Saturday was supposed to be the start of another apocalyptic showdown that was the secular far right’s domestic version of modern end times. As the leftist anti-war group Refuse Fascism was planning rallies in blue cities and states across America, the far right went nuts, telling all who saw their online messaging to get out their guns and get ready.
This swarm of messaging is vile and repugnant, a sick fantasyland where too many people are anticipating and embracing armed conflict, or using their cloistered microphones and online platforms to urge others to be ready to be violent and shoot first. This is the new normal in Trump’s America and it’s not good.
While healthier and saner people grimace over the country’s latest mass shooting, and wring their hands over what we all know will be no meaningful federal response via new gun controls, we have to acknowledge what’s happening in America. Violence is growing in our cultural and political vocabulary. News reports keep battering the public with one crisis after another. What’s missing? Restraint. Voices of reason. Perspective. Knowing the difference between dark fantasy and tragic realities. What is the difference between the far right’s provocateurs and the Sutherland Springs shooter? Very little. Just stepping out and squeezing the trigger.