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In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an increasing level of violent political confrontations on U.S. soil. A new study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino confirms this by stating that political confrontations are rising in California by nearly double. Just last week there was another case of police cracking down on violent protests in Portland, Oregon. This is a disturbing trend that should concern not only ever prepper but every American. The increase in violence, from my view, is in part the result of the “alt-left” adopting strategies of the “alt-right.” I say “in part” because this is more a symptom of a greater challenge: a widening shift between political ideologies here in America (and abroad). There are seemingly fewer people in the middle and greater numbers of the far left and far right. Moderates are now chastised by the right as being too liberal and by the left as being too conservative. Where is there to be any common ground and resolution in the face of this trend? What will it mean for American society going forward if political sides can’t come together? What happens if each group’s success is defined only as shutting the other side down?
This subject is timely for me as I am working on a sequel to Glen Tate’s 299 Days book series that includes fictional elements of the competing groups. To that end, I am reading Mark Bray’s new book, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook in an attempt to better understand this group’s historical context and what motivates them.
The far left might say their recent move toward more violent strategies is their response to the election of Donald Trump. From their view, they are merely adopting the strategies of the far right, as evidenced by the armed standoff at the Bundy Ranch while Obama was president. From their view, they are responding to violence with violence, violence witnessed by a car plowing into Antifa protestors at the recent Charleston rally. They are also responding to the perceived threat of even more deadly violence as people showed up armed with assault rifles.
I’m not here to pick which side is better than the other or whether each side is to blame. I don’t know the answer to that. Both sides, however, seem to be growing in size and in distance from each other. This, I find, is troubling. People have been calling the collapse of the United States since the formation of the United States. Is it different this time? I don’t know, but worry grows when I read about sides questioning the legitimacy of the foundations of our government, whether that’s the right saying Obama is not a U.S. citizen or Trump disrespecting the decisions of courts. I worry as a prepper. I am saddened as an American.
I write this post knowing full well that I open myself to criticism, given the virulence of today’s politics. I am one of the people that liberals call conservative and conservatives call liberal. I also have a tendency to point out fake news and faulty logic on social media when the left or the right shares something that is factually incorrect. Yet each time, the respective side takes me to task. “You don’t get it,” they say. “Doesn’t matter, point still holds,” they write. “That fact is an opinion,” they argue.
Maybe I don’t get it, but I have never thought one side holds all of the answers. I have usually found that the truth is somewhere in the middle. I have always thought that if two sides could sit down and have open discussion, where each side truly listens to the other, common ground can be found. But now even that argument is taken to task with responses like “there is no common ground to be had with them.”
Now, as a moderate, I (ironically and increasingly) find myself isolated, shut down by both the left and the right. Comments on Fox News articles are riddled with left bashing. Comments on CNN are riddled with right bashing. Any counter opinion is promptly shut down and often with vague threats of violence or personal insults. News is biased and comments are echo chambers. Is this all just a race to the bottom?
I hope not. But I fear maybe.
Related Content: Be sure to check out the BDS guide to Preparing for Civil Unrest here.
19 Responses to “America’s Increasing Levels of Political Violence: Something to Prep For?”
RE: Santa Walt. You are so right. The Fall of America has begun. Read the Book “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinski.
The fall of the United States has been planned for more than 30 years, by Shadowy elements within the country it’s self.
Bob Bosky your second paragraph hits it right on the head.
The bible makes it clear that ” A divided country can not stand”.
As defined by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Training Center at Fort Bragg, an assault weapon is capable of single fire with one trigger pull, multiple burst shots with one trigger pull, or full automatic machine-gun fire with one pull of the trigger and holding it back until the magazine is empty. Machineguns are illegal in many states, with severe state and federal penalties for possession, and very rigorous physical inspection of the place it is to be stored in those states where they are legal to own. In addition, they are very expensive to purchase, and very expensive to shoot. There are only so many legally held TRUE assault rifles held in private hands, and the website of Reuben Mendiola will educate the ignorant (not stupid; just ignorant, which is curable). Prices run from the low thousands to sky-high, as will ammunition costs when one goes to play for the day. $1,000 can be burned up in a short hurry, and even more quickly for the high caliber guns. The author of this article simply did not know the definition of a TRUE assault rifle, or she would not have used the appellation used by the media. As an aside, In WW2, a British rifleman could fire 30 well aimed shots from his 5 shot bolt action rifle in one minute !! THE SO-CALLED “ASSAULT RIFLE’ used by target shooters, competitors, hunters, and plinkers is no different than dozens of semi-automatic (self-loading) rifles made by Winchester, Remington, and host of others except in appearance. They all function the very same way, and none are capable of full automatic machine gun type fire. The legal sanctions for possessing or converting a rifle to full automatic capability are severe without all legal conditions being met can earn a 10 year stint in a Federal prison.
As a mom of millennials, I am sickening by how “they” have exposed my children to their distorted ideas. Even though I decided to control my children’s education, when they got out into college. It was their distorted ideas were there waiting for them.
They have influenced our children throw wanting to change past history, current music, “current music icons”, etc. Black lives matters yet we all bleed red. There is no more praise for the generations who lived through the WW11, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the longest American occupation in history started by Pres Bush W.
These millennials are only interested in removing statues and/or defacing them. However good, bad, or ugly those men/women are parts of our American History. This is so we learn from our mistakes and are not doomed to repeat them.
As said earlier, why aren’t the millennials at jobs, actively looking for work to pay for their student loans, etc.. Who is truly supporting them and this “cause”?
“The increase in violence, from my view, is in part the result of the “alt-left” adopting strategies of the “alt-right. ” I find this statement as justifying the violence of the “alt-left” and blaming it on the “alt-right”. One disturbed man at the Charleston rally does not represent all on the right. If it did then the young man in Portland who stabbed and killed men defending two muslin women would justify violence by the right. After all this disturbed young man was a Bernie supporter. The standoff at the Bundy ranch is entirely different and was in supprt of a way of life that the governemt is trying to stamp out. Also it did not include violence by the demonstrators. Checkout what the BLM is doing to small ranchers in the west, sometime. This whole article found fault with the right and justified the violence of the left. I recently read a statement but do not remember the author. “When words are considered to be violence then it is acceptable to use violence against words.” This seems to be the premise under which the antifa operate and it is wrong.
Right now, you are in the “concerned and would like to do something about it” crowd. It will prove to be more frustrating than you can imagine. When you progress to the “don’t give a ****” group, you will see more clearly that neither side will disarm unilaterally. It will take some calamity to make people sit up and begin to think rationally instead of emotionally.
It was before your time, but you can trust my observation: there were no more mass demonstrations against the Vietnam war after Kent State.
Antifa is just this generation’s SDS Weathermen.
Okay, third time is the charm, right? Going to try again to post my comment, sorry if it shows up multiple times, I keep getting a timeout message….
I agree with Hondo’s comments. The entitlement society that has been created has contributed to the greater unrest. As has the indoctrination machine that our educational system has turned into. I don’t care if you are ‘left’ or ‘right’, if you can’t see that we are in trouble, THAT is part of the problem. Critical thinking, being able to discern the truth from what we are ‘fed’ in the news daily, is something that is sorely lacking these days. As is common sense.
I miss polite, thoughtful, civil, political discussions and debate. It’s one of the best ways to be informed, by listening to a view point you don’t agree with and being able to defend your position. When political discussion become forbidden? When did compromise become a dirty word or deed? Successful politics is all about compromise, everyone gets something no one gets everything.