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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

We are living in very sick times. But make no mistake—the group that is most obsessed with violence, that worships firearms, defends gun rights to no end and fantasizes about civil strife, is the far right.

By late Sunday, everyone across America who had a TV or internet connection had heard about the latest mass gun-led slaughter. This time it was in a church in Texas. Twenty-six people were killed and more may die from critical injuries. The gunman, as the Washington Post reported Monday, was not just a military veteran dishonorably discharged because of a history of domestic abuse. Apparently, his mother-in-law attended the targeted church.

The reaction from Texas Republican politicians was what you would expect—they said more people should have carried guns into church, as if that would have ended the carnage. President Trump said the tragedy had nothing to do with guns. InfoWars said the shooter was denied a gun permit, to raise the tired NRA talking point that only the good people legally access weapons.

Why bring up InfoWars, one of the most irresponsible and repulsive right-wing propagandist sites at a serious moment like this? Because as America lurches from one crisis to the next, as has been going on for weeks now (hurricanes, fires, nuclear war threats, health care repeal, another mass shooting, and now this), we shouldn’t forget what far right crazies were hoping would happen this past weekend: They were eagerly anticipating a different conflagration.

Saturday was supposed to be the start of another apocalyptic showdown that was the secular far right’s domestic version of modern end times. As the leftist anti-war group Refuse Fascism was planning rallies in blue cities and states across America, the far right went nuts, telling all who saw their online messaging to get out their guns and get ready.

As the Washington Post noted last Wednesday—which might as well be a light year away in today’s saturation crisis news environment—“Infowars has warned ‘Antifa Plans “Civil War” to Overthrow the Government.’ The John Birch Society put out two recent videos warning Americans to ‘stay home and tell your children to do likewise’ on Saturday. YouTuber ‘A Glock Fanboy’ notched more than 400,400 views for a clip raising the alarm about ‘the first day of the revolution or whatnot.'”

The report continued, “’Honestly, I’m happy,’ the YouTuber told his followers. ‘Dude, we’ve been on the verge of the great war for what seems like forever and I’m just ready to get it going.’”

Skip the fact—yes, fact—there was a hashtag, “#civilwar2017,” and instead focus on the “ready to get it going” fantasy.

What separates the Sutherland Springs shooter from these far right yahoos? He was more than ready to get it going, obviously, and as the Post and other mainstream media reported, imposing his will by violence had long been his practice—just not on this scale, shooting dozens instead of targeting more solitary domestic victims.

The answer to what separates those who fantasize about violence and those who pull the trigger is thin. In the Trump era, the already thin skin of civilized behavior has been stretched to a tearing, if not breaking, point. People may say America has always been violent, and that’s true. But each era has its dark side and last weekend showcased it.

In the Post’s report last week on the anticipated Antifa conflagration, which didn’t happen, it quoted YouTube clips that went viral:

“The end game here is martial law,” one video warns, “is provoking Republicans, patriots, whatever, you and me, into this huge battle, whether it’s just fighting or whether it’s guns. What they will do is they will throw up their arms and say, ‘I told you so, they’re violent’….They want us out there, with our weapons so the government will commence with martial law. And then, I believe, serious gun control-slash-confiscation.”

The Post report continued:

“Make sure you got enough ammo, make sure your guns are ready,” another poster advised in a clip with more than 110,000 views. “You have to understand these are vicious, vicious people. Your life means nothing to them. In fact, if you’re a white man, you don’t deserve to live.” Infowars provocateur Alex Jones announced in a video that antifa was “going to lose on November 4 and every day after that, because they’re a bunch of meth-head pieces of crap.”

This swarm of messaging is vile and repugnant, a sick fantasyland where too many people are anticipating and embracing armed conflict, or using their cloistered microphones and online platforms to urge others to be ready to be violent and shoot first. This is the new normal in Trump’s America and it’s not good.

While healthier and saner people grimace over the country’s latest mass shooting, and wring their hands over what we all know will be no meaningful federal response via new gun controls, we have to acknowledge what’s happening in America. Violence is growing in our cultural and political vocabulary. News reports keep battering the public with one crisis after another. What’s missing? Restraint. Voices of reason. Perspective. Knowing the difference between dark fantasy and tragic realities. What is the difference between the far right’s provocateurs and the Sutherland Springs shooter? Very little. Just stepping out and squeezing the trigger.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).


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3 responses to “Obsessed With Violence And Awaiting ‘Revolution,’ Far Right Got Another Church Massacre”

  1. Daniel Jones says:

    Ever since the anti-abortion hysterics organizations inspired people to start killing doctors, I have been seeing this. It’s just becoming much more widespread.

    Anarchy in the U.S. is inspired by the Right.

  2. This article, like so many others before it, point out a stunning lack of remorse from the far Right, aside from an empty litany of platitudes. Rather than look themselves in the mirror for the centerpiece of the reason for this tragedy, the Far Right in its typically deranged and demonic manner, has the gall and emptiness of heart to suggest that more guns are the answer. This clearly indicates that the Far Right has no regard for human life, except via lip service alone.

    How many states in this fractured country advocate for parishioners attend church packing, thinking that an OK Corral shoot-out will be the best defense. This is just a sampling of the sheer madness that keeps encroaching on the hearts and minds of the Right Wing element in America.

    No one should have a doubt that the forces of Darkness are in league with all those who align themselves with the Right Wing elements in America and in Europe; nor can anyone see that what we have had shaping up in America for decades now, is an amassing of malignant forces primarily arrayed with Conservative elements, intent on rebelling against all that is Good and representative of the quality “Light”, as plainly emphasized by the Message of Jesus, of Muhammad, and now represented in the Message of Baha’u’llah.

    The country is at a critical juncture, and it is our choice as to which banner we wish to be associated with—the Light of respect for all human beings, or the Darkness of racism, gun toting, bigotry, misogyny, and sexual misconduct as exemplified by Donald Trump and his allies such as Steve Bannon, Weinstein, and others like them??

    And no, Governor Abbott—God should not be invoked just to settle a problem you and the others in Texas are responsible for creating. The NRA, already a bona fide satanic organization with a sanguinary disposition does not have any shred of a connection with Jesus or any other Messenger, and therefore anyone who aligns themselves with the NRA is taking a position opposed to God. Governor Abbott, you can’t have your cake and eat it too by professing a belief in God while adopting a satanic stance—the two don’t mix.

    “O SON OF EARTH! Wouldst thou have Me, seek none other than Me; and wouldst thou gaze upon My beauty, close thine eyes to the world and all that is therein; for My will and the will of another than Me, even as fire and water, cannot dwell together in one heart.”

  3. Thoughtopsy says:

    If nothing else will cleanse the American gene pool, then bring it on.
    You have far too many deluded nuts who think war and violence is fun and have little or no ability to understand reality… so time to cull them.

    Who do you think die first in armed civil strife?
    The military?
    Smart people?
    Or dumb, gun-toting, reality-denying rednecks with itchy trigger fingers, delusions that they are Jason Bourne, a very poor grasp of facts, science and reality, and a firm belief that God will protect them from bullets….


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