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Hanlon’s Razor

March 1, 2017

“Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.”

Concerning Trump, that may be true, but treating it as if it is can be dangerous because it opens you up to deliberate attacks obfuscated as incompetence. One of the main things I have been worrying about lately is how Trump is sabotaging US counter-terrorism and preblaming rivals to power. In the event of a terrorist attack, Trump will benefit greatly. He is an authoritarian, and people turn to authoritarians when they feel unsafe. A self-aware authoritarian can exploit this tendency to great effect. The classic example of this is the Reichstag Fire which Hitler used to grab more power.

Trump has been implementing controversial policies quickly in order to stir up protests. He’s playing the law of large numbers. The more protests there are, the more riots there will be and the more there will be a potential for violence. He can also hire provacatreurs to stir up trouble if trouble doesn’t arise naturally. It’s fairly easy to throw a few thugs into the mix when large protests happen more or less continually.

Muslim Ban

The most harmful narrative for increasing terrorist attacks against the U.S. is that the U.S. is at war with all Muslims. When a group feels persecuted and oppressed because of their religion, they are far more likely to turn to violence than if they are met with tolerance and freedom. Trump has repeatedly stirred up religious hatred and scapegoated Muslims for problems, which dramatically increase the chance that Americans will be killed by terrorists. By banning 7 random Muslim countries, rather than trying to do a more effective and comprehensive security policy, Trump has ensured that any terrorist who does want to attack America will easily be able to do so.

Torture/killing families of “terrorists”

Torturing innocent civilians is about the most evil thing a government can do. Trump has promised to restart and amplify that policy, meaning Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups will have their ranks swelling with new recruits. Terrorists want to paint the U.S. as the Great Satan and evil. If you wanted to increase the number of terrorists who want to attack the U.S., you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to do it than to bring back torture, especially when that torture is not directed at people who are actually committing terrorist attacks.

Intelligence agencies

The CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies are at the frontline of the battle to protect America. So what does Trump do? Attacks and alienates them non-stop. Refuses to go to security briefings. Appoints untrustworthy advisers with foreign loyalties, so much that the CIA now assumes that the Kremlin has ears in the White House. Trump has also been undermining our relationships with other countries that have helped us fight the War on Terror, such as the U.K. and Australia. Without allies, we will be far more blind to potential threats.

So all this could just be an incompetent president who is undermining the safety of U.S. citizens because he’s a mendacious idiot, but the thing that makes me think it might be deliberate is how he’s preblaming his political enemies. “”Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril, if something happens blame him and court system.” He’s also preblamed the media, the generals, the Democrats, and a number of his other enemies. He’s already laying the groundwork for undermining democracy and assuming more control in the wake of the attack that is now far more likely.

I’m not sure what is to be done. Knowing human nature, even if we see it coming, that doesn’t mean we can stop it. Trump himself could set the bomb and his approval rating would probably go up.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2017 12:01 pm


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