Perhaps there have always been insane people among the far right elements of society and it is only because of today's 24/7 media cycle that they seem much more prevalent. Or, instead, they are more numerous because of the constant bellowing of Christofascists and the GOP's years of using dog whistle racism and talk of conspiracies to deprive 2nd Amendment nuts of their weapons. Whatever the cause, I find it difficult to even comprehend the mindset of these folks, especially the "patriots" and survivalists. The Washington Post has a lengthy piece on these folks who are moving to parts of the Pacific Northwest - eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, Idaho and Montana - to arm themselves and prepare themselves an expected Armageddon. While the article doesn't outright say it, I suspect that racism and white supremacy is a strong driving motivation given that the "Redoubt" as they call it, is mostly lily white and they talk about their "strong Christian beliefs." The latter, in my view, increasingly meaning that they are right wing Christian racists. Here are some article highlights:
Don and Jonna Bradway recently cashed out of the stock market and invested in gold and silver. They have stockpiled food and ammunition in the event of a total economic collapse or some other calamity commonly known around here as “The End of the World As We Know It” or “SHTF” — the day something hits the fan.
The Bradways fled California, a state they said is run by “leftists and non-Constitutionalists and anti-freedom people,” and settled on several wooded acres of north Idaho five years ago. They live among like-minded conservative neighbors, host Monday night Bible study around their fire pit, hike in the mountains and fish from their boat. They melt lead to make their own bullets for sport shooting and hunting — or to defend themselves against marauders in a world-ending cataclysm.
The Bradways are among the vanguard moving to an area of the Pacific Northwest known as the American Redoubt, a term coined in 2011 by survivalist author and blogger James Wesley, Rawles (the comma is deliberate) to describe a settlement of the God-fearing in a lightly populated territory that includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the eastern parts of Washington and Oregon.
They are anxious about recent terrorist attacks from Paris to San Bernardino, Calif., to Orlando; pandemics such as Ebola in West Africa; potential nuclear attacks from increasingly provocative countries such as North Korea or Iran; and the growing political, economic and racial polarization in the United States that has deepened during the 2016 presidential election.
The locals regard the newest transplants as benign if odd, several said in interviews. “The mainstream folks kind of roll their eyes,” said state Sen. Shawn Keough, a 20-year veteran Republican legislator who represents north Idaho.
Much of the Redoubt migration is motivated by fears that President Obama — and his potential successor, Hillary Clinton — want to scrap the Second Amendment, as part of what transplants see as a dangerous and anti-constitutionalist movement toward government that is too intrusive and hostile to personal liberties.
“The bottom line is that our clients are tired of living around folks that have no moral values,” Savage said. “They choose to flee tyranny and leave behind all the attributes of the big city that have turned them away.”
Savage spoke as he drove his Chevrolet Suburban with an AR-15 rifle tucked next to the driver’s seat, a handgun between the front seats, and body armor and more than 200 rounds of extra ammunition in the back — along with a chain saw to move fallen trees and two medical kits, just in case.
Treller, a sommelier at a local resort, said Obama was a key factor in his decision. He said the president has inflamed racial tensions in America, presided over a dangerous expansion of the national debt, been “hostile” to Second Amendment rights and failed to curtail the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran.
Treller said he settled on Coeur d’Alene after scouring city-data.com, a website where he looked for his ideal mix: conservative election results, low crime rates, solid incomes, low population density, affordable house prices — and few illegal immigrants, because he said they erode “American culture.”
Idaho is about 83 percent white, and its three northernmost counties are more than 90 percent white, according to Census Bureau data. Those interviewed in the American Redoubt insisted they are not trying to segregate themselves by race. And while the Aryan Nations white supremacist group was headquartered near Hayden Lake in the 1980s and 1990s, Rawles has described the Redoubt movement as “anti-racist” and said like-minded folks of all races are welcome.
Several locals did express unease about their new ammo-stockpiling neighbors. “I don’t have a problem with preppers, but it’s the extremists people don’t want around — the fringe, the radicals. That’s the concern I hear from people,” said Mike Peterson, a real estate agent in Bonners Ferry and retired Los Angeles firefighter and EMT.
Reach your own conclusions, but I think these people are nuts!Keough, the state senator, recently fought off a tough GOP primary challenge in which she was labeled a “progressive traitor” by Alex Barron, a blogger who calls himself the Bard of the American Redoubt.