The political landscape is daunting, to say the least.
We’re becoming more polarized here in the United States, and every election seems to hold more and more weight to it ever since 2000.
Political turmoil is here. It’s not going away.
We have social media, targeted ads, gerrymandering, and so many different political tools being used against us to sway the way we think. Individuals are intelligent; mobs are dumb.
We’re being divided as a nation, and between the pandemic in 2020, the riots, militarized police in Oregon, and so many other events that I could list right here, we need to know how to be ready in every situation.
It’s good to hope for the best, but it’s better to prepare for the worst.
Recent Polarization Of The American Political Scene
The United States hasn’t been the same since 9/11.
Politics have become more of a rat race than they did when Clinton got elected for his second term.
We’re in more of a polarized state than we ever have been.
Your political affiliation shouldn’t matter, but in today’s hostile landscape, it does.
People will verbally attack you simply because you are on the other side of the aisle, and whatever side of the aisle you reside on doesn’t matter, either; there’s enough blame to go around for everyone.
We’re going to go down a list of some events that have caused polarization in America in recent years, which has led to violent riots, peaceful protests, and a whole slew of crazy stuff in between.
Election of Donald Trump
President Donald Trump has refused to denounce white supremacists, yet tries to hold a strong stance on illegal immigration, which led to the ICE detention facility crisis (which is still ongoing).
At the same time, we’ve seen economic booms, tariffs that have had some good results, and travel bans that were believed to make a difference in keeping potentially dangerous people out of our country.
That’s just depending on the way you look at it, though.
There has never been a more inflammatory president of the United States, and whether it aligns with your goals or not, we can all agree that this political landscape has had more coverage and more time in the spotlight than any before.
Rise of Antifa and Their Opponents
Antifa is not actually an organization, it’s a movement.
The thing about a movement is that it can actually be even more dangerous than an actual organized system.
Organized crime is like a snake: you cut off the head, and the rest writhes until it fades out.
With Antifa and anyone who claims to be a member of this movement, they’re uniting under no banner, under no one person as their leader; they’re acting under anarchist mindsets with nobody to lead them.
In a way, they have a chemistry among them that actually causes more of a concern than one person on a soap box with a megaphone commanding an army of mindless followers.
It’s an issue that’s been growing since 2017, and it’s still getting worse.
This is a tough one, because you have people protesting police brutality that have viable claims and an actual message to portray through peaceful protests.
Then you have looters, rioters, and downright violent individuals who have taken this as an opportunistic time to profit and benefit off of other people’s suffering.
The riots truly began after the killing of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, and spiraled out of control from that point on.
It was the next day that protests began, and the 27th (48 hours later) that we had protests all over the United States. They did not start out violently.
On May 29th, four days after George Floyd is killed, the officer who knelt on his neck, Derek Chauvin, is charged.
It isn’t enough to quell the protests, and this is when we see violence begin to really spark like a powder keg.
President Donald Trump was escorted to the underground bunker beneath the White House, and miles of fences were erected outside the White House to keep protestors out.
The mayor of Minneanapolis, Jacob Frey, even stated on May 30th that “What started as largely peaceful protests for George Floyd have turned to outright looting and domestic terrorism in our region. We need you to stay home tonight.”
From that point on, riots were in dozens of cities and began to create this wave of destruction across the United States.
Are Riots The Only Thing You Can Expect With Political Turmoil?
Riots are not the only thing you can expect, but they are certainly serious and potentially harmful to just about every American.
Other situations include:
- Stock Market Sway: Depending on who is leading the country and what they’re doing, the stock market will sway in the direction that leadership tends to lean to. We can see historic instances of this all across the last thirty years, and you’d better believe that it’s still happening today.
- Shortages: The pandemic in 2020 is what caused toilet paper shortages and a few other shortages, but political turmoil can absolutely cause the same thing. Tariffs increase, generally hurt farmers, and then we see certain core foods spike in price. It’s rarely a good thing for us.
- Gas Prices: We’ve seen this before and we’ll see it again: the price of oil, which affects the price of gas. Currently in 2020, gas prices are good, but a shift in power (or the power staying in the same hands) could seriously flip that in the other direction.
- Travel Restrictions: Pandemics aside, political upheaval and shifts in power can affect how we travel, even with nations that we physically border. It can change how our policies are with leaving the country, but as we’ve seen, it can also change how other nations look at Americans when it comes to temporary visits or full-on immigration out of the country.
So how do these affect you?
They affect all of us, and it could seriously impact how you financially prepare for the next crisis, or stock up beforehand to avoid being shortchanged when another pandemic strikes.
Politics will affect everything, whether we’er eady or not.
How Localized Are the Current Riots?
Riots have been organized predominately in major cities across the US.
Rural areas have seen peaceful protests and sit-outs to fight for George Floyd in the efforts to end systematic racism and police brutality, and those protests are welcomed.
It’s in larger cities that we’ve seen absolutely horrendous displays of violence, looting, and destruction of property.
If you live outside of major and minor cities, you should be safe based on current political descriptions.
This post is being written on September 29th, 2020, hours after the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Barricades were set up outside of the venue in Cleveland out of fear for rioting. It’s far from over.
While the riots are localized in major cities (because that’s where a lot of the agendas take place), don’t discount the possibility of riots coming to your town.
We didn’t even know this was going to be a problem a year ago, and now we’re sitting in the middle of a rioting epidemic.
Protecting Your Property From Riots
There are fine lines on what you can and cannot do, and whether or not you agree with that politically, it’s the cold hard truth.
Sometimes you can get in trouble just for defending your own home, which is BS by the way, if you’re up against a viable threat.
Riots can be terrifying, because the mob mentality does a quick math equation—when they have more than you do, they’ll rush you—and you’re left making a tough decision while they get off scot-free.
There are laws referred to as “Stand Your Ground” laws, and they’re extremely important to understand.
The thing is, they vary from state to state, so it’s not clear what your best solution is.
You do have the right to protect your home and place of business from rioters, though.
If you haven’t read the Castle Doctrine, I highly recommend that you do so.
It outlines a basis for self-defense which is referenced in all fifty states to some extent, and identifies the key issues with defending yourself improperly.
When you defend your home, in most states, you have to be careful with how you approach it.
If you’re standing outside of your home and holding a gun on the sidewalk, and you feel threatened when someone approaches you during a riot, you do not necessarily have the right to shoot them.
Instead, you would need to retreat into your home (sometimes this can include your own personal car as well), and the aggressor would then have to try and cause you physical harm by first breaking down the barrier that you own.
Basically, if they’re shattering windows while you warn them (and you are in your home), and they exhibit violent behavior, you usually have the right to shoot them in self-defense.
The line of self-defense is thin, though, and it’s very easy to step over it if you aren’t careful.
If the aggressor/rioter goes down in one non-lethal shot, and they do not pose an imminent risk, it is up to you to leave them alone.
Call the police, call emergency services, and they can handle it from there.
If you shoot a downed rioter/aggressor when they no longer pose an imminent threat or danger, you’ll have a fun time in court.
Businesses are a bit trickier, because if you’re standing in your place of business, you aren’t in your “safe space” for lack of a better term.
You would want to retreat to your personal home if you were to experience a threat of violence.
Even with “Stand Your Ground” laws applicable in many states, businesses are generally exempt from this.
If the conditions outside of your business are extremely violent and looters are coming your way, and you truly do not see a safe way to leave, you have no choice but to stand your ground.
You may not fire warning shots. You may not set traps for looters to run into.
If a looter breaks your window and steals an item and walks away, you may not shoot them.
The only time you may use lethal force to defend your storefront is if it is by proxy of you defending yourself from imminent bodily harm, or an immediate member of your family.
The only exclusion is the state of Texas, where they have specific laws that help protect you if you have to shoot at someone to protect your property.
Warning shots, verbal threats, and anything of the sort can be skewed to be charged as felonies despite the conditions of riots and looters.
Insure your business, and don’t do anything that’s going to get you stuck in prison.
What Should You Stock Up On In Case Of Widespread Turmoil?
Political turmoil means economic impact, whether we like it or not.
We don’t have to be in a full-blown state of emergency (the kind that makes us grab out bug out bags and head for the hills) to be in an economic slump or supply chain problem.
You want to stock up on the essentials, and a few other items as well, just in case the world begins to rapidly churn into crap.
- Water: Pretty basic, right? We need tons of water, and if public water lines get tampered with or damaged, we’ll need to rely on stored water.
- Food: Canning, pickling, fermenting—there are a lot of things you can do to preserve food, and you should be practicing all of them.
- Medicine and Medical Supplies: If we reach a point where a cashless bartering system is all you really need to do to get by, you’ll want medical supplies to help protect yourself if a deal goes wrong.
- Toilet Paper and Paper Towels: 2020 taught us a lot of things, like just how much toilet paper one person will hoard. Get some before it’s gone.
- Alcohol: If the going gets tough, you can drink. If you need to clean a wound on the fly, well, that’s what bourbon is good for.
- Contraception: Let’s face it, there’s not a lot to do, and it’s also not a good time to bring a child into the world. You might be chuckling, but seriously, bring condoms for the ride (even if you’re going into this solo).
- Basic Spice Pack: You can use old altoid containers and small gram bags to store spices, but you should bring some with you. Eventually, bland food will decrease morale.
- Power Bank + Personal Solar Panel: You can get plenty of inexpensive 5V mini solar panels, and 20K to 50K mAh power banks that store a decent amount of electricity. Use these to power gadgets along the way (these are life savers).
- Entertainment: If you bring portable solar panels with you, like some 5V and a few 20K mAh power banks, you can reasonably recharge a Nintendo Switch or something to keep you occupied during anxious, quiet times.
- Tools: Tools break, they wear down, but they’re always there to help you get the job done (if you have enough). Homesteaders will get more use out of this since heavy tools aren’t good for bug out bags.
It’s important to stock up slowly over time so you don’t end up being accused of hoarding.
Not only that, but if you’re seen in the supermarkets or shops gathering supplies during unrest from political turmoil, you could have some crazy people follow you home when they notice how much you’re buying.
Slowly stock up over time before this even becomes a problem.
If you hear something on the radio or see something on TV about how bad the situation has become, you want to have the opportunity to lean back and sigh, because you’ve already prepared for this, and now you just have to ride it out while staying under the radar.
Politics Affect Everyone, Even The Non-Political
Politics are everywhere, even if you try to avoid them.
We’re not at a point where you can really claim independence, since every issue is constantly being flashed on our YouTube ads, smart TV commercials, and they’re just absolutely everywhere.
Phone calls, emails, physical ads—you can’t escape it. You also can’t escape people who want to discuss it at length.
I have no problem with this, but more often than not, it’s just because the other person wants to shove their ideas and beliefs down your throat.
This is true no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, so there’s really no safe haven.
Prepare for the worst, and pray you never need to use your backup plans and bug out bags.
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