Sunday, November 4, 2018

Associationism: Replacing Islamic Terror With Right Wing Extremism




This past week Americans were shocked to hear CNN's Don Lemon refer to all white males as the nations biggest terror threat. This was in the same sentence mind you in which he first declared that we must stop demonizing groups of people because they are different.

Recently, there has been a lot of attempts to portray those of a right leaning ideology as potential extremists. The fake pipe bomber and the synagogue shooter were both portrayed as white nationalists. The FBI has even gone on record and stated that White Nationalism poses as much of a threat to the nation as ISIS or other Islamic terror groups back in 2017.

The definition of nationalism is simply a person devoted to a political ideology fighting for national independence. Are we to assume now that any white male who advocates for limited, constitutional  government, and individual liberty are domestic terrorists? According to the Homeland Security Report entitled   Right wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment the answer to that question is yes. This report identifies people that are concerned about illegal immigrants and restrictions on gun rights as potential extremists while at the same time admitting that there is no indication that such groups are in any planning phases to commit an act of terror. Conspiracy theorists who believed that there is an attempt to create a "New World Order" are also identified. What's more disturbing is that the report specifically targeted our nation's veterans as being especially susceptible to recruitment efforts by radical right wing groups. This was due to the economic down turn and lack of jobs for returning war veterans.

So in case you don't understand, your government, after sending your loved ones off to fight their wars, labeled them as potential extremists when returning home simply because there wasn't any jobs.

This report was released in the early days of the Obama administration and as we all know there was huge economic down turns, upticks in illegal immigration and attempts to restrict the second amendment. The formation of a one world government has also transpired beyond mere conspiracy theory to conspiracy fact. It's almost as if the report was intentionally designed to silence and demonize those they feared would create the biggest obstacle to their agenda. Almost a decade later, and two years into a republican administration, the efforts to label the conservative ideology as extreme in nature are stronger than ever. Especially considering the fact that the nation appears to be rejecting liberalism and the midterms are upon us.

Despite the fact that there hasn't been any acts of terror committed by people claiming to be part of "white nationalist group," many Americans believe that there is a threat posed by right wing extremists. The most recent example given can be the Charlotesville riots. It was later revealed however, that the organizer of the so called unite the right rally, Jason Kessler, was nothing more than an agent provocateur who was a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He was also an Obama supporter. People who would claim this to be an outrageous conspiracy theory need to revisit their Alinsky tactics. Student activists of the 1960's sought Alinsky's advice on how to protest a speech from then UN representative George Bush concerning America's efforts in Vietnam. Rather than simply picketing, Alinsky advised them to show up to the speech dressed as KKK members. He told them to wave signs that stated "the KKK supports George Bush" and that every time he said something in defense of the Vietnam war they should cheer.

This was a very successful tactic, one that had long lasting results which associated Bush with the KKK. This is called Associationism or, associative theories of learning.

What is Associationism? Obviously, as the term implies, associationism refers to how human beings learn by associating ideas. According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy the ideas of associative learning can be traced back to David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature. Hume's theory elaborated on how a persons perceptions are influenced by previous experience. Furthermore, Hume believed that there was no idea that existed in a persons mind that was not first shaped by a previous experience. Associative theories of learning was later expanded on by Ivan Pavlov when he developed his theories on classical conditioning. Essentially, it was discovered that trained responses to a given stimulus can be replicated by simply replacing one stimulus with another.

What does this have to do with right wing extremism? Well, stop and think a moment. For nearly two decades now we have been inundated with images of Islamic terrorism (stimulus) which provoked feelings of fear and panic. This stimulus was accepted by the American people due the nature of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Slowly and ever so surely, this stimulus is being replaced with suggestions of right wing extremism. Which, because of the already preconditioned perception of terror, is easily provoking the same preconditioned response. The question remains as to whether or not the powers that be understand this and are deliberately changing the stimulus.

This should be concerning to all Americans, not just white, right leaning conservatives. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 authorized the executive branch of government to indefinitely detain anyone considered to be a potential threat to the United States. Despite having a republican administration this law is still in effect. Is it possible that so called right wingers who cling onto the traditional ideals the nation is founded upon could be rounded up as extremists and indefinitely detained in detention camps? Well, if we continue down the road we are on it certainly is possible. We are on a road of orchestrated chaos and political mayhem. Paid opposition groups like Antifa are clearly trying to provoke the right into conflict. The left has demonstrated their ability to use violence to push a point. If this continues the country could possibly see violence on a much larger scale. This would be the needed excuse to round up all whose values do not align with the state. Is this a very likely scenario? This writer tends to have more faith in the American people and believes that the vast majority of us understand this and will not fall for it. You have to wonder though. Why else would they attempt to portray the people that love the country the most as potential terrorists if not to get rid of us?

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