I didn’t think I could be surprised anymore. The past four years have been that bizarre. But when news broke that the FBI arrested a group of terrorists who were planning on kidnapping Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrowing the government of Michigan, I have to admit, I was surprised. Though I’m having some trouble figuring out why I’m surprised. This isn’t the strangest or most tragic thing to happen in recent memory. Not by a long shot. Still, I can’t quite believe that it’s a real story.
I don’t know what it is about the case that’s throwing me. Domestic terrorists have been a problem for decades. (I hate the phrase domestic terrorist, by the way.) Trump has been inciting the far right for years. Earlier this year, he even called for the liberation of Michigan. There’s nothing surprising there.
The aftermath has also been totally predictable. Governor Whitmer thanked the law-enforcement people who helped thwart the plot. Trump tried to bad-mouth her by saying she didn’t even thank the justice department. He tried to make the successful counterterrorism operation about him even though he wasn’t in any way personally involved. And he took the opportunity to insult the intended victim. When you stop and think about it, this whole story is about as on-brand as 2020 can get.
Even though I keep telling myself this, I don’t quite believe it’s true. I was reading about it in the Washington Post, but I kept glancing at the URL to see if it was The Onion. Maybe all the BS has finally gotten to me. I’ve lost the ability to trust. Or maybe I’m just having a bad day. All I know is that I’m confused.