Saturday, January 9, 2021

Political Violence and the American Left

The left laid a trap, and Donald Trump marched into it. Clearly, the left had already made violence an acceptable mode of political expression. Even before this summer’s insurrection and riots, it had happily embraced anyone who engaged in righteous rebellion against the system, against the government, against the legitimacy of President Donald Trump.

Not to repeat myself, it is one thing for a marauding gang of malcontents, fired up with political zeal, to burn down buildings, to loot stores, to occupy state houses and to destroy their neighborhoods. 

It is fundamentally different from an American president to tell a mob of his supporters to force their way into the Capitol building in order to impede a constitutional process. 

For the people who have hated Trump from the minute he announced his candidacy, it was manna from Heaven. Now, they could look more like prophets than like deranged haters. They felt vindicated-- and one thing a maniac craves more than anything else is. not to be exposed as crazy. One thing you should never do is to lend credence to your enemies’ caricatures.

Anyway, we live in two countries, where different groups are held to different standards. If that is not enough to drive people half-mad, I don’t know what will.

For those who want to justify what Trump did-- even as he himself is walking back from it-- John Hinderaker reminds us that the American left has long since used violence as a mode of political persuasion. (via Maggie's Farm). And that no one, from the Democratic Party to the media has uttered the least objection:

Do you remember when President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017? Leftist Democrats rioted in Washington that day. That riot was arguably worse, more violent and more destructive, than what happened in D.C. yesterday. The liberal rioters destroyed stores, set vehicles on fire and battled with the police. Six police officers were wounded....

I don’t recall a single Democratic office-holder denouncing the Democrats’ Inauguration Day riot, and the Associated Press came perilously close to praising the rioters.

It was just the beginning:

Over the ensuing four years, Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioted countless times, bringing devastation to cities like Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and Minneapolis. Did any Democrats denounce these riots? Not that I remember. Many Democrats endorsed them, or seemed to do so. Kamala Harris, for example, said about the riots in June:

They’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day and they’re not going to stop after Election Day. And everyone should take note of that. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.

Yes, indeed, a United States Senator. Apparently, her embrace of political violence earned her the vice presidency-- and put her a brain spasm away from the oval office.

As for this past summer’s insurrection:

This was after 12 people had been killed in Democrat-sanctioned rioting, and billions of dollars in destruction committed. Have any Democrats denounced Black Lives Matter for its role in the riots? Not one. Has any Democrat denounced Antifa? Not that I know of, and some, like Keith Ellison, have specifically endorsed Antifa’s political violence.

And yet, that is the problem. No political leader, no media mogul, no tech oligarch has ever stepped forth to denounce the violence or to take responsibility for it. Instead, they can now do what Democrats do so well. They can shift the blame to Donald Trump. Because that is the issue here. And that is the trap that Trump fell into. 

Hinderaker continues:

The litany could go on for a long time. Yesterday’s assault on the Capitol was outrageous, but let’s not forget that last time out-of-control demonstrators interrupted business at the Capitol, shouted down senators and pounded on the doors of the Supreme Court, it was Democrats objecting to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

And speaking of assaults on capitols, did any Democrats object when leftists occupied the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison for four months, destroying property, impeding public business and violently assaulting conservatives? Not a peep.

Minnesota’s capitol has come under attack, too–or at least, Republicans who tried to gather there. In March 2017, Antifa Democrats besieged the state Capitol:

On March 4, Antifa members…flooded the Capitol building to disrupt local Trump supporters who were gathering in conjunction with the national March 4 Trump movement.

Many Antifa members attempted to conceal their identity by covering their faces with bandanas and goggles. [T]he rioters used mace, tasers, smoke bombs, and firecrackers on members of the pro-Trump rally, and punched others in the face.

One of those arrested and prosecuted for carrying out this criminal violence was Linwood Kaine, son of Senator and Vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine. Yawn. Democrats couldn’t be bothered to criticize rioting by their own supporters, let alone their own family members.

And let’s not forget James Hodgkinson, even though every reporter in America apparently has. Hodgkinson was the Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer who tried to assassinate the entire House Republican baseball team and very nearly succeeded, inflicting grievous and permanent injuries on Congressman Steve Scalise. Hodgkinson was not the usual 20-something loner, he was a middle-aged union official who was not insane, but just full of hate. His Facebook page was festooned with over-the-top attacks on Republicans, taken directly from speeches by Bernie Sanders and every other prominent Democrat.

Sanders issued a one or two line statement distancing himself from his volunteer’s would-be murder spree. But neither Sanders nor any other Democrat wondered whether Hodgkinson’s attack was related to their own crazed conspiracy theories (Russia hoax, etc.) and other lies that they routinely direct against Republicans.

This could go on and on, but the point is obvious: Democratic Party politicians and reporters have no standing to complain about political violence (let alone mostly peaceful protests) until they get their own house in order.

In truth, they never will. They will continue to blame it on Trump. And to avoid taking any responsibility for the violence their troops have visited on the nation.

And surely, Hinderaker is correct to see that the Democrats will now use incitement to discredit the entirety of the Trump legacy. You knew they were going to do it. It was a bad idea for Trump to play along. It was a worse idea for him to undermine two senatorial campaigns in Georgia.

Trump was, despite his flaws, a very good president. He has impressive achievements to his name, almost all of which the Democrats want to reverse, to the great prejudice of the American people. This is what Chuck Schumer et al. are trying to achieve–a comprehensive repudiation of Trump’s positive legacy.

Tax cuts? Discredited! An America-First foreign policy? Discredited! Enforcing the immigration laws, which is the president’s constitutional duty? Discredited! Stopping the China sellout? Discredited! Standing up to Russia? Discredited! Supporting the Israelis? Discredited! Cutting back on unproductive federal regulations? Discredited! Encouraging U.S. energy production and independence? Discredited! Objecting to political correctness and cancel culture? Discredited! Standing up for America as a positive force in world history? Discredited!


Lowghost said...

Dear God, What did we do to deserve this tortuous game of "I know you are but what am I?"

Give the Chinese the our country. Let them give the jobless work, the nihilists re-education, and the few with remaining social credit some kind of peace.

Anonymous said...

I usually appreciate reading your posts and take on stuff. But... I just can't lay this on Trump like you are or Powerline or NR, etc are. Nah. I listened to the speech. He told folks to march to the Capitol Bldg and be peaceful. He didn't EVER even come close to saying to break in or riot. The election was stolen. Pelosi just attempted a coup, but thankfully the Pentagon refused, and now they're gonna impeach Trump. Big tech deplatforming the President and thousands of his supporters.. If this isn't the US falling to a communist takeover what is it?

whitney said...

Night of the long knives

Anonymous said...

> It is fundamentally different from an American president to tell a mob of his supporters to force their way into the Capitol building ....

I listened to the entirety of Trump's Jan. 6 rally speech. He never said what you are claiming, said nothing about "force their way in."

It appears now that after urging, near the speech's end, "We're now going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol ...," Trump called off the march or at least did not participate in the march, did not lead the rally participants down Penn Ave to the Capitol -- likely because he learned once off-stage that the Capitol breach already was underway, had commenced while he was still speaking.

As more time passes, the Capitol breach looks more and more like a False Flag by Trump's enemies, the Dem-Rino-DerpState.

Nevertheless and to your point, the rally itself is puzzling. We are not mind-readers, so it's difficult to know what exactly Trump thought he might achieve by holding the rally and marching to the Capitol. Encourage "weak Republicans" to do the right thing? That's what he said in the speech. Jeez, no way would that work, especially not when Trump signaled in the speech that he knew Pence had already Judas Cucked. Puzzling.

Anonymous said...

This is a communist takeover. Sure some will disagree, that's fine, call it a mostly peaceful takeover if it makes you feel better. But because it is a well organized takeover and virtually all the elite are on board you would have to be stupid to stand against it. Approve of Antifa/BLM violence, call Trump an insurrectionist, whatever it takes to stay on the good side of the true insurrection. Anything else would be foolish... or incredibly patriotic.

jadair04 said...

Only discredited in some circles. I think most folks are beyond the gaslighting. js