With a devout follower of President Trump having been active at placing bombs in the US mail directed at Trump’s perceived enemies, corporate media have missed the most important fact in the story, that Trump has inspired a huge number of his admirers to commit violent acts against people in this country.
Violence has become commonplace in our nation, where all manner of nut cases place bombs in public places, fire combat weapons into crowds, and generally commit mayhem at will, enabling the sparks that Trump ignites to quickly become brushfires.
Our “representatives” in government keep quiet, or say there’s nothing they can do—you see the National Rifle Association will quit funding them if they do any regulating on mentally ill people easily obtaining assault weapons, and they badly need that money when they run against opponents funded by defense cheats, polluters, and banksters, as American “democracy” always has it. We are not given public interest candidates in the Land of the Free—most of our “representatives” in government do not even consider how many will die because of their legislation.
I remember hearing that President Reagan had been shot, and my first thought was “Please don’t let it be that the shooter is a leftist.” I was happy to hear that the shooter is the mentally ill son of a Republican who lives here on the Virginia Peninsula, because corporate media debates always end when the shooters are shown to be Republican. Had the shooter been an actual leftist, there would have been a discussion about rounding up communists, socialists, left labor, and perhaps even some peace groups and putting them in concentration camps. The real left is invisible in corporate media unless there is something with which to demean them.
But the Reagan shooting showed that the most protected person on earth, the president of the United States, could be shot by a mentally ill young man with no expertise in assassinations. This was no James Bond, by any measure. Any of us can be shot these days, wherever we go in Gun Nation.
When the Oklahoma City federal building was blown to bits, corporate media railed at Muslims, assuming the perpetrator must have been Muslim. This went on day after day until the perpetrator was found to be a white Republican Christian, and then all the nasty talk about rounding up Muslims ceased.
The latest mass shooting with the weapon of choice, an AR-15 assault rifle made for military use in battle, took place at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The suspect, Robert Bowers, said he is a nationalist and doesn’t like Trump because he sees the president as being a globalist. Apparently Bowers doesn’t follow the news or he would have seen that Trump recently identified as a nationalist while belittling globalists. Trump didn’t say white nationalist, or Nazi, or Ku Klux Klan as many other nationalists declare, just nationalist.
Bowers was, however, driven by Trump’s frenzied lie about the caravan of Latin American oppressed, whom Trump identifies as “invaders.” Bowers, understanding that some Jews help immigrants, decided that the remedy was to kill Jews. Following this on cable news, I noticed every conservative apologist for right-wing violence pointed out that hatred of Jews comes from both the left and right.
This is a lie, what they are passing for leftist hatred of Jews is the protest of the left against Israel’s human rights abuses toward Muslims, and particularly against Palestinians. In fact, there are a large number of Jews in the American left. Many Jews are seen as heroes by the left for a great many contributions to social justice, the peace movement and other leftist causes. I am particularly in awe of the way many Jews stood up to racists when innocent Blacks were being lynched during the 1930s.
Trump’s labeling of the Latin American caravan moving through Mexico has riled up right-wing extremists all over the land. Many right-wing groups are headed for the Mexican border armed to the teeth, to escalate the precarious situation.
It does appear that many right-wing extremists follow Trump and wear the red Make America Great Again caps, reminiscent of Hitler rallying people about making Germany great again in the 1930s. Instead of red caps, Hitler used the swastika.
It is a frightening time, when we see public school children involved in active shooter drills as nothing is being done by our government to make society safer—Trump and the right wing all the while pushing more guns in a nation with more guns than any other.
Like Hitler, Trump attacks leftists and trade unionists. In Nazi Germany Pastor Niemoller put it simply, “First they came for the communists,” and “when they came for the trade unionists I did nothing, as I was not a trade unionist.” The first to die in Hitler’s death camps were the biggest opponents of fascism—those on the left.
FDR defined fascism pretty much as the Trump ideal, saying “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
Right-wingers have always used violence to get their way—Trump’s followers are nothing new—but Trump has angered the left.
There is a minority on the left who say the system will not change until it is threatened with leftist violence, but I have always disagreed. Violence drops us to their level, and I find it to be abhorrent. Violent revolution usually results in the killing of a great many innocents, and often results in a government as bad or worse than that which preceded it.
And if all of us in the true left—the communists, the socialists, left labor, the Green Party and others—got guns and went to the hills to start a revolution, I suspect we’d be wiped out in short order.
The system raises people to be brainwashed into thinking they are capitalists, supporting the plutocracy—the true capitalist few who control nearly all of the capital.
The TV networks are controlled, and that is what the masses are watching, so the masses would be turned against us were we to attempt a violent revolution.
The police and military would be against us, and we couldn’t win without them. Tanks, fighter jets and destroyers would be used against us. In the end, those in power, corrupt as they are, would use nuclear weapons if need be. Anyone who’s read William Blum’s Killing Hope can see that our leaders have contempt for human rights.
The control by TV is now so absolute that most Americans have no idea what the political left might be. Hillary Clinton, in my youth, would have been defined as a conservative—now described in corporate media as “far left.” The real left and its ideals are made to be invisible by TV owners, board members and advertisers, who control the debate.
No, violence will not work for the left. We must use education as our strategy, and toil to find ways to reach as many as we can with the truth before the next step, the concentration camps collect us for a final solution. When the masses understand this, we have a chance.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.