Our constitution gives citizens the right to free speech and assembly. This has long been interpreted to allow civil unrest and non-violent protest. What we are seeing the last four months goes far beyond free speech and local citizens protesting events in their communities.
This battle for the survival of the United States is not in the form of a traditional civil war with uniformed armies. It is instead being fought by those wishing to rewrite our history, disparage past heroes (who admittedly were not perfect, but were striving to improve society), and remake us into an entitlement society. Many protestors are decrying income and net worth inequality, and demanding social programs to rectify those “wrongs.” We have to remember that America was founded not on the principle of equal outcome, but equal opportunity. Yes, I understand that many minorities live in economically depressed communities and may have underperforming schools. However, for those kids who choose to work hard and apply themselves, progress is attainable. We have many examples of prominent blacks in our society who have lifted themselves out of poor circumstances and made successes of themselves.
In the violent unrest for three nights in Kenosha, Wisc., after another police shooting, 175 people were arrested. 102 of those people had addresses outside Kenosha, including 44 different cities. Nine of those people were from outside the state. Similar numbers have been presented for protests in other cities such as Portland and Seattle. Inside impounded vehicles, officers found fireworks, helmets, gas masks, protective vests, broken cement chunks and weapons. The CHAZ in Seattle boasted a provisional armed security force. Are these the tools of citizens exercising free speech? I don’t think so.
An example of the media discoloration of these events is a CNN on-air graphic in front of a live video. Omar Jimenez was reporting on the unrest in Kenosha and was standing in front of a raging fire that was consuming a city block. The chyron at the bottom reads “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING.” Really? Destroying their neighbors’ businesses is mostly peaceful? This is supposed to be objective news coverage, not a Saturday Night Live satire.
This great unraveling of our society consisted initially of riots and looting, ostensibly seeking justice for the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Topics such as defunding police departments and professional athletes demanding tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement have abounded. Portland has now endured more than 100 consecutive nights of unrest. 62% of Americans now say they’re afraid to voice their political views in fear of being punished in the work place. Where is the right to free speech for these citizens?
I remember the march on Washington, D.C. lead by Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights demonstrations in the 60s. More than a million people gathered on The Mall in Washington to hear MLK speak. At that event and other rallies around the country, the protestors did not find it necessary to destroy businesses and attack police officers. Those protestors were able to change our society without the violence we are seeing today. Do we still need to change farther? Of course, but it doesn’t require anarchy to do that.
A revolution’s power ultimately comes from its being underestimated, or accepted by those outside its ranks. Nancy Pelosi has called federal agents “stormtroopers.” Rep Jerry Nadler, D-NY, says anarchist violence in Portland is a myth. Tell that to the many businesses that have opted to leave Portland permanently, taking away jobs that otherwise would be available to help the economy.
This groundswell of demanding handouts now extends to demands to cancel the rent, shut down the power plants, and tax the wealthy (who create jobs, by the way). If it wasn’t clear earlier this summer, it should now be understood we are in a genuine revolution out to remake the world, and violence is an accepted part of their culture. Changing the world begins with changing your own country. This is how the great revolutions began in France in 1789, Russia in 1917, and China in 1949. The end result in those instances was not freedom or democracy, but brutal totalitarianism.
A revolution is not necessarily aligned with an armed insurgency. It is the transformation of ideas, beliefs and the national character of a country. This extreme violence plaguing our country now was preceded by months of a pandemic and the accompanying social stress. In addition, for more than a decade of political polarization has been growing and faith in traditional institutions has been falling. This mimics the precise conditions that have birthed revolution in previous societies. It no longer matters that in 2019, police killed only 15 unarmed black people in a country of over 42 million blacks. The death of George Floyd was the trigger event for those in our society who want to undo what this country has stood for over the course of almost 250 years: freedom to pursue our goals and improve our individual circumstances.
Putting down a revolution doesn’t mean using the same reckless tools with a different desired outcome. It is achieved by reasserting lawful order and common sense. We don’t’ have to choose between supporting law enforcement and supporting our minority neighbors. Both can be done. America is currently the freest and least prejudiced country in history but still has room to improve. The choice in this election is whether America will remain America or be reinvented as a socialist state. Remember, socialism has never succeeded anywhere it has been tried. Even the Scandinavian countries, the model our current leftist politicians hold up, did not embrace true socialism, but rather returned to a policy of free markets and individual responsibility. Forget about the slogan “Keep America Great.” Let’s just keep America!