Please take a timeout from dancing in the streets after learning of Stewart Rhodes’ conviction for sedition for his role in the 6 January insurrection to
- SANS CHENEY: He lost his left eye shooting himself in the face with his own gun! He’s so good, he didn’t even have to block Dick Cheney’s shot OR apologize to him afterward for mucking it up. That’s how good he is. FFS.
- APPRECIATE how difficult it is to get a sedition conviction. It is difficult to prove the motivation of overturning the government, especially if the attempt fails and practically impossible if it succeeds.
- REALIZE how much violence has increased in America since Trump blundered down his escalator blathering racism and misogyny to a group of paid actors.
- COMMENT on all these goings on in the… well… um… comment section. Express your Schadenfreude and savor the satisfaction of a victory for the good guys and share it with the rest of us.
We all realize that we are a far more violent nation than we were pre-Trump. In a previous post, we looked at the individual causes of violence. In this post we’ll look at the political causes. Before we do, though, it is worth taking a look at a few measurements of violence in America:
- REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS preside over epidemics of violent deaths.
- MASS SHOOTINGS now occur at a rate of two per day! A mass shooting is one where there are four more deaths excluding the shooters.
- 321 people are shot every day! Of those 111 die, 65 are suicides, 42 are murdered, and one is killed by some legal actor.
- HATE CRIMES SURGE: From 2019 to 2020 (the year of the lockdown, y’all), hate crimes increased by 11% and by 30% in 2021!
This increase in violence in the US buggers the question, Why are some societies so violent? Lucky for us, we don’t have to go out and do original research on it because Rachel Kleinfeld already has. In fact, she’s done so much research on it, she’s published a book! Apparently, the world’s most violent countries are struggling democracies. She cites this finding, more people died in Mexico between 2007 and 2014 than in Iraq and Afghanistan. I didn’t know that and wouldn’ta bet on it, either. She compared democracies that had successfully quelled violence with those that hadn’t. Her findings are illuminating in general, but when applied to our specific situation here in the US are quite alarming:
In general, if the great grows stronger, as it did in, for example, the Wild West and in Columbia, the state can limit violence. However, if the state promotes violence as it did in the South after the Civil War or in Mexico, then violence escalates dramatically.
She describes how democracies become violent. Stop and comment when you think you can place the US in this process:
- VIOLENT GROUPS are that promote a political cause or side are protected by those politicians.
- PRIVATE BUSINESSES employ violence for protection and suppression of unions and workers rights. They contribute to politicians that support their efforts.
- POLITICIZATION OF POLICE: The police and courts turn a blind-eye towards violence committed for political purposes. Police are increasingly brutal to be “tough on crime.”
- THE INSTITUTIONS & ORGANS of justice and security become corrupt. They increasingly target the poor.
- ORGANIZED VIOLENCE increases as gangs offer protection to marginalized communities.
- VIOLENCE IS NORMALIZED so much so that it becomes the first choice for many. In some countries 90% of murders are unsolved.
- SECURITY is privatized as people turn to gated communities and private security companies to protect them.
- ELECTION VIOLENCE keeps many people from voting and the system becomes one of minority rule enforced by violence.
You can see how the GOP is actively working to creating the conditions for violence by using increasingly violent rhetoric that becomes stochastic terrorism. They have chosen immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community for their scapegoats. We’re seeing an increase in the number of businesses protected by armed employees, congregations arming themselves, and a public increasingly turning to private arsenals for protection, which works only if you’re white and then not even then.
We are normalizing violence. We celebrate the veteran who subdued the Club Q shooter instead of changing our gun laws. How soon before we have armed people “protecting” LGBTQ+ clubs and events to counter the militias who show up to harass them? Kyle Rittenhouse was not convicted of murder because of a skateboard. We already are moving down that road to having a violent society and ineffective government monopoly on violence.
This pathway is well known. Those who would have us follow it, know it well, and have it clearly and plainly mapped out. The 2022 election was a step in the right direction. The convictions of the seditious Oath Keepers has kept the tide back for the moment. The struggle isn’t over. We must continue to vote out those who reject democracy and put personal power and party over the well being of our communities and country.
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