In a few recent posts I took a dim view of this pretty prevalent mind-set in the online prepper community about weeding out the “undesirables” among friends, family, acquaintances and figuring out who are the people you are going to help and trust in a crisis or SHTF emergency. I like Sensible Prepper’s channel and even he had some suggestions about putting together a group of like-minded people – like interview carefully if you’re putting together a group that’s going to form up when SHTF. This weeding out undesirables and finding “like-minded” people was like a warning light going off in my head.
This very same idea has been circulating among the right-wing echo-chamber for years and it’s one of the worst ideas for Americans to embrace. I remembered writing about an effort that some grifter was selling on Glenn Beck’s show back in 2013. That man was selling his oasis of liberty as some community they were setting up in Idaho that was ostensibly based on finding people united by their belief in patriotism, liberty, pride in American exceptionalism and preparedness. Beck gave this con man a platform on his show, despite knowing this man had a criminal record for extortion and this oasis in Idaho existed only on a website – the planners didn’t even have property in Idaho. They were carefully selecting residents for their new community, The Citadel, on Skype interviews and then collecting an application fee, plus $50 a month to raise money to buy property. The most perfect con was this guy was playing conservatives dangling that this new vetted community was going to set up a firearms factory as a means for the community to generate jobs and income.
George Washington is my favorite founding father. Beck, like most of these right-wing media talking heads, has gotten rich playing to our conservative values, patriotism, and even more to right-wing Americans’ fears of the left’s culture war for decades and yes, I have been alarmed about the left’s culture war my entire adult life too. After that show I stopped subscribing to Beck’s online show and I began to be much more questioning about what exactly these big right-wing personalities are selling, but since I hate to part with books, I still have my copy of Beck’s “Being George Washington.”
I had been listening to Rush Limbaugh from the early 90s. I had agreed with many of the ideas the Tea Party was promoting and as right-wing media started elevating a growing crowd of “celebrities” I listened to them and too uncritically bought into a lot of the ideas they were selling, because we’ve been trained to buy into the red vs. blue politics in America and if you’re conservative, so much of the liberal agenda is an affront to all the values you hold dear. Here’s the hard truth – much of the right-wing media echo-chamber is just a huge grift – selling merchandise, books, the big shows, like O’Reilly and Beck used to do and now Trump has turned his “rallies” into his trademark. For the record, I voted for Trump in 2020, out of complete dread of Democrats controlling Congress and the White House, even though I believe he’s a total con man and was just running the largest reality TV show from the White House, at least his administration was pushing many policies I agreed with… and even more that, at least he wasn’t Joe Biden.
It was easy for me to see the left-wing media culture war craziness. I mean being told I must now accept that men dressing like women are really women or being told we’re supposed to refer to pregnant women as “birthing persons,” had me telling my family that I don’t want to hear anything about this insane alphabet gender politics on the left and um, sorry, I can tell you where to shove your “pronouns.” And of course, watching new radical racial politics where white people, even little kids, are commanded to denounce their “white privilege,” left me wondering if America was now embracing Maoist struggle sessions, which were a form of public-shaming and torture that Mao used to enforce conformity. It took a lot longer for me to recognize the right-wing culture war craziness.
In another blog post I’ll try to step away from the partisan politics and talk about this idea of picking the people who you will help in an emergency and why I don’t believe finding “like-minded” people who are prepping like you are and to the level you think makes them worthy and weeding out the undesirable non-prepping people would really work well in an actual real world crisis. It might lead to you excluding people at a time when pulling as many people together as possible really will help your chances of survival. I believe in working to include as many people as possible, even ones who don’t meet my preparedness standards – especially in a crisis.
Here’s the link to my 2013 blog post, Sweet land of liberty….. (or land of the gullible?)