We sometimes feel like the failure of new terrorists or even their success are so stunningly evil that it will deter other nuts and copycats since they must watch all the negative media coverage. Wouldn’t they presume that they too would be pilloried for any such similar act? All those thoughts and prayers verses a smattering of applause from inside the alt-right and neo-Nazi websites.
Malcolm Gladwell espouses what is called a diffusion index of terrorism. It says the opposite. The more people who do this, the greater the nerve of those others who have thought about it. Maybe they think they can do it better or they actually want to be like that guy who they just saw on TV. Either way, more attacks are bad without exception.
What if Trump and his band of Soros haters realized how weaponized their words are. Does Lou Dobbs have it in him to recant or recognize the link made between Anti-Semites and George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg? Does Trump have the will or weight to pull all this rhetoric in the opposite direction – no chance. If he did, the wackos would probably just wink back. (Besides Dobbs wants the ratings!)
I don’t think Gladwell expected the terrorist theme to switch to domestic political villainy and its appropriate punishment. Teenage, incel angst has far fewer sympathizers (I presume). The significant expansion of new sample cases in just one week should leave Gladwell and the rest of us very discomfited. All the negative imagery of bombs and arraignments are food for other Lou Dobbs fans. The genie has been let out and suddenly advocating tough measures” against Jews and political enemies looks a lot more like “inciting to violence”- something we should be prosecuting, even if it does seem too late to Malcolm.