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It's a Government Conspiracy
Author: BobR    Date: 06/01/2016 13:13:54

I've written before about paranoid conspiracy theories. It seems like those who feel powerless to affect changes in their life that they don't like want to blame them on some shadowy group whose intentions are nefarious. Thus, those who see the assumed supremacy of the white male in society dissolving into a pool of equal rights and liberal social mores are inclined to believe their lifestyle is under attack by "them". It turns out that "they" can be any number of things, but are probably black or brown, possibly female, either Muslim or LGBT, and looking to take their guns away.

It doesn't help when the ostensible presidential nominee for a major political party traffics in conspiracy theories as a matter of course. Most of them play to the fears of his base, that they will be targeted, or forcibly disarmed, or that President Obama is in cahoots with Islamic terrorists. It's dangerous, of course, because they feed on that fear and mistrust in his supporters, and they will act out on it.

This feeds into the mindset of the so-called "Tea-billies" and others protesting federal ownership of land out west. The Bundy clan is just one instance of domestic terrorism, propagated by white Christian males who feel threatened by the "colorization" of society and those in leadership positions. Despite all the talk of ISIS and threats from Islamic extremists, the threat is much greater from home-grown right-wing extremists:
Every violent group in history describes its own violence as the legitimate response to a threat that was forced on them. Groups survive in the long term when that description makes sense to enough of the population to buy them tolerance and safe space to operate, plan and grow. That’s true of terrorism and violent extremism – but because protesters and supporters alike view each other as enemies of the state and therefore legitimate targets, it also helps to explain the growing physical violence at Trump rallies. It should also provide a warning for what that as-yet-limited violence could grow into.

For examples, look at the websites of American extremist groups. Their reasoning usually orbits around the belief that they are defending the Constitution, stopping the theft of the political process from the people of the United States and resisting takeover by hostile powers. As such, they don’t consider themselves extremist at all, but defenders against it. It’s the same language we saw in 2014 at the Bundy Ranch standoff, and again in 2015 at the Malheur occupation.

The names these groups take – “Patriot Movement,” “Freemen,” “Sovereign Citizens“ – serve to legitimize them in American eyes, drawing on the narrative that true Americans are not only able – but expected – to throw off oppression themselves. Typically, each group insists it’s not violent – unless pushed, and then of course it stands ready to respond in kind.

Even law officers are not immune. In Utah, some sheriffs have stated they would arrest federal officers trying to close public lands:
It's clear that Sheriff Perkins, who's also a rancher, wants to push some boundaries. He talks openly about detaining, or as he says "Mirandizing," federal rangers. He recalls one case recently.

"I told the Forest Service ranger that if he went out and closed a road that Garfield County has jurisdiction on, I would arrest him," he says.

And then there was the time that his deputies did arrest a BLM ranger they said was illegally issuing citations to campers.

"Wasn't me that pulled the trigger on that deal. Do I think he needed to come to jail? I do, the guy's a fruitcake," Perkins says.

For federal land managers, this was the latest instance of threats and intimidation directed at their field staff in the West. There's been an increase in reported confrontations lately.

A basic building block of the "government power overreach" message is that the government will first disarm the citizenry before enforcing it's will. This sort of fear is what keeps the NRA floating in Benjamins. To keep those dollars flowing, though, they are willing to float some very dangerous messaging:
And we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box.

That boils it all down to a single sentence: They're afraid, and are willing to use violence to make the fear go away. Don't push it, or they'll use "2nd Amendment remedies".

It's the end-game for all conspiracy theories

7 comments (Latest Comment: 06/01/2016 14:29:20 by BobR)
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