San Bernardino Shooting Gets Less Terrifying by the Day

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I’ve done my best not to pay too much attention to the San Bernardino shooters. They weren’t part of ISIS, or recruited by ISIS, or associated in any way with organized terrorism. They were apparently inspired by ISIS, but mass killers are inspired by lots of things. There’s just nothing very unusual here. The plain truth is that although this case is an immense tragedy, it really isn’t that interesting.

Still, there’s the question of how they stayed under the radar so long. Why were they allowed in the country? Did the Department of Homeland Security or anyone else check out Syed Farook’s new wife? I lost interest in this, too, when Tashfeen Malik’s famous social-media dedication to jihad turned out to be little more than a few private Facebook messages written in Urdu. It’s hardly surprising that was missed. But now it appears there was even less to miss:

I guess we’ll have to wait to see how this plays out, but from where I sit it sure looks like there’s a lot less here than meets the eye. There was no plot by ISIS. There was no gigantic breakdown in security. There’s no special reason to suddenly decide that all our lives are in danger from terrorism. There was just a pair of troubled youngsters who were inspired by the wrong people and went on a killing spree. Add them to the ever-growing list.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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