Saturday, November 18, 2023

Profile of A Wind-Up Soldier

The recent trial of the Pelosi attacker provides a fascinating insight into the process of indoctrination.

The recent trial of the Pelosi attacker ended in conviction and rightfully so.  Although, as an attorney, I am surprised they didn't plead not-guilty-by-reason-of-Fox-News, as this guy was clearly driven off his rocker by a carefully crafted network of right-wing discussion groups, podcasts, conspiracy theory websites, obscure "media" outlets and of course, Fox News and the "I'm just asking questions" Pikachu-faced TV-dinner heiress.

And of course, just as in Mission Impossible, if caught, these agencies will deny involvement.  It's called "plausible deniability" and is an old tactic these days.  They can claim (with Pikachu face) that they did not know this particular guy and the hate and drivel they were spewing wasn't aimed at him or intended to set him off.  But they knew - they had to know - that someone, somewhere would act on all this hatred.

Incidentally, these same hate-mongering agencies spread odious rumors that Mr. Pelosi had invited the attacker into his home as some sort of sexual liaison from Grinder.  This was an obvious and odious lie and what have I said about liars?  Who the hell votes for Republicans when they so blatantly lie about stuff like this?  They only thing they aren't lying about is their promise to abolish social security and medicare and exterminate "vermin" and abolish the Democratic party.  Hello North Korea!

What is interesting is that his descent into madness began with video games.  A lifelong Democrat and "liberal" he started gaming full-time, living in a garage with no plumbing.  Imagine the smell.  No doubt an "incel" too!  "Hey baby, want to come back to my garage for some Netflix and chill?"  I wonder why that pickup line didn't work?

He was into gaming around the time of "Gamergate," an orchestrated misogynist hate-fest orchestrated or at least goaded on by none other than Yanni Yapalapalous - Greece's answer to a question no one was asking.  Gamergate was the gateway drug for disaffected young men ("incels") who feel they are not getting all the pussy they are entitled to.  As a gay man, I find this odd, as I have probably slept with more women than all the "incels" in the world, combined.  My hot dating secret? Treat women like human beings, like you would like to be treated, and think about their sexual needs and desires before your own.  I know, that is so hard to do!  Women as humans?  Nah!

So once he fell down the "Gamergate" rathole, it was easy to morph to conspiracy theory sites as well as far-right thinking.  He got hooked on this idea that the Democratic party was rife with "corruption" and indeed, there is corruption there, as well as everywhere else you look.  Yes, I am as disgusted as anyone else that Nancy Pelosi's husband was trading stocks, apparently on insider information (or even if not!).  But then again, it seems much of Congress on both sides of the aisle has their hand in one pot or another.  How many Congressmen have gotten PPP loans and never paid them back?  Saying that Nancy Pelosi (who should have resigned due to advanced age, years ago) is the only one doing questionable things or that only Democrats are lining their own nest is, well, stupid.

Stupider still is the idea you could attack her with a hammer (Real Republicans get a gun!) and get her to "confess" under duress, to corruption - and that people would somehow believe this confession-under-duress. Crazier still, he thought he could get Nancy to lure other Democrats to her home.  Crazier still, he didn't bother to figure out whether she would even be home at the time.

Now to be fair, there have been a few - a very few - left-wing would-be political attackers or assassins over the  years.  Whenever a political party is out-of-power, they tend to ramp up the hateful rhetoric as this gets people out of their lounge chairs and into the voting booth.  Hate and anger motivate more than love and happiness.  Contentment is the worse thing for voter turnout.

But over time, the largest number - by far - of politically motivated attacks, shootings, murders, firebombings, and the deadliest homegrown terror attack in US history have been attributed to right-wing activists, including right-wing "Christians" who apparently never read the Bible.  Killing children for Jesus.  Sounds like something Darth Vader would do.

And lately, with the GOP out of power and losing their grasp in many States, the hateful rhetoric has been ramped-up to crazy new levels - aided and abetted by the Internet and overseas trolls.  The troll-in-chief has derided his opponents as "vermin" who will be "rooted out" and "taken care of" once he is back in power - for life! (Good thing he is old!).  This level of rhetoric will surely set off more and more "wind-up soldiers" over time and in fact, already has.  And this time around, they can't claim they didn't see this coming or didn't expect this as a result of their hateful actions.  It is too late for plausible deniability.

Of course, there are windup soldiers and then again, there are misfires.  They get these somewhat crazy people (and if they aren't crazy, playing video games for 8 hours a day will fix that) to sign up for these delusions and then wait for them to go "off" - hopefully on a target you have trained them to hate more than anything else in the world.  But sometimes, they just shoot their family, neighbors, co-workers, or random people at the mall.  Gotta fine-tune that algorithm a bit, chief!

This trial and the confession and testimony by the attacker has provided a fascinating insight into how a somewhat "normal" young man can go off the rails and end up as a pawn - for the far-right, for ISIS, or whatever rathole they fall into on the Internet.

Sadly, there are few ratholes that promote logical thinking, seeking contentment, and realizing how lucky we are to live in Western culture.  I hope I am one of those ratholes.

Because as odious as it sounds, living in a garage and playing video games all day long would be considered an obscene luxury by more than 50% of the population of the Earth.  You don't have to work 12 hours a day just to obtain sufficient calories to keep your brain alive?  Lucky devil!

There is real want and real injustice in the world today.  Very little of it, if any, occurs in the United States.