It sure looks like it.
Yesterday I wrote about there being hope in Georgia (U.S.). There is actually hope in two ways: (1) that conservative state’s legislature passed a law that extensively reforms the approach to mental illness in the state; (2) the vote for it was unanimous despite a Qanon-type disinformation campaign mounted against it that resulted in a significant number of protesters showing up for hearings on the bill who were loud and insistent enough to suggest the possibility of a riot.
While both of those are hopeful developments, the part about the protests is deeply disturbing. That human beings have allowed themselves to be turned into automatons that will ‘mobilize’ at the drop of a hat to protest anything any government is doing, to disrupt any processes of governance, without any thought whatsoever, based on the craziest possible assertions, is beyond troubling. Even worse, though, is that there is some person or group pulling the strings of those people.
Who is doing that? I have no idea. Putin is an obvious candidate, but it would be all too easy for some other person/group to operate behind the front his effrontery presents.
Why are they doing it? I can think of a couple of possibilities.
One option is that whoever is controlling those people is doing it for their own amusement. They are entertaining themselves by seeing how absurd they can be and still get their automatons to respond.
As bad as that is, given its effects on our political process, it is not nearly as dark as the other possibility is. There the goal is to destroy our democratic political process.
The first task of any person/group that would take over a democratic nation through (quasi)constitutional means and to do away with the democratic political process is to make that nation ungovernable. It has been done time and again.
The template was formed by looking at the past: in the history of civilization whenever any governing regime fell it was because the society had become ungovernable. Often, that happened as a result of natural disaster, such as a famine produced by a prolonged drought or to an ongoing economic calamity, often brought on by military adventurism.
The Bolsheviks in Russia were the first to consciously apply that strategy politically. The Nazis, aided by Communists engaging in the same strategy, did the same thing to the Weimar Republic in Germany. (People often attribute the fall of that regime to hyperinflation, but that problem had been solved well before the Nazis came to power — though the global Great Depression did aid their efforts).
Since then, that strategy has been employed any time the takeover of most any nation has been attempted. Wittingly or not, Republicans have aided and abetted the effort that unmistakably exists in this nation to make it ungovernable with their heedless insistence that ‘government is the problem’.
Government is an inevitable aspect of civilization. The question is whether or not our government will continue as the functional core of a democratic political process.