After a far-left Bernie volunteer became radicalized by the media's Russia narrative, and emboldened by the growing Deep State coup to topple the winner of a free and fair election, he went hunting "Republicans" and opened fire on GOP Congressmen who were playing baseball.
This officially makes the conflict in this country into a collective war between groups, and not just individuals. Those who were shot today were not targeted on an individual basis -- for their particular voting record, their personal background, or their specific nuanced views. They were targeted broadly for being members of a group -- "the Republicans". Any member of that group was on the shooter's radar, and any dead Republican would have satisfied his desire for blood.
Officially, there are no longer distinct individual Republicans -- there are only interchangeable, faceless members of the overall group. You may not believe that -- but if the enemy believes that way, and acts accordingly, then you cannot avoid being targeted simply because "I'm not one of those kind of Republicans". If you are even tangentially Republican -- like me, who last voted in 2000 for Ralph Nader -- you are in their cross-hairs. They do not care about what subtle flavors "Republicans" or "Trump voters" come in.
The response to minimize the growing political violence must acknowledge the collective nature of the conflict (targets chosen as interchangeable members of a group), or it will fail, and the violence will only worsen.
So, there can be no appeals to "We're all Americans" -- no we are not. We are divided very sharply into groups, and one of those groups, the Left, has become so radicalized that they have declared open season on collective assassination of their enemy, the Right -- first on people's character ("all Trump voters are ____"), and now on their personal safety.
Sure, hashtag "Not all Leftists" and "Not all Bernie supporters" and "Not all Democrats" and "Not all liberals" are radicalized to the degree that they will open fire on what they feel to be faceless interchangeable members of the enemy group. But they are the group with that problem within it, they are the group with the problem of its members supporting the Deep State coup, and they are the group that is perpetuating the Russia witch hunt.
We will not try to treat the problem of generic "radicalization" or "political extremism," since the Right is not guilty of it. We will focus only on Leftist radicalization, Leftist extremism, Leftist witch hunts, and Leftist hysteria. Even if some on the Right retaliate, that is qualitatively the opposite phenomenon -- seeking to quell violence by nipping it in the bud, rather than instigating it first and launching pre-emptive strikes.
We cannot play by honest rules if the enemy will not show us the same respect. If they treat us all as interchangeable faceless members of some group, then we must treat them the same way, while acknowledging that it's regrettable, and that we will stop treating them as a faceless collective only after their side stops treating us violently as a faceless collective. They can demonstrate good faith for healing by joining us to neuter the extremists on their side. If they refuse to root out their problem individuals, they prove that they value loyalty to their group above societal cohesion, and they cannot be trusted as allies.
As we enter a new openly collective phase in political conflict, not seen since 1970 or 1920 before that, we ought to strategize about how to shut down the other side as an entire group, before the violence really gets out of hand. This is both how to interact with other people, and how to pressure the government, media, corporations, etc., at the elite level.
First, we must quickly shut down the Russia witch hunt ("probe"). Attorney General Sessions must rescind his recusal, fire the Special Counsel, declare the probe a baseless attempt to over-turn the results of a free and fair election, and block any future attempts to remove the President by anti-democratic witch hunt means.
Suspend the broadcast licenses (and other licenses and privileges for other types of media) of those outlets that have been promoting the Russia witch hunt. Give the country a cooling-off period of at least six months, free from the constant fanning of flames by the media. If they offend again after given the chance to resume their activities, permanently end their licenses. CNN and MSNBC, New York Times and Washington Post, ought to be first.
One of the major determinants of a successful coup is control over the media, and we cannot allow the coup plotters to use that weapon against Republicans / Trump voters. Fanning the violent flames of an anti-democratic coup is not "expression" -- it has proven itself to be a clear and present danger to the collective security of one-half of the American people (and more than one-half of Congressmen and Senators).
The DoJ must identify anyone affiliated with violent Leftist groups like Antifa and arrest them and hold them temporarily for the cooling-off period. They have already proven to be capable of collective violence against their political enemy group, so they are the first natural perpetrators of any would-be surge in violence. Pre-empt them.
The DoJ must also investigate the links between Antifa type groups and the Deep State, whose policies they closely align with. It certainly appears as though Deep State has infiltrated these groups and used them for their own goals -- attacking Trump supporters en masse in public. The findings must be made public to de-legitimize the appeal of Antifa among the liberal audience ("just CIA plants"), and offenders prosecuted on both the Antifa side and the Deep State side. Otherwise the CIA and other agencies will continue to co-opt these groups for their own anti-democratic purposes, to overthrow the Trump election.
The Treasury Dept, or whoever else, must block or freeze the financing of the relevant groups -- both the violent activists like Antifa, but also the Soros-funded propaganda organs like Media Matters, and other David Brock-run propaganda.
As for protests on social media or in real life, the DoJ must enforce anti-sedition laws. Participants can advocate for some cause -- single-payer healthcare, no war in the Middle East -- or for electing one politician over another, but they cannot call for the over-throw of the freely and fairly elected government just because they don't like the results, whether stated directly or indirectly. Democracy cannot tolerate anti-democratic agitation.
That is all how to deal with the enemy group. What about our group?
We must emphasize to any and all Republicans, Trump voters, conservatives, etc., that they are being targeted as interchangeable members of a faceless collective, and that the enemy therefore does not care who you are as an individual. "But I'm not a Trump supporting Republican" -- too bad, that far-Left assassin does not care, you are guilty simply for being a Republican. This will boost our numbers and increase our cohesion, so that we can act forcefully as a group, rather than be divided and conquered because each individual is trying to convince the enemy group "But I'm not one of the people you're looking for" -- yes you are.
We should also constantly demand Democrats, liberals, and Bernie or Hillary supporters that they disavow, shun, and punish the offenders. Best-case scenario: their side becomes fractured and ineffective. Worst-case: the milquetoast liberals join the radicals, AKA the status quo.
The President should deliver a primetime address that specifically mentions the collective nature of the violence -- on Republicans or Trump voters, not on any old "Americans". He should call on the Left to disavow, shun, and punish the violent radicals within their ranks if they want to be taken seriously and treated fairly. He can explain how the pause of propaganda from MSNBC / NYT is to prevent further violent radicalization of the Left, a regrettable necessity since "not all Democrats" are going to turn violent, but that is the only surefire way to keep the nation from exploding into group vs. group warfare. Agitation for sedition is not editorial expression.
The President should also seize the opportunity to clean house within the White House. Reince Priebus is a weak Trump-hating Establishment shill who has allowed the enemy to grow in intensity and brazenness, by preventing Trump supporters from getting hired, and by appointing so many Never-Trumpers into the administration. That only pours blood into the water for the coup plotters. Replace him with a hard-nosed loyalist like Newt Gingrich, who has more experience and connections inside-the-Beltway anyway.
Replace everyone on the weak, reactive, self-focused communications team with brutal vicious killers who are going to stand up for the administration rather than trying to curry favor with Democrats and the media. People who do not care how much the media slanders them, and who will therefore be immune to peer pressure by coup plotters and flame-fanners.
And end the daily press briefings, which are nothing more than a tribunal against the administration by unelected witch hunters. Do not cede them the authority to interrogate and deliver sentences against the administration, as though they were prosecutors, judges, and executioners.
Lastly, the Congress must drop its standard cuckservative agenda and re-orient toward law-and-order. Nobody ever did care about restoring corporate rape to the healthcare sector or passing tax cuts for the rich -- and now they really do not care. We want an immediate crackdown on the lawlessness pervading our entire society that threatens to blow the whole thing up for good -- an explosion that now includes the Republican Congressmen as targets, who used to think they were nice and insulated, but now see that it is open season on them, too, and not just the Trump supporters who got mobbed outside of Trump rallies.
If they are going to pursue anything else in the next year or two, it must be populist rather than elitist. Number one, because that's what Trump got elected to pursue, and number two, because that will de-fang the far-Left that bases much of its appeal on being against the plutocrat elitists, who they associate with the Republicans -- as though the Democrats were not already the Wall Street party.
The worst thing that the GOP can do is try to spin the attack as a populist citizen against an elite politician, trying to make common cause with other elite politicians on the Democrat side, and painting the assassin as scarcely different from a rabble-rousing Trump voter. Remember that the enemy sees things in partisan terms, and they are out to get Republicans, not elites in general (they will spare Chuck Schumer and other elite Democrats who are controlled by Wall Street).
The moment that the Republican Establishment makes overtures to the Democrat Establishment about "protecting all of us in government against violent citizens," that will concede defeat in the minds of the far-Left partisans, who will really start to ramp up their attacks on Republicans as a whole. They do not want a truce, but the total annihilation of "Republicans" as an entire group.
It was wrong for Trump supporters to blithely dismiss the Russia witch hunt, on the view that it would only further discredit the Democrats and make them lose elections even harder. It will have that effect -- but it will also fan the flames of increasingly violent collective conflict orchestrated by the Left. It's no longer a laughing matter, and the Resistance witch hunt must be shut down entirely as soon as possible. Otherwise we will experience a replay of the anarchic collective violence of 1970 and 1920.
We do not need to fundamentally and permanently alter our institutions -- we only need to pause what we're doing wrong until the conflict burns out. Letting the Left and the Deep State agitate for overthrow of the freely and fairly elected government is absolute suicide for democracy, and nipping it in the bud requires no tolerance whatsoever for the coup plotters. The group that is more cohesive and zealous will win.