Could Happen in Maine
“Could it happen in Maine?” was the query heard at the coffee counter. I took my regular black java to my car with that question echoing in my mind. Having pondered it a bit and done some poking around on the Internet, I’m afraid I have to report my answer now is “yes, it certainly can.”
I say that with great sadness and a measure of anxiety. Here’s why.
First, Maine is not all that different from other states in that we get much of the same media as most other states do. Therein lies the biggest factor of all those upon which my answer is based.
We hear apologists say things about Arizona like: “the shooter was so deranged that there’s no way to tell where he got the idea,” or “that guy was such a wacko he wouldn’t know politics if it bit him.” That’s just flat wrong. We can safely say that mentally “sane” or not, his writings and blogs, his choices as to the event, targets, and weaponry all demonstrate his ability to design a plan and execute it effectively.
Taking it a bit further, I’d say that it’s not likely that he’s uniquely vulnerable, nor that he’d be so motivated only from his exposure to Hate Radio and TV. Likely he’s had a steady diet of hate mongering and lies from whomever he hangs around with. We sometimes catch snippets of it at the coffee counter, on the job, at the bar, and at some organizational meetings: “ ... they’re crazy! " ... they’re trying to destroy our Republic!” "... oh yea if ballots fail bullets will work” "... wouldn't be surprised to see armed revolt -- right here,” etc. Living on a restricted diet of that kind has deadly impact, as propagandists, political indoctrinators and certain talk show hosts have known for many, many years. Famous ones abound in history. Goebbels, for instance, said: “he who owns history, owns the future,” meaning of course: ‘control what people believe about their history and you can control their future.’
And so I’m afraid we must face the potential for that kind of deception and hate to erupt right here in Maine and in fact, pretty much anywhere in our America today; that is, so long as we’re all willing to tolerate it. What are you going to do about it?