Malcolm Forbes is best known for the prominent American business magazine which bears his name. He once remarked, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” While I agree entirely with Mr. Forbes, a new expression I learned today called stochastic terrorism reinforces that even those with fully cultivated minds can still be empty.
Stochastic terrorism is defined as “The use of mass public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.”
Today’s extreme politicians – spearheaded by supporters of the MAGA Republican movement – are taking this country down a dangerous and alarming path. One infested with conspiracy theories, misinformation, and smear campaigns, which continue to fan the flames of hate, viciousness, and divide in America.
Social media and online news forums are plagued with inaccuracies deliberately scripted for those individuals whose brainpower responds to sensational headlines without first fact-checking or scrutinizing the information being presented.
Even educated and prominent politicians in society, who one might expect to rely on facts rather than propaganda, have been taken intellectually hostage by a cult of thugs who identify hate speech, violence, disrespect, mockery, and prejudice as a sign of one’s political character.
Regarding social media and online news channels, lies spread faster than the truth. Sadly, those who are empty-minded rather than open-minded are not interested in what’s true because the truth doesn’t support their agenda.
Therefore, like Hollywood screenwriters, extreme politicians create a fictitious storyline and portray characters that defy all logical reason. Unfortunately, many in society today do not possess the necessary intelligence to decipher fiction from reality.
Stochastic terrorism might be a new expression for many of us. But its impacts are playing out in our communities, schools, religious institutions, retail stores, sporting events, and in our local, state, and federal governments.
For those empty-minded Americans, it’s time to open yours and realize that once you strip away the hate speech, violence, disrespect, mockery, and prejudice that today’s extreme politicians are peddling, there’s little substance to their platform.
Beyond hate, there are very few concrete details about how they plan on positively impacting the lives of average, hard-working Americans across this country. Remember, just because one’s voice may be the loudest, doesn’t mean they’re saying anything valuable.
Now is the time to STOP being taken intellectually hostage by extreme politicians, social media, and online news forums. It’s time we all start thinking for ourselves – researching and filling our minds with the education needed to uncover the truth, regardless if it contradicts our beliefs.
If respectable elected leaders, corporations, and all those with influential power and open minds do not rise up and denounce stochastic terrorism in our country, America’s legacy of progress could very well be behind us.