The racially motivated terrorist attack in Charleston, S.C. has brought up many issues: race, guns, flags. But one issue has been overlooked – the politics of the apocalypse.
Back in 1995, 26-year-old Tim McVeigh bombed the Murrah building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
His motivation was to spark a revolt against a tyrannical federal government. Specifically, he hoped to start a race war using the tactics depicted in The Turner Diaries, a novel written by an anti-government, white supremacist.
Flash forward to last week. Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Roof murdered nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. His motivation was to start a race war. According to a manifesto allegedly written by Roof, the anti-government, white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens encouraged him to take action.
This idea of starting a race war or a revolution is not isolated to two terrorists. In fact, the notion that Americans are on the verge of an armed insurrection, and that insurrection is a legitimate means for changing public policy, is imbedded in the rhetoric of the far right.
Just look at the word choice of Rep. Raul Labrador in a recent interview with The Hill. “I think if (lawmakers) sell (the President’s immigration reform) to the American people, the American people will revolt.”
Now obviously Labrador didn’t tell anybody to revolt against the government. But the fact that he believes it’s a possibility shows how deeply rooted this apocalyptic vision of America has become.
It’s a vision that wrongly believes a majority of Americans are ready to grab a gun and defend the greatest country in the world from its democratically elected, yet tyrannical government — just like the people at the Cliven Bundy Ranch.
It continues with a belief that a spark is going to light this conflagration of liberty. For some reason the spark includes killing cops, killing churchgoers and blowing up a daycare. And here’s where it gets really, really murky. The forthcoming armed insurrection will somehow purify America by fire, bringing an age of extreme conservatism and prosperity.
There’s just one major problem. The theory that we’re on the verge of a civil war is complete and total nonsense.
We know this because every time right-wing lunatics try to start “the revolution” something exactly opposite of a revolution happens. After the bomb went off in Oklahoma City and bullets flew in Charleston, Americans didn’t run for their AR-15s and a bunker. To the contrary. They built make-shift memorials, attended candle-light vigils and prayed at ad hoc church services.
In other words, the notion that Americans are seething for the Civil War II or the Revolutionary War II is absolutely baseless. It was in 1995 and it is in 2015.
Americans are pragmatic people who work together and cooperate to make our country a better place to live. We are not raving lunatics, ready at the drop of a hat to start “shootin’ for liberty.”
So stop it with the apocalyptic talk and face the facts. When “Second Amendment remedies” are used against us, it’s nothing more than domestic terrorism. And by the way, domestic terrorists aren’t patriots, they’re criminals.
It’s time for the far right to learn that lesson once and for all.