Just weeks before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, media outlets around the nation began reporting on a new trend that could lead to a massive change in the demographics of the Survival Industry – the awakening of the “liberal prepper.”
For years, the survival or self-reliant lifestyle was considered the dominion of the Right Wing voter. Now, according to the media, large numbers of Democratic voters were suddenly concerned about the state of the world, and the abilities of their families to survive the pending doom they felt. They began buying guns, packing bug out bags and learning new skills for self-reliance.
Liberals began looking for ways to survive the “Trumpocalypse.”
Within the Survival Industry, many fear that the typical Conservative prepper is relaxing due to the Republican sweeps on election day. The fears of the Obama dictatorship, martial law, gun seizures, FEMA Camps, and more, suddenly seemed to dissipate.
On the other side of the aisle, millions of Americans from a different political spectrum began to get that uneasy feeling about new threats to minority populations, a Trump dictatorship or theocracy, and geopolitical and financial instability thanks to Trump’s economic and military saber rattling against China, the Middle East and Latino countries.
This new movement is not going unnoticed. And as is always the case, the media self-appoints a representative of the movement and, in this case, one spokesperson was The Left Wing Survivalist.
Optically, his blog is no different from any other prepper site. He keeps his identity and operational security tight. The stories he writes are about bug-out bags, making family prepper plans and so on.
One difference is that on Jan. 19, 2017 (the day before the Trump inauguration), The Left Wing Survivalist blog didn’t just keep moving on. No, the six year old blog took on the feel of something new. The LWS was starting over. In what was a clear nod to his new readers, he spoke to them as new preppers, helped them take the first step down the survival path. He didn’t rail on the new president. There was virtually no politics to speak of. He simply started with the basics for his readers: Beginning Prepping 101.
Since his early days when he launched the blog in June 2011, The LWS was clear about who he was. “I am a survivalist/prepper. I am also a left-wing progressive, although I have some ‘true conservative’ (read: not what they call ‘conservative’ in the press) fiscal beliefs. This puts me in somewhat rare territory, as most preppers out there are of the far right-wing persuasion, while most progressives can’t be bothered with this stuff.”
Now that Progressives are “bothered with this stuff,” Paratus Business News wanted to take a few moments to talk with the Left Wing Survivalist. His insights could help readers who are used to the industry’s right-leaning bent understand who are these new people coming to the party. More importantly, we wanted Survival Industry businesses – be they bloggers or survival gear manufacturers and retailers – to understand their new audience.
Paratus Business News: What is it specifically that Liberals fear from a Trump presidency that is causing them to purchase guns, survival gear and seeking new skills? Are they afraid of personal attacks (attacks on minorities or LGBTQ, etc.), economic catastrophe, geopolitical disruptions, civil war, race war, etc.?
The Left Wing Survivalist: Where to start? Yes, folks on the Left feel threatened, but not by a Trump Presidency, as such. Many of Trump’s followers have portrayed themselves as extremely threatening to those from a “different tribe” (whether those “others” are Left, or Center, or non-white, or LGBT, or of a different religion). So, yes, personal attacks.
PBN: Will this updated movement change a liberal’s opinions regarding the purchase of guns in any way? For instance, do you think a liberal may now oppose a waiting period if they are afraid? Will they become more open to products like the AR-15?
Left Wing: This is going to vary widely from person to person, but I doubt the Left is going to begin clamoring to do away with the waiting period. They know that they’ll be purchasing them in a “legal and safe” manner, which is most of the point to that. I wouldn’t count on the Left buying up ARs, though.
PBN: The opinion of longtime preppers across the board is split in many ways. Some are welcoming and nonpolitical, others are critical, citing their disagreements with the very reasons why Liberal’s are becoming preppers. In most cases, the prepper, regardless of political affiliation, is seeking the same same thing: security and self-reliance. The difference may be more a communication challenge than anything else. What is your advice to Progressives joining this universe, specifically regarding their ability to talk and work with Conservatives for what are ultimately similar goals, and vice versa?
Left Wing: I’ve encountered this in the comments section of my blog. My advice, to either side, would be: Keep an open mind – remain skeptical, be ready to learn and/or change your mind. Be willing to admit error; learning from our mistakes is one of the best ways to grow. Assume noble intent: neither side wants to destroy the country. Go and actually check out what the “other side” is seeing/hearing in the news; often, the best way to find the truth is to critically compare and contrast the stories you’re getting from a number of different sources. Recognize that this isn’t a zero-sum game: just because one group “wins” doesn’t mean the other group necessarily “loses.” And remember that when it’s all said and done, we’re all in this together.
PBN: Do you see an opportunity or reason why Conservative and Liberal preppers might join hands? Clearly, a foreign war or economic collapse could make strange bedfellows, are there other examples? Race or religion issues?
Left Wing: A lot depends on the nature of any emergencies that may befall us. Yes, we can be united by a common enemy. (I rather fear, lately, that Pogo was right: “I have seen the enemy, and he is us.”) Broadly speaking, just about every Liberal prepper I know is very willing to pitch in and help others. (We like to work as a community, where most Conservatives I’ve met are all about individualism.)
PBN: Should Liberal preppers ignore patently Conservative partisan opinions when reading or purchasing from survival businesses, if they are helpful in the long run? In other words, do the other person’s politics mean anything if they are providing critical information or products to save your life?
Left Wing: In my opinion, they absolutely should not. But ultimately, many are going to avoid businesses whose owners espouse views that they find objectionable, particularly the louder and more intrusive they get with those views. (The number of people I know who won’t shop at Hobby Lobby, or eat at Chik-Fil-A, for example.) Can this make things more difficult? Perhaps. But we’re willing to put up with it/do without/make do otherwise.