In case you hadn’t heard, on Tuesday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, two men driving a red Ford Ranger allegedly opened fire on members of the U.S. military currently taking part in the exercise known as Jade Helm 15. Thankfully no injuries were reported. Then on Wednesday another man was detained and questioned regarding a second consecutive day where shots were fired near the same military instillation in Hattiesburg.
Let me just reiterate, these are people shooting at (or toward) members of our military. You know the troops in the catchphrase, “Support our troops.”
Realistically, this news should shock absolutely nobody. This sort of behavior is a direct result of the radical fear-mongering and propaganda Republicans and the conservative media have been pushing for years.
Normally I don’t like to take a couple of isolated violent events and link them to any particular political party, because “crazies” can come from all political ideologies. Just because someone shares a specific set of political beliefs, then goes out and commits some atrocious act, doesn’t mean their behavior was linked to whatever political party with which they align.
However, when the act of violence that was carried out is directly linked to propaganda that’s been irrationally pushed and supported by the Republican party and the conservative media – that’s an entirely different story.
Which is exactly what led to these idiots opening fire on members of our military in Mississippi.
Because the truth is, conspiracy theorists have always been around – but now they have government representation in Congress by way of “tea party conservatives.” The very same tea party conservatives to which the right-wing media incessantly panders. After all, fear and paranoia sells – and business is booming for the right-wing media.
Instead of Republicans coming out publicly to stand alongside the Obama administration in condemning those who were perpetuating the ridiculous notion that this president was plotting to use our military to declare martial law over several states – some of them embraced the crazy. Hell, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor the movements of the military in Texas.
And when you legitimize crazy conspiracy theorists, it empowers them to be more bold and act out – which is exactly what happened in Mississippi.
Oh, but the individuals involved in these shootings in Mississippi aren’t the only fools in trouble with the law as it relates to Jade Helm. In North Carolina, three men were arrested for stockpiling weapons, ammunition and attempting to make home-made explosive devices out of fear that the government was plotting to declare martial law.
Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, are accused of stockpiling guns and ammunition, as well as attempting to manufacture pipe bombs and live grenades from military surplus “dummy” grenades, according unsealed criminal complaints released Monday.
The close to 60 pages of information compiled by federal authorities since July include allegations Litteral planned to makes explosives out of tennis balls covered in nails and coffee cans filled with ball bearings.
According to the documents, both Litteral and Campbell spoke openly about their opposition to Jade Helm 15, a series of ongoing special forces training missions in several Southwestern states that has drawn suspicion from residents who fear it is part of a planned military takeover.
In addition to ammunition for a long-range .338 caliber rifle, the authorities said Litteral purchased hand-held radios, Kevlar helmets, body armor and face masks in preparation for an armed resistance to the feared military occupation.
Again, let me just remind everyone that these are the individuals who Republicans were listening to when they publicly expressed concerns over this exercise.
While I’m not someone who really believes in radical prophecies about violence, I do have real concerns with the current direction of the Republican party. If they continue to pander to legitimately mentally unstable people, we’re going to start seeing more and more of this kind of behavior acted out in public.
It’s just like right now with the Planned Parenthood nonsense. If this carries on for another few weeks, I fully expect one of these anti-abortion wackos to do something really stupid. Like I said earlier, when you add legitimacy to the beliefs of insane people, they become much more emboldened to act out on their insanity.
And pandering to those people is exactly what the Republican party has been doing.
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