Look, everyone! Progressives have come up with a brand-spanking new word to smear conservatives with. They are hoping this new term can shame people into silence and possibly even make them appear to be violent actors.
The term: Stochastic terrorism.
If you’re like me, you might question the wisdom of running with a term that isn’t exactly easy for most people to pronounce right off the bat. But perhaps they think the meaning of the word might prove to be an effective weapon.
The term refers to a psychological phenomenon in which someone carries out a violent act against an individual or group due to harsh rhetoric directed against an individual or group. The rhetoric is not necessarily inciteful in nature – there are no outright calls to violence. But the idea is that the words used to demonize other folks can create an environment in which someone might be motivated to physically assault others.
The most popular example leftists are using to apply this term to conservatives is the fracas over the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s home. Democrats and their comrades in the activist media have resorted to shaming Republicans into silence when they dare to question the FBI’s investigation and the motivation for the raid by claiming their criticism of the Bureau will inspire violence.
In fact, they have already blamed the attack on an FBI office in Cincinnati on conservatives. An author writing for Advocate wrote:
One can find an example of stochastic terrorism in the attack on a Cincinnati Federal Bureau of Investigation field office days ago inspired by anti-FBI rhetoric.
Immediately after the news broke last week that the FBI had searched former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., home, Mar-a-Lago, right-wingers — including politicians — began attacking the federal law enforcement agency.
The author also noted that: “[m]edia figures on the right instigated outrage over the lawful search, and [a] sitting congressman urged that the FBI be destroyed.”
This means that folks like myself, and many others in the conservative chattering class, are stochastic terrorists because we had the temerity to question a government agency.
The author also points to far-right groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Front supposedly intimidating members of the LGBTQ community at rallies as examples of stochastic terrorism. Juliette Kayyem, a Harvard Kennedy School professor who served in the Department of Homeland Security, told the outlet: “That’s stochastic terrorism.”
She added: “It’s akin to ISIS not planning a specific attack but creating an environment in which violence becomes an arm of the political party.”
Kayyem continued, saying that she “saw in Trump the mastery of something I knew in my field, which is stochastic terrorism” and indicated that people who see conservatives demonize people on the left believe they are “promoting targeted violence – terrorism – which can lead to overt actions.”
However, these violent acts are inspired by “vague language that allows the agitator to deny responsibility.”
As I always say, the way you can see if someone believes what they say is by watching how they apply it when it is not convenient for them. In this case, it is clear that the progressives using this term don’t actually believe in it. Have any of these people accused Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) of stochastic terrorism after one of his rabid supporters tried to murder GOP lawmakers during a baseball game? Do they blame the activist media and Democratic politicians for Antifa running around beating up Trump supporters? When their people call conservatives Nazis and fascists for no good reason, is this stochastic terrorism?
Of course, it isn’t.
When they cook up terms like this, and it is only used one way, you can tell that progressives don’t actually care about stochastic terrorism. They just don’t want conservatives to speak. In the end, this particular term probably will not stick because it’s a rather unwieldy word. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t going to go back to the drawing board.