I am scared. If you haven’t been on the email list, and I assume most of you aren’t, something big’s about to happen, according to those in the know. Sometime between now and the inauguration (at least I think I got the timeframe right), President Trump will be notifying people over the Emergency Broadcasting System, from Abilene, where he was taken on the Doomsday aircraft, and give them orders on what to do next. Oh, and also, Wikileaks has taken time out from its battle to keep Julian Assange from being extradited to dump files online that prove all the conspiracy theorists are correct. (Wikileaks hasn’t actually put anything new online, but the purveyors of this rumor give helpful links that take you to Arabic writing and probably some sort of virus.)
By now, you know I don’t believe any of this, so why am I scared? Because so many people do! While I have many conservative (and a couple of uber-conservative) friends, I don’t know anyone personally who subscribes to the QAnon conspiracies or believes that this takeover, or Great Awakening, is about to take place, but I am only one degree removed from people who do believe. If you don’t think it goes beyond the occasional fringe lunatic, please read this letter from Nye County GOP Chairman Chris Zimmerman. Make sure you read the links at Part 1, 2, and 3, and then scroll down far enough to get to the numbered list, because that’s where the calls to action are.
Do I believe that President Trump has a plan he’ll be announcing over the EBS? No, of course not. President Trump is not an ideological zealot, but his ideologically zealous followers don’t seem to understand that. He is a narcissist who has fed his ego partly by encouraging the true believers. But at this point, I think the genie is so far out of the bottle that it doesn’t matter. I don’t think it started with Trump. All the claims that Trump created racists, for example, are overly simplistic. They were already racist, but Trump made it comfortable for them to say things out loud. Now we have a weird set of concatenated theories, brought to people, many of whom were not paying attention in civics class, and making them feel like they are part of an elite group that knows what’s going on while the “sheeple” (people who are sheep) around them are unaware. Hence the appeal of this decade-old claim that someone—FDR is a good candidate because he’s already on the conservative enemies list—turned the republic into a corporation. And yes, the link I provided is the Daily Kos, an admittedly biased source with a tongue-in-cheek essay, but I’m using it because it gives the most complete, succinct description I could find. If you feel by now as if you’re in Alice’s Wonderland, you’re not alone. But there are a whole lot of people out there who have felt, quite rightly, that they’ve been mocked and marginalized by the “MSM” (mainstream media) and the intellectual elites for a long time, and suddenly they’re being told they’re the ones with the inside knowledge. There’s another big group who know better but who benefit from making these people feel as if they are with them. They have monetized people’s frustration and desire to be the folks who really know what’s going on. And so it has come to this. I am now holding my breath until after the inauguration, at the earliest. I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable in DC anytime soon. I’d also be a bit leery of being in any of the state capitals they are said to be targeting, although I’m not sure they realize how far out of the action a lot of those capital cities are. Philadelphia is another mentioned target, since that’s where they are convinced votes were stolen. People with weapons and huge chips on their shoulders are convinced that they need to stop Joe Biden from assuming office. In the long run, of course, the US military is more powerful than these people, but in the meantime, a lot of damage can be done and a lot of lives can be lost. Stay home and lock the door on January 20, and keep reading sites like the Nye County Republican Committee website. No, I don’t think there will be an Emergency Broadcasting System message, but I do think there will be mayhem. And I am scared and sad—and astonished—that it has come to this.
2 thoughts on “Insurrection and Unease”
Thanks again to Sue O’Brien Chamberlain for researching and writing this piece – I have to say that I think the “loonie right” has been given much leeway here – the people storming and invading the Capitol are thugs at best, seditionists at worse and they weren’t driven to this by the “left leaning media” – they were encouraged by Trump’s and his crew’s endless lies and constant hyperbole. How on the one hand can you say you love your country and constitution, and then on the other hand try and destroy that which you claim to love/admire etc?
I do agree that the media and prominent political figures on both “sides” has much to answer for – the great divide is another symptom of the increasingly divided/partisan state of affairs – it seems that on both sides there is little to no room for your own opinion – it’s my way or nothing. The bigger question is how do we start the “healing” process and start bringing the sides closer and able to rationally discuss situations, policy etc. without resorting to violence? As a start I think it would be a big first step in the right direction for left-leaning media (you know who you are) to publicly admit/own up to their biases. “Reach out” (only really supposed to be used by Four Tops) to the right-leaning media with the aim of arriving at a jointly and severally agreed course of actions designed to lessen the biases, and actively encourage free and open discussion of the real issues we are all faced with, without resorting to (or starting with) the 100% it’s my way or nothing approach.
Of course we all have biases and we base much of our world view and our opinions on the built-in biases. We have to get away from the current “it’s my way or nothing” approach. The normalization of current extremes means we think we have become more extreme to be heard – let’s take steps back and agree on what we are all trying for. Looking back in time, nd based on outcomes, you could be tempted to think that even though 360 degrees apart politically, Stalin and Hitler were one and the same.