I have not commented on the Jan 6 anniversary because despite Kevin Williamson's assertion that it's not time to move past this (I usually really like him) and we should hold it front-and-center and mention it a table grace tonight, I am no longer interested. Reason magazine has an opinion piece with research that I like. This guy Woodward from Dartmouth knows how to see through polls. We have always had some wild-eyed people willing to do violence. Hell, I used to work with them and have known about fifty of them personally, from every imaginable political persuasion. Such as the woman who said she was libertarian-feminist-Native American-environmentalist radicalism and had a neighbor whose house she threatened to burn down. I'm not saying there aren't dangerous and unhinged people in there. The difference this time was the million people quite peacefully demonstrating behind them, which Jimmy Carter in the New York Times interprets as a million people who are just one random spark away from igniting and bringing the Republic to the brink of overthrow, and I interpret as a million angry people behaving in a very typical American fashion in their demonstration, who went home at the end without incident.
Even though There They All Were, able to mobilise at a moment's notice if they so desired, lots of them likely carrying (OMG! They don't hate guns and want to purge them from society!), with lots of fiery rhetoric pumping them up, and lots of angry opposition pumping them up more.
So who is the divisive one here? Jimmy Carter. Which is who he has always been, despite his man of peace shtick. He is Iago to America's Othello. He perfected the smiling aw-shucks divisiveness that Bill Clinton walked into. Whatever his policies were - and both were not radical leftists - their sputtering hatred for conservatives was the foundation of their electorate.(Obama was only partly an heir to that, but he took it in another direction.)
They think millions of people are just waiting for their chance to overthrow the real America and install some Amerika. They really think this and they feel physically threatened. Let me assure you that people who feel physically threatened do not act rationally. That this has been true since the 70s I can assure you from personal observation. If you read David Horowitz and others you might be persuaded it goes back further. They think it's you.
Is this most liberals? No, of course not. They have jobs and families and were largely raised on standard American values and do not project violence onto you, because they really don't have much in them themselves. They worry about you, but they aren't raging sure you are about to blow. Yet they are led by people who do believe that, because they have been elected to be the watchdogs against the evil fascists, so the bookstore clerks and social workers can get on with their lives and not worry about it.
Steve Hayward at PowerLine found this demographic study of the people arrested on January 6 published on 5 January 2022. (He has excerpts and commentary at the link, also a link to the full study.)
American Face of Insurrection
Great link. Even I, who anticipated some of this, found stuff that was a surprise to me. This will take some absorbing. It generally supports my thesis, but frankly, it takes it in a direction I had not even considered.
The younger, urban dynamics make sense. It was urban citizens who watched their cities and Federal buildings burn _all year_, with rioters bailed out and generally not charged. The younger ones might have been naive enough to think that was the new standard. The older ones would have more likely known that there is always a double standard.
Also, if (and there seems to be some evidence for it) there were provocateurs working the crowd, the arrestees would include a number of the easily provoked, who'd skew younger.
Grim - I had wondered about that in the past and then forgotten it, but I think there is something to it. I am so used to the double standard and people scoffing at that that I perhaps do not bring the fresh look that I should, even though my resentment remains. But for younger people, this is a sudden dawn that "Hey, this isn't a level playing field!"
The Iago analogy is good...really fits Carter!
btw, there is a film version of Othello ("O") in which the title character is a star basketball player rather than a general, and Iago is the coach's son. Quite well-done, I think.
Christopher B: demographic study of the people arrested on January 6
"The key county characteristic is that the counties with insurrectionists lost the most non-Hispanic White population."
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