Replacement Reality

“False flag.” It’s among the preferred excuses offered by the don’t-blame-us right, to defend the indefensible. After the murders of Black Americans in Buffalo, by an admitted white supremacist, racist antisemite bedeviled by bogus “replacement theory,” it took only a day for it to be applied, Alex Jones/Sandy Hook style. Jones, himself, dredged it up again. Republican candidates and legislators, too.

Guns are now so deeply embedded in America, it won’t ever change. Shortly before the massacre, two Trump-appointed judges struck down a California law banning sales of military-style weapons to people under twenty-one, like the Buffalo assassin, calling it a violation of the Second Amendment. Maybe it was. But the judge who wrote the opinion offered this bit of Trumpismic illogic: “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

Right. Because youngsters joined the Revolution keeping and bearing muskets, we must allow modern killing machines to be purchased by everyone of any age. McConnell-selected, Trump-appointed. Nothing more needs saying.

“Consider your man card reissued,” creeps an ad for the Bushmaster war-weapon clone the murderer used. “If it’s good enough for the professional, it’s good enough for you.” That’s a testicle-tanning-Tucker two-fer. BTW: studies show shooting accuracy of professionals drops by 40%, in pressure situations. And amateurs?

In Ohio, you can now carry a concealed weapon without a permit or training. You no longer have to tell a cop who stops you that you’re armed. Lying about it is now a misdemeanor instead of a felony. So guns will only become more available and less regulated. By now, blaming gun laws for Buffalo is like blaming water for drownings.

Innocent lambs, Foxian talkers blame mental health issues. It’s no excuse: knowing mentally ill and impressionable people are out there, they pound their lies anyway. Any sentient human — which, setting the bar low enough, includes Carlson and fellow promoters of “replacement theory” — recognizes the deadly combination and its inevitable tragedies: guns for the having, plus disturbed people vulnerable to fear- and hate-mongering. Violence in response is no surprise. It’s happened many times before.

If a tinder-dry forest catches fire, you don’t exculpate the person who walked through it with a flame-thrower. Because America will do nothing about the tinder, the only hope for change is confronting the people who, knowing the forest is a firebox, keep firing flames into it. If it’s impossible to rid ourselves of guns and mentally fragile people, it’s possible, theoretically, to do something about the harm people like Tucker are doing. Our constitution gives them the right to spread their lies, though it’s homicidally close to shouting “fire” in a packed theater. We’re blameless, they insist. But they know who’s out there, on whom their words are falling, and they keep doing it. Lacking morality, they won’t stop. Pressuring their sponsors might be the only option. That, and less “bothsiderism” from “liberal” media.

So let’s consider the “replacement theory” they’re pushing, convincing armed and fragile people and everyone else there’s a plot to “replace” them with people unlike them. (We can hope.) Deniers of most reality, Trumpicists have correctly noticed that American demographics are changing. Behind which, they see a dastardly liberal plot. Which is ironic, as it’s their party’s policies that ensure the birth, among others, of more people of the sort they abhor. Who, if they are voting, are Americans, enjoying the same freedom as they. But Trumpophiles reject all Americans’ freedoms except their own.

Then what about immigrants? If it’s true, which it isn’t, that America-hating liberal groomers of innocent children are opening floodgates to create more voters, it’d be the flipside of Republican lawmakers doing everything they can to ensure only their voters vote. Lacking the most minimal empathy, ignoring the fact that, except for Native Americans, we’re all immigrants, they can’t imagine the possibility that it’s BECAUSE we’re descendants of immigrants, that liberals welcome them. And because immigrants aspire to the “American dream” far more than those who didn’t have to fight to get here. As Republicans insist on mis-educating their own, America counts on immigrants, not just to become voters, but to keep the dream alive. Quoting NYT’s Brett Stephens, “What the far right calls “replacement” is better described as renewal.”

Replacement theory is just another time-tested, dishonest scare tactic to secure votes from people about whom they’ve never cared, for whom they haven’t had helpful policies for decades.

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Retired surgeon. Published author. Blogger. Columnist. Losing hope that American democracy can survive Republican attempts to end it.

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Sid Schwab

Sid Schwab

Retired surgeon. Published author. Blogger. Columnist. Losing hope that American democracy can survive Republican attempts to end it.

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