Rock Paper Scissors
GOP-sponsored vigilantism has happened before. It is an integral part of domestic terrorism aimed at ethnic minorities and other sub-populations targeted by White Nationalism and Christian Fundamentalism. Catholics, Jews, Blacks, and Native Americans have all been targets of vigilante violence. So have immigrants, feminists, and environmentalists.
Inciting mob behavior to threaten its political opponents has repeatedly been used by the GOP to prevent discussion on issues of social importance. War, abortion, guns, Gay rights, elections, even health care are topics for which vigilantes can be recruited.
Vigilantism, however, is not synonymous with protest, demonstration, or dissent. It is not a legitimate expression of grievances; rather it is an expression of hostility toward the perceived loss of power or privileges. The threshold level is to intimidate opponents through implied threats, followed by vigilante violence, succeeded by paramilitary operations.
On occasion, right-wing terrorism in the US has resorted to using weapons of mass destruction. Their networks and movements have even been profiled.
None of this is new.