To state the obvious, pipe bomb maker Cesar Sayoc and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers were violent, paranoid, hate-filled dwellers in the pervasive discourse of such people: conspiracy theories.
The targets of their ire were different. Sayoc was a hardcore Trump acolyte who felt that oppositional Democrats were the scourge of America, while Bowers appears to have disdained Trump for not doing enough to cleanse America’s REAL scourge – the Jews.
But both wanted their foes disposed of in the same way – a violent purging that spared no one they felt was not sufficiently on their side.
It’s a race war fought on obscure message boards and Fox News alike, pumping out anti-Semitic and violent conspiracy theories to broken minds who have no ability to discern fact from fiction.
These are self-proclaimed patriots who see themselves as the vanguard of a new digital war, where hearts and minds are won with memes, anonymous legions of soldiers fight by “digging” into people’s pasts, and anyone not sufficiently with them must be destroyed.
But when their memes and social media bitching didn’t get the job done, Sayoc and Bowers resorted to what paranoid killers have always resorted to when words aren’t cleansing the filth fast enough – bombs and bullets.
Their actions aren’t random. Their motives aren’t mysterious.
And they aren’t alone.