F-35 fighters over Texas. Because they were built there.
The Boston Globe
went to Texas to find out why a large segment of the American population has gone insane, or more specifically, why they are convinced that a military training exercise named Jade Helm
is in fact an Obama plot to take over Texas and put his enemies, by which we mean a scattered passel of rural Texas lunatics, into camps. For some reason.
The short and almost depressingly obvious answer is because Obama.
Interviews with residents of this community illuminate the distrust that has developed across deeply conservative America — fueled by anger at the White House and Congress and a sense among many that the federal government is no longer on the side of the people it is dedicated to serve.
Which, I suppose, is a given. If you're the sort of rube who is so hostile to the first black president that you're already willing to believe he's a secret Kenyan, or Muslim, or any of the other things that even sitting congressmen were willing to pipe up with then believing he's going to use his secret Muslim powers to brainwash the military into invading Texas is not much of a step. I wish, however, we put more emphasis on pointing out that people who believe these things are not "conservatives" or "patriots" or any of the other things they wish to be called. They're mostly just deeply stupid.
“What comes home in the conservative consciousness is: The government is hostile to me,” [Bastrop County GOP chair so-and-so] said. “And if he’s already unleashed the IRS on us, is it a big leap to think he’d unleash the military?”
Yes, actually, it is a very big leap—even if you have convinced yourself of the hostile
parts, "and now the military is going to invade Texas" is indeed a leap. It speaks to the mind-set, though; this other fellow is my enemy. Therefore, he is conspiring against me and doing illegal things, and about to do not just illegal things but nation-shatteringly loopy things. Because I am freedomz, and he is not.
It's particularly interesting that this national conviction among conservatives that they are being terribly oppressed comes immediately after a period of wartime rhetoric in which non-conservatives were, literally, called traitors to the country; one change of presidents later and the Texas governor makes noises about his state leaving the country altogether if that same can-do-no-wrong government starts doing things he isn't fond of. These people don't do nuance. When they are in power they proclaim themselves the only true Americans; when they lose an election they are convinced it is precursor to America collapsing entirely.
Head below the fold for more on this story.
“I don’t know that I would say this is the big one where they sneak in under the guise of a training exercise and clamp down on civil liberties in Texas. It’s too early for that,” [some other Texas shouter] said. “But it’s conditioning. It’s getting people accustomed to having heavily armed, camouflaged soldiers on the city streets, ranches, farms, public roads.”
A question: do you suppose our patriot here gave two shits when armored vehicles rolled into Ferguson, Missouri, or when the streets there were patrolled by officers in (inexplicable) camouflage gear? Or did he take a sip of beer and mutter about damn time
at his television set?
You can talk all you want about the conservative inability to empathize with any individual who is not them or someone they personally know, but note that protesters of government policies (against war, against militarization of law enforcement, even against the increased power of Wall Street firms over the government) have been getting teargassed for a very long time now by men in scary uniforms. This braveheart reads in the paper that a military convoy might be driving through town on their way to somewhere else and he's ready to Red Dawn himself right out of his pants.
Again, we have to come to an understanding, here. We are talking about people who are both deeply stupid and feel unambiguously entitled to things. The government's only valid purpose is to give them things—them, mind you, and nobody else—and everything else is tyranny.
Nearly four years ago, when Texas wildfires swept through this area, [actual veteran so-and-so's] home burned down (the only things he saved, he said, were his guns, his son, and his dog). The Federal Emergency Management Agency wrote him a check for $30,200 to help him rebuild and gave him a trailer to live in while he got back on his feet.
But after FEMA forced him to leave the trailer after 11 months, he was infuriated.
What did this fellow learn from this? He learned that FEMA was super-efficient at putting people into trailers. That's the thing he took away from his experience.
[H]e doesn’t doubt that the agency could build camps to house dissidents, if it came to that.
“I can see how a FEMA camp can be done like that,” he said, snapping his fingers. “It doesn’t take much to round people up.”
Mind you, I think we should be careful of presuming that America's stupid people are getting dumber. It is far more likely (see: Alex Jones) that they are just getting louder.