The rage that would secede from itself

Pittsburgh

Unauthorized violence

Downtown Pittsburgh has never really recovered from the COVID-19 lockdown. I’ve heard from passengers that the streets had been taken over by “drug abusers” and I’m seeing, generally, more homeless around Pittsburgh than ever before, including in downtown. I hadn’t heard much particularly about violence there and, unfortunately, the WPXI story offers little insight.[1]

But it’s becoming clear that the problem of violence in Pittsburgh is by no means limited to a few neighborhoods. Pittsburgh is paying a price for statewide gun nuttery, a nuttery as intense here as anywhere in the country.

Nicole Ford, “Downtown Pittsburgh businesses impacted by escalating violence on Liberty Avenue,” WPXI, June 20, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/downtown-pittsburgh-businesses-impacted-by-escalating-violence-liberty-avenue/LDCTLH3PTZAELKMVLFRGNL4BOQ/


White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)

When I was defending my dissertation, sensing the rage of authoritarian populism, I predicted that Donald Trump would win the White House in 2016.

As Trump kept spiraling ever downwards in his rhetoric, being offensive toward more and more people, I walked back that prediction. When he won anyway, I figured that some way, somehow, he wouldn’t finish his term. He did and I came to understand him as a sort of black hole, sucking the country ever deeper towards a bottomless gravity well of grievance and hatred.

We know now that, far from feeling ignominy in his 2020 defeat, he claims fraud, that his backers are preparing to ensure they never again lose an election, and that if Trump is able, he will surely run to resume the presidency in 2024.[2]

And if you want a sense of what is now a white Christian nationalist[3] rage, take a look at the Texas Republican platform.[4] Even as they are about to win control of the entire country,[5] and to impose white Christian nationalism on all of us,[6] they’re talking about secession[7] from a country that, in large swaths, mostly shares their values, but mostly in urban areas, often does not.

This is madness. It is also fury. Fury that remains undiminished as it has been for a thousand years.[8]

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Dana Milbank, “Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance,” Washington Post, June 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/20/texas-gop-platform-secession-theocracy/

Alex Shephard, “The Democrats Are Fools for Boosting Trumpist Republicans,” New Republic, June 21, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166852/pelosi-boosting-mastriano-lori-saine


Right-wing dictatorship project

Michael Tomasky, “The Founders Feared a Tyranny of the Majority, but What We Have Is a Tyranny of a Fanatical Minority,” New Republic, June 20, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166848/gop-minority-rule-gun-safety


Gun nuttery

Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession

Michael Tomasky, “The Founders Feared a Tyranny of the Majority, but What We Have Is a Tyranny of a Fanatical Minority,” New Republic, June 20, 2022, https://newrepublic.com/article/166848/gop-minority-rule-gun-safety


  1. [1]Nicole Ford, “Downtown Pittsburgh businesses impacted by escalating violence on Liberty Avenue,” WPXI, June 20, 2022, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/downtown-pittsburgh-businesses-impacted-by-escalating-violence-liberty-avenue/LDCTLH3PTZAELKMVLFRGNL4BOQ/
  2. [2]Tina Nguyen, “To Be or Not to Be: Trump’s Big 2024 Question,” Puck News, September 13, 2021, https://puck.news/trumps-2024-question/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, June 20, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  4. [4]Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession; Dana Milbank, “Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance,” Washington Post, June 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/20/texas-gop-platform-secession-theocracy/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, June 20, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Start changing the border signs: ‘Welcome to Gilead,’” Not Housebroken, June 18, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/18/start-changing-the-border-signs-welcome-to-gilead/
  7. [7]Bill Chappell, “Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win. It also calls for secession,” National Public Radio, June 20, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/20/1106229988/texas-gops-new-platform-says-biden-didnt-really-win-it-also-calls-for-secession; Dana Milbank, “Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance,” Washington Post, June 20, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/20/texas-gop-platform-secession-theocracy/
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Barack Obama asks, ‘Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?’” Not Housebroken, November 4, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/11/04/barack-obama-asks-why-is-it-that-the-folks-that-won-the-last-election-are-so-mad-all-the-time/

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