Extremism, Why it Needs to Stop


Joseph Prezioso

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.

Nancy Young

On January 6, 2021, a violent riot and attack on the United States Capitol occurred, it was led by none other than Americans themselves. The Capitol has only been invaded one other time which was 207 years ago, during the war of 1812, by the British. This riot is being called an act of extremism, but what is Extremism exactly and why is it bad?

According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, or the NCJRS“Extremism in terms of terrorism, racism, xenophobia, interethnic and inter-religious hatred, left- or right-wing political radicalism and religious fundamentalism is essentially a political term which determines those activities that are not morally, ideologically or politically in accordance with written (legal and constitutional) and non-written norms of the state; that are fully intolerant toward others and reject democracy as a means of governance and the way of solving problems; and finally, that reject the existing social order.” To summarize Extremism is an individual, group, or ideology that takes a very extreme position or action outside of the mainstream beliefs of everyday society.  

There are many examples of extremism or extremist groups from the past such as the Ku Klux Klan, an American white supremacist hate group known for committing cruel and violent crimes against African Americans, and the Nazi Party, a very far right political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945 known mostly for its heinous crimes against Jewish people, Roma Gypsies, Homosexuals, and disabled people. There are also extremists today, for example The Proud Boys, a far-right, neo-fascist, and male-only political organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada. The Proud Boys happen to be in connection to what happened during the riots at the Capitol as well, with an organizer for the Proud Boys arrested on Wednesday, January 20 for his part in the siege of the Capitol 

So, why is extremism so bad? As the saying goes,

Too much of anything is not good for anyone”

— Ray Bradbury

,” th
is same concept can be applied to acts of Extremism. It is perfectly good and right to have your own opinions and views on how things should be, it is when you take those opinions and start to try to violently enforce it on unwilling people that things start to go from standing up for your beliefs and being an extremist. No matter what religion you practice or what political party you are in, having such extreme views to the point where it infringes on people’s rights, wellbeing, and safety is not and will never be ok.  

As you see with not only the extremist groups of the past and now, along with the recent events that took place at the capitol, Extremism can be very dangerous even in forms that are not as serious as the ones listed above. Extremism not only can incite violence but can encourage a dangerous way of thinking and living among innocent citizens who do not know better, as seen with what happened with the Nazi Party and Germany during WWII. All these examples, reasons, and events are why Extremism should be top priority to fight thus making not only America but other countries a safer and balanced place.