Political Purchasing Power and the Real Terrorism

Photo credit: Kenny Louie via Flickr CC 2.0 license.

The old cliché “follow the money” applies in the recent school shooting tragedies. The numbers are shocking. Very few people in the United States have been killed by terrorists. Thousands more have been killed by gun-toting crazies. I think a partial answer lies in who has political purchasing power.

Terrorists, thankfully, do not have much direct influence over elections in the United States. But they have indirect influence. They are perceived to be non-white. This sets up anybody of perceived Arab descent as a potential enemy and part of THE OTHER.

Of course, the people who say they can crush the terrorists—defense-based corporations and arms manufacturers—do have political purchasing power (how do you spell Halliburton?). And they have profited mightily from fighting a threat that was dramatic, but in large part predicted and even avoidable. Now we have spent trillions on fighting an elusive enemy, and it turned out that the real threat was the threat within: crazy gun owners and the NRA that protects them.

Most of the people who have slaughtered innocent civilians were mentally unbalanced white people with easy access to guns. The folks with political purchasing power are white and under the sway of the NRA, as are the folks who fight federal spending on mental illness as another kind of “welfare for the undeserving.”

Never mind that most of the government spending on defense lines the pockets of the very rich right wing. The NRA and the extremists in the Republican Party are part of that now-famous vast right-wing conspiracy. All those attempts to discredit Hillary are also part of this conspiracy. She was right on that one. And President Obama is right to take on the NRA. The next question to ask is, who is really behind the NRA besides gun manufacturers? Do I hear, “Koch,” anyone?

Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015 | Essays

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