12 Million Want to Use Violence to Bring Trump Back and Kari Lake Is Still Crazy After All These Lies
227 School Children Share Fainting Hysteria, TV's "The Citadel," Linda May Han Oh Plays Jazz
SUMMARY: Two and a half years after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, an estimated 12 million American adults, or 4.4% of the adult population, believe violence is justified to restore Donald Trump to the White House.
Though the number of adults who believe this has declined since the insurrection, recent survey data from the University of Chicago reveal alarming and dangerous levels of support for political violence and conspiracy theories across the United States.
…The most recent survey from April 2023 found that an estimated 142 million Americans believe that elections won’t solve America’s most fundamental problems – up from 111 million last September. And one in five American adults still believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, representing very little change from 2021.
…10% of American adults in April said they believe the government is run by Satan-worshipping pedophiles.
…A quarter of Americans believe in the ‘great replacement’ theory [which argues that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.]
MY TAKE: I’m going to start with a favorite quote from Dorothy Thompson, the first American journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany in 1934: “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict.” Seeking creative alternatives to violence is what intelligent, civilized, and compassionate people do.
But for some Americans—at least 12 million anyway—violence is their default setting for conflict resolution.
We have to be aware that these people probably can’t be dissuaded from their eagerness to violence. The gun is to them what a microphone is to a singer on amateur night: a way to amplify their voice to an audience they believe doesn’t hear them. To be fair, we do hear them gleefully spouting their drivel on social media, but we ignore what they have to say because, so often, it’s nonsense. Ten percent believe the government is run by Satan-worshipping pedophiles? Twenty percent believe the election was stolen? They proudly hold tight to opinions unsupported by evidence that has been repeatedly debunked. There’s no reasoning with them.
Which is exactly why the GOP pursue them so diligently. They will vote loyally no matter what you do or say, like cult members.
Suppression breeds violence. Usually, it’s those being suppressed that have no other path to freedom than to violently revolt against their oppressors. In this case, it’s the oppressors who want to resort to violence in order to maintain the status quo of being oppressors. Of minorities. Of women. Of non-Christains. Of LGBTQ+. To justify their violence fetish, they cast themselves in the role of being oppressed by a society hellbent on righting past wrongs and maturing past a morally and economically bankrupt philosophy of “Greed is good.”
As for the call to arms to restore Trump to power (because they know he’s incapable of securing the popular vote): This isn’t about defending Trump because they actually believe he’s innocent (there are too many crimes and too much proof, even for them), it’s that they need to proclaim him as innocent to defend themselves as people with a valuable opinion. If Trump is found guilty of crimes—like in the many sexual assault cases or the election tampering case, or in endangering American security in the stolen documents case—then they look like fools. They can either admit they were wrong—which would call into question their intelligence and judgment—or they can double down and threaten violence, which they don’t realize confirms their poor judgment. Either way, they look like fools, but in the latter, they have this romanticized image of themselves as rebel freedom fighters. Instead of what they are—freedom assassins.
Violent people are groomers. By advocating for violence when there are many other peaceful and more effective alternatives, they are grooming their kids to be violent, not to defend what’s right, but to promote bigotry and ignorance about the issues they’re defending. They are teaching them to use violence when they don’t get their way. Some conservatives are always crying out about the dangers of LGBTQ+ grooming (though there is no evidence this occurs), but they remain silent and even encourage this kind of dangerous grooming.
Of course, this kind of grooming only works if you keep your children uneducated so they don’t have the ability to think critically for themselves. However, those who eventually are able to break away from their parents’ harmful influence will not look kindly on Mom and Dad. For me, the worst outcome of being a parent is to have your kids grow up and look back on your sketchy beliefs and dangerous actions with embarrassment—or worse, disgust.
RELATED: Trump Supporters’ Violent Rhetoric in His Defense Disturbs Experts (The New York Times)
SUMMARY: The federal indictment of former President Donald J. Trump has unleashed a wave of calls by his supporters for violence and an uprising to defend him, disturbing observers and raising concerns of a dangerous atmosphere ahead of his court appearance in Miami on Tuesday.
In social media posts and public remarks, close allies of Mr. Trump — including a member of Congress — have portrayed the indictment as an act of war, called for retribution and highlighted the fact that much of his base carries weapons. The allies have painted Mr. Trump as a victim of a weaponized Justice Department controlled by President Biden, his potential opponent in the 2024 election.
The calls to action and threats have been amplified on right-wing media sites and have been met by supportive responses from social media users and cheers from crowds, who have become conditioned over several years by Mr. Trump and his allies to see any efforts to hold him accountable as assaults against him.
Experts on political violence warn that attacks against people or institutions become more likely when elected officials or prominent media figures are able to issue threats or calls for violence with impunity. The pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was drawn to Washington in part by a post on Twitter from Mr. Trump weeks earlier, promising that it would be “wild.”
MY TAKE: Sure, most of these GOP comments are just political posturing to a gun-toting base that demands swagger and bluster. Unfortunately, the price of public blustering is to encourage violence among those who—like the Capitol Building rioters—treat it as an aggressive keg party. What’s especially interesting is how insipid these politicians come across based on their own words.
After Trump’s indictment, Republican Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona tweeted: “Eye for an eye.” That’s a head-scratcher. First, Biggs is virtue signaling that he’s a fan of the Bible because he’s quoting Leviticus 24:19-21. And yet, he’s also revealing that he’s not a fan of the Bible because that passage was meant to promote restraint in punishment, limiting excessive punishments at the time. So, his message is muddled. He could be saying that Trump should be jailed for his crimes. What exactly would be the equivalent “eye for an eye” reaction to someone being arrested for a crime for which there seems to be overwhelming evidence that he put the country’s security at risk?
Biggs’ tweet also reveals he’s no fan of Christianity. In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus rejects the “eye for eye” philosophy: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” I guess Biggs knows better than Jesus. Maybe that should be his re-election slogan.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted, “Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades.” McCarthy knows this is false, but he’s not addressing those who know that Biden did not indict Trump, that a grand jury of average Floridians did. Nor is there any evidence that Biden pressured the DOJ the way Trump had when he was president. He also knows that when the documents were discovered, Biden fully co-operated and turned over all documents, unlike Trump, who hid them despite numerous requests.
He also knows that Trump’s documents “included information regarding … nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to foreign attack,” according to the indictment. So, basically, he’s lying because he has no respect for the average Republican, assuming they won’t read the facts.
“‘Rhetoric like this has consequences,’ said Timothy J. Heaphy, the lead investigator for the select House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Mr. Trump’s efforts to remain in the White House after his presidency. ‘People who we interviewed for the Jan. 6 investigation said they came to the Capitol because politicians and the president told them to be there. Politicians think that when they say things it’s just rhetoric, but people listen to it and take it seriously. In this climate politicians need to realize this and be more responsible.’”
I’m not sure when GOP hardliners became that belligerent bozo in Westerns who whips up the drunks in a saloon to kill the sheriff and lynch the accused. I’m not sure when, but I am sure that’s who they are now.
RELATED: SNL Skit: “The Hominids”
In 1975, Saturday Night Live featured a skit called “The Hominids,” which is one of the most brilliant political satires I’ve ever seen. Almost 50 years later, this skit is even more relevant in showing the mindset of book-banners, abortion rights suppressors, and Trump supporters. When you watch, imagine Oakna as Trump. You can read a transcript here.