The Eisenhower Solution to Mob Rule

There is much that our 45th president can find to admire in our 34th, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower was both one of the top American presidents of all time, and one of the greatest generals of the Second World War. Because of his commitment to meeting the challenges of his day and helping cement America’s role as a great nation, his poll numbers stayed north of 60 percent for most of his presidency, reaching as high as 80 percent at their peak.

As the bloody stalemate still raged in Korea when he took office, Eisenhower fulfilled his campaign promise to “go to Korea” and ended that war by leveraging his reputation and diplomatic skill, refusing to rule out all options, including a limited nuclear strike, forcing the Communist Chinese and North Korean regime to make peace. In the same way, President Trump intuitively understands that our enemies will take advantage of our foolishness if we rule out military options, broadcast our intentions through the media, and fail to authorize our military to do what it needs to do.

Eisenhower was also a successful domestic president. One of his greatest accomplishments include being the father of the Interstate Highway System. Eisenhower understood, as does President Trump, that we cannot have a great nation without a great national infrastructure. Moreover, Eisenhower gave the go-ahead to founding the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), that would eventually beat the communists in the space race and land a man on the moon, boosting American confidence as much as it boosted innovation. Eisenhower also understood that American higher education must improve its focus on science and technology in order to maintain our national greatness.

One of Eisenhower’s biggest challenges was similar to the challenge posed by today’s unprecedented and unprincipled opposition from the radical left, including the violent thuggery of “student activists” on college campuses.

Eisenhower’s experience in World War II brought home to him the need for the nation to move on from its Jim Crow past and fully integrate all American citizens into the full bounty of citizenship in this country. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, a crisis presented itself in Little Rock Arkansas. As black students exercised their constitutional right to enroll in public schools, violent mobs threatened and attacked them.

The governor of Arkansas failed to disperse what the New York Times called a violent “shrieking mob,” and even ordered the national guard to turn away black students, placating the violent crowds. Eisenhower was forced to act decisively.  

Eisenhower deployed federal troops from the famous 101st Airborne to Little Rock and took command of the national guard away from the Arkansas governor. As soon as U.S. troops were deployed, the rioters dispersed, and the students were allowed to attend school without any further violence or bloodshed.

While the issues at hand have changed, President Trump’s detractors and many militant leftists are even more of a “shrieking mob” than the Little Rock rioters.  Consider the actions of “Antifa” and “social justice” activists at college campuses around the nation.

They have declared themselves “the resistance,” and violently attack anyone with whom they disagree. They define speech with which they differ as “violence” or “hate speech” that cannot be permitted. As far as they are concerned just the act of wearing a red MAGA hat or coming out to hear the president speak is a crime worthy of being spat upon, struck, pepper-sprayed, and even attacked with deadly force.

While we can hope that the majority of liberals and democrats are appalled or that we are only dealing with a radical and violent minority, the permissive actions of some state and local authorities indicates there is probably more at work than the rantings and tantrums of a few.

align=”left” Consider that the primary function of government is to protect the rights of all citizens. When a “shrieking mob” threatens those rights, and state and local officials fail to act, or even in many cases appear to be siding with the mob, it is up to the President of the United States to utilize whatever means are at his disposal to restore order and protect the rights of all citizens of the United States.

Today’s violent activists are egged on by foul-mouthed celebrities and comedians, their partisan commentator allies in the media, and even the professors at the universities themselves. College administrators, who have the power to suspend, expel, and otherwise punish students who create a hostile or unsafe atmosphere on campus do nothing. Do not forget, they never hesitate to use these powers against bad actors when it fits their political narrative and preferences.

Worse still, many professors teach and encourage this type of “activism” in the name of “social justice.” Some have even blatantly called for the President and his supporters to be killed, while others have been caught actually carrying out acts of violence.

Events like the “Battle for Berkeley” and the attack on author Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna College are becoming a typical demonstration of how sympathetic local authorities side with violent mobs parroting the “social justice” and “hate speech” narrative. They shut down open dialogue and political discourse, rather than upholding the law and the constitutional right to free speech for all Americans. Institutions such as U.C. Berkeley, the city of Berkeley, and the increasingly seditious State of California are guilty of encouraging and supporting these rioters.

In the face of these outrages, the President pondered pulling federal funds, tweeting that if “U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” This is a good start, but in the face of blatant insurrection and threats of violence this is only a start.

Therefore, the President must consider all options―not just pulling federal funding to universities. Consider that the primary function of government is to protect the rights of all citizens. When a “shrieking mob” threatens those rights, and state and local officials fail to act, or even in many cases appear to be siding with the mob, it is up to the President of the United States to utilize whatever means are at his disposal to restore order and protect the rights of all citizens of the United States.

That may mean sending in the armed forces to restore order with force when and if necessary. This is a question of law and order. And it is a legal and a vital function of our national government conferred on the President by an Act of Congress and backed by strong historical precedent. Under the right circumstances, this bold action could both protect lives and allow all Americans to exercise their basic freedoms while providing a clear example of correct response to would-be usurpers of freedom and justice.

The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act allow the President to use our armed forces for exactly these purposes. That law provides that the “President, by using . . . the armed forces . . . shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, [insurrection or violence] if it so hinders the execution of the [laws] that [people are] deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right.” The law seems almost tailor-made for violent mobs shutting down free speech.

As “Antifa” and other activists have carried out harassment, threats, and acts of violence to deprive American citizens of their rights and protections, namely those listed in the First Amendment, it is now squarely within the authority of the President to use any means at his disposal to prevent this outrageous infringement of the constitutional rights of American citizens by mobs.

Are we about done romanticizing the student radicals and violent protesters? We are going to have to ask ourselves if we going to continue to allow universities and colleges to go on producing violent radicals and terrorists. Will we, instead, insist that publicly funded institutions of higher learning return to their role in creating the thinkers, good citizens, statesmen, scientists, and engineers who will help make America a great country again?

The President can and should use his power to both uphold and protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans and to prevent violence and anarchy. A great nation should yield not a single inch of liberty to any mob.

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