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The Gift of Fear Voting.

Who here has heard of Gavin de Becker? He’s the security expert who worked with Jeff Bezos a couple years ago when Bezos’s girlfriend’s phone was hacked and the Trump droogs tried to intimidate him.

IKR?? How do you intimidate the one guy in the world who has more money than God and can afford to lose a few friends? Or a wife? Ok, so Bezos and his wife were probably going to divorce anyway but I digress.

Basically, De Becker helped figure out how the phone was accessed. I can’t remember now whether it was girlfriend’s brother who sent stuff to the Saudis or whether it was an Israeli intelligence outfit that did it but if I recall correctly, there was a Mid East connection.

Anyway, a couple decades ago, De Becker wrote a book called The Gift of Fear. I think it was all the rage on DailyKos around the time of post 9/11. The basic idea of the book is that there are rational fears and irrational fears. Irrational fears might be something like saddam hussein has missiles that can hit the US in 45 minutes, omg, the sky is falling. Or childhood vaccines cause autism. You know, easily provable crap like that. Those fears tend to short circuit your ability to think clearly.

Rational fear might be something like, a sociopath has taken over the White House and is trying to subvert the election in order to stay in power.

I started thinking about this book a few days ago because Trump stealing the election is plausible and the fact that foreign actors might be stimulating irrational fears about voting and it’s aftermath is starting to get attention as well.

Then Trump said yesterday that he was going to send seniors $200 cash cards for prescription drugs and I went, “wait a minute, isn’t that like one of de Becker’s indicators that you’re about to be bagged?”

Yes it is.

De Becker has put together a list of pre-incident indicators (PINS) of threat and violence. If people are aware of these incidents in advance, can spot them and are prepared to deal with them, the likelihood of violence and personal threat can be averted. Here is the list from Wikipedia:

  • Forced Teaming. This is when a person implies that they have something in common with their chosen victim, acting as if they have a shared predicament when that isn’t really true. Speaking in “we” terms is a mark of this, i.e. “We don’t need to talk outside… Let’s go in.”
  • Charm and Niceness. This is being polite and friendly to a chosen victim in order to manipulate him or her by disarming their mistrust.
  • Too many details. If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.
  • Typecasting. An insult is used to get a chosen victim who would otherwise ignore one to engage in conversation to counteract the insult. For example: “Oh, I bet you’re too stuck-up to talk to a guy like me.” The tendency is for the chosen victim to want to prove the insult untrue.
  • Loan Sharking. Giving unsolicited help to the chosen victim and anticipating they’ll feel obliged to extend some reciprocal openness in return.
  • The Unsolicited Promise. A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, “I promise I’ll leave you alone after this,” usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited “I promise I won’t hurt you” usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim.
  • Discounting the Word “No”. Refusing to accept rejection.

Let’s evaluate our current threat, shall we?

Forced teaming. The Trump admin has made this a central theme of his campaign and governing. It’s definitely an us vs them mentality. Note the attacks on the Deep State, our intelligence community, federal regulatory agencies that were supposed to help us with Covid. You get the point.

Charm and niceness. That seems to be largely absent this year. I think it’s because it’s not necessary anymore.

Too many details. Liars frequently have to embellish with details. They think it makes them sound convincing. I’d put conspiracy theories in this indicator. They are getting more and more elaborate and unbelievable. QANON is the actor here, as well as foreign interference with the Trump campaign’s blessing.

Typecasting. Perfect example is Hugh Hewitt accusing Democrats of hating Catholics and then watching as Democrats take the bait and twist themselves into knots trying to disprove it. We need to do better here and stop the accusations and excuses in their tracks.

Loan sharking. Sending $200 cash cards to seniors just before the election for their prescription drugs. {{wink, wink, nudge, nudge}}

The Unsolicited Promise. “We will not allow a Supreme Court Justice to be nominated during an election year before the new president is determined.”

Discounting the word “no”. Not accepting rejection. Basically, everything Trump has said in the last couple of days.

We should all be prepared for what comes. Do not panic. Just make plans. Have your voting plan ready. Have a back up plan. Get an everyday carry bag ready with stuff you might need in an emergency in case you need to move away from violence. Have a destination.

I am starting to see people in the media repeat the above advice. That suggests to me that they are aware of the threat levels and we need to take them seriously. Here is where the gift of fear will help you. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Keep your eyes open. Don’t take any wooden nickels.

It’s going to be ok if we look out for ourselves and others.

2 Responses

  1. Benedict Donald is trying to bluff us into not voting.



    The Cavalier culture must be made to suffer the fate of Nazism.

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