Everybody likes to think of themselves as brave. Right? I mean, some of us (raises hand) would fold quickly under torture; I don’t even like to watch it depicted in movies and TV, but my ego compels me to believe I’d do the right thing in a clutch situation, or even a non-clutch one.
Of course, I’ve never really been in one, so it’s all theoretical at this point.
Cowardice is the topic of the day. Let’s kick off with this great read on what happened when a man afraid of a black president prepared for the civil war he believed was coming. (Gift NYT link there. Let me know if anyone has trouble reading it.) It seems C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond, Ky. spent millions building his house, equipped with a literal bunker:
He had built the house in the Obama years, when he was convinced society was on the verge of collapse. Here his family could live in secluded comfort, and if the social fabric truly tore apart, as he expected it would, they could wait out the chaos in an abundantly stocked underground bunker. Now he couldn’t wait to be rid of it.
…On 200 acres of Kentucky meadow just outside of Richmond, his vision became a 14,300-square-foot reality. Nine bedrooms, three kitchens, a six-car garage, a steam room, a saltwater pool — the front entryway alone cost $75,000.
“My feelings were that we were going to have civil unrest because there was so much going on with Obama,” Mr. Morgan said. He believed that people were going to rise up against the attempts to overhaul health care and restrict guns, and that societal collapse would soon follow. He envisioned “roving bands of gangs” hunting for food and necessities in the aftermath. He bought riot gear, bulletproof vests and a small arsenal of firearms, so that “if you had to engage a band of marauders, you would have a chance to save your family.”
The roving bands of gangs didn’t show up, but one night a gunman did. What was he looking for? Dangerously mentally ill himself, he was looking for, well, a bunker:
(Morgan’s daughter), Jordan, 32, told her father she had come to feel unsafe at the house. In February of this year, she was hired by a law firm in Lexington and planned to move as soon as possible to an apartment in the city. “She must have sensed that she was being watched,” he said.
Someone had been watching, marking the house’s entry points and taking detailed notes on the family’s movements. Early on the morning of Feb. 22, prosecutors say, the watcher, Shannon V. Gilday, a 23-year-old former soldier who lived in the Cincinnati suburbs, climbed up to a second-floor balcony and began his attack.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, and I promise you it’s worth your time. One spoiler: This good guy with a gun grabbed one during the attack and emptied a 12-shot clip at the intruder. Missed every time.
After that, some comic relief, maybe? Here’s Haulin’ Josh Hawley, coward without peer, running away from danger, set to various theme music. Ha ha ha.
On to the Washington Post, who today published a piece on GOP candidates on the trail this campaign season, spreading dire portents to the faithful:
In both swing states and safe seats, many Republicans say that liberals hate them personally and may turn rioters or a police state on people who disobey them.
Referring to the coronavirus and 2020 protests over police brutality, Cox told supporters at a rally last month, “We were told 14 days to bend the curve, and yet antifa was allowed to burn our police cars in the streets.” He continued: “Do you really think, with what we’re seeing — with the riots that have happened — that we should not have something to defend our families with? This is why we have the Second Amendment.”
One example of a typical ad, from close to (my) home:
In northwest Ohio, a campaign video for Republican congressional nominee J.R. Majewski shows him walking through a dilapidated factory, holding a semiautomatic weapon, warning that Democrats will “destroy our economy” with purposefully bad policies.
I’m pretty sure I heard a radio ad for that guy when I was traveling last winter. He mentioned Trump about a million times in 30 seconds, and signed off with, “Let’s go Brandon!” I don’t know where he found that factory. Maybe it was Ohio Art in Bryan, where Alan worked for about a week during college; they sent Etch-a-Sketch production to China years ago. Democrats had nothing to do with it. Note the lead-in to that story: “The University of California Berkley uses Etch A Sketch as an exampleof the devastating effect of outsourcing and the New York Times ran a 2003 expose on the inhumane conditions at the factory where the Etch A Sketches were made near Shenzhen.” It so happens inhumane conditions were exactly why Alan lasted only a week; the tolulene fumes in that place made him dizzy and his dad told him it wasn’t worth it.
One more snippet from that Post story:
Rick Shaftan, a conservative strategist working with Republican challengers this cycle, said that the party’s voters were nervously watching crime rates in the cities, asking whether public safety was being degraded on purpose. He also pointed to government responses to the pandemic as a reason that those voters, and their candidates, were nervous.
Urban crime. Good lord. While it is absolutely true that violent crime has risen lately, it’s equally true that with rare exceptions, crime is still a matter of who you associate with and where you live. Whereas conservatives’ favorite violent crime, mass shootings, can find you anywhere. Church, school, the grocery store.
Paul Krugman had some thoughts on this, via Twitter. (J.C. said Twitter embeds may have been the cause of the loading problems some of you had a couple weeks ago, so just a link, sorry.) But this is, to my mind, the best of the thread:
I’ve believed this for years, that rural and small-town residents are the ones most out of touch. The people I know in cities travel whenever they can, read books not written by Sarah Palin and know way more about the farm economy than their counterparts in the boondocks know about how cities work. But never mind that.
So that’s how we start our (blessedly cooler) week ahead, then: Thinking about cowards. Hope yours is great. (Your week, not the nearest coward.)