It’s the guns, but it’s not just the guns. It’s the racism, but it’s not just the racism. It’s the misogyny, but it’s not just the misogyny. It’s the attacks on democracy but it’s not just the attacks on democracy.
It’s the assault on the truth, on teaching history and science, but it’s not just the assault on the truth and facts and reality and banning books. It’s the corruption but it’s not just the corruption and the cover-ups and the obstruction of justice and the gaming of our courts.
What happened in Buffalo is not just about some isolated shooter, some deranged sociopath. He was fueled by an ideology of hate promoted by an American president, by a leading American news channel, by an entire US political party.
His brutality was enabled by decades of massive spending, some of it from enemies like Russia, to not just promote guns in the US but to twist & pervert the interpretation of the Second Amendment to turn America into one of the world’s most dangerous, self-destructive societies.
He was part of the very same movement that has political candidates blocking access to the press, offering up the same right-wing catechism of hate, seeking to block access of people of color to the polls, seeking to deny gay Americans the right to love whom they want.
From Murdoch to Trump to McConnell to Alito flows the ideology of the superiority of whites…but not just of whites but of white males…and not just of white males but of white Evangelical Christian males. But their mantras and slogans of racial, cultural superiority are accompanied by other doctrines promoting fear of minorities, of white replacement theory gleefully promoted by Tucker Carlson and other despicable lunatics, of racist myths about brown babies in need of formula or caravans of “the other” assaulting our southern borders.
They are not just systematically trying to deny power and basic human rights from control of their own body to the ability to cast a vote to determine the future of the nation in which they live to those with whom they disagree, they are working daily to drown out other views.
They preach “free speech” as a cover for seeking discourse on the web that can promote snake oil and race war & that can destroy the reputations of their enemies even as they seek to quash elements of history, realities of scientific truth, that don’t fit their warped worldview.
Compounding their hypocrisy is that the people for whom they assert they are fighting are just dupes, pawns they use to maintain power so the leaders of the movement and its funders can profit, can rig our system to promote inequality and to enhance already obscene riches.
They promote conspiracy theories to distract from the fact that so much of what they do that seems isolated is actually connected, is all part of a plan, is all part of one, coherent, thought out, decades old right-wing agenda.
The Buffalo shooting and political candidates selling hate, the SCOTUS decision on abortion and our insane gun laws, our national gun pathology (that the court will only make worse) and banned books in elementary schools and Texan abuse of COVID funds and
DeSantis throwing reporters out of public meetings and Hawley giving the thumbs up to insurrectionists and Barr blocking prosecution of Trump for obstruction of justice and Ivanka and Jared making millions while in office and groveling to the Russians and blackmailing Ukraine and both impeachments and Congressional Christmas cards featuring kids with assault weapons and threats to hang the Vice President of the United States and the Tree of Life shooting and the babies in cages at the border and tax cuts for billionaires and Elon Musk’s reasons for wanting to take over Twitter and the wink and the nod to the murder of Khashoggi and failing to help Puerto Rico after a hurricane or California after devastating fires and lying about COVID and promoting horse medicines for people and bleach into your veins and the pillow salesman and the crazies on the right in Congress and 63 Republicans voting not to support Ukraine and Rand Paul blocking aid to that country and Citizens United and Shelby County and the packing of the court and Ginni Thomas helping to promote the Big Lie and the coup and attacking the Squad and “lock her up” and calling people “pedos” and all of it…all of it…is the work of one movement, one that is destroying the US.
The funders are the same, the leaders are the same, the media mouthpieces are the same, the actions compound the effect of other actions, the grassroots supporters are the same and the consequences for each of us, for our society, for our democracy are equally dire.
To defeat them takes seeing the scope of what is happening for what it is, seeing their intents are to compound the past with further abuses, attacks on our rights, institutionalization of their minority view, suppression of the will of the majority of us.
It will require us to be as systematic as they are and as thorough. It requires not just winning races but undoing the damage they have done, restoring core principles to the operations of our government and of our society, ideas like equal justice under the law and decency, tolerance and one person one vote, defending the truth and common sense, honesty, and the willingness to fight within the parameters of the law to defend what we value. We must do all that. It won’t be easy. The outcome is not guaranteed. The risks are immense.
But it all begins with seeing the big picture, recognizing the links, identifying the origins of this tragic chapter in our history.