And: The Rained Out Revolution
I can’t help but ask myself, what if Occupy protestors in 2010 showed up with AR-15s?
On one hand, being armed may have given law enforcement pause before they use paramilitary tactics to take down the Occupy encampments all over the country.
On the other hand, Occupy was protesting economic injustice, a topic of interest to a majority of the population (albeit not really 99%) and a system of injustice in which the current elite have a multi-trillion dollar vested interest in preserving. Contrast this to the Militia/BLM protestors who simply want to steal from and defile the commons…which is really of no interest to the corporate elite (try riding an ATV through one of the Koch Brothers’ estates and see what happens). To protect their interests, would the elite have called in the military and assaulted Occupy with Apache helicopters rather than swinging batons, tear gas and rubber bullets?
This of course leads me to ponder the reaction of the right wing in the face of an armed Occupy Movement. They seethed with anger over so-called “hippies” pitching tents in public spaces. It’s hard to believe the right would have stepped up and defended these hippies’ 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. After all, commies and anarchists don’t have the same rights as good Christian ‘muricans.
I really don’t have an answer to these questions, I’m afraid. I’d like to think the former option would have been the case, but I fear that I’m wrong…and I really shouldn’t fear that I’m wrong.
For my part, I’m glad Occupy was organized as a peaceful protest. The conspicuous presence of guns would have completely discredited the movement.
In related news, did you hear about the right wing revolution that didn’t happen yesterday? Right wing protesters organized a colossal protest against the government. The protest was announced as Operation American Spring, ironically named after the Arab Spring that swept North African and the Middle East. The expected outcomes were to be similar. 10 million-30 million real Americans right wing activists were to descend upon the nation’s capitol, set up camp (occupy) and remain until their demands were met. Their demands included the resignation of President Obama and the Congress.
Well anyway, it turns out that they fell a little short of the ten million person goal. Only a few dozen protestors showed up. Now, to be fair, it was a pretty icky day on Friday so…you know…how do you conduct a revolution in the rain? I mean tyranny must be overthrown, but it’s not worth getting soggy over.
Look, it’s really easy to scoff at these folks, but since the armed standoff in Nevada I’m inclined to take their delusional behavior more seriously. The presence of guns increases the probability that someone is going to get shot.
In earlier pieces I’ve described the right wing as being insulated into closed reference groups. With the existence of conservative radio, television and on-line media there is neither reason nor incentive for those on the right to experience anything but information that reaffirms the truth of their beliefs. Yes, this can also be said of the left, but the messaging of the right is qualitatively different from anything one will experience in left media. Right wing institutions have not only created an insular eco-system, but they’ve also reified an almost co-dependent paradigm that defines the knowledge produced by these organizations as the only source of truth. Only FoxNoise is fair and balanced. Only conservative sources are honest. Anything that contradicts Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity is liberal propaganda not to be trusted. It doesn’t matter the source; ninety-eight percent of climate scientists know that the Earth is warming and that human actions are largely responsible, but that’s a grand conspiracy on the part of enviro-socialists who want to overthrow capitalism.
So these protestors know, they just know, that everyone hates President Obama and the dictatorship he has installed. They know, just know, that they have lost their rights as Americans and they must fight and die (but stay dry doing it) if they are to get their freedoms back. If they just announce the revolution, then millions of people will heed the call to arms and take back our country from this Muslim usurper.
When it doesn’t happen…well…it rained that day. And there’s nothing anyone can say, there is no data that anyone can produce, that will change their minds.
Delusional people who act publicly on their delusions may be funny—and I’ll admit that I had a fair chuckle at the title “Tens of People Descend Upon the Capitol To Drive the Obama Administration Out of Office.” However, delusional people with guns who act on their delusions are potentially dangerous. We really need to keep an eye on this.