This week is the start of the much-discussed Jade Helm 15 military exercises, which are scheduled from July 15-September 15. A recent poll of Texas residents found that almost half of them actually believe the bizarre conspiracy theories about this entirely mundane event.
Abbott sent the Texas State Guard to monitor the so-called Jade Helm 15 military exercises in Central Texas earlier this year, after particularly vocal activists expressed fears that what was being billed as an exercise was actually something far more sinister.
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” the governor wrote in his letter to the Guard’s commander at the time.
While a third of the registered voters in the poll had no opinion about the governor’s action, 39 percent agreed with it and 28 percent opposed it, the poll found.
More to the point, it was popular with a particular group — Tea Party Republicans who were paying attention to the issue, 85 percent of whom agreed with Abbott…
Asked whether federal military intervention is likely in certain circumstances, large numbers said yes. A majority said military intervention is “very” or “somewhat” likely to arrest political protesters, and 50 percent said it is likely that the feds would send the military to violate citizens’ property rights. Smaller but significant numbers said the military would likely be used to impose martial law (44 percent) and to confiscate firearms from citizens (43 percent).
Almost half of all Texans believe that the federal government is going to take over their state, which they already control. How is it possible to have a functioning democracy under such circumstances? One could be forgiven for believing that we haven’t actually had such a thing for a long time anyway, I suppose.