Society Unravelling: The Young Turn to Prepping By John Steele
The US is embracing survivalism and prepping, including massive gun ownership, with at least 45 percent of US households hving at least one gun. That statistic takes in people from both the Left and Right and also the diverse. Yes, even trans people are gun owners. Everyone has their pet fear, with the Left thinking that Donald Trump will make a dictatorship. Of course, they are alright with the Democrats making a dictatorship; it is only those of the opposite politics that are a problem.
The New York Post.com does a passable summary, but has the howler that the 2020 riots by BLM and antifa were “mostly peaceful.” Sure, with arson and looting and property damage of $ 1-2 billion dollars, deaths and assaults. It is enough, with this mind set to make anyone who is still sane, a survivalist.
“Doomsday “prepping” is seeping into the mainstream as Americans of all ages and political persuasions are becoming increasingly worried ahead of the 2024 presidential election about the prospect of a civil war.
Hoarding food, water and weapons was once associated with libertarian extremists, but as a rematch between President Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, seems all but inevitable in 2024, prepping has become a bipartisan activity, according to a Monday USA Today report.
“On the left, you have people afraid (Trump’s) going to declare himself dictator of the United States and people on the left are going to end up as targets in some sort of authoritarian system,” author Brad Garrett told the paper.
“On the right, it’s general malaise and a fear of society unraveling. They point to these smash-and-grab robberies, riots and protests.”
Brekke Wagoner, 39, of North Carolina runs a YouTube channel that offers advice to younger, more liberal urban dwellers about how to prepare for a cataclysmic disaster.
She is worried that if Trump is re-elected, he would fumble the response to a hurricane or other natural disaster that is supercharged by climate change — pointing to his administration’s handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The intensification of our natural storm seasons is the number one thing that’s going to happen to you,” she reportedly said.
“An electromagnetic pulse that takes out the electrical grid could happen. A nuclear war might happen. A civil war might happen. But a storm will happen.”
Wagoner has a 90-day supply of food stocked up for her six-person family in the event of a similar emergency.
“If you can be prepared, you won’t be a drain on the resources needed to help the people who didn’t prepare,” she told the paper.
“In the face of an apocalypse, I want to come out and calmly help people,” she said. “I want to be able to create a society that instead of wanting to shoot every stranger, understands our interdependence and creates a better society.”
Not every prepper is influenced by altruism. Retired US Air Force Col. Drew Miller has built seven “Fortitude Ranch” compounds across the country, stockpiled with food, propane, whiskey, solar panels, wells and lots of guns and ammunition.
His members, who pay at least $1,200 a year, are reportedly prepared to flee to the nearest compound in the event of war, nuclear blasts or protesting mobs, and shoot any “marauders” who approach its logged walls.
“We’ll have some decent chow here come a collapse,” Miller said, while giving USA Today a tour of the spartan accommodations of his southern Colorado compound.
“We guarantee a year of food, but not of toilet paper.”
The compound features an armored guard post, sniper positions and an underground bunker for its approximately 100 members.
Miller showed off the weaponry that members would have at hand, including a .50-caliber rifle to fire at approaching vehicles, hunting rifles and a cache of handguns.
In the event of a doomsday scenario, Miller said his group of survivors would be positioned to financially capitalize on widespread urban fatalities and concentrate wealth and resources, not unlike what happened when the Black Death pandemic killed up to 200 million people in the 1300s.
“I want middle-class Americans to survive and we make it affordable to do that,” Miller said. “I think eventually things will recover — and I want to be alive for that.”
Many of Miller’s clients signed up during the widespread racial justice protests and ensuing civil unrest that followed the police murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Even though most of those protests were peaceful, Trump threatened to dispatch the military to clamp down on demonstrators as many large cities suffered property damage.
“There could easily be a civil war during a Biden-Trump election,” he said, adding that his group was apolitical and pointing out that many of his members are ex-military and trained in survival.
Over the past year, younger Americas have outpaced Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in prepping for doomsday scenarios, which has blossomed into a $11 billion annual business in the US, according to Finder.com.
Some 39% of Millennials and 40% of Gen Z had spent money on the practice in the past 12 months, compared to 29% of the overall US adult population, the analytic spending website said.
In 2017, years before the COVID-19 pandemic, only about 25% of Americans had loaded up on survival supplies, according to the site.”