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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/13/21

Neighbor Against Neighbor - When Terror Comes Home

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Trump Turns MAGA Mobs Loose on Congress
Trump Turns MAGA Mobs Loose on Congress
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The reasons the country is divided and one segment is ready to commit terrorist acts against another, is complex and multifaceted. Each side finds it shocking that the other side can't see what is "obvious"

Whenever humanity survives an atrocity, genocide, war crimes, acts of terrorism, we sit back and say two things "How did this happen?" and "Never again." But the reason that it continues to happen over and over again is because we fail to hold onto the dark truths that we learn in the aftermath. We are time and again, overwhelmed by the events of our time and fail to retain the capacity to realize, the path we are on has been walked 1000 times and that path leads to atrocity.

I was born and live in a very conservative area so I have a lot of ingrained potential for bias which I think I have over time become keenly aware of. But I also believe that, just like gender, where we are all born on a spectrum of masculine/feminine traits distinct from our physiological gender, I believe there is also a neurological basis, a hard wiring of our brains, that creates a tendency to think in top down, or bottom up ways, to gravitate towards more hierarchical forms of society or more communal base.

It doesn't mean you have to have a particular ideology, but it can make it harder for people on the extremes to see things another way. The combination of what you are born with and how you are raised (nature AND nurture) affect your political ideology. This is how I rationalize that I was born and raised in a patriarchal, racist environment where the "natural order" is that some people are at the top and some people are at the bottom, yet I escaped that mentality and I am quite the opposite. I have a strong tendency towards self reflection - something my parents and man on the right are utterly incapable of. They see themselves as good people but they have no desire to actually wonder about their darker motives. Rob is right about race. It is a very strong element of this fascist movement. My parents were and still are "birthers" and this immediately carried over to Kamala Harris and I couldn't even make them see that the only two people in a position of power that they questioned their legitimacy were both black.

Because I am pretty far on the communal side of that spectrum. I find dominance over others offensive and narcissistic. Likewise, the right wing is virulently opposed to equality. I realized this when the right lost their minds over the concept that children should play sports for enjoyment and not to create "winners and losers". No!! That is EXACTLY the point. Sports is used by the right to create a baseline for children's thought process: You are either a winner or a loser. Something Donald Trump's abusive father told him day in and day out.

I am, however, predispositioned to be a "rule follower" because I was brought up that a lack of rules leads to chaos. So I used to see the justice system and police and the military as vital so that we could be safe from "the bad guys" However, because of self reflection I was able to understand that authority is often used for oppression. Of course it was easy for me to see Che Guevera as a revolutionary and not a "bad guy" but I had to learn history to understand that the kind of oppression he was fighting was maintained by those in power using the police and military. I

Our differences in these traits cause us to have an EMOTIONAL view as to whether the people at the capitol were terrorists or not. But I think objectively they are and I will explain why.

Yes, sometimes violent revolution is the only answer. And as was mentioned in our Zoomconversation, sometimes revolutions to bring down a cruel and unjust system are not bloodless. To stop the horrors of Hitlers murderous regime, blood had to be shed. However, in most revolutions I have studied, those who used force directed their attacks at their oppressors not because they were following the directive of an authoritarian but because they were collectively rising up to make life better for everyone and unfortunately that does require violence. You can't appeal to a slave master's ethics to abolish slavery.

Myself, being on the heavily communal end of the spectrum, I support civil disobedience and even the destruction of property. Why? If you are a minority in this country and the reaction of the society at large to the slaying of innocent persons of color is to pretend upset but then to move on until it happens again, the message is that your life has no value. When Mike Brown was killed I disagreed with the riots and looting. Having worked in the criminal justice/security field for over a decade I listened to the scanner and heard the police overwhelmed and unable to stop the fires and looting. It seemed less like a protest and more like opportunistic chaos and it also seemed to give the right wing an easy distraction - point to the looters and the "angry mob" and suddenly no one is looking at the victim of police violence. But my thought process has changed to some extent for this reason: Every time there is a riot after the killing of a person of color - there is a dollar value that it costs society. So in effect, causing destruction of property is like the community "fining" the government. The destruction assigns a dollar value to the person whose life was taken.

The problem with destructive acts is that they are rarely events which can be kept under control. Even if murder isn't your original intent, rioting runs the risk of causing death to innocent people. And, being a rule oriented and a pacifist, it is hard for me to justify the killing of an innocent person to protest the killing of an innocent person. If violent revolution is the only way to right an unjust system, then the people making it unjust should be the target of your violence. In my mind, this legal rational is like societal self defense.

Now, on to the capito and the reason I call these people terrorists. The first one has to do with their support of an authoritarian system which promises to grant them elevated status. The fascists in our country are trying to overthrow democracy. This is being billed as a revolution because it is being "driven by massive numbers of people who believe in freedom and not socialism" But this in reality is not true.

The fascists in our country, who are always a small circle of elites, who want to install a dictatorship had to devise a plan to mobilize the masses. Trump used a lot of the techniques of other fascists like Hitler and Mussolini, playing on the feelings of white grievance, victimization and otherism. His attacks and bans on immigrants, Fox News inflaming their viewers fears of the country becoming more brown. This was the initiation of the narrative and you are very right that racism is a strong underlying element of all of this.

According to Stuart Stevens "It was all a lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump" the Republican Party was already struggling and using gerrymandering and disenfranchisement and still hadn't won a popular vote for president since Reagan. So they switched gears. After the 2018 midterms I think that the party realized that totally alienating minorities was a serious problem and the narrative morphed more into one of "communist democrats" Fox started to parade out people like Candice Owens and "former liberals" like Dave Rubin, after all if blacks and former liberals are telling the right wing that they have been right all along, that is REALLY powerful. Even Don Jr's elitist girlfriend Kimberley Gilfoyle touted being a person of color and the RNC although she inaccurately stated she was born to immigrant parents, not even aware that Puerto Rico is not a foreign country.

Along with this, Trump and some of his top "generals" perhaps Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn, launched the QANON mind control operation. My belief is that the information they gleaned from personality profiles during the 2016 race was used to design a psychological "net" which was cast out on Facebook. This system would send messaging and evaluate responses and then elevate the messaging to those who were receptive. They introduced Q on a less known network prone to extremism, and slowly bled it into the mainstream. It grew as an extremist movement partly because it was seen as something "top secret" that was being "discovered and revealed" to certain "true patriots" on Facebook. The only proof I have of this theory is this: Donald Trump has been President for 4 years during which time he has "signaled" to the group and refused to denounce them. The FBI called them a domestic terror threat and yet "Q" has never been identified publicly. Are we really to believe that American intelligence services don't know who this person is?

They quickly elevated the rhetoric and radicalized a portion of the Trump base with one goal: create a base rabidly devoted to Donald Trump. I am not sure when the concept of using this radical base for an actual coup attempt came into play. I really think that the Republican Party thought that they could use these radical Trump loyalists for easy political wins. As a back up plan they would still maximize voter suppression and have Fox, OANN, Newsmax, Limbaugh and others go heavy on the "socialism/antifa" messaging.

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I was born in 1970 in Wheeling, WV and have lived here all my life. I come from mostly Irish Catholic coal miners and railroad workers. My original academic interest was in teaching foreign languages studying both French and Spanish in High (more...)
 

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8 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments  Post Comment


Michele Goddard

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If you find anything of value in this article, please feel free to repost it. If you disagree, as always I am open to hear other perspectives.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 1:10:23 PM

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Bruce Bahmani

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How did this happen? Continues to happen again and again? This has never happened. Calling this a repeat of 1812 or some other colonial event is an insult to colonial events. What happened is a low class unqualified animal who had been rightly shunned from common decent society had somehow survived well deserved banishment and learned to survive by cheating stealing conniving and lying his way through life. Then one day he came upon the biography of Mussolini and his pinheaded brain began to churn. Wednesday this culminated in Trump's "March on Rome" complete with "Blackshirts" thugs attempting to take control of the "Parliament". It's not American society. It's not the neighbors you quietly watch as they exude the regional racism they were born into. It's one meansiprited hate filled animal with the money and means and MOST IMPORTANTLY the quiet acquiesced permission of common decent society who were too polite and allowed him to soil the country with his mere presence. Trump is an animal. Not only must he be impeached, he must be banned from political participation and if we had it, have his citizenship revoked and banished to Slovenia where his dolt of a mail-order slut wife who NEVER deserved to be First Lady of this country, can apply for him to get a Slovenian Green Card. But no. Resoundingly no. This wasn't our fault. If we are to be blamed we were too American, too pleasant and too polite.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 7:50:45 PM

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Nels Wight

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I have learned over the years to trust the words of most Iranian people, but I feel that you

are possibly abusing my trust.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 8:14:14 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Sir, I believe I agree with you on many counts but I would like to understand what part you disagree with. When you say we are not to blame, that this wasn't our fault, I want to clearly understand you. I fear that the blame, or rather, the responsibility we bear is to see that the people who went to DC on Jan 6 and made open threats of violence, may not have always been as radical as they are now and we need to understand the psychology, the emotion and the driving forces that lend themselves to radicalization. Many people talked about the rise of Hitler almost as if it happened in a vacuum because the entire nation of Germany had to move on and so it was easier to rationalize that "most average Germans didn't know what was happening to Jews or the extent of Hitlers atrocities." This was a huge disservice to humanity and an especially abhorrent denial of Jewish suffering. We didn't need to abuse Germans after the removal of Hitler but he DID need to examine closely what gave rise to their acquiescence. What caused them to fall under the spell of a madman? Eventually historians began to acknowledge that the average German was demoralized and angry at their treatment as a nation after WWI. My reference to the bias and racism in our culture is that if we don't look inward and see those things to which we are vulnerable we are vulnerable to manipulation by the Roger Stones and the Steve Bannons.

Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 11:23:50 PM

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Mohammad Ala

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Why to ignore MANY other holocausts? Why to punish helpless people among them children and elderly? Why to impose illegal sanctions which violate international accords?

I would like to add imposing illegal sanctions that started during President Carter's time and increased drastically during Obama time.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 14, 2021 at 4:14:05 AM

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Robert Adler

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A remaarkably clear and thoughtful analysis. Thank you.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 10:41:54 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Thank you so much for reading and commenting on it.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 11:24:39 PM

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Allan Wayne

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Homelessness is our biggest problem that no politician has addressed the last 4 years, regardless of prattle about which riots are good or bad. Regime change or not, it will only get worse.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 14, 2021 at 12:05:16 AM

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This is an interesting analysis, but it's disappointingly diminished by strong bias. When you write "the right wing is virulently opposed to equality" you're expressing a strong opinion without supporting evidence. Likewise, inserting a dismissive statement such as "people like Candice Owens and "former liberals" like Dave Rubin ... telling the right wing that they have been right all along" shows a lack of reflection and consideration of the possibility you have gone overboard in rejecting your upbringing.

There's room for further self-reflection here.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 14, 2021 at 3:54:01 AM

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This is an interesting analysis, but it's disappointingly diminished by strong bias. When you write "the right wing is virulently opposed to equality" you're expressing a strong opinion without supporting evidence. Likewise, inserting a dismissive statement such as "people like Candice Owens and "former liberals" like Dave Rubin ... telling the right wing that they have been right all along" shows a lack of reflection and consideration of the possibility you have gone overboard in rejecting your upbringing.

There's room for further self-reflection here.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 14, 2021 at 3:54:15 AM

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