San Bernardino has become part of a discussion regarding mass shootings. It is a city that joins more than a handful of cities in the US that has seen their share of calamity. A majority of these cities may be classified as liberal or situated in liberal leaning states. California is generally perceived as a liberal state. The emergence of mass shootings connected with Islamic extremism has an interesting connection to domestic US politics and social preferences.
Two things seem to be at work. First, liberalism as we have known it, has to be struck down or greatly weakened if there is to be broader support for a more aggressive stance towards the Middle East. Second, cities with constituencies that are traditionally resistant to expanded involvement in the application of force in overseas lands need to scared into supporting actions and policies they traditionally would not.
The basic perception is that it is easy to argue for peaceful non-intervention when you live in a relatively idyllic situation up to the point where you are confronted with harsh realities in your backyard. Afterwards, doves become hawks, though with considerable nuance. What do values and positions taken mean when they cannot endure even the most adverse conditions? The values of society are being put to the test, and so far, the case for certain perspectives is tenuous.
The question is why is it that a single person with gun, who holds up a liquor store, tries to escape, leaves several dead during their encounter with law enforcement doesn’t cause such a stir in society but another person under the Islamic label does when it is a movie theater instead? In both instances, it is a single person, they are both leaving behind death, but the social reaction is one of great anxiety in the latter case.
Obviously, the reasons for the violence differ in each case. Crisis is being used to reorder, not just the Middle East, but global society. The re-socialization of people’s basic perspective is effective, and the process works. Based on what I am seeing, people in general are indirectly saying this restructuring, the goals, and the methods to enact it are okay. Although it seems to stand in direct contrast to Judeo-Christian rhetoric and upbringing, there is no ignoring reality.
Maybe in the heart of man, man wants something far different. Traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western Democracy does not seem to be what people really want. World events are convenient in terms of transitioning into a new normal. Meanwhile, leaders are steering through chaos. Plans are being followed but something much different from what past generations has known is due to emerge.