Jade Helm is set to be a large-scale war game training exercise, one that has caused extreme speculation after a map listing Texas, Utah, and parts of Southern California as “hostile territory” was released. Many were quick to claim that the map was “proof” the US government was planning to invade Texas.
The speculation grew even further after Texas Governor Greg Abbot ordered the state guard to monitor the exercise. “It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbot stated.
A telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on May 7th and 10th by Rasmussen Reports revealed that 45% of voters are concerned that the government is using military training exercises to impose greater control, yet 65% favored the military conducting these training exercises in their states.
This means that 10% of those polled believed that the government is planning to use the military to gain greater control, and that they support it.
And yet, interestingly, 62% of Americans also believe that there is too much government control and too little individual freedom in the United States, while only 20% believe that the government is a protector of individual liberty.
The views about these exercises also changed significantly by party, with 67% of liberal voters unconcerned, and 56% of conservative voters concerned.
Dahlia Lithwick noted in a Slate article on May 7 the outrage and fury from the Texans over a perceived threat of militarization and martial law, while ignoring and degrading the very real militarization that the US was seeing in the streets of Baltimore at the same time.
“And—perhaps this is the tragedy—while the events in Baltimore last week were a reaction to genuine abuse and injustice, those people on the far right who are pushing the Jade Helm narrative, who doubtlessly believe that their fantasy takeover is equally plausible, cannot find common ground with people who are living out their very fears,” Lithwick wrote.