Thursday, August 11, 2022

"Crazy?" No. "Brainwashed" by Trump Et Al

Why did Ricky Shiffer, 42, attack an FBI field office in Cincinnati Thursday, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and a nail gun?  

We may never definitively know, as he died in a shootout with the Ohio State Highway Patrol a short time later. 

Gilda believes he was “crazy,” a reasonable hypothesis for many acts of violence, such as shoving strangers onto subway tracks perpetrated by emotionally disturbed individuals no longer housed in institutions. Demons inside their heads take over. Perhaps Shiffer succumbed to his inner demons.

I, on the other hand, think Shiffer was “brainwashed.”  

He was but one foot soldier in an army of Trump believers, PINOs (Patriots in Name Only) who have figuratively swallowed Donald Trump’s hallucinogenic Kool-Aid that the 2020 election was stolen, that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president, that law enforcement, particularly the Justice Department and the FBI, is not to be trusted, that, as Esquire has reported, Democrats are part of a “cabal of pedophiles who not only traffic kids for sex, but also physically abuse and even murder and cannibalize them in horrifying Satanic rituals.”

I am not a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a social worker trained to study the human mind and its actions. Yet, it is transparent that reason has been replaced by thoughtless beliefs in millions of American minds, not just fringe members of the population. 

Alex Jones, Mark Levin, Tucker Carlson, the late Rush Limbaugh, all trade on conspiracy theories, the more divorced from reality the better to sway the gullible. And the masses who feel disenfranchised, alienated, stuck in desperate lives by an elite class often found on the East and West coasts. 

Most Republican politicians, on the other hand, are very clear-headed about their fealty to Trump. They see him as their ticket to election and re-election. They’re not in the game to improve the lives of their constituents. Otherwise, they would not have blocked a cap on insulin costs. They would not oppose climate change legislation during a time of unprecedented floods, fires and heat waves. They would not oppose equitable tax reform. 

Trump and his surrogates have made government, especially Washington, the enemy. They believe laws no longer apply to them. 

Remarkably, they’ve convinced—they’ve brainwashed—a sizable portion of the populace they are right. To them, The Rule of Law is an archaic term.