by Shelt Garner
Things are dark politically right now in the United States. And I find myself growing more and more frustrated with people who don’t acknowledge the increasing risk of stochastic terrorism. Way too many people are complicit in the rise of fascism in the United States by hiding behind the “both sides” rhetorical trope.
But we have to accept that America is on edge. And it’s very possible that at any moment there could, in fact, be something akin to a “popular revolt” on the part of the MAGA New Right. I have long believed that because Republicans are politically ascendant that they wouldn’t start blowing shit up because they had no reason to — they were getting everything they want via politics and the courts.
Then something happened I could not have predicted — the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago. This changes the equation dramatically because it’s an easy-to-understand event that extremists can hang their hat on. They have something that they can frame their use of political violence going forward. It not only makes Trump a martyr, it also makes him the center of attention. There is a change, of course, that Trump could not only become totally politically radioactive and yet because we’re an anocracy not a democracy, he STILL is able to become president again.
But the issue at hand is — could Trump go transactional and demand that his followers start to blow shit up in an effort to intimidate the Federal government into not prosecuting him. Or, it could be that he won’t even go transactional, it could be that we reach a tipping point such that stochastic terrorism is inevitable.
It definitely makes you wonder what the reaction would be on the part of elected Republicans should stochastic terrorism occur. I think we know the answer — they would feign “thoughts and prayers” and then they’ll pivot to saying America has a “mental health crisis.” They will not, of course, address their own implication in what has happened.
Anyway, things are very uncertain right now. We could go either way. America is awash in extreme rhetoric and I don’t know how our political system would be able to handle stochastic terrorism. I think if there was a lot of stochastic terrorism that our political system would collapse into chaos and we would lurch closer and closer to a point where the stark choice of autocracy or civil war will become more and more unavoidable.