The most obvious proximal cause

Dear President Trump,

Some days I can type the standard greeting to you pretty much on autopilot; today is not one of those days. I am not, however, seriously tempted to replace it with something nasty or accusatory since I’m doing my best to channel my inner Michelle Obama and thus working at going high when you and your props go low. So at least for today, I will still afford you a polite “Dear,” respect for the office of President, and the dignity of your name even though I really want to shake you and dump you right out of that office onto your ass.

Onto the other shit we are all contending with… It’s all of a piece, isn’t it? The mass shootings, the racism, the xenophobia, the misogyny, the shredding of safety nets, the income inequality, the unconscionable number of guns in circulation, the active efforts to f*ck with the planet – it locks in together to siphon maximum amounts of money up the chain faster than any of us can really grasp so that power is consolidated in the hands of a tiny few white men. And you are their linchpin, aren’t you? (I had to look up “linchpin” to make sure I was using it correctly and learned that it is not spelled “lynchpin” as I originally thought, which is unfortunate because it would’ve fit even better given that you are you.)

Actually, it probably didn’t have to be you, but you’ve outdone yourself and I’m guessing you’ve succeeded beyond the cabal’s wildest dreams. You’re an A-1 superstar when it comes to inciting violence and doing it with enough plausible deniability that your base can look each other and their children in the eyes and say “nah uh, he isn’t a racist – did he tell that boy to go shoot up Mexicans at that Walmart? No sir, he did not!” And you are the man when it comes to blasting uppity women, which has been quite handy to rope in the incel boys who feel wronged by women at large. Just stoke those racist and sexist grievances a tiny bit, blowing ever so lightly on the coals, and voila!, you’ve got yourself some handy stochastic terrorism. We don’t know yet what Connor Betts’ motive was for killing 9 people, including his sister, and wounding 27 others, but there’s some very scary stuff in his history that suggests he wouldn’t have needed much fuel from a misogynistic, racist (he was apparently following the El Paso massacre closely) president to spark a rampage.

So what is stochastic terrorism and why is it handy for keeping the money churning up into the stratosphere? Here’s the definition:

“The public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.”

So basically, if you scatter enough venomous seeds and water them periodically, some of them will sprout. We can’t know exactly how long it will take or which ones will pop, but sometime, somewhere, one or more of them will erupt. And wreak havoc. And people will die.

To be honest, though, I don’t really know exactly why stochastic terrorism helps keep the money concentrated with the ultra wealthy. I’m just a random middle-aged white woman who hasn’t studied this stuff, but my gut tells me there’s a connection so I will spin out a hypothesis. There’s the obvious deal where gun rights enthusiasts, the industry, and their lobbyists and political props always advocate the purchase of more guns in the wake of domestic terrorism (which makes them all more money), using the idiotic logic that we just need more “good guys” with guns to take out the bad guys with guns, never mind that bullets rarely go exactly where they are supposed to in chaotic situations.

But this is small potatoes compared with the other part of the deal, which is that if whoever (you) is keeping those stochastic terrorism coals red hot, plays it right, he (you) can keep people frightened enough to desperately want a protector, a role he (you) is only too happy to play. And if he (you) can keep them raging, some of them will do his dirty work for him(you) and enough of them will believe that people of color and immigrants are to blame even if it’s only white men who are US citizens doing the terrorizing. The way this bit keeps the money pumping upstream is that enough people in enough critical (and gerrymandered) districts will vote for him (you) and his (your) props so that with just the smallest assist from a hostile foreign government, he (you) can maintain power and thus access to the money tree. I’m sure there’s way more to all this, but right now, this is what I’ve got.

Laura told me there was an announcement on Twitter that you’d deleted all your Tweets calling asylum seekers “invaders.” I’m not sure what you think doing this will accomplish – maybe it’s a way to further manipulate your base into thinking you are a good guy who wouldn’t ever want your words to be taken wrong by the sickos out there. Well, you can delete evil Tweets until hell freezes over and you will not really fool anyone. Your base may fall all over themselves in delusional relief when you make such gestures, but they know in their hearts that you are f*cking with us all and you are the most obvious proximal cause for this horrific escalation of violence.

May we all be safe from you, our president.
May we follow Beto’s lead and call out the media when they ask stupid, obvious questions about you.
May we speak up as he did tonight about the fact that you are dangerous.
May we all accept that we cannot wait until January 2021 for you to leave office.

Tracy Simpson

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