Domestic Terrorism and Your Ancestors


Likely, the first part of the title of this post makes you think of the kid who killed 4 classmates in Michigan’s Oxford High School last week. Maybe you also remember the Las Vegas shooter, the Tree of Life Synagogue and Mother Emanuel AME Church shooters and the murderer in Charlottesville and the insurrectionist murderers at the Capitol Building. You’d be right using that title for all those murderers. But I’m thinking about our terrorist elected officials.

Like the terrorists who made it a felony to give a bottle of water to someone waiting in line to vote. And the ones who made it legal for thugs carrying Glocks and assault rifles to patrol the grounds right outside polling places. What could possibly go wrong there?

And like the terrorist legislators who use minority rule to make second class, powerless citizens of those who likely wouldn’t vote for them.*

And the terrorists in Congress who regularly threaten to shut down the U.S. government whenever a Democrat is in the White House. They’re the same terrorists who threaten to cause our country to default on its debts. They do that every year a Democrat is in the White House, too.

“Hey, world, we just decided we won’t pay you what we owe you. Too bad for you and goodie for those of us who refuse to pay our national credit card bill, ‘cus we just stuck it to the President and our opponents in Congress. That’s how you know that we’re very tough guys. You’re just collateral damage and honestly, we really don’t care what happens to you or our standing among nations, as long as we get our way now.”

There was a time when terrorists putting a gun to the nation’s head to get their way wouldn’t have been tolerated. Back then the idea of claiming that an election was stolen, this in the total absence of any evidence to support the claim, would have earned censure, rebuke and ridicule. Storming the Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power wouldn’t even have occurred to anyone. But all of that and more have gone on and much is still going on right now, energized by a constant fire hose of lies. We’ve always had politicians who lie, but there are few if any other examples of a coordinated, extremist attack on reality.

If we’re to deal with this domestic terrorism we’ll have to figure out some things, like:

How is it that ignoring the will of the people is standard and lying to the public every day is both commonplace and smart politics?

How is it that we wring hands and then move on as though nothing has happened every time some whack job guns down kids, shoppers, concert goers and worshipers? Then we refuse to do anything to prevent the next murderer wannabe from getting his hands on a gun.

And how is it that the extremists, the radical terrorists, have manipulated the Supreme Court into a being a mob of partisan hacks that,

– invites huge money into our politics so the rich can buy their legislators (Citizens United). Worse, they exaggerated that harm with an issue unrelated to that case (“legislating from the bench”) that gave full human rights to corporations

– blocks gun safety legislation at every opportunity (Heller) and snuffs countless other attempts to obey the will of We The People – NOTE: a minimum of 80% of us want those gun safety laws.

– is now almost certain to ignore established law, decisions and the precedent of generations (no more stare decisis), leading to mistrust of the rule of law and making Supreme Court justices nothing more than political hacks**

– is now almost certain to tell women that they are not full citizens with the right to make decisions for themselves and that the government will be their daddy for life**

– is now almost certain to stimulate huge growth in the back alley abortion business, leading to otherwise preventable sterilizations, sickness and death – we’ve seen this movie before**

How is it that we tolerate such wanton disregard of decency and responsibility and we abandon the most fundamental rule of democracy, majority rule?

What has happened to us such that we allow all of this to go on?

Those aren’t idle or rhetorical questions. I want your insight on how we came to allow our values to be desecrated, because I surely don’t have answers. Here’s something to stimulate your thinking.

About your ancestors

Imagine for a moment that you could talk to your grandparents or great-grandparents for an hour or two, people of the Greatest Generation and perhaps the generation before them, born in the late 19th or the earliest part of the 20th century. You’d tell them what is happening in today’s America. What do you suppose they’d say? Here’s my guess.

It would take most of that time for them to begin to believe you, because they’d be shocked and horrified. Your report would be of an America that is unimaginable to them. Much of the story you’d have told them would describe some of the very reasons we went to war against countries that did the things we’re doing right now.

That’s how far we’ve strayed.

Look for a clear call to action on Wednesday, December 8.

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* From Prof. Heather Cox Richardson:

“After 19 Republican-dominated states have passed election laws suppressing the vote and gerrymandering districts, a reactionary minority controls them. Although Biden won Wisconsin, for example, the state supreme court today left in place districts that likely will enable Republicans to control 60% of the legislative seats in the state (and 75% of the state’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives). Ending federal protections for civil rights means handing to these reactionaries power over the majority of us.”

**  From Dan Rather:

“The issue of abortion is one on which fair minded people, honest to their own beliefs and moral codes, can disagree. But today was not about personal choice. It was about the law of the land that will make no exceptions other than those carved out by the states. And if the history of a time before legal abortions is any guide, and there is no reason to suspect otherwise, today will beget many personal tragedies, ruined lives, hardship, and despair.

“What transpired in the marbled halls of the Supreme Court was not genteel, even if it was wrapped in the ceremony and vocabulary of polite legal discourse. It was a traumatic reckoning. First and foremost for the rights of women to have control of their bodies and their lives. And secondly for a nation of laws, where precedent is supposed to matter. Instead, we saw a fixed legal right, enshrined in jurisprudence for half a century, likely shredded by a handful of unelected and unaccountable arbiters of what our nation of more than 300 million souls can and cannot do.”

“There are many subplots to this drama. We can talk about how a majority of the justices on the reactionary side of the ledger were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, and what that means for the health of our democracy. We can talk about how many of the justices were less than truthful, or outright lied, in their confirmation hearings when they acted like they would judge an abortion case on precedent and the law instead of having their minds made up. We can talk about the politics of the court and whether Democratic voters slept-walked on the issue for too long.”

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Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Domestic Terrorism and Your Ancestors
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Apathy has overtaken the country, allowing unqualified, weak-minded sheep to do our legislating independently of the wishes of We The People. And some of We The People have extracted from this “opportunity” rights and freedoms that none of us have and shouldn’t have.

    There isn’t any “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” There is, in the current state of affairs, only Me, Me, Mine, Mine. No looking out for the other person, no consideration for right (vs. Wrong) — Hell, we all remember what we were taught, as children, before the insanity and brainwashing and lies (pick which government official(s) so influenced you that you became a zombie to the will of that out-of-control government person/people) — any time in the last 50+ years.

    No one person or political party has a monopoly on lies and deceit. From the Johnson and Nixon administrations right through last January (the lone possible exception being Mr. Carter) the situation has continued to get worse administration by administration, legislation group by legislation group, SCOTUS by SCOTUS. And WE THE PEOPLE HAVE ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN. It’s nobody’s fault but our own. It’s our apathy. Only We can change that.

  2. Joni Lindgren Reply

    It is too hard to listen to MSNBC or CNN and to read articles about the state of our chaos! My friend and I were talking about this and she told me if she goes into a grocery store and sees someone without a mask on, she goes to the manager and expresses her rage. She was told that if they asked the anti-maskers to leave, they will hit, slap, and beat up their workers and it’s not worth it for them. Actually, the police should be called and they should be thrown into a cell for a very long time! Society as a whole has let down ordinary people who just want to get groceries as safely as they can.

    I believe most of our woes are due to corporations and the wealthy’s power given to them by the Supreme Court.(Citizens United and McCutcheon vs FEC) After all it was the corporations who funded the insurrection on Jan. 6th, 2021, like BIG OIL, The National Association of Realtors, The National Association of Automobile Dealers, The National Beer Wholesalers Association, the American Bankers Association and AT&T! Source: Public Citizen

    It was the corporations who funded the “militia” sent to the Dakota Access Pipeline and the corporations who destroyed the 99% Movement! It was the corporations who got the “Stand Your Ground” law and was recently used in the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse even though we all know he was guilty! Now SCOTUS is going to rule against Roe vs Wade and give the religious right everything they want even though the majority of people THEN and TODAY want the rule to stand……and the people be dammed!! So, we keep fuming inside ourselves at how the voice of the majority doesn’t count and the guilty are allowed out of jail and while many people are in jail who are not guilty!!

    Every member of our Supreme Court is getting paid off to make decisions in favor of the corporations and the moneyed….and the people be damned!!

    When it comes to the Constitution and laws, they are not worth the paper they were written on anymore when we let criminals go unscathed, lies considered “normal,” 50 year old law overturned and our Supreme Court makes decisions on the basis of the will of a few and the rest of society be damned again!!

    I don’t have answers, I just have disgust for people who don’t know or care about right vs wrong and truth vs lies!