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MaxE
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18 Dec 2023, 12:56 pm

I can remember when Waco happened. I guess I got all my information from the "lamestream media" and believed that David Koresh was a pedophile and a religious fanatic who was amassing a huge arsenal. Later I learned that many people thought him a martyr, including some coworkers. They considered it hypocritical to set up memorials for the OKC bombing when the real tragedy was what happened at Waco. Fast forward to today, and I would suspect most Americans now consider the Branch Davidians to be martyrs and Koresh to have been a courageous defender of the US Constitution. Which may explain why politics have become so toxic. Thoughts?


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MatchboxVagabond
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18 Dec 2023, 1:01 pm

MaxE wrote:
I can remember when Waco happened. I guess I got all my information from the "lamestream media" and believed that David Koresh was a pedophile and a religious fanatic who was amassing a huge arsenal. Later I learned that many people thought him a martyr, including some coworkers. They considered it hypocritical to set up memorials for the OKC bombing when the real tragedy was what happened at Waco. Fast forward to today, and I would suspect most Americans now consider the Branch Davidians to be martyrs and Koresh to have been a courageous defender of the US Constitution. Which may explain why politics have become so toxic. Thoughts?

Most Americans thank that? As far as I know, the standard viewer remains the same as it did shortly after the deadly fires. Ruby Ridge is the one where there seems to be more of a reevelation that's happened over the years



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18 Dec 2023, 7:36 pm

Wasn't he some whack job cult leader who stockpiled weapons and had a shootout with federal law enforcement? :? That's all I (think) I remember about that. I've never ever heard of the guy being some kind of hero or martyr - just another homegrown domestic terrorist who had to be put down after going rabid.


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18 Dec 2023, 7:42 pm

MaxE wrote:
Did it all begin with Waco?
Have you really never heard of  John Brown & Harper's Ferry ?


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MaxE
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18 Dec 2023, 9:12 pm

MatchboxVagabond wrote:
MaxE wrote:
I can remember when Waco happened. I guess I got all my information from the "lamestream media" and believed that David Koresh was a pedophile and a religious fanatic who was amassing a huge arsenal. Later I learned that many people thought him a martyr, including some coworkers. They considered it hypocritical to set up memorials for the OKC bombing when the real tragedy was what happened at Waco. Fast forward to today, and I would suspect most Americans now consider the Branch Davidians to be martyrs and Koresh to have been a courageous defender of the US Constitution. Which may explain why politics have become so toxic. Thoughts?

Most Americans thank that? As far as I know, the standard viewer remains the same as it did shortly after the deadly fires. Ruby Ridge is the one where there seems to be more of a reevelation that's happened over the years

I would say that of those Americans who are aware of this history and have an opinion, a large percentage would sympathize with McVeigh's motivation if not his actions. When you consider that today's polls tell us that Donald Trump would win the popular vote for US President if held today, what other assumption could you make?


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19 Dec 2023, 12:23 am

MaxE wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
MaxE wrote:
I can remember when Waco happened. I guess I got all my information from the "lamestream media" and believed that David Koresh was a pedophile and a religious fanatic who was amassing a huge arsenal. Later I learned that many people thought him a martyr, including some coworkers. They considered it hypocritical to set up memorials for the OKC bombing when the real tragedy was what happened at Waco. Fast forward to today, and I would suspect most Americans now consider the Branch Davidians to be martyrs and Koresh to have been a courageous defender of the US Constitution. Which may explain why politics have become so toxic. Thoughts?

Most Americans thank that? As far as I know, the standard viewer remains the same as it did shortly after the deadly fires. Ruby Ridge is the one where there seems to be more of a reevelation that's happened over the years

I would say that of those Americans who are aware of this history and have an opinion, a large percentage would sympathize with McVeigh's motivation if not his actions. When you consider that today's polls tell us that Donald Trump would win the popular vote for US President if held today, what other assumption could you make?

Ive never met a fellow American who believed that Koresh was other than a cult leader, and the McVie was other than the second worst terrorist to strike the US (second after Ben Laden).



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19 Dec 2023, 6:22 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Ive never met a fellow American who believed that Koresh was other than a cult leader, and the McVie was other than the second worst terrorist to strike the US (second after Ben Laden).

When I said a "large percentage" of Americans would sympathize with McVeigh, I didn't mean a majority and I didn't say they would forgive him for acts of terrorism, just that they'd share his anger over Waco. They would think McVeigh was angry that his 1st and 2nd Amendment rights were trampled on (personally I don't care about those issues, but in a strict legal sense they have a valid point) anyway the point of this thread was not the details of Waco but whether Waco is where the current political situation began. Somebody suggested John Brown's raid in Harper's Ferry but I am talking about history post-Cold War and debating parallels between Koresh and Brown looks like a rabbit hole.


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19 Dec 2023, 10:29 am

MaxE wrote:
Fast forward to today, and I would suspect most Americans now consider the Branch Davidians to be martyrs and Koresh to have been a courageous defender of the US Constitution.

Most Americans? No. I'm not sure if a majority of Americans even know what happened at Waco. The fixation on Waco is primarily on the far right, and among the militia movement in particular.

Waco and Ruby Ridge were big rallying cries for these guys, but the origins of the militia movement and other pseudo-legal groups like the Sovereign Citizens goes back much further. Americans have been forming extralegal militia forces since colonial times for one reason or another. The modern movement has some roots in the conservative John Birch Society, an anti-communist group which peddled in Cold War conspiracy theories (you have to be pretty paranoid to think Eisenhower was a communist agent). Even William F. Buckley tried to distance himself from these nut jobs. The Posse Comitatus movement is more directly influential of the actual militia part of the militia movement, as well as the pseudo-legalist, obstructionist tactics of these groups (frivolous lawsuits, tax evasion, false lines, "paper terrorism").
Waco was a big catalyst for this specific segment of the population, but the latter's conspiratorial vigilante tendencies have roots going back decades, and these feelings towards Waco are not widespread among the general public.


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19 Dec 2023, 12:10 pm

MaxE wrote:
anyway the point of this thread was not the details of Waco but whether Waco is where the current political situation began.

Precisely which aspect(s) of "the current political situation" are you attributing to the Waco incident?


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19 Dec 2023, 12:14 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
MaxE wrote:
anyway the point of this thread was not the details of Waco but whether Waco is where the current political situation began.

Precisely which aspect(s) of "the current political situation" are you attributing to the Waco incident?

Overt hostility and willingness to resort to violence, which may have always existed but was limited to isolated situations in the years before Waco.


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naturalplastic
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19 Dec 2023, 4:13 pm

No.



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19 Dec 2023, 4:17 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Ive never met a fellow American who believed that Koresh was other than a cult leader, and the McVie was other than the second worst terrorist to strike the US (second after Ben Laden).


I've encountered them, although they're also not very common.

Unfortunately they do have influence beyond people who would explicitly agree with them out loud.


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MatchboxVagabond
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19 Dec 2023, 9:46 pm

MaxE wrote:
MatchboxVagabond wrote:
MaxE wrote:
I can remember when Waco happened. I guess I got all my information from the "lamestream media" and believed that David Koresh was a pedophile and a religious fanatic who was amassing a huge arsenal. Later I learned that many people thought him a martyr, including some coworkers. They considered it hypocritical to set up memorials for the OKC bombing when the real tragedy was what happened at Waco. Fast forward to today, and I would suspect most Americans now consider the Branch Davidians to be martyrs and Koresh to have been a courageous defender of the US Constitution. Which may explain why politics have become so toxic. Thoughts?

Most Americans thank that? As far as I know, the standard viewer remains the same as it did shortly after the deadly fires. Ruby Ridge is the one where there seems to be more of a reevelation that's happened over the years

I would say that of those Americans who are aware of this history and have an opinion, a large percentage would sympathize with McVeigh's motivation if not his actions. When you consider that today's polls tell us that Donald Trump would win the popular vote for US President if held today, what other assumption could you make?

I've never met anybody that thought that David Koresh was anything other than a cult leader. I wouldn't assume that the majority of the people that voted for Donald Trump agree with any of that. A bunch of those voters just want to see the system burn because there's no viable alternative that would support policies that would improve their lives.



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19 Dec 2023, 10:02 pm

I think some of it goes back further, to the John Birch Society.


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MaxE
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19 Dec 2023, 10:22 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
I think some of it goes back further, to the John Birch Society.

The John Birch Society were considered a fringe group in their day. Waco was the start of them becoming respectable if not mainstream.


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19 Dec 2023, 10:48 pm

MaxE wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
I think some of it goes back further, to the John Birch Society.

The John Birch Society were considered a fringe group in their day. Waco was the start of them becoming respectable if not mainstream.

No, the growth of JBS influence over the Republican Party long predates the Waco siege.

See: Library Journal Book Review of Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right by Matthew Dallek.

See also The Rise of Bircherism by Eleanor J. Bader, The Progressive, February 21, 2022.


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