Our Real Terrorism Problem

You know, it’s strange…

After some assholes attacked Paris and Daesh (ISIL) took credit for the deeds, all anyone on the far right seemed able to talk about was “Muslims” and how they are ruining the world with their terrorism. As I write this, that happened two weeks ago, and here in the United States, we have been hit with one attack after another, and as a result, I can say unequivocally that domestic terrorists are a much bigger threat to our well-being than any threat by Muslim extremists. Worse, we have a major political party that is aiding and abetting the worst terrorist threat we face today.

PP shooterYesterday, we were attacked again. This time, three people were killed, including a police officer, and nine people were wounded, when some white, right-wing Republican from North Carolina felt so strongly about Planned Parenthood that he somehow ended up in Colorado Springs, Colorado and shot people in one of them. On one level, we should be thankful, I suppose, because that particular Planned Parenthood was equipped with several “safe rooms” and what has been described as an “extensive” security system, so no one who works at the clinic was injured.

I do ultimately blame this asshole (I never name people like this on my blog because I don’t believe in giving these idiots a spotlight) for the shooting, but there are many other people to blame for creating an atmosphere in which he figured this was okay to do, as well. Foremost among them has to be today’s right wing media complex, consisting of right-wing talk radio and Fox News, who lie to people with impunity call it “news,” and I also blame the religious groups who insist on injecting their religious zealotry into the political “debate” in this country. We don’t know all of the details as to why this asshole apparently drove to Colorado Springs from North Carolina to do this, but it may not be coincidence that Colorado Springs is the most right wing city in the state of Colorado and the home of several extremely rich megachurches. The Springs is known throughout the state of Colorado as an “Evangelical Playground.” (Yay!)

But the people I blame most for stoking this atmosphere is today’s Republican Party. Yes, that’s right; while others will tiptoe around it and declare, “not all Republicans are to blame,” I’m just putting it out there. They have been lying about abortion, women and Planned Parenthood for decades. And if you think that type of thing has no effect, consider that the only reason the people in that Planned Parenthood are alive today is because they have safe rooms and extensive security. Why do so few in the major media seem inclined to note that the very existence of such things indicates a problem?

Yesterday, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in the Rocky Mountains, Vicki Cowart, released a statement in which she noted that, while the motive for the attack was still technically unknown, “extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country,” a statement that is, again, obvious, when you consider that a Planned Parenthood in the most heavily evangelical “Christian” portion of Colorado was forced to employ safe rooms and extensive security in the first place. And yet, almost immediately, a Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois criticized Cowart in a way that made it absolutely clear where the problem lies. On CNN, Kinzinger said,

“We may find out that this person was targeting Planned Parenthood. If we find out that he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that. … if (he was targeting Planned Parenthood), he has taken a legitimate disagreement with the practice, and turned it into an evil response, which is to go in and shoot people”

For those who live in red states, “the practice” refers to abortion, a legal medical procedure that every woman in this country has a legal right to. And the equivocation is part of what encourages domestic terrorists to do what they do. And I do agree that it is possible to have “legitimate disagreement” on the issue of abortion. But his party doesn’t engage in “legitimate disagreement” on abortion; they demonize Planned Parenthood.

For most of this year, a group of home-grown terrorist recruiters with a euphemistic name has been peddling heavily-edited videos purportedly showing that Planned Parenthood harvests body parts for research and makes copious amounts of money doing so. No matter how many times these videos have been debunked and proven to be complete bullshit, prominent politicians in Kinzinger’s Republican Party have gleefully used these videos and the accompanying bullshit stories as fodder. They have happily spread stories in which the evil “Planned Parenthood” was essentially encouraging women to have abortions, so that they could make more money on body parts.  The stories are crap and they know for a fact that the stories are crap, but they happily use them to get crazy people to vote for them.

And I am sorry, but if you imagine that the people who work at Planned Parenthood are committing the equivalent of a holocaust, “crazy” is a mild word for you. The Republican Party is lying to these people and they are stoking the flames of hatred because their available constituency is shrinking and they are desperate to keep what they have and maintain power. If you bother to look closely at the current GOP, they have no ideas and they don’t even propagate political positions. They are all about the hatred, and they are all about playing on the fears of ignorant people. They have yet to do anything positive with Congress in the five years since they took over the House majority; everything is negative, and they have virtually ordered that their most fervent followers target pretty much every group of people that isn’t rich white right wing men.

Think about it:

  • Republicans and their supporters are always on about LGBT people, even referring to them as “the LGBT mafia,” as if the goal of the LGBT community was not equal rights, but to ruin the lives of straight people. Consider the despicable campaign against equal rights in Houston earlier this month, in which they asked fearful people to imagine grown men going into a girls’ locker room to gawk.
  • Republicans and their supporters have not only derided the Black Lives Matter movement; they have more than once labeled it a “terrorist” organization. Earlier this week, Republican front-runner Donald Trump essentially ordered a #BLM protester beaten by his supporters and when he was, Trump essentially suggested he probably deserved it.
  • Republicans routinely demonize anyone whom they think of as “other.” They imagine being able to deport 11 million of what they refer to as “illegals” and they routinely encourage the demonization of anyone of a hue darker than alabaster.
  • Republicans also encourage the demonization of Muslims, even though they apparently don’t know what one is, since they routinely describe turbans and describe the religion itself as “violent.”

I could go on and on, and I will, eventually. This crap has to stop. if you want to know what our greatest terrorist threat is, it’s domestic and, if you want to know where the hatred comes from, look to our second-largest major political party, the GOP.  They have spent more than a half-century recruiting the most hateful people in the country into their party and now that these hateful people are dying off in droves, they are desperate to keep as many on board as possible. And the only way to stop this terrorist threat is to make sure they lose.

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