Terrorism

When Two Tribes Go to War

The paranoia of Charles Pierce

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Speaking of fear and violenceEsquire's Charles Pierce is warning readers about "a seemingly never-ending run of domestic terrorism in this country." (His first example: a plot that his own source blames on government infiltrators.) I enjoy Pierce's apocalyptic style when he's writing about, say, Levon Helm, but this time…well, just read this argument:

Hold on, I feel another thought coming on.

There is a lot of talk these days about how the country is "polarized," as though we are simply in a period in which we all just really disagree with each other on most of the vital issues of the day. This is an oddly comforting formulation, because we all know that periods of polarization pass, and that, somewhere out there is a consensus within which we all eventually will abide. I think it's much more serious than that. I think it's much more serious even than calling our divisions "tribalist," which seems to be the adjective du jour these days. I think we are looking at an 1850's of the political mind. I think we are two countries, each with its own history, and laws, and language, and religion, and their own mass media to amplify all those things. But only one of these two countries of the mind is tightly organized and capable of moving as a single unit. I think things like the sovereign-citizens movement are merely a particularly vivid example of this.

Got that? The sovereign citizens aren't just a nutty subculture with a penchant for shooting cops who try to arrest them. They're a "vivid example" of a "tightly organized" force that encompasses roughly half the country and is "capable of moving as a single unit." Talk about paranoia.

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  1. You know who else was a “tightly organized” group “capable of moving as a single unit.” …

    1. Any group of kids trying to play in our backyard while our Australian shepherd is back there?

      1. That is awesome.

      2. We used to have a collie that loved to play outside with the neighborhood kids, which inevitably ended up with the kids being herded into a tight circle in the center of the yard. Would have made a great youtube video if there was such a thing back then.

        1. I was over my sister’s farm yesterday when their black lab chased crows trying to land. It was an awesome spectacle and amazing timing on the lab’s part.

          1. I was napping on my balcony one afternoon when there was a brief commotion and I look up to find my pug had captured one of the birds that had been eating birdseed that had fallen on the floor. He tore that thing apart and devoured it alive in about 3 minutes.

            Take that, hunting dogs!

            1. Poor bird. I hope a raptor picks his pug ass up and carries him off for lunch some day.

    2. The US olympic synchornized simming team?

    3. THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS?

  2. Also, JEEBUS I love when the paranoids utterly miss the real threats, foreign and domestic.

    Charles – THE CALL WAS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!

    Dumbass.

  3. Liberals like Pierce still have not been able to process 9-11. They cannot accept the idea that a preferred minority group could ever be a threat to this country. Yet, they refuse to argue that terrorism is not a threat. So they project all of the neurosis and fear of terrorism onto their political enemies.

    Then you combine this with their own violent urges. People like Pierce I think really do fantasize about a civil war and finally being able to kill their enemies. But they are not honest enough to admit this. So instead they pretend that it is the other side that is violent. That way their violent fantasies are just self defense.

    These people need help.

    1. People like Pierce I think really do fantasize about a civil war and finally being able to kill their enemies. But they are not honest enough to admit this.

      Usually. Sometimes the mask slips, though.

      1. Nerds like Pierce think that real life is just like the movies and comic books–that some white knight or deus ex machina comes in to save their civilization. Where is the Glorious Progressive Utopia going to get the firepower, manpower, and training to win this civil war he seems resigned to occur? Most liberals think guns are icky and have the combat and personal survival skills of a snowball in hell. These are people who think eating staples like beans and rice every night is evidence that they are malnourished.

        Furthermore, short of drafting immigrants at the Rio Grande the way they did in the northeast during the Civil War, there’s no levee en masse for them to throw the waves of manpower required to overwhelm the opposition.

        I’m not so sure a Civil War Redux would turn out quite the way Pierce and his Left-Wing Nerd Squad expects it to.

        1. It wouldn’t turn out like many gunshow commandos fantasize, either.

          Some of those guys expect a glorious standup fight where they can plink from 300 meters at mobs of FUBU/Berkenstock wearing foes who pretty much just take it.

          IMHO, it would be a lot more like Al Anbar in 2006 or Sarajevo in the 90s. Belfast, maybe, if we’re lucky.

          1. This is the comment that reveals Pierce’s lack of self-reflection:


            There is already a civil war raging between us in the way we think about our country and ourselves. It is time to find a peaceful spot by the river and sue for decent terms.

            Gee, Chuck, you mean 100 years of Progressives pushing economic and then cultural marxism onto a largely homogenous society, with an established set of cultural norms that emphasized communitarian ideals, would result in a breakdown of social stability and undermine common trust bonds? Who could have seen that coming?

  4. I have eaten sandwiches with better sentence structure.

  5. I would like a person of a higher intelligence than myself and with more knowledge of American history to tell me when we haven’t been a polarized country…

    1. The 1860s. Everyone was getting healthy exercise and firearms training in the good outdoors, visiting and learning about other parts of the country.

    2. Well, there was…..Umm, there was during the war, if you don’t count the Tories…then there was during the Constitutional Convention, except for the Anti-Federalist…The Civil…Wait, was there a significant anti-war movement during WWII?

      1. Nope. Kind of hard to be antiwar when the one enemy bombed you in a sneak attack and the other declared war first.

        FDR’s tactic of doing everything he could to provoke the Axis in 1939 and 1940 was forgotten. What a Machiavellian bastard that guy was.

    3. Moridin| 8.22.12 @ 12:47PM |#

      I would like a person of a higher intelligence than myself and with more knowledge of American history to tell me when we haven’t been a polarized country…

      Ray-Bans were not invented until 1936

  6. This is an oddly comforting formulation, because we all know that periods of polarization pass, and that, somewhere out there is a consensus within which we all eventually will abide.

    Still waiting for the Shia-Sunni, Muslim-Hindu, Han-Uyghur, Catholic-Protestant, Bosnian-Serbian(insert further examples of centuries old religious, political, ethnic antagonism), to reach a consensus by which they will abide.

    Comedy gold this guy.

    1. Not to mention Oklahoma/Texas, Ohio State/Michigan, Duke/North Carolina, Notre Dame/everyone else….etc

  7. For some odd reason, this weirdo even writes for Bill Simmons’ Grantland sports website. Kind of like Dave Zirin, his sports articles are largely just another vehicle to express his extreme left-wingism. Just a relentlessly tedious and annoying shitheel.

  8. Charles Pierce seems more a coward than a paranoiac. He’s likely also a hypocrite: Did he find the civil disobedience of the OWS crowd equally disturbing?

    Self-sovereignty is our natural condition; citizenship is man made.

    http://whatdirectdemocracymigh…..democracy/

    1. Daryl Davis| 8.22.12 @ 2:08PM |#

      …Did he find the civil disobedience of the OWS crowd equally disturbing?

      *Disturbing*??

      That was an exercise in healthy political debate! That was ther greatness of our democracy at work! Thats was a celebration of American diversity and resiliance and an inspiration to the youth of America that change is possible!

      Not like those insane racist goddamn racist tea party fanatics! Those people are polarized like a motherfucker.

  9. …which seems to be the adjective du jour these days.

    Ya think he knows what du jour means?

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