover

Outstanding Book Award,
Gustavus Myers Center
for the Study of Bigotry and
Human Rights in North America

The Book that Predicted the Tea Party Movement & Donald Trump

Based on the book
Right-Wing Populism in America:
Too Close for Comfort

by Chip Berlet and
Matthew N. Lyons
New York, Guilford Press, 2000

Now Available as an

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Summary: What this Book is About

Overview: Key Characteristics of Right-Wing Populism

Roots of Populism in the US

Table of Contents | List of Chapters

Bibliography from the Book

Sectors of the Right in the US (updated)

Praise for the Book (Blurbs)

Critical Reviews of the Book

About the Authors


Additional Resources
are Under Construction for 2016

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  • Chapter 14 -Battling the "New World Order"
    Patriots and Armed Militias
    (Download PDF at Guilford Press website)
    Explains the roots of the Oregon Standoff in 2016

Producerist White Nationalism | Addendums

Demonization and
| Addendums

Conspiracism | Addendums

  • Elites, Banksters, & Intellectuals
  • Money Manipulation
  • Liberal Treachery
  • Leftist Totalitarian Plots
  • Islamophophobia
  • Antisemitism

Apocalyptic Narratives &
Millennial Visions
| Addendums

  • Christian Nationalism
  • Apocalyptic Aggression

Click Here for More Online Updates on
Right-Wing Populism for 2016 at Research for Progress

See Also:

Chip's Website

Matthew's Website