While the media has been busy trying to reassure the public over the frightening tone and scope of the Jade Helm 15 military exercises, it is clear that many Americans are not buying it.
Establishment outlets everywhere are scrambling to declare with authority that there is nothing to see here.
A cursory news search reveals a clear meme being circulated that all is quiet on the front and that Jade Helm is most certainly not martial law training:
But are these media tactics working?
A recent poll conducted by Rasmussen, the country is indeed quite alarmed over the exercise, with a near majority concerned about federal intrusion and apparent preparations to use martial law during crises – perhaps not too much different than what is going on in Baltimore, or previously in Ferguson.
Eight weeks of U.S. military exercises this summer in several southwestern states – dubbed Jade Helm 15 – have some wondering if the government is preparing for martial law. Most voters don’t oppose such exercises, but a surprising number worry about what the federal government is up to.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the U.S. military conducting training exercises in their state. Just 16% are opposed, but slightly more (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Only 21% believe the government’s decision to conduct military training exercises in some states is an infringement on the rights of the citizens in those states. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
But 45% of voters are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states, with 19% who are Very Concerned. Just over half (52%) are not concerned that the government has an ulterior motive for the training exercises, including 26% who are Not At All Concerned.
Among voters who oppose military exercises in their state, 82% are concerned that the federal government has greater control in mind. Just 34% of those who favor the exercises share that concern.
This poll gives documented reasons to think that many are waking up to the abuses of power, not just of police in urban areas, but of the larger system of government using scare tactics to demand more power for all of its agencies.
There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about Jade Helm, but the powers that be are doing everything they can to deflect attention from the merits of this issue – and denial and ridicule, as usual, are the first tools at hand to dismiss public concerns. The Dallas Morning News wrote :
Several websites have spread fear along the Internet that the 8-week exercise this summer in seven states is a ruse to impose martial law and confiscate guns in hostile states.
The conspiracy theory was bolstered when Gov. Greg Abbott this month wrote a letter to the Texas State Guard, ordering them to monitor the exercises to ensure civil rights were maintained.
Rasmussen pollsters said the reaction of those polled to the exercises reflects a heightened feeling of distrust for the federal government among voters.
Almost half of those polled – 47 percent – believe the federal government has too much influence over state governments, but that number has dropped from 56 percent five years ago.
Quick conspiracy theory: Could the identification of Texas as “hostile” in the Jade Helm exercise – conducted to “master the human domain” – be linked to its fierce political attitude towards federal government meddling? Did Texas win the role of ‘hostile’ in the military exercise because of:
a) the previous governor’s history of branding succession from the union as a political rally point, b) Texas’ refusal to give “dual command status” over Texas National Guard to the Fed’s emergency relief powers after Hurricane Rita, c) conspiracy talk and “radio-show driven” fears about martial law, d) its status as a pro-gun, pro-Constitution hold out for a staunch conservative base and a swelling libertarian-minded demographic, or the general attempts to turn the state blue for electioneering purposes, or e) all of the above and more.