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Great America

The Mob at the McCloskeys’ Were Committing a Crime

Why a St. Louis prosecutor’s public vilification of the private property owners is dangerous.

The mob streams past a “private property” sign conspicuously mounted on the gate enclosing a private community along the private street, Portland Place, in St. Louis. About 100 feet away, a barefoot Mark McCloskey emerges from the first house on the right. The privately owned sidewalk to the mayor’s house passes right by the McCloskey residence. McCloskey can be heard repeatedly screaming what the sign outside the gate politely warned, “This is private property! Get out of here! All of you! Get the hell out of my neighborhood. This is a private neighborhood, get out! This is private property! Get out!”

The mob responds by chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” At least two of the protesters appear to try to deescalate the situation asking McCloskey to calm down. One interposes himself between McCloskey and the crowd, facing the crowd in an apparent effort to steer them away from the McCloskey property. 

But a female protestor barks back, “Fuck you!” and then, “This is a public street, asshole.” Another voice shouts, “This is the sidewalk.” Then, mockingly, “call the police, you idiot.” Another voice can be heard shouting something about the “goddamn fence.”

According to reports, McCloskey called 911 before confronting the crowd. McCloskey claims the protestors entered the private area by smashing through the gate. But this video shows protestors streaming through an open gate still intact. Somebody damaged the gate before the evening was out, but there does not appear to be video available showing how it happened. 

The armed McCloskeys left their house without putting shoes on their feet. They stood with their backs near the wall of their home as the crowd continued to taunt and curse at them. Several of the protesters stopped to engage the McCloskeys from the sidewalk. A few stepped onto the McCloskeys’ grass. 

There is a gap in the video record after the crowd reaches the McCloskey property. McCloskey claims that one protestor took pistol magazines from his pocket and tapped them together threatening, “You’re next.”

McCloskey says the crowd threatened to burn down his house and shoot his dogs. Although these threats were not captured on video, one can see at least one protestor shaking a finger or a fist at the McCloskeys during the confrontation. The protester’s remarks are not audible.

What the Law Allows

Missouri law appears to permit the brandishing of a weapon to repel a threatening trespasser who refuses to leave. In 2016, the Missouri Court of Appeal for the Eastern District opined on an incident in which Richard John Whipple displayed a firearm to force a trespasser off his land. Whipple and the trespasser had bickered over an allegedly stolen bicycle. The trespasser drove his vehicle to the Whipple residence to continue another episode of the conflict. The trespasser refused to exit Whipple’s property after Whipple ordered him to leave.

Merely brandishing a weapon to repel threatening trespassers does appear to be legal under Missouri law. The Whipple Court wrote: 

Viewing the whole record in the light most favorable to Defendant, we find the testimony that Mr. Sanning was on the Whipples’ property uninvited, refused to leave upon two requests, and threatened Defendant with bodily harm was substantial evidence from which a jury could find that Defendant reasonably believed he or his family was facing an immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm.

To show they were there legally, the protesters would need to prove they entered the Portland Place compound under invitation. While the videos do show that at least some of the protestors entered through an open gate, the fenced area was clearly marked “Private Property.” 

Missouri law defines criminal trespass as entering or remaining on private property that is “fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or as to which notice against trespass is given by . . . actual communication to the actor or posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.” 

Thus, because the mob marched past the “private property,” sign and ignored the McCloskey warning that they were on private property, the assembly appears to have been unlawful. 

As the ACLU notes, “As a rule, the First Amendment doesn’t give you the right to engage in free-speech activities on private property unless you own or lease the property, or the owner has given you permission to use the property for speech.”

A Prosecutor’s Dangerous Threats

Shortly after news of the protest broke, St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner made a public statement. 

“I am alarmed at the events that happened over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault,” she said. “We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated . . . My office is currently working with the public and the police to investigate these events.” 

Make no mistake,” she added. “We will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.” 

Gardner made no indication that she intended to prosecute any of the protesters for trespass. 

In Minneapolis alone, insurers believe damages will exceed $25 million due to the “mostly peaceful” protests that rampaged after the tragic George Floyd death. In the wake of such devastation, insurance companies are expected to raise rates by as much as a factor of 10, according to the National Association of Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. In places where insurers suspect rioting could repeat, these rate hikes will drive out replacement businesses, leaving long-term damage to the economic viability of the affected communities. 

Gardner’s public statements vilifying the McCloskeys are dangerous. She seems to be publicly abusing her prosecutorial discretion to withhold protection from private property owners in the path of angry mobs. 

Based on the mob’s taunting invitation to the McCloskeys to “call the police,” these angry leftists seem to understand that they have carte blanche to intimidate private property owners. Calling the police is futile if the prosecutor upholds a “right” for the mob to use private property to express its rage. 

Businesses and private capital will eventually flee jurisdictions where prosecutors protect mobs. Economic deserts that breed greater misery will be the legacy of the mobs. But this cycle simply will lead to bigger and angrier mobs. That’s a feature, not a bug, of the growing revolution seeking to “burn it all down.”

Great America

The Left’s Shakedown and Protection Racket

Solidarity gestures are no longer acceptable to the Left. It’s now about money and power.

By now everyone on the Right who is paying attention should be properly “woke” about the nature of today’s Left—it boils down to a relentless attempt to silence dissent on every level.

In the past month, we have seen the attempt to ban a significant and wholly legitimate news outlet from Google’s ad service, a revenue generator for many online publications. Facebook similarly has spent the past few months banning legitimate news outlets from its platform. 

Of course, ironically, Facebook’s fealty to the Left has been rewarded by a huge advertiser boycott because Facebook simply isn’t banning enough right-of-center publications. Twitter continues to ban and target conservative commentators and publications. NBC News was caught red-handed doing the bidding of radical leftist groups based in the United States and Europe, coordinating with those groups pressure Facebook, Twitter, and others into banning mainstream conservative publications and commentators, including The Federalist and American Greatness.

Meanwhile the media, Democrats, and leftist groups—seeing a massive opportunity to abandon all pretense and join forces—have launched a race-baiting and violence-inducing campaign the likes of which we have never seen in the United States. 

After months of campaigning for the destruction of the American economy through Chinese coronavirus lockdowns and bans on even the smallest gatherings of citizens, the “health and welfare” campaign of the media took a backseat to promoting LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter marches and rioting

“This Is It. This Is the Moment”

Most people with a modicum of common sense can agree that none of this is coincidental. In January, with an American economy expanding at rates most economists didn’t predict, with historic levels of African-American and Latino employment and wage growth, and America finally asserting itself on the global stage against the likes of China and Iran, the media and progressives were desperate. 

Their three-year effort to persuade Americans that the Trump White House had somehow been in the pocket of Russia had collapsed, with clear evidence that the Obama Administration and those held over like James Comey and Peter Strzok, had mounted what could best be described as an attempted coup. 

The Democrats and their allies in the media discovered that their coordinated impeachment effort actually had lost them support among the public. Their political hope now rested with a Democratic nominee who can barely put two sentences together and seems not to know where he is from moment to moment. And then the coronavirus traveled over from China and turned everything upside down.

It’s fair to say that the coming four months will not be quiet or uneventful. But regardless of the outcome of the November elections, the cancel culture, the race-baiting, and the effort to divide our nation along racial, religious, and economic lines will continue, because that is all the Democrats have to offer the American public. 

As has been well-documented, Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization with almost no interest in addressing racism, or encouraging racial reconciliation, or even justice reform. Its sole focus is the overthrow of the American Republic for a Marxist alternative. 

A New York Times story last week on a Southern food organization and its infighting over whether to remove its white, male, progressive leader, John T. Edge is worth noting. A quote struck me as both telling and a wakeup call as to where this toxic stew of division, economics, and race comes into play. “What we have is a middle-aged man who, like so many progressive Southerners, has wrestled with the demons of his white Southern past and used that to help build a better South,” said Marcie Cohen Ferris, 63, a former board president and a professor emeritus of American studies at the University of North Carolina. “The reconciliation stance is no longer going to work in this nation. It’s about economics and justice. This is it. This is the moment.”

Of course, “economics and justice” are intertwined with the BLM agenda. Transferring your money, your tax dollars, your job—perhaps even your property—is what amounts to “justice” for them. This feels like a shakedown racket. Don’t believe me? Groups have been focusing on such plans for years. 

Weakening the Republic

In Minneapolis, a city that for decades has been almost fully controlled by Democrats who have done nothing to fix its supposed “systemic racism,” groups have been mapping the city’s neighborhoods and properties that once had racially restrictive covenants for home sales and purchases. 

Similar projects have been undertaken in San Francisco, where restrictive racial covenants were commonplace in the richest neighborhoods. Likewise in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. and its suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. In the current environment, it’s not a stretch to see civil litigation efforts, regardless of legal standing or commonsense.

When groups organize destructive riots, when they attempt to silence legitimate voices from the public square, whether it’s Tucker Carlson on Fox News or food critic John T. Edge, or when communications companies attempt to bend to the will of the leftist mob, as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon seem to do every day, they weaken the fabric of our democracy and our liberties, and help the mob to further move the goalposts to hold their next set of victims to account. Invariably, those next victims are people who thought they were “doing right” or “making amends.” 

As Cohen-Ferris says, solidarity gestures are no longer acceptable to the Left. It’s now about money and power; what is right and just, in what was up until about five months ago the freest nation in history, be damned. 

Great America

Swamp Within A Swamp

Local politicians see the government of the District of Columbia, with its bloated bureaucracy and annual multi-billion-dollar federal payment, as their own fiefdom-cum-business. Now only statehood, accompanied by the likely demand for reparations, will do.

Most U.S. license plates feature some sort of tourism hype, like “Sportsman’s Paradise” or “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” In Washington, D.C., the plates say: “End Taxation Without Representation.”

That’s supposed to make tourists, slowly trickling back into the city, feel sorry for the poor unrepresented citizens who live here. It shouldn’t.

D.C. license plates are propaganda for an unconstitutional and increasingly violent power grab by the Democratic Party. For years, the aim has been to make the nation’s capital the 51st state, giving the party two permanent votes in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives. Seventy-five percent of Washington’s registered voters are Democrats.

But in the Age of Trump, the statehood drive has become decidedly more militant. The protest-verb “End” was added to “Taxation Without Representation” when Donald Trump was inaugurated president. Reviving a favorite 1960s-ism, Democrats seized the opportunity to cast Washington as the Last Plantation and Trump its evil overseer.

The president has nothing to do with governing the city. The U.S. Constitution designed Washington not to be a state or even a city in the normal sense, but a unique piece of real estate under the exclusive control of Congress “in all cases whatsoever.” The idea was to locate the capital in a place between Maryland and Virginia, a compromise between the North and South, where the federal government could conduct its business free of interference from any state.

Yes, Washingtonians pay federal and local taxes. As for representation, nearly 50 years ago Congress granted the city (then 71 percent African-American) a limited form of home rule. Since then, residents have had an elected mayor and city council, as well as an elected non-voting delegate in the House.

Staged to accommodate the anarchy inflicted on Washington and other cities run by Democrats, D.C.’s latest push for recognition as a state officially began a week ago. The Democratic House, in a party-line vote, passed a statehood measure, sending it to the Republican Senate, where nothing more will happen.  But don’t expect the issue to go away.

Antifa and Black Lives Matter couldn’t care less about what happens on Capitol Hill. With Trump in the White House everything about the city, especially its name, sends them into a frenzied rage.

The nation’s capital is called Washington, D.C. (for District of Columbia) to honor George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Lately Marxist mobs have torn down statues of both men, with encouragement from Democratic lawmakers, governors, and mayors.

“I’m with the protesters,” said Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s non-voting delegate to Congress since 1991.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, also a Democrat, ordered “Black Lives Matter” painted in 30-foot yellow letters covering two blocks of 16th Street just north of the White House. Bowser and other local politicians, all Democrats, have used the trashing of America’s Founders as slave owners—and therefore men incapable of justice, fairness or even common decency—to frame statehood as a racial issue.

Local politics in Washington has always been about race. Late Mayor Marion Barry, whose three terms in city hall were interrupted by a term in prison, blamed his 1990 cocaine conviction on a racist conspiracy. For years, aspiring D.C. politicians ran for office campaigning against “The Plan,” a fictitious plot by Washington’s white minority to take back the city.

Maryland and Virginia both contributed land to create the new nation’s capital in the late 18th century. Virginia reclaimed its contribution of Arlington and Alexandria in the 1840s. If the real issue today were full voting representation in Congress for the citizens of Washington, a deal could probably be struck to cede its original contribution of land back to Maryland and the problem would be solved.

But D.C.’s swamp-within-a swamp political establishment would never trade the benefits afforded by the Last Plantation for being just another county in Maryland. Only statehood, accompanied by the likely demand for reparations, will do . . . for now.

City politicos see the D.C. government, with its bloated bureaucracy and annual multi-billion-dollar federal payment, as their own fiefdom-cum-business. Which may explain why, as Washington’s African-American population continues to decline (it stood at 44 percent in 2019), the statehood campaign has gotten angrier and more destructive; mirroring what’s going on in the streets.

Take the recent attempt to topple the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, not far from the U.S. Capitol Building. Statehood activists and their history-challenged allies only see it as a reminder of white oppression.

The memorial, dedicated in 1876, was paid for entirely by former slaves—the very people Abraham Lincoln gave his life to free. It depicts the 16th president urging a freed slave to rise up from servitude.

What it became was the point in the current upheaval where enough was enough.

Pro-statehood community organizer Glenn Foster told cheering blacks and whites, some carrying “51st State” signs: “This statue right here embodies the white supremacy and the disempowerment of black people that is forced upon us by white people . . . . That’s why we are tearing this motherfucker down.”

It was clear the city would not be providing police protection.

On the appointed day, however, the plan fizzled when the White House sent a contingent of U.S. Park Police to guard the memorial, protected by a newly installed 10-foot fence.

Earlier President Trump, visibly fuming, had signed an executive order authorizing the arrest and prosecution of anyone who vandalized a monument or statue on federal property. Lincoln Park is federal property. The FBI had already apprehended dozens of vandals for damaging memorials around the country and across the street from the White House, and was looking for more.

With the stakes suddenly raised, Foster was no longer talking about tearing anything down but instead having a conversation about race and statehood. Before a turnout of hundreds, a few decked out in street-fighting regalia, several brave Washington residents took up the offer.

One speaker schooled the monument breakers in history that teachers’ unions abandoned long ago.

“You don’t even know the history of this statue,” he shouted, mocking their ignorance. “But you want to tear it down because you’re offended.”

By the time he was finished the “elder,” as one Black Lives Matter protester called him, had hijacked the rally. Confronted with a few facts and a show of force the community organizer and most of the crowd soon departed.

Whatever they were supposed to be, this bunch of misled losers was no advertisement for statehood.

So Trump-deranged was this mob that it never occurred to anyone in the movement, from the mayor on down, that associating the noble desire for self-rule with the cancel culture may not be the best PR for life inside the would-be state of D.C.

Great America

What Does Our Nation Mean to Us? Rejecting the Culture of Hate

Freedom has died many times in history; let us not witness new death pangs on the anniversary of its birth.

As we approach this Fourth of July, the United States is consumed by reckless violence, nihilistic silencing, and a systematic assault on the nation’s cultural and political patrimony. The voices of sanity are few, and civic courage is in short supply. The exemplars of such courage in the Anglo-American tradition—Washington, Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill—are under assault from angry extremists who topple statues with impunity and demand absolute conformity. Government at every level appears impotent as indignant fanatics rule the streets. We have arrived at the unthinkable: “America’s Jacobin moment,” as an editorial in the Wall Street Journal aptly put it. What has happened to our republic?

Our talking heads, the so-called “chattering classes,” pretend that this eruption of insanity has something to do with the quest for racial justice. That could not be further from the truth. Black Lives Matter—the movement, not the slogan—is in fact a racialist and ideological organization that denies common humanity and a morality applicable to all human beings. Professed enemies of decency and restraint, these Maoists and para-Marxists demonize all white people and anyone of any race or religion who challenges their bizarre and fanatical worldview, as well as the police (whose immediate abolition they demand). Of course, they do not believe that all black lives matter: Those black people, including children, cut down by urban violence in Chicago or Baltimore every weekend, or aborted at higher numbers than they are born in New York City, don’t pass ideological muster. Black lives matter, of course, because all lives matter, but that elementary truth is now verboten.  All races are equal, but in BLM’s universe, some are more equal than others. This is a recipe for hatred and perpetual social conflict.

To affirm the moral law, the natural law, the spirit of the Ten Commandments, the true ground of all human dignity, is now said to be an indelible mark of racism. The mob dictates, and subservient elites shamelessly comply. We are witnessing nothing less than a Cultural Revolution marked by voluntary servitude or self-enslavement. American democracy risks committing suicide. Things are just that stark. And our pusillanimous cultural elites risk plunging us off the cliff like the “Gadarene swine” described in Scripture, but with the demons in charge rather than exorcised.

True democracy presupposes mutual accountability and mutual respect. Our greatest and most noble president, Abraham Lincoln, “loathed slavery,” as Frederick Douglass, the greatest black American of the 19th century, rightly said. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master,” Lincoln wrote in a note to himself in August 1858. This, he said, “expresses my idea of democracy.” And in his Gettysburg Address of November 1863, he called for a “new birth of freedom” that would bring black Americans fully into the American civic community. Lincoln knew that proud black men had spilled their blood for the Union and liberty and that Americans owed them honor and due respect for their sacrifices on behalf of the republic. As Douglass said in his dedication to the Freedmen’s Monument in Washington, D.C., in April 1876—a statue dedicated by former slaves in memory of Lincoln—one must show gratitude and appreciation to those “loyal, brave, and patriotic” black soldiers who “fell in defense of the Union and liberty.” Both they and Lincoln died at the service of a republic worthy of free men and women, one where citizens shared in rule and were neither masters nor slaves. We should be proud of that shared civic legacy, that mutual struggle for liberty and human dignity.

But now even the Freedmen’s Monument is threatened by a mob of angry thugs. These “Bourgeois Bolsheviks,” as the American Conservative recently described them, despise the mutual accountability and respect for law that undergirds true liberty and equality. They mock the greatness of Lincoln and Douglass. They are defined by ignorance, ingratitude, and envy. Their ignoble “passion for equality,” as Tocqueville called it, is a grotesque perversion of the noble moral and civic equality that underlies the American proposition. This desire to tear down, to destroy and repudiate the patrimony of our fathers, is incompatible with civilized existence.

It is time to reopen Dostoevsky’s Demons, the most penetrating exposé of modern nihilism ever written. Even in the early 1870s, Dostoevsky exposed the spirit of pure destruction that could only pull down and never build anything worthy of human beings. The revolutionaries portrayed in his pages promise to cut off Cicero’s tongue and poke out Shakespeare’s eyes, to the applause of an educated society that fawned before fashionable barbarism. Dostoevsky, in his most prescient and prophetic mode, predicted that 100 million people would perish if such nihilists and fanatics ever came to power. It was given to that great soul to see many things, as another great Russian writer once observed.

Now is a time for Lincolnian and Churchillian fortitude. Let us reject the path of nihilism and hate and renew our own civilized patrimony and our noble civic tradition. Nothing less than the survival of republican self-government is at stake. If we are to renew our commitment to racial justice and civic reconciliation, we must take our bearings from the best of the Western and American traditions.
Freedom has died many times in history; let us not witness new death pangs on the anniversary of its birth.
A version of this article first appeared at Real Clear Politics. Re-posted with permission.
News

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Car Hits BLM Protester Who ‘Intentionally’ Blocked It

A vehicle carrying Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds hit a Black Lives Matter protester who was trying to block the vehicle’s path Tuesday as she was leaving an event in northern Iowa, New York Post reports.

The group of about two dozen BLM protestors weren’t allowed into the Tuesday event at Family Traditions Meat, a small processor in Ackley, so they gathered at the end of a driveway to block the governor’s car.

Jaylen Cavil, an organizer with Des Moines Black Lives Matter, told the Des Moines Register that he wasn’t hurt but that he was shocked the governor’s SUV hit him. Cavil says, “I 100% think they intentionally hit me.” Cavil had hoped Reynolds would roll down her window to speak to demonstrators, Cavil told the news outlet.

“The SUV that Gov. Reynolds was driving in drove right up to me,” Cavil told the outlet. “I was standing right in front of the car and I just stood there. I was like, ‘I’m going to stand here. Surely the driver of the governor is not going to hit me with her car.”

“This is the governor, my governor, who’s supposed to be representing me,” he said. “I’m sure that her car is not going to intentionally hit me. I was wrong.”

 

The governor’s spokesperson, Pat Garrett, declined to comment but a spokesperson for the Iowa State Patrol confirmed the incident in a statement.

“Preliminary reports from law enforcement at the scene suggest the demonstrator intentionally stepped in front of the moving vehicle,” Sgt. Alex Dinkla told the outlet. “The demonstrator appeared to suffer no injuries, did not request medical treatment and continued with his activities.”

Elections

President Trump: Do Something

Trump owes it to all Americans, past and present, to preserve their heritage and restore order.

The last few weeks have seen a nonstop explosion of disorder, violence, and hostility to America and its history. The message is plain: the old America was bad to its core, worthy of no respect, and therefore its heroes, history, and heritage must be paved over to make way for a new order.

President Trump predicted something like this in the wake of the Charlottesville protests over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee when he suggested George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be next. He was right. 

In recent weeks, while expressing humane thoughts of sympathy for the family of George Floyd, Trump has been highly critical of the riots and their attack on statues. When unrest began, he tweeted, “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard.” 

Help came too late. The looting and rioting rendered Minneapolis a war zone. Since that time, violent protests have happened around the county. National Guard troops have been mostly absent or, when they did appear, they were unarmed.  

Trump’s campaign has suggested that riots and more disorder will happen if Biden is elected. The problem with this argument is that disorder is already happening now under President Trump. 

Admittedly, Trump has had a difficult fight from the beginning. He has been hamstrung by investigations, a hostile deep state resistance from career civil servants, and a nakedly partisan propaganda campaign by the media. Nevertheless, he has a job to do. He’s not merely citizen Trump. He’s not just an observer. It’s his FBI. It’s his government to run. It’s his military to command. If he can’t run it, he needs to fire people until he can get the right people where they belong. 

Government’s First Duty

It’s not entirely clear whether Trump’s reluctance to use force is a cynical calculation that this chaos works to his advantage, or a vague instinct that anything he does will boomerang. It does not matter; there is a job to do regardless of electoral consequences. 

Americans deserve to have Mt. Rushmore and the Lincoln Memorial and their war memorials protected. They deserve to be able to walk on their own streets. The government’s first duty is order. 

Sometimes doing the right thing means going down with flags waving in the face of certain defeat. Such gestures can be a rallying cry for some future generation. We don’t think much today about the reelection of Calvin Coolidge. But we do remember the Alamo. 

As it stands, the country and the president are diminished in the face of extended disorder. A strong and swift response, while controversial, would restore the sense that the nation is not up for grabs. It would also do much to restore Trump’s prestige. Impotent tweeting and inaction encourages more assaults, demands, and brinksmanship. 

Trump, for all his business and political success, chiefly has a talent for marketing. He’s able to gin up enthusiasm and excitement to change the conversation. He did this regularly in New York City going back to the 1980s. He transitioned to television and continued to promote his brand. He surprised everyone in 2016 by winning the presidency, after championing the interests of a middle class wary of globalism, open borders, and forever wars overseas. Political marketing—the so-called “bully pulpit”—is an important part of the modern presidency. 

Trump’s Unforced Errors

But it’s not the only part. Management is an equally big part of the job. Making the right decisions, hiring the right people, setting the right priorities, and getting things done. In this regard, Trump has done rather poorly. 

Some of this, again, is due to the obstruction he has faced from within the government, including from his own party. 

This is not the only problem. He has hired the wrong people, sometimes obviously so. No one in the deep state made him hire John Bolton or keep his politically incompetent son-in-law, Jared Kushner, around. No one forced him to flirt with immigration amnesty or to pursue soft-on-crime sentencing reform. Trump has empowered and listened to people who fail to understand the unique mandate of his election. 

Trump also appears uninterested in following through. He has many times thrown red meat to his base in the form of tough rhetoric, only to walk it back later in administrative rulemaking. The most glaring example of this is the border wall. 

Consequently, his current campaign and much of his presidency has been weak and short on results. He is losing his core supporters—middle-class white voters—in a quixotic and, so far, ineffective attempt to make peace with the swamp. 

The Middling Way Won’t Work

This is the worst of all worlds. These gestures do not get the establishment to relent, and they alienate and demoralize his supporters. They do not even translate into additional votes among those he’s courting, nor among the fickle suburban voters. Even if this all had a certain plausible logic as a theoretically successful way to proceed, abysmal poll numbers strongly suggest that he needs to change course and return to the message and policies that got him elected the first time. A good place to start would be to suppress these riots and the destruction of public art using the military and every other tool available to him.

There is no doubt some cohort of middling voters who think that all of the friction and strife of the last four years—lately expressed as a violent cultural revolution—may end if the establishment is returned to order. In other words, law and order voters may prefer some order, any order, over the current chaos. 

Unfortunately for them, that middling way is not likely to work. Trump needs to find a way to make this clear. Violent street protests began during the Obama years in Ferguson and Baltimore. Trump is just the latest pretext for what has already been organized and happening in America. We have a revolutionary ruling class that is running roughshod over America’s heritage. The protesters act as the vanguard and streetfighters to those in power. Their function is to do the dirty work and convince the country to make concessions.

Voters need to understand that ejecting Trump will not lead to a restoration of order. But Trump needs to understand that inaction will not bring it about, either. 

Restoring order would involve violence and controversy, but it would restore order nonetheless. It would also demonstrate resolve and grit, qualities that always attract support and, at the very least, command respect among one’s opponents. 

A nation is more than the people living in it during a snapshot in time. In the words of Edmund Burke, it is “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” 

The nation and its patrimony are bigger than Trump and more important than his reelection. Trump owes it to all Americans, past and present, to preserve their heritage and restore order. 

Great America

Lincoln’s New Assassins

The fact that we have produced senseless mobs willing to tear down our monuments testifies to the fact that we, the living, need to do more to honor our nation’s living spirit, not merely take selfies before dead bronze.

Now the mob takes the role of John Wilkes Booth in removing perhaps the greatest of all Lincoln sculptures, the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, located in northeast Washington, D.C. The preeminent Lincoln scholar of our or any other time, Harry V. Jaffa, said many times that this sculpture, originally referred to as the Freedman’s Memorial, rivaled Daniel French’s Lincoln Memorial creation. The statue was dedicated to honor Lincoln on the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Yet the furious mob blindly objects that the statue shows a kneeling slave before a standing Lincoln. The mob is even more blinkered in its art appreciation than it is in its historical understanding, as I will show in close-up views of the muscular freedman—no longer a slave!—and other details.

According to noted Frederick Douglass biographer David Blight’s account of the statue’s creation, the sculptor, Thomas Ball, had altered his conception from a “‘kneeling slave . . . represented as perfectly passive’ (freedom given), to an ‘emancipated slave [as] agent in his own deliverance’ (freedom seized), . . . the monument as an ‘ideal group . . . [was] converted into the literal truth of history.’” 

In other words, the Commission charged with coming up with an appropriate memorial and raising funds from freed slaves—yes, the mob would be desecrating the memories, labor, and donations of enslaved Americans—saw the potential problems in the design and persuaded the sculptor to alter the statue.

The model for the slave, Archer Alexander, was the last slave captured under the Fugitive Slave Act. With his broken shackle, he is rising, as a runner coming off the blocks on the track; this muscular man is ready to spring from the harsh school of slavery into freedom. He should never have been a slave to begin with. Before, he was flat on his face, like dirt; now he is rising as a man. He is an equal; he bows to no one. 

Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

In his Promethean gesture Lincoln presents to the freeman as he did to all Americans “a new birth of freedom.” (The hand over the slave imitates the gesture of Prometheus, who, in the Greek myth, gave life to men, who before were merely statues.)

Lincoln’s right hand rests on the Emancipation Proclamation atop a Roman fasces, denoting the common good of the political community. It bears an impression of George Washington.

If we don’t believe our own eyes, we have the testimony of Frederick Douglass, who delivered the dedication address, honoring his friend Abraham Lincoln. The escaped slave Douglass is famous for his criticisms of Lincoln’s policies, including what he then regarded as his slowness to accede to plans for using black soldiers. But he also conceded the correctness of Lincoln’s measured policies. Douglass’s speech is among his best, his most complex, for its unsparing, many-sided views of Lincoln: it smashes all clichés about both men. His audience, we should note, included President Grant.

One example of a clichéd criticism of Lincoln holds him culpable because the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in its scope, freeing only the slaves in Confederate-held territory. It freed no slaves in the Union-controlled slaveholding states such as Kentucky and Maryland. Of course the North could not afford to lose support in these slaveholding, yet pro-Union, States. And Lincoln, as president, did not have the constitutional authority over slavery in states at peace with the Union as his war powers granted him with states at war with the Union. Douglass offers no sententious sop but a lesson in Lincoln’s depth of character, intellect, and incisive judgment—one that we, his audience then and today, desperately need. 

The orator forces blacks and whites to resolve to know this man better and to love our country more, and as Lincoln did, in the trials to come. “The trust that Abraham Lincoln had in himself and in the people was surprising and grand, but it was also enlightened and well-founded. He knew the American people better than they knew themselves, and his truth was based upon this knowledge.”

Finally, Douglass concludes, “when the foul reproach of ingratitude is hurled at us [free blacks], and it is attempted to scourge us beyond the range of human brotherhood, we may calmly point to the monument we have this day erected to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.” When the mob destroys or shutters that monument, how will black Americans be a more secure part of the nation to which they as all Americans should have a claim and in which they should have pride? How will any Americans have greater pride, stronger souls?

Everyone is horrified to learn of the mobs that destroyed black achievements in cities throughout the country, including Tulsa, Oklahoma, a century ago. Here is another mob out to destroy an American achievement from over 150 years ago. The real legacy of the Confederacy resides in these mobs, not in people who wave Confederate flags or defend monuments.  

President Trump’s executive order protecting monuments on federal land may yet suffice for this statue—but the fact that we have produced senseless mobs willing to tear down our monuments testifies  that we, the living, need to do more to honor our nation’s living spirit, not merely take selfies before columns and dead bronze.

Great America

When the Saints Get Frog-Marched Out

America’s cultural Marxists want nothing as much as a population “devoid of religious and national feeling.”

SAINT LOUIS—A major event signaling the unraveling of the Soviet Empire was the election in 1989 of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a Catholic, as the first non-Communist prime minister of Poland since Poland’s conquest by the Soviet Union.

In a speech to the Polish parliament just before it formally elected him prime minister, the first government official of what was to become central and eastern Europe’s post-Communist order proclaimed: “The history of our country is accelerating.”

Not so long after the Polish premier said these words, statues of Lenin were toppling throughout Russia and Eastern and Central Europe. These symbolic actions were both effects and causes of the deepest stirrings in the souls of the people being liberated from Soviet oppression. Communist parties not only lost their monopoly on power; the new regimes banned Communist parties because of their totalitarian nature, much as postwar Germany had outlawed Nazism.

Were he living today, Mazowiecki might speak again about acceleration, but in the United States and western Europe, the former bastions of Christianity and free government.

As it is a law of physics that a free-falling object accelerates during its descent, there is today a phenomenon of metaphysics in which the culture, the lawful order, and religious foundations of the United States and western Europe are plunging ever faster into the abyss.

In Atheism We Trust

A man worth remembering in these times is Anaxagoras Chaumette. He was a prime architect of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror and the chief leader of the Dechristianization movement in France. In 1792, Chaumette changed his given name to that of a pagan ancient philosopher. He explained, “I was formerly called Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette because my godfather believed in the saints.” Chaumette expelled Christian worship from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris and in 1793 organized the notorious “Festival of Reason,” featuring a prostitute on stage playing the role of the Goddess of Reason.

Four months later, Chaumette, only 30 years old, was purged and guillotined on orders of Maximilien Robespierre three months before it became the latter’s own turn to die under the blade of the Terror the two men had launched.

More than two centuries have passed since Chaumette’s suppression of French Christianity. Political and economic systems have come and gone as though trapped in a revolving door, but French Christianity has never recovered from the deeds of Chaumette and his followers. France is essentially a Godless country.

Au Revoir, Hommes de Dieu

Saint Louis, Missouri (my home) was founded by French colonists from New Orleans in 1764 as a river port of the vast territory called Louisiana. They named the town in honor of the only French monarch ever to be canonized a saint, Louis IX. The French colonial territory, stretching west of the Mississippi to the Rockies, was little affected by the French Revolution because the French crown had transferred it via open treaty to the ownership of the Spanish Empire. Spain later transferred the territory back to France in a secret treaty. Inhabitants became aware of their restoration to French rule only upon losing it again, when Napoleon Bonaparte sold the territory to the United States at the initiative of President Thomas Jefferson.

The city of Saint Louis became a center of education and culture because of the selfless labors of many nuns and priests who were refugees from the religious persecution of the French Revolution. One of these, Rose Philippine Duchesne, was a nun forced to flee her convent when it was destroyed by Chaumette’s Reign of Terror. She joined another group of nuns who became missionaries to Saint Louis, where she founded America’s first free school west of the Mississippi—an institution that educated the children of African Americans and Native Americans side by side with those of French, Spanish, and Anglo-American settlers. She was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II.

As monuments to heroes of western civilization and the American republic have fallen this month to violent mobs across the United States, a government commission in Saint Louis acted last week in secret to remove a fundamental treasure of one of America’s most beautiful public spaces, Tower Grove Park. Without prior announcement, the commission removed the statue of Christopher Columbus—the man who brought the first Christian missionaries to the New World—that had adorned the park for 140 years.

One of Missouri’s leading constitutional lawyers advises that the commission governing the park appears to operate according to an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. In an odd arrangement made after the park was donated to the city by a private philanthropist, the park is administered by a commission appointed by the Missouri State Supreme Court in Jefferson City.

The constitutional question aside, there are legal questions about the park commission’s decision to remove the statue without public hearings or other public notice or discussion.

In any case, it was a show of weakness, displaying no respect for the city’s citizens but abject fear of the orchestrated outsider forces of rioters. The weakness has emboldened the violent extremists to make more demands for dismantling the city’s cultural and religious heritage.

As soon as the Columbus statue was removed, the extremists began a pressure campaign to tear down the city’s namesake symbol, the hilltop equestrian statue of Saint Louis, King of France, in front of the city’s art museum. The radicals also demand that the 256-year-old city itself be stripped of its name.

What would be a fitting new Jacobin name for the erstwhile Gateway to the West?

Mao Zedong City is one obvious choice. Binladen-on-the-Mississippi has a certain charm. “Chaumette, Missouri,” retains the original French flavor while adding a diabolical zest.

Solzhenitsyn Predicted This American Moment

Today’s organized rioters are successors to Chaumette. They are intent upon the total de-Christianization of America. Anyone who doubts this should contemplate the warnings and the historic background presented by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his 1983 Templeton Award Address.

The great Russian writer said the 18th-century Enlightenment’s “subtle poisons permeated the educated classes in the course of the 19th century and opened the path to Marxism. By the time of the revolution, Russian educated circles had virtually lost the faith; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.”

It was Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn continued, 

who drew from the French Revolution and its seething hatred for the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that preached by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot. To achieve its diabolic ends, communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood.

The government leadership of the city of Saint Louis is so weak and hollowed out by decades of one-party Democratic rule and the drift of President Jefferson’s party into atheism, anarchism, and infanticide, that it is helpless to defend the community and our cultural heritage, assuming it wanted to. Whether it would want to is also in doubt.

Day after day across the nation, more monuments to national heroes and Christian saints are destroyed by domestic terrorists or removed by cowardly Democratic political hacks.

Much as the French Revolution devoured its creators, the accelerating breakdown of the United States has brought about the mob destruction of monuments to heroes of the struggle against slavery. Terrorists downed a statue of Ulysses Grant in San Francisco, and the mayor of Boston has remarked insanely that he is considering removing Beantown’s statue of Abraham Lincoln.

Why Lincoln? Was the Great Emancipator insufficiently intersectional?

Why Grant? Was the general who smashed the slave states perhaps—shudder at the thought—transphobic?

The San Francisco barbarians also tore down and vandalized statues of two great heroes of Hispanic civilization. One was Miguel de Cervantes. The other was the founder of the San Francisco Mission, the priest Junípero Serra, the “Apostle of California” whom Pope Francis canonized in the only such ceremony ever performed on U.S. soil.

The politicians who stand by useless while small businesses burn and our civic and religious monuments are destroyed are not innocent. They are the criminals’ accomplices. Their numbers are legion—the entire Democratic Party together with the insufferable Romneyite rump of the Republicans.

What Is a Saint, Anyway?

Chaumette, like his imitators across the United States today, played “Gotcha” with the canonized saints. He professed that he was shocked—shocked!—that they, too, were sinners. This shows ignorance as well as hatred of Christianity.

The only purpose of living as a Christian on this earth is to become a saint for eternity. When Christians recognize saints, they are not asserting that these persons never committed sins or political errors. According to Christianity, saints do not attain salvation and eternity in Heaven because they were perfect or because they transcended all of the flaws of their times and culture. Beginning with Paul, former persecutors of Christianity have become the greatest of saints. Before him, Peter denied Christ three times on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion. Saints are never sinless. They are people who acknowledge their sins and gratefully accept God’s love and mercy. The canonized saints are a tiny, tiny group of the entire Communion of Saints. Canonization is performed to provide role models for all people pursuing the purpose of Christian life.

When the saints get frog-marched out by violent, lawless gangs, all Christians are the targets.  When monuments to our national heroes of two centuries and the saints of two millennia are destroyed with impunity, the people of the United States are greatly in danger of becoming enslaved by cultural Marxism.

The violence in our parks and streets is accelerating. The threat to our Constitution, our national sovereignty, our religious freedom, and our very civilization is deadly. We must not be distracted by the rioters’ “political and economic pretensions.” 

To achieve their diabolic ends, as Solzhenitsyn warned, the cultural Marxists marauding in our country today are moving “to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood.”

Junípero Serra, Rose Philippine Duchesne, and Louis IX, pray for us.

Great America

The Corporate and Elitist Function of Racial Grievance Politics

The protesters are not paying attention to the policies and privileges of a rich and powerful establishment mostly indifferent to the nation in which it prospers.

The recent eruption of rage directed at the police, symbols of our nation’s past, and normal patriotic sentiment has been a sight to behold. What began as a rather predictable anti-police protest in the wake of George Floyd’s death has morphed into a nationwide orgy of iconoclasm.

The whole episode is reminiscent of the 1960s, when radicals protested the Vietnam War, took over campus buildings, and raged in the streets at symbols of authority. 

But a closer look reveals something distinct this time around.

The Counterculture Became the Establishment

The 1960s counterculture generally was anti-capitalist. The Left looked at the “system” or “the Man” and saw a vast, interconnected set of institutions: universities, corporations, police, the military, and the government. These institutions were treated as a common enemy, with the Pentagon as likely to be targeted for criticism (or terrorism) as Dow Chemical or Columbia University. As the Vietnam War ended, much of that energy dissipated, but the counterculture did not disappear. 

The institutions of the establishment are still around today. They’re still very powerful. But they’re no longer treated with much hostility. Instead of dismantling the establishment, the Left took it over. The Weather Underground, Black Panthers, and other radical groups continued to wage a low-level struggle against the establishment during the 1970s. But most of the leaders of the counterculture, far from “dropping out,” went on to careers in the major institutions of cultural power: universities, the media, the government, and even big business.

Barack Obama, for example, began his political career in the living room of a former Weather Underground terrorist. CIA director John Brennan was an actual Communist before joining the CIA. Infamous Chicago Eight co-conspirator Jerry Rubin became a successful stockbroker in the 1980s. 

Today the Left functions as a defender of the establishment. After all, that establishment has been hijacked and is now serving the opposite goals that it served prior to the 1960s. 

As a result, the media described the FBI and CIA as the defenders of democracy when they were running the Russian collusion operation against President Trump. Leftist rioters have benefited from organized bail funds promoted by Hollywood stars. And the entire Left indulged a maudlin romance about retired generals a few weeks ago when they joined in criticism of President Trump.

Big Business Embraces Grievance Politics

What is perhaps most jarring is the emergence of an alliance between big business and leftist radicals. 

One would think big businesses would be wary of all this disorder. Presumably, company assets and the cushy lives of their executives are jeopardized by violence in the streets. But, like wealthy people and institutions everywhere, large corporations are well insured. They’re also shielded from much of this disorder, having moved many of their manufacturing operations overseas and spending most of their non-working time in gated communities and well-guarded high rises. 

More important, these companies share the basic moral outlook of the protesters and rioters. Uber Eats earlier this month announced that black-owned businesses would have free delivery privileges on its system—a possible violation of Title VII. Apple has pledged donations to organizations challenging “racial injustice and mass incarceration.” Banks have closed early to celebrate Juneteenth, something that almost no one outside of Houston had heard of only a few weeks ago. 

None of these corporations are willing to stand for law and order. Instead, they all stand for the same extreme version of racial justice preached by the radicals, one that labels America’s past a story of “systemic racism.” With America so labeled, there is little reason to oppose the vandalism and symbolic destruction of the heroes and symbols of America’s past.

It is possible corporate America may simply be trying to avoid the heat and capture the zeitgeist. Who can forget their “we are all in this together” ads during the coronavirus shutdown? But one does not see them joining forces with other controversial campaigns, particularly those on the Right. Corporations were not weighing in on the March for Life or celebrating the Second Amendment following the Heller decision. They were notably muted about President Trump’s victory in 2016.

Corporations getting behind Black Lives Matter is much more than a generic endorsement of equality, something in which essentially all Americans believe. The message of the “peaceful” protesters, however, is not conducive to peace, which is why the protests routinely become violent riots. The message of BLM is that the country is fundamentally bad and that police brutality is not something exceptional, but a reflection of our supposed “systemic racism.” Thus, the stories and heroes that used to unite Americans, such as George Washington, must be “reexamined” or erased. 

The Establishment Prefers Cultural Leftism Over the Economic Kind

There is something notably absent from the Leftism of the protesters. Just a few short months ago the entire Democratic Party establishment locked ranks against the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders. Republicans also made much of his “socialism.” Everyone in power hates him. 

That’s because Bernie’s message was one of economic populism. It comes from the traditions of the Old Left of Woody Guthrie and the Wobblies. In this vision, the chief obstacles to our collective happiness are found in economic inequality, the power of large corporations, and a lack of security for working people, regardless of race. 

While the Democratic Party’s elders decided that message would not sell, it obviously excited a lot of young people. It promised a solution to the diminished prospects many are facing from student loan debt, deindustrialization, and flat wages. It is not wrong to note that it is a flawed and dangerous message, but it is not nearly as corrosive to national solidarity as the racial grievance message animating the protests of recent weeks. Unlike “abolish whiteness,” economic leftism makes an appeal to all races, including at least a cohort of Trump voters. 

Bernie’s populism would not, however, do much for Nike, Uber, Wall Street, Apple, and the cosmopolitan managerial elite. Bernie’s Old Left politics entailed a potentially ruinous transfer of wealth, some of which would end up in the hands of the hated rednecks of flyover country, and much of which would have to come from those in the establishment now profiting from the policies Bernie wanted to change.

The racial grievance politics of the New Left allows corporations to acquire virtue on the cheap. They can throw a few bucks to charity, run some sentimental ads, hire a diversity officer, and accrue goodwill without harming the bottom line. 

Focusing on an imaginary “white privilege” distracts the protesters and their fellow travelers from the real privileges attendant to Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, D.C.’s army of six-figure government workers, or any of Wall Street’s anonymous billionaires. Someone distracted by burning down a Wendy’s franchise or tearing down a statute of some dead white guy is one less person tempted to burn down the Federal Reserve or tear down penthouses on Wall Street. It’s a ritual and mostly ineffectual attack, like sticking pins in a voodoo doll.

Immediately prior to the recent unrest, 20 million Americans were put out of work because our leadership class panicked. A time of prosperity was destroyed because of unverifiable and now demonstrably false predictions about the spread and mortality of the coronavirus. 

Most of those who contributed to these baleful decisions—government health officials, media figures, and partisan enemies of the president—were hardly affected by the shutdowns. They could work from home, receive a full paycheck while furloughed, or live quite well on their accumulated wealth. Politicians, media figures, and corporations said “we’re all in this together,” while waitresses with $100 in the bank had to make do for three months without income. 

Directing the vague anxieties and alienation of protesters away from economic concerns towards racial grievances helps the establishment. It allows those who are responsible for our current state of affairs to erect and then topple a strawman of “white privilege.” This bogeyman is a cruel joke to an out-of-work coal miner in Appalachia or an unemployed barista in Minneapolis. 

As long as the protesters are focused on racial grievances, they are not paying attention to the actual policies and privileges of a rich and powerful establishment mostly indifferent to the nation in which it prospers. While I have no doubt many protesters are convinced of a crisis of racist police brutality, it does not stand up to scrutiny, and it is eclipsed by the economic and other problems affecting Americans of every background. 

Far from being an act of charity, corporate America making common cause with the New Left’s racial grievance politics is a self-interested campaign of distraction and evasion. Their privileges are safe, so long as the mob is targeting the statues of dead white men from the long-displaced WASP establishment of yesteryear. 

Great America

The Pitfall of #CancelYale

We should want to cancel Yale, but conservatives won’t win by trying to outsmart the Left at its own game.

Some conservatives think they’ve nailed the Left good with the #CancelYale meme. Outraged by the Left’s assaults on America’s heritage, right-wingers decided to give liberals a taste of their own medicine. They want to shame Yale and other elite universities for their ties to slavery and racism to defend American heritage. Yet, in doing so, they unintentionally reinforce the Left’s moral framework.

Elihu Yale, the university’s namesake, was a slave trader in the colonial era. That makes the school’s name “problematic,” to say the least.

Ann Coulter kickstarted this campaign in her column defending American monuments under attack. The famed conservative commentator cheekily suggested targeting Yale as a counterattack against the Left. 

“How about a bill withholding all federal funds from Yale University until it changes its name?” Coulter gleefully asked. “Quite a dilemma for the little snots who attend and teach there! It will be tremendously damaging to their brand. After all, true sublimity for a Social Justice Warrior is virtue signaling and advertising their high SAT scores at the same time.”

Coulter’s point was to note the absurdity of going after Christopher Columbus and Confederates when liberal institutions are not pure either. Nothing in our history would stand up to the standards of the woke mob, especially not the elite alma maters of the liberal chattering class. The point is to make liberals squirm and force them to live up their insane principles. 

And yet the #CancelYale hashtag took off last week, with many conservatives eagerly championing the cause. They also set their sights on Georgetown, Duke, Princeton, and others with similarly problematic histories. Most conservatives were just having some fun with the hashtag and didn’t seriously believe these schools should be cancelled.

But some conservatives seriously believe they can take down Yale and other elite universities with trumped-up accusations of racism.

“If the Right starts wounding the Left’s sacred cows (their elite alma maters), the Left will call a cease-fire on statue destruction,” said Rogan O’Handley, proprietor of a popular pro-Trump Instagram account. 

The sad fact is no liberal will change her mind in response to the #CancelYale campaign. The school is not going to change its name, nor will liberals finally agree to a statue ceasefire. The Left already believes that every American institution is tainted by “white supremacy”—they’re not going to be shocked that their universities are no exception. They will even thank conservatives for further proving their point that “racism” and slavery lie at the center of the American experience.

Some conservatives believe they are emulating Saul Alinksy and making the enemy live by his own rules in this campaign. Unfortunately, these institutions are happy to live by their own rules and intensify their wokeness.

Georgetown, one of the schools attacked for its racist history, is well ahead of these complaints. The university, which benefitted from slavery in its early years, is offering reparations to the descendants of the slaves sold by Georgetown’s Jesuit founders. The Georgetown student government voted in 2019 to impose a $27.20 fee on all students to pay for these reparations. School officials balked at the student fee but agreed to raise $400,000 for this cause. Georgetown officially apologized for its slavery connection in 2016 and offered preferential admission to the descendants of the sold slaves. 

Other universities have also apologized for their connection to slavery and pledged to work harder against racism. 

The Princeton Theological Seminary last year pledged nearly $28 million in reparations for its role in slavery. The University of Virginia in 2006 apologized for its odious associations and heavily emphasizes the evils of slavery to students. Brown University made its apology around the same time and created a research center dedicated to slavery and injustice. Liberals consider the Ivy League school a model for how America should treat slavery and support reparations. None of these schools changed their names or shut down over their racist associations. 

Yale likely would make the same amends if the pressure campaign continues. The university would apologize, make a hefty donation to Black Lives Matter, mandate courses on slavery and racism, and strengthen its commitment to left-wing causes. It would not change its name because that would eliminate its global prestige. People will not pay $76,000 a year (absent aid) to attend the newly minted Trayvon Martin University of New Haven, Connecticut. They pay for the Yale brand and the Yale brand will stay as long as the school exists.

Yale has no problem with jettisoning parts of its past that do not align with the woke present. It renamed its Calhoun College, honoring John C. Calhoun, in 2017 to strip itself of its racist associations. Yale will stay because few associate it with Elihu Yale—they just see it as the name of the university. 

That same argument, of course, applies to military bases named after Confederate generals. The difference is that the elite doesn’t pay six figures to say they trained at Fort Benning; it is no loss to them to see the names of bases changed. Hypocritical? Obviously. But when you hold the moral and cultural power in society, you can safely ignore the other side’s bleating.

The unintended result of the #CancelYale campaign is that it further reinforces the Left’s argument for statue destruction. Conservatives aren’t attacking Yale and other elite schools for being anti-Christian, anti-American, Communist, or anything that’s abhorrent to their ideology. They’re complaining Yale is racist because of its namesake’s connection to slavery. Thus, it needs to be torn down for failing to live up to progressive principles.

In the process, conservatives buttress progressive power over our society. They’re conceding that the only way you can be canceled is if you fail to live up to the Left’s moral standards. Conservatives know they can’t cancel anti-white New York Times editorial board members or Antifa-supporting professors. They can only cancel these leftists if they made a semi-racist joke on Twitter in 2011. While it’s fun to see these folks hoisted by their own petards, it ensures that everyone only has to worry about offending the Left’s moral code.

The far-Left is not particularly tied to Yale, but leftists would prefer to see the university support the cause with substantial payouts rather than change its name. They gain power by having these institutions on their side, not by them renaming themselves. Liberals know how to make their peace with the revolution and won’t complain too much about the changes.

Elite institutions bearing the names of the old America can be altered to meet the times. Harvard eliminated Puritan references in its school song in 2018, admitting its current students are no longer Puritan descendants and the school wants to free itself of the bad old America. Yale and the others can easily follow suit. 

Their names will be the same but they no longer symbolize traditional America. These universities represent the new America at war with the old. 

We should want to cancel Yale, but conservatives won’t win by trying to outsmart the Left at its own game.

Great America

The American February Revolution Is Already Over

Digging ourselves out of this mess necessarily involves ending taxpayer subsidies to Maoist hate-mongers in the universities who teach grievance and train future revolutionary foot soldiers.

The first objective of a coup, uprising, insurrection, or revolution is to gain control of critical infrastructure. Plotters study maps of the capital to chart routes to television stations, military bases, and universities. They take precautions to prevent the military from intervening to protect the government. They move fast before popular resistance to the coup is allowed to organize and take shape. For a revolution to succeed, free speech must be curtailed. Judges, the military, and police must be intimidated into neutrality or joining the cause.

Could it happen in the United States? Has it already? One would need the chief law enforcement agency of the United States, the FBI, to submit to the mob. The mighty U.S. military must be politicized and intimidated into abandoning the president. We’re reminded of the February Revolution of Russia, during which power changed hands as a result of military and police figuratively taking a knee to the protestors. Mobs conquering police stations and assaulting cops would set examples sufficient to frighten those charged with maintaining civil order. 

In America, social media would need to be yoked to the cause as an indispensable tool of silencing critics. Publications would be easily intimidated by threats against their ad revenue. If the mob sees traditional media stepping out of line, a news van could be torched to set an example. Statues of historical figures could be toppled as a powerful symbol of the revolution’s victory over the past. Territory would need to be captured and held. 

Look around. America’s cultural revolution appears already to have seized control everywhere and all at once. 

Mao-style political educators are fanning out across government and private businesses to lead “discussions,” in which people fearful for their jobs repeat slogans or remain silent. Purges have begun. Criticizing the revolution, as the Chinese might have said, “making counterrevolutionary statements,” can get you fired. Fear is spreading faster than coronavirus. Police kneel and grovel to the mob. Children are taught to be ashamed of their birth circumstances and publicly apologize for how they were born. 

Revolution came in two stages in Russia. Academics and progressive liberals dominated the February Revolution with endless philosophical debates over egalitarian ideals borrowed from the French and American revolutions. The leaders of the provisional government opposed violent revolution and talked about things like equality before the law and the rights of unions to organize and strike. 

While the utopians and academics debated, the Bolsheviks amassed guns. In October, Lenin led a comprehensive second coup in which armed thugs easily brushed aside the idealists. The academic debates were just a distraction. 

“The only real power comes out of a long rifle,” Stalin once quipped. These historical events come to mind after watching the Seattle warlord Raz Simone in the free territory of CHOP (a.k.a. “CHAZ”) distribute expensive AR-15 rifles to insurgents he barely knows. Just a few weeks ago, Simone was using Airbnb to raise beer money. Now he is building an armed resistance. The video linked above hints at shadowy benefactors who have showered Raz with so many weapons that he resorts to handing them out to strangers. 

Last week’s Supreme Court decision on the patently unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was the figurative equivalent of judicial kneeling. 

It’s easy to be critical of the capitulation of Chief Justice John Roberts until one considers the situation from his point of view. Had the court ruled otherwise, the mob might have swarmed past D.C.’s cowering police to storm the Supreme Court. So to save itself, the court ridiculously found that an illegal Obama executive order has more force of law than an election. Fear explains the court’s recent decisions upholding liberal priorities on LGBTQ, gun control, and now illegal immigrants. The justices are human and live and work in Washington, D.C. where rioters recently torched a church sending the clear message, “yesterday’s sacred is today’s kindling.”

As Newt Gingrich notes, “All of this is the result of three generations of brainwashing going back at least to Herbert Marcuse, the German-born University of California, San Diego professor who taught young Americans the philosophical foundation of Marxism in the 1960s. As early as 1972, Theodore White was warning that the liberal ideology was becoming a liberal theology and dissent was less and less acceptable to the left.” 

Universities have been allowed to indoctrinate our next generation. Narrative replaced knowledge. You can’t test unprovable generalizations about “colonialism,” “white privilege,” and social justice. Students can’t argue or debate the “truth” of political slogans. Either choose to parrot the politics of the professor for an easy “A” or disagree and wear a scarlet “R” for the rest of your academic career.

Digging ourselves out of this mess necessarily involves ending taxpayer subsidies to Maoist hatemongers in the universities who teach grievance and train future revolutionary foot soldiers. Academic freedom should be restored and universities must be forced to stop mob veto of diverse points of view on campus. Unverifiable political dogma should be thrown out of the classroom in favor of real knowledge that can be confirmed or refuted with research and testing. But that’s for the future. 

For now, the tools of resistance to tyranny are still at our fingertips: Non-violent disobedience, prayer, speaking out against violence, and refusing to submit to the politicization of everything. They will go too far. They will turn on each other. A little courage will inspire others. America can reclaim her birthright of individual liberty if we persevere. 

TOPSHOT - A child rides a scooter past a mural by artists Malik Crawford and Jerome Tiunayan on a boarded up store in the Union Square section of New York June 15, 2020. - Many stores in the New York City area were boarded up after looting in the city following the death of George Floyd. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Great America

What Happens When the Madness Ends?

Today’s corporate revolutionary enthusiasts had better prepare for the inevitable turn.

When something cannot go on, it certainly will not go on. But what are the symptoms of what cannot go on and when? 

There are two historic red lines and our revolution is getting close to both. 

When Normal People Grow Weary 

One is when “average” people, both white and nonwhite, who identify neither with Left nor Right, woke nor unwoke, become frightened or appalled by the violence and the anarchy—and thus finally move to dismantle the guillotine as the razor increasingly starts haircutting friends, idols, and compatriots. 

Their verdict can be known either by demonstrating themselves, boycotting, voting, or massive civil disobedience. At some point, tonight’s hero on YouTube torching Wendy’s or kicking a downed policeman on CNN, becomes tomorrow’s commonplace, unnoticed felon—with a new warrant issued out on his head, and about whose fate and lengthy CV no one other than his parents much cares.

Governors and mayors can demand masks and all sorts of social distancing measures. But once they declared that only those not demonstrating—the non-looting and nonviolent—were subject to their rules, while millions both peacefully protesting and violently looting were exempt, then their words meant nothing. It will be impossible for them ever to be seen as credible again. Virus or no virus, crowded freeways, and busy malls will soon be referenda on the bond of governors like Gavin Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer. 

In a few weeks, we are promised that multimillionaire NFL players and coaches in unison will not deign to stand up for the National Anthem. Promises, promises. 

TV play-by-play announcers will praise them—or else likely lose their jobs. But millions of Americans simply will decouple from the NFL. Their silent disappearance will make the prior Kaepernick drop-off in attendance and viewership seem like child’s play. The same will be true perhaps of the more canny NBA, if they foolishly emulate the NFL. Millions will surmise that billionaire basketball players can far better make their billions in China and should—an NBA deity whose dictatorship players and coaches fear and worship while criticizing their own democracy.

Recently, there was murder in the CHAZ/CHOP-shop summer of love, and more random violence. Soon average Seattle citizens will want their city’s core back if only to reclaim their full 911 response. When the police begin not showing up for assaults, thefts, and break-ins, and criminals do what criminals do without consequences, the proverbial victims and vulnerable will have had enough and either move away or organize. 

Today’s opportunist virtue-signaler will be tomorrow’s gullible fool. Tonight’s brave looter and edgy arsonist will be tomorrow’s matter-of-fact felon.

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio vie for televised braggadocio. But when the cameras leave, and they will soon, both will be left with billions of dollars in damage, lost commerce, bankrupt budgets, and urban flight. And their whiny appeals to American deplorables for financial assistance, their attempts at shaming clingers for a bailout, will likely be the stuff of comedy. What will California’s multimillionaire Governor Gavin Newsom do when his silly press conferences end, but his 13.3 percent income tax rate and 47-cent gas tax still don’t come close to closing his $50 billion annual deficit? Give more adolescent lectures about how the virus and lockdown are “reimagining a progressive era as it pertains to capitalism”?

When Important People Find Themselves Out of Luck

Second, when important people start to suffer the concrete consequences of their own abstract ideology, then the revolution sputters—in the manner that #MeToo Tara Reid got nowhere in accusing Joe Biden of a brutal sexual assault. Suddenly, handsy and heavily breathing Joe who once swore “women must be believed” appealed to statutes of limitations, presumptions of innocence, and the right to cross-examination as if he were Robespierre suddenly deploring the promiscuous use of the guillotine.  

When hysteria fades, so too the current Antifa/BLM movement will go dormant to go enjoy the millions that they garnered from terrified virtue-signaling corporatists. When pistol-packing, AR-15 toting Raz Simone declares himself exempt from his own past homophobia and repulsive N-word vocabulary, and struts armed to the teeth at the head of his posse while blocking the police from aiding those shot and dying, then there is no society left. And those who want society back at some point will act, whether silently or visibly. Either Raz will be arrested—or bought off by a social justice Seattle billionaire and retired to a gifted lakeside home. Either way, he will go soon.

For all the conservatives who virtue signaled that Confederate statues had to come down now, the logical trajectory of their acquiesce was the toppling of Ulysses S. Grant, Columbus, and Father Junipero Serra, and the defacements of Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington. And it won’t do to deplore the mob’s insanity when it turns on abolitionists, Cervantes, and black Civil War veterans. After all, from the time of the dismemberment of Cinna the Roman poet, that’s precisely what mobs do when appeased: turn on the innocent without apology.

Declaring that Confederate statutes must fall, but only through pro forma deliberation is fine and good. But prejudging that such democratic deliberations will reach the proper end results, sends the signal to the mob of “Well, why wait for a slowcoach vote that will only confirm our violence?” If a sober and judicious observer declares that all Confederate generals are the same and all their stone and bronze images are illegitimately on public display, and all their removals must result from and be confirmed by majority votes, then why have majority votes unless one believes in the legitimacy of the old Soviet Duma or Saddam’s Iraqi parliament?

Both liberals and conservatives have red lines, for without them there is no civilization in which liberals and conservatives can disagree without tribal and ritual violence. When would-be looters and defacers turned toward liberal Beverly Hills, they were met by politically incorrect tear gas. And behold, not a single former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or retired military grandee was to be found to tweet out that America ended on that very day when those in the uniform tear-gassed civilians.

Nocturnally decapitating Robert E. Lee’s head in an obscure city park is one thing, marching in daylight on Stone Mountain with dynamite to erase the locus classicus of Confederate commemoration is quite another. Were that to happen, even Fort Bragg, California is not safe and the Wilson School at Princeton would be next in line for the guillotine.

Academics are now bombarded in their campus emails with lists of BLM demands and administrative acquiescence to them. But when the smoke clears and the flames subside, Hadley, Connor, and Palmer will have to give up their legacy spots at Stanford and Yale to meet demands for mandated increases in the size of the African-American student body. Will the edgy radical professor in his elbow patched tweed still virtue-signal from the lounge, when his kid’s 800 English SAT and straight-A prep school grades no longer are considered required admission data, and his salary in no way will match the donor heft of rival Silicon Valley tech parents?

When the frenzy subsides, what will universities themselves say after charging jacked up tuition and room and board costs for indebted students to take their classes on zoom from their parents’ basements? Will they cite “overhead” or praise the new “digital learning,” or institute “givebacks” of student payments, or claim new diversity coordinators and administrators to combat white privilege necessitate budgetary constraints?

What about the Chick-fil-A CEO—worried about corporate losses from vandalized stores and past bad PR from gay boycotts—who urged that whites wash the feet of black people? What will he do when it is again against the law to loot and deface, and when few of any racial lineage would enjoy such groveling hands on their feet? 

The Thermidor Reaction Is Coming

If a revolution is based on the untruth that blacks are daily violently terrorized by whites, what happens when data reveal facts contrary to that narrative? What happens when people come to understand that in those relatively rare interracial crimes, blacks are far more likely than whites to commit interracial violence? Or when people discover that more than 7,000 blacks are murdered per year by other blacks? When the hysteria fades, such data reasserts the truth that there is not currently a white racial war against blacks.

Now is the hour of the virtue tweeting has-been celebrity, who wishes to avoid the fate of Jimmies Fallon and Kimmel. Did the latter two, now on forced sabbaticals, think they are any more important to American entertainment than the beheaded Danton and Hébert were to the revolution of Robespierre and Saint-Just? In a cultural revolution, radicalism is a fluid and relative state, and no exemption from the violence that one advocates for others.

Just as reformers wanted King Louis XVI to give up some power but not to lose his head, so too peaceful protestors sought to institutionalize accountability for rogue cops. But also, just as a constitutional parliament was forgotten by the time of the Reign of Terror, so too the legitimate protests over George Floyd’s horrific death are now light-years distant from torching Santa Monica and defacing the World War II monument.

Instead, this is the unhinged age of the sexagenarian general mysteriously awakening from his politically incorrect slumber to publicly announce that he threw his suddenly despised framed picture of Robert E. Lee against his wall—as a good business hedge, or to rediscover mysteriously in his seventh decade that his lifelong association with Fort Bragg could be a liability in the suddenly petrified world of corporate clientage. 

The Reign of Terror will end and the Thermidor reaction is on the horizon. Today’s opportunist virtue-signaler will be tomorrow’s gullible fool. Tonight’s brave looter and edgy arsonist will be tomorrow’s matter-of-fact felon. This morning’s memo-writing social justice executive and administrator will be seen as tomorrow’s rank abettor of McCarthyite persecutions. And the coveted and esteemed racial arsonist of the moment soon will become the ostracized segregationist.

Americans believe there is one thing more regrettable than a falsifier—and that is an opportunistic and careerist falsifier.

Great America

Do Not Take the Knee

Do not cede this ground; deny the enemies of America this position.

The protests and riots that have ravaged the country this past month have brought with them demands of police and military personnel to kneel in solidarity with protesters. Donald Trump is under increasing pressure to soften his stance against protest kneeling. Kneeling is billed as a small concession to make—an easy olive branch, but Trump is right not to take a knee, and as the Commander in Chief and the Chief Law Enforcement Officer, he needs to set a strong example for our soldiers, police, and the American people. Taking a knee is not a small concession, it signals support for a growing movement of people who believe that America is a systemically racist nation and who are bent on destroying the Constitution and remaking America in an unrecognizable new mold.

Colin Kaepernick defined the meaning of taking a knee. In 2016, he articulated his reason very clearly: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” You can’t soften kneeling to mean something else or give it your own personal definition. Rational, human communication operates on agreed upon terms—you and I cannot have different definitions of the word apple and meaningfully discuss apples. Kneeling in the context of these protests has been defined. It is a physical gesture that makes an unambiguous statement. Kneeling supports the theory that America is a systemically racist nation.  

The claim that America is a systemically racist nation has spread like a virus through our society, and recently has been formally promoted by the New York Times’ “1619 Project” (which argues that America can only be understood and viewed through the lens of slavery, beginning with the first slave ship’s arrival in 1619). The most vocal among us have accepted this subversive lie without really pondering what it means to say we are systemically racist. Even patriotic Americans (including many of our leaders) are confused, intimidated, and silenced, because they don’t know how to untangle the two issues that have been deliberately conflated—patriotism and racism. Any voiced opposition, even in defense of our country, is smeared as racist. This confusion and fear in the ranks leaves the pro-America forces scattered and weak. 

To find our way out of the confusion, we have to begin with a first principle—a starting, foundational premise we know to be true and are willing to defend no matter the onslaught of the mob. That first premise must be that America is a great nation and that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are and always have been among the most, if not the most, honorable political documents ever devised by man. In short: America is not a systemically racist nation. We have to start there. That is the high ground and we have to hold it if we are going to win this war that is suddenly being waged against the very soul of our country. Make no mistake, this is a war targeted to destroy the American way of life. 

The race issue in America has been hijacked. The plight of the black community has been, ironically, appropriated by radical leftists (many of whom are white liberals) to advance their own, anti-American agendas. (The real discussion should center on the destruction of the black family, as Katy Faust and Stacy Manning so masterfully explained last week.) Regardless, whatever policies have been implemented, whatever generational disadvantages have been codified, in spite of all that genuinely needs to be fixed today—we do not and cannot conclude that America is systemically evil. 

The conundrum over kneeling cuts to the heart of the current crisis. It zeros in on the fundamental disagreement we must identify and fight. If we can understand and articulate why we oppose kneeling, the same principle will guide us through the smoke of this battlefield—to determine which conversations in the public debate are actually focused on finding paths toward opportunity for the black community and which are maliciously targeted at to destroy our nation. 

Championing the black community and defending the flag are wholly compatible. If America is going to weather this storm, we have to be able to clearly articulate our beliefs and defend them—most critically we have to insist with unwavering zeal and courage that these two stances are not contradictory and refuse to be silenced by those who would use the label “racist” as a tool of intimidation and oppression.

This battle is critical, because a country cannot survive if its citizens believe it is fundamentally evil, and a country cannot galvanize a people and win a war without an articulable objective. If the enemies of America have hijacked the race issue and are driving mercilessly toward their objective—the soul of our country—we have to articulate our counter-position to mount a successful defense. Trump swore an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution; our soldiers and police take similar oaths to defend her from all enemies foreign and domestic. Donald Trump should stand tall and summarily fire anyone in his administration unwilling to publicly reject the lie that America is a systemically racist nation.  

Do not cede this ground; deny the enemies of America this position. Our system of limited, self-government has afforded more freedom to more people than any other system in any time in the history of the world. Generations of Americans—white and black—have fought and died to defend the principles on which we were founded and by which we have thrived.  

When people explain why they stand for the flag, often they point to the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of our fighting men and women. But, why is it rational to die for a flag? It is rational only because of what the flag stands for—the principles it espouses. Our flag stands for the Constitution; it stands for our unique form of liberty that gives the most freedom to the most people; it stands for the dignity and honor of men and women successfully self-governing—a feat truly unmatched in human history. 

America, by virtue of the form of government we enjoy, as crafted and defined by the U.S. Constitution, is the greatest nation on earth, and indeed in the history of the world. That’s a bold statement, but it is also true. Generations of Americans have believed that and have fought and died for that truth. If we believe that, too, we must stand up and voice it now. It is time to fight. 

Great America

Hatred in War and in Peace

What’s disturbing today is that so few of our most aggressive haters—the Social Justice Warriors—understand themselves to be haters at all.

In 1793, Captain Horatio Nelson took command of HMS Agamemnon, a 64-gun ship of the line in the British Navy, at the start of one of England’s perennial wars with France. The two nations had been fighting for almost half of the more than 700 years that had elapsed since William of Normandy conquered the Saxons at Hastings in 1066. The Anglo-French wars (not counting as far ahead as the brief but bloody unpleasantness between Britain and Vichy France early in World War II) would culminate in Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

Aboard the Agamemnon, Nelson gave these instructions to his midshipmen

There are three things, young gentlemen, which you are constantly to bear in mind: first, you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own respecting their propriety; secondly, you must consider every man as your enemy who speaks ill of your King; and thirdly, you must hate a Frenchman as you do the devil.

Nelson’s adherence to the first of these principles was less than perfect. He once ignored his fleet commander’s signal to withdraw from a tight spot in the battle of Copenhagen, holding his telescope up to his blind eye (he had lost sight in it from a previous wound) and remarking, “I only have one eye—I have the right to be blind sometimes. I really do not see the signal!” (He went on to win the battle.)

Nelson is not known ever to have deviated from his second point. But regarding the third, he really walked the walk. “Down with the damned French villains!” he once exclaimed. “My blood boils at the name of a Frenchman! Down, down with the French!” And in another letter (which recently sold at auction for £9,000): “I form not my opinion My Dear Lord from others, no it is from what I have seen. They are thieves, murderers, oppressors and infidels.”

Nelson is in the news these days, but not because the French have called him out for Thought Crime. No, his modern enemies are all home-grown.

The hero of Trafalgar is just one of many notables of Western Civilization whose monuments have been defaced or otherwise marked for destruction by our ferocious Social Justice Warriors. The mobs bestride Britain as they do America, cursing the icons their countrymen love, and insulting, bullying, and assaulting everyone they find to be insufficiently “woke”—all supposedly in the cause of progress and racial “equity.”

They hate Nelson because, believing it would weaken Britain in her struggle with France, he opposed the abolition of slavery. They hate Sir Robert Peel, notwithstanding his active role in suppressing the trans-Atlantic slave trade, because the great prime minister’s father (also named Robert) opposed abolition. Besides, Sir Robert founded Britain’s Metropolitan Police Force (that’s why British cops are called “Bobbies”) and, as we all know, “All Cops Are Bastards.”

They hate Winston Churchill because, notwithstanding his vital role in defeating a truly “white supremacist” monstrosity led by Adolf Hitler, Churchill was a British Imperialist who didn’t think much of Mahatma Gandhi, dismissing him as a half-naked “seditious fakir.” Yet they also hate Gandhi, because he didn’t think much of black Africans, calling them “kaffirs” who should be segregated from the Indians living in South Africa. 

In America, they hate William McKinley, despite his service in the Union Army during the Civil War, because McKinley was an imperialist who put down the Philippine Insurrection, gobbled up Hawaii, and failed to be “woke” enough to satisfy the anarchist assassin who murdered him. They hate the slave owners Washington and Jefferson, because of course. They even hate Abraham Lincoln, despite his emancipation of the Confederacy’s slaves and his championing of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery throughout the land—and despite his martyrdom at the hands of an avowed Confederate assassin who hated him for those deeds—because Lincoln was not totally on board with the integrationist agenda of the Radical Republicans who would run Reconstruction. 

This hardly exhausts the list of heroes whose memorials the “woke” mobs can’t abide. They even vandalized the memorial to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, because it’s a Civil War monument, isn’t it? And besides, the regiment was led by white officers. More white supremacy!

These progressive-minded “activists” are boiling over with hatred, not only for their immediate targets but for all who oppose their anti-American jihad. That much is obvious to everyone—to everyone, that is, but themselves. That their abusive conduct may be kindling an equally livid, hateful response among the rest of us seems also to have escaped them, nor would it worry them in any case. After all, they are noble idealists whose virtue is above question and whose triumph is assured; and we’re haters to begin with, through and through, a bunch of troglodytes and dinosaurs who are bound for the dust-bin of history.

People have been pondering where this orgy of hatred may lead us. Back in the relatively placid recent past, the Fox News satirist Greg Gutfeld made a joke of it all with his 2014 opus, The Joy of Hate. More recently, the “Militant Normal” Kurt Schlichter has taken a more somber view, with downbeat essays such as “Liberals May Regret Their New Rules,” “Liberals Hate You and Want You Silenced,” and “Be A Rooftop Korean.” 

At The American Spectator, the attorney, law professor and rabbi Dov Fischer is more somber still. Skipping Gutfeld’s flippancy and Schlichter’s snark, Fischer becomes downright grim with “A Time to Hate,” in which he discusses the Left’s brutal treatment of those hapless souls who find themselves, one after another, in the position of Emmanuel Goldstein, the star of 1984’s “Two Minute Hate.”

As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.

The Bible certainly does not encourage hate. “Do not hate your brother in your heart. [If he does wrong, go ahead and] Rebuke your compatriot, but do not sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17). “Do not seek revenge, and do not bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). But the Bible acknowledges the existence of viciousness and cruelty, and it demands of decent people that we not sit on the fence in the face of evil: “Those who love G-d hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). 

Fischer might also have cited the passage (Isaiah 1:12-15) where the Lord speaks to us in the first person:

When you come to appear before me,

  who requires of you this trampling of my courts?

Bring no more vain offerings;

  incense is an abomination to me.

New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies—

  I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.

Your new moons and your appointed feasts

  my soul hates;

they have become a burden to me,

  I am weary of bearing them.

When you spread forth your hands,

  I will hide my eyes from you;

even though you make many prayers,

  I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

And he might have mentioned the chapter in C.S. Lewis’s book Reflections on the Psalms titled “The Cursings.” Those would be things like Psalm 109, which prays for limitless disasters to befall not only the psalmist’s enemy, but the enemy’s widow and orphans as well; and Psalm 137, in which the psalmist invokes a blessing on whoever would take his enemies’ babies and dash their brains out against a rock! Of such verses as these, Lewis wrote:

In some of the psalms the spirit of hatred which strikes us in the face is like the heat from a furnace mouth. … These poets lived in a world of savage punishments, of massacre and violence, of blood sacrifice in all countries, and human sacrifice in many. … [But] in the psalmists’ tendency to chew over and over the cud of some injury, to dwell in a kind of self-torture on every circumstance that aggravates it, most of us can recognize something we have met in ourselves. We are, after all, blood-brothers to these ferocious, self-pitying, barbaric men. … 

It seemed to me that, seeing in them hatred undisguised, I saw also the natural result of injuring a human being. … It is monstrously simple-minded to read the cursings in the psalms with no feeling except one of horror at the uncharity of the poets. They are indeed devilish. But we must also think of those who made them so. Their hatreds are the reaction to something. Such hatreds are the kind of thing that cruelty and injustice, by a sort of natural law, produce. This, among other things, is what wrong-doing means. Take from a man his freedom or his goods and you may have taken his innocence, almost his humanity, as well. Not all the victims go and hang themselves like Mr. Pilgrim; they may live and hate.

Lewis seems almost to be writing a brief for the “no justice, no peace” crowd, inviting them to say, “Don’t blame us! You white supremacists made us this way! We can’t help ourselves! It’s not our fault!” As if they were John Belushi pleading with Carrie Fisher. 

That, however, is not what Lewis was getting at. Of the cursing psalms, he wrote:

We must not either try to explain them away or yield for one moment to the idea that, because it comes in the Bible, all this vindictive hatred must somehow be good and pious. We must face both facts squarely. The hatred is there—festering, gloating, undisguised—and also we should be wicked if we in any way condoned or approved it, or (worse still) used it to justify similar passions in ourselves.

A good example of such wickedness would be Sister Souljah’s rap video “The Hate That Hate Produced,” which I examined for American Greatness two years ago. But back to Fischer. The successive pillorying of hapless innocents he sees the Left committing has aroused his own hatred:

There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. . . . These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. . . . And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the needy. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. . . . The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it.

In the wake of the George Floyd riots, Fischer has a whole new set of innocent people’s injuries to chew over.

Fischer takes as the text for his jeremiad against left-wing cruelty and hypocrisy the third chapter of Ecclesiastes: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” He quotes all its dichotomies, starting with “a time to be born, and a time to die,” and running through “a time to love, and a time to hate.” And, he concludes, “This is a time to hate.”

The love/hate dichotomy is the penultimate item on the Ecclesiastes list. The last one is this: “a time for war, and a time for peace.” If we may forgive Lord Nelson his inveterate hatred of the French, it’s because his country was at war with them. War and hatred, it turns out, have a lot to do with one another.

However much hatred may be stalking the land today, we’re unlikely to suffer anything like what our ancestors suffered in the Civil War. The social, political, and military elements just aren’t there for it. Besides, those who fought that war had no idea what they were getting into. On both sides, they thought the fighting would be quick and victory easy. Not one of us would be quite so ignorant now.

Even so, hatred is a necessary prelude to war. When Europe was split in two by the Protestant Reformation, it took the people in Europe’s heartland nearly a century to choose up sides and decide how much they hated each other. Then they fought the Thirty Years’ War, which “resulted in the deaths of over 8 million people, including 20 percent of the German population, making it one of the most destructive conflicts in human history.”

Hatred, moreover, is a necessary consequence of war. When the Confederate army surrendered at Appomattox, some of those on hand, notably including the Union commander Ulysses S. Grant, earnestly desired a quick reconciliation between the warring parties. Others, however, felt differently. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts describes the scene this way:

As beaten rebels surrendered their weapons to the Union Army[,] Union General Joshua Chamberlain remarked to Southern counterpart Henry Wise that perhaps now “brave men may become good friends.”

Wise’s reply was bitter as smoke. “You’re mistaken, sir,” he said. “You may forgive us, but we won’t be forgiven. There is a rancor in our hearts which you little dream of. We hate you, sir.”

What’s disturbing today is that so few of our most aggressive haters—the Social Justice Warriors—understand themselves to be haters at all. Worse still is that so few of them have any real injuries of their own to chew over, nothing like those suffered by the civil rights martyrs of the 1960s, nothing like those suffered by the haggard Southern soldiers of a century before. Theirs is a greenhouse hatred, learned not from harsh experience but from perverse instruction.

They are the children of Howard Zinn. They little dream of the harm they are doing to our country. The rest of us little dream of the harm they may yet do.

Great America

The Right Must Defend Our Monuments

Trump and Republicans will receive no plaudits or praise for joining in the Left’s war against America’s heritage.

Life is tough for statues dedicated to dead white men. At the bare minimum, these statues will be spray painted. Worse, and more common these days, an unlucky statue will be dragged across town and dumped in the nearest body of water.

Authorities seem not to mind the recent destruction. Police stand idly by as mobs deface our heritage and disregard all rules and laws. Some authorities want to finish the mob’s work and topple the statues with taxpayer-funded services.

Republicans and conservatives appear remarkably unconcerned with this war on history. They’re too busy repeating Black Lives Matter talking points to notice our monuments being defaced and our statues razed. 

The Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee even approved an amendment, proposed by none other than Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to rename long-established military bases named for officers who served in the Confederate army and to destroy all Confederate monuments in military cemeteries. Only two Republicans opposed this move—Missouri’s Josh Hawley and  Tom Cotton of Arkansas. 

Fox News host Steve Hilton, a British immigrant who styles himself a “positive populist,” said America should tear down all offensive statues. “By defending offensive symbols, Republicans can concede substantive policy debate to the Democrats,” Hilton said. He then argued President Trump could show he was the real champion of  “equality of opportunity” by doing this. 

The Mob vs. History 

In reality, Republicans would only advance the Left’s agenda and decimate our national identity.

This assault on American heritage should be a priority for conservatives and Republicans. This isn’t just about Confederates or Christopher Columbus—this is about how we see ourselves as a country. Will we be a country that honors the heroes who built our nation, or will we only remember those who held views considered proper for 21st-century liberals?

The main targets for the mob are Confederates and Christopher Columbus. Many liberals and a good number of conservatives agree with the animus directed at both. The prevailing narrative says the Confederates were racist traitors who deserve the scorn of current Americans. Columbus is bad because he and his compatriots didn’t treat the Indians well. Both are symbols of “white supremacy” and must go. Leftists don’t care about how important these figures are to millions of Americans or to our past. The past must justify the present; anything that doesn’t must be discarded.

Contemporary Americans forget the purpose of these statues. To millions of Southerners, they honor their ancestors and local culture. 

They also served to heal the nation’s wounds after the Civil War. The Confederates lost, but the victors didn’t want to treat their countrymen as a conquered people. Union veterans, while disagreeing with their cause, respected the valor and service that Southern soldiers showed for their native states. The monuments allowed the South to revere their heroes and ancestors as part of the American nation and the American story. It expresses regional pride and particularity. Those who want to topple want the South to lose its historic identity and to embrace a generic and inoffensive character. 

Like the Confederacy, many Indian tribes also fought against the U.S. government, with many of them committing all kinds of atrocities against American citizens. Yet, many places are named after the natives and monuments to these many tribes dot the country. The Amerindian monuments serve both as a reminder of our past and heritage symbols for their descendants. We rightly honor their bravery and accept these stories as part of our American heritage. Confederate statues act in a similar fashion.

Statues of Columbus serve a similar purpose. Italian-Americans see him as their great American hero, the man who “found” the New World and set off the European settlement of the continent. Columbus Day became a federal holiday due to Italian lobbying. Even if you’re not an Italian, you should see Columbus as one of the great men of history and an integral part of our heritage. His voyage was an epic journey that changed the course of history and ignited the European settlement of America. Columbus is the reason the vast majority of us are here. 

Columbus’s hostile relations with the natives are the publicized reason for hating him, but his actions were typical of the time. It also wasn’t like he was interacting with peaceful children of the forest. The Caribs, for instance, were renowned for their violence and cannibalism. Columbus’s own savagery often was in response to the aggressions of the natives.

Anti-Columbus rhetoric insinuates that Europeans should never have come to the Americas and that the New World would’ve been better off without the pale-faced intruders. The anti-Columbus movement is an attack not only on Italians, but on all European descendants and upon the foundations of America. The natives didn’t found America—the settlers from Europe did. Statues to Columbus honor him for leading the way.

Many sensible Americans may feel it’s OK to remove these monuments because they think it’s a way to make the mob’s demands stop there. But we already know it’s moved beyond that. 

Thomas Jefferson is a target. A statue dedicated to the author of the Declaration of Independence was torn down in Portland, Oregon over the weekend. Some Thomas Jefferson schools are seeking a name change. Despite his integral role in the founding of our nation, Jefferson was a slave owner who expressed racial views that would leave him permanently unemployed today. 

George Washington is also a target. Statues to him are him vandalized and destroyed and murals dedicated to him are now covered up. Like Jefferson, he was also a slave owner and thus not fit for public adoration.

Even the Great Emancipator is on the chopping block. Boston is considering taking down a statue to Lincoln because it looks too racist now. Even abolitionist statues and monuments to black Union soldiers have experienced vandalism in the recent unrest.

There is no end to this madness in appeasing the Left. The Left won’t stop at Confederates or Columbus—they want to wipe away any traces of America that challenge their worldview. The only figures we can honor are those who uphold progressive orthodoxy to the letter as they determine that letter today. They want their version of history to be the only past we remember. 

Trump and Republicans will receive no plaudits or praise for joining in this war against our heritage. It is essential that they do everything in their power to defend our monuments and history. If they don’t, the America they wish to make great again will be gone for good.

Great America

Now Is the Summer of America’s Discontent

The three-and-a-half-year tantrum of lawlessness, deceit, and hypocrisy of Democrats and their media comrades is building to a crescendo that will peak just prior to the 2020 election.

As 2020 nears its midpoint, some people believe the year couldn’t get any more insane than it has in this summer of America’s discontent. These people are called optimists and they are mistaken. For there is a method to 2020’s madness.

A grim recap of current events reveals the nature of the problem, and why it will only exacerbate in the coming months.

Stumbling into the new year, House Democrats manufactured an impeachment of President Trump that barreled its way into the Senate. There, the tendentiousness of the Democrats and their media cohorts ultimately imploded under the disingenuous weight of their own baseless allegations.

Then Russiagate—the government’s use of bogus Clinton campaign opposition research bought from a foreigner who collaborated with Russians to produce it—fizzled to an ignominious denouement, due to the fact the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller lacked any basis for their investigations. Of course, the “mainstream” press either ignored this conclusion orredoubled their effort in spreading the corrosive hoax, lest their complicity in peddling the lie be revealed. (News flash, it already was revealed to people paying attention.) 

The mendacious media’s “ignorance-is-bliss” school of journalism served them well, too, when more of Obamagate’s secrets slithered to the fore. There existed no evidentiary basis for the FISA warrants and the unmasking of American citizens opposed to the Obama Administration. Ergo, these Obama-era abuses of power constituted the weaponization of the federal government’s surveillance powers to spy upon that administration’s political opponents. 

More revelations and, perhaps, indictments are pending from U.S. Attorney John H. Durham’s investigation into Obamagate, which is a graver constitutional crisis and a bigger scandal than Watergate.

Then, in the persecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the Department of Justice requested the case be dismissed with prejudice, because of evidence of investigatory and prosecutorial improprieties. Yet, in an astounding breach of the separation of powers, a federal jurist has refused to dismiss the case, seeking to become the case’s judge, jury, and prosecutor—the latter clearly being within the purview of the executive branch’s constitutional prerogatives. 

Of course, the press acts as if this shocking development is routine and happens every day—just like the Obama Administration’s unmaskings.

As If Things Weren’t Bad Enough . . .

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, its death toll largely driven by blue state governors unconscionably placing infected seniors into long-term care facilities with non-infected seniors. Not content with killing grandma, these governors, their politicized public health “experts,” and the panic-porn pimping media—collectively let’s call them the “pandemic policymakers”—arbitrarily and capriciously issued unilateral emergency orders, locking down and decimating a booming economy and trammeling the constitutional rights of all Americans. 

Of course, for the pandemic policymakers,  “flatten the curve” quickly became locking down Americans until they find a cure (or at least a vaccine). If you disagreed with their Draconian grabs at control, and tried to bury a loved one or peacefully protested the lockdowns, “Karen’s Quaranteam” accused you of being selfish and deserving of shame and sought to hit you with fines and possibly even imprisonment.

That was the situation until the George Floyd protests, which heightened awareness of racism and police brutality in America—and awareness of the fact the pandemic policy experts were wrong, hypocrites, or both. 

Claiming racism was a public health issue that would transcend the COVID-19 virus, which disproportionately affects minorities, the pandemic policymakers granted an exception for attending protests and George Floyd’s various public memorials—but not at your own loved one’s funeral. It remains to be seen if COVID-19 itself has issued an exception for these gatherings; and, if there is no “spike” due to these protests, whether the pandemic policymakers will beg the public’s forgiveness for their gigantic egos and grievous errors.

Yet, this is as likely as the Left admitting Antifa is bad, and that riots involving looting, arson, and violence are wrong. And because the Left cannot admit this criminal behavior has no place in America, they and their comrades in the press are busy justifying it when they aren’t ignoring it. 

It doesn’t even matter to them that the mayhem impacts minorities the most. Instead, America is gaslit with paeans to peaceful protests even as buildings burn behind reporters; autonomous zones are carved out of major metropolitan cities; and “defund the police” is the subject of Orwellian opinion pieces by condescending journalistic jackasses who claim Americans aren’t smart enough to know the phrase means exactly what the radicals tell us it means, namely, “abolish the police.”

What to Look Forward To

Alright, then. Have you surmised from this grim recap the nature of the problem, and why it will only get worse in the coming months?

You are correct. In this summer of America’s discontent, the three-and-a-half-year tantrum of lawlessness, deceit, and hypocrisy of Democrats and their media comrades is building to a crescendo that will peak just prior to the 2020 election. 

Deeming themselves above the law, by hook and crook, these American malcontents will continue to cause chaos and sow discontent, dissention, and division amongst the citizenry. Unable to offer better solutions to America’s problems than more half-baked socialism, they will continue to slander their opponents as racists and/or fascists; and project their sins upon Republicans. For this, they expect to be rewarded with an electoral victory in the fall.

The only remaining question is: Are you going to let them have their way?

Great America

Never Bend the Knee

Ready or not, the fight is coming to your communities, your schools, your workplaces, and your places of worship.

Recently, I posted a meme on Twitter showing a large idol with “BLM” on it, people bowing down before the idol labeled “woke evangelicals,” and three men standing who are labeled “infidels.” Of course, the meme is based on the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the Bible’s book of Daniel. These three men refused to bend the knee to a false idol. For that, they were labeled unbelievers by the ruling power and thrown into a pit of fire, yet miraculously they lived.

Some friends and family were not entirely sure what I meant by posting the meme—hence this essay. 

Most evangelicals—in fact most Americans—have no idea that Black Lives Matter means something more than the basic and indisputable point that the lives of black people are precious. They don’t know what Black Lives Matter, the organization, actually is, what it stands for, or what it is trying to achieve. They don’t know that it is a Marxist political ideology cloaked in race, an Orwellian tactic if there ever was one. 

People think that if you speak out against BLM, you are a racist who cares nothing for the lives of your fellow citizens if they are of a different race. 

So let me make this abundantly clear: I care about the lives of my fellow man regardless of the color of his skin. My work has been focused on ensuring not only that every life matters, but that every voice is heard, and that every vote is counted. 

In my personal journeys and public efforts, I have seen the challenges others face every day in schools, on the job, even at the ballot box, and I am here to tell you that BLM doesn’t truly care about bettering the lives of anyone—least of all the black community in the United States. It is far more concerned about pushing a radical ideology intended to harm the very people it claims to support because such an agenda keeps them up and operating and in business

In short: they are traitors to the cause so many believe they espouse. 

So what is Black Lives Matter, really? BLM was founded by three Marxist women in 2013. Alicia Garza, one of the founders, is a writer and activist who resides in Oakland, California. She is a self-proclaimed Marxist and “queer social justice activist” who makes no bones about admiring other Marxists and the Black Panthers. 

In a September 2016 interview with Complex.com, Garza claimed that the U.S. would be in a better place if we terminated the police. “Quite frankly,” she said, “many of our [BLM] members are continuing to investigate what it would mean to have police-free communities. I think what we’ve continued to see over time is that no moral appeal [to police] is actually stopping the deaths of black people [at the hands of police], whether they are armed or unarmed.”

Patrisse Cullors, another BLM founder, was trained in her activism by Eric Mann, a former Weather Underground member. In a December 2014 interview with The Feminist Wire, Cullors claimed she views Black Lives Matter as a means to push issues such as “decriminalizing Black lives,” “reducing law-enforcement budget,” and requiring that some police departments be “disbanded or abolished.” She’s also a supporter of the BDS movement, a deeply anti-Semitic movement that seeks to eradicate Israel. 

Opal Tometi, the third founder of BLM, wrote an article in January 2015 titled “Celebrating MLK Day: Reclaiming Our Movement Legacy,” that advocated the formation of a radical contingent of “Black trans people, Black queer people, Black immigrants, Black incarcerated people and formerly incarcerated people, Black millennials, Black women, low-income Black people, and Black people with disabilities” to achieve social justice.

Black Lives Matter is not shy about what it wants to achieve. Its founders are very outspoken about it. They do not hesitate to proclaim their Marxism, or deny their hopes of disrupting “the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” They also want to “foster a queer-affirming network.” They even go so far as to say, “When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”

What’s important to understand about Black Lives Matter is that it should be viewed through the lens of Critical Race Theory, which, put simply, constitutes Lenin’s strategy of sowing discord. But instead of sowing it around class, it is applied here to the concept of race. 

Formulated by Barack Obama’s favorite Harvard professor, Derrick Bell, “Critical race theory contends that America is permanently racist to its core, and that consequently the nation’s legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid…members of “oppressed” racial groups are entitled—in fact obligated—to determine for themselves which laws and traditions have merit and are worth observing . . . ” As in, this country’s founding is irredeemable and those institutions, laws, and traditions springing forth from the founding are illegitimate in the eyes of Black Lives Matter.

This is important to understand: they’re not simply coming for Confederate statues. They’re coming for the American Founders If they delegitimize the Founders, they delegitimize the Founders’ documents—the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, all of it

What they’re after, in other words, is regime change. If they get their way the republic will be over and no doubt these radicals, replete with their 21st-century version of Revolutionary Tribunals, will usher in a new order of Marxism. So I would tell those good-hearted, well-meaning evangelicals embracing BLM: if you embrace them, you are being useful idiots and advancing an ideology that has nothing to do with what you claim you believe and is, in fact, explicitly anti-Christian.

This is a deadly serious moment for this country. You must understand that you cannot avoid this fight because the fight will comefor you: in your communities, in your schools, in your places of work and worship. You will be left with a choice either to stand by your principles or—if not literally, then at the least symbolically—to bend the knee. 

Do not be afraid—I rejoice that I was born in such a time, and so should you. 

My hope and prayer for this country is that there will be enough people who will understand the blessings our nation has provided for all people—those whose families can be traced to this land 400 years ago and those who are fortunate enough just to have arrived—if only they will stand for our Founders’ principles, which were always intended to extend to all citizens. Who will stand their ground when the mob arrives at their doorstep? 

Great America

The CHAZ Stands Alone

Antifa in Seattle has done us the favor of reminding us of Marxist realities on a small, comical scale.

One of the more amusing spectacles of the recent protests has been the establishment of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ)—now called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP)—in the middle of downtown Seattle, Washington. Conservatives on social media have had a field day making light of the pint-sized experiment in neo-Marxist utopia. Contained within these few square blocks, however, is a microcosm of all the lies and failures of Marxist regimes since the Bolsheviks came to power, and we should pay attention while they are still merely amusing.

Upon the establishment of this little slice of heaven, the local Antifa set about throwing up barricades to create makeshift borders for their new nation. They then took to Twitter and issued a call for armed volunteers to man these borders and the checkpoints they had created. A cynic might be tempted to wonder if all that rhetoric about open borders and the dissolution of nation-states was strictly for public consumption.

Our noble crusaders almost immediately ran into difficulty. While securing their borders against outside incursion they also invited Seattle’s burgeoning homeless population to join them. These newcomers proceeded to steal the burgeoning country’s food supply so that within 72 hours they had run out of food. This has to be a record, even for Marxism.

Their initial solution was to use social media to beg the outside world for food relief. One of the organizers of the CHAZ, an 18-year-old lesbian anarchist who goes by “lauracouç” on Twitter said “the homeles [sic] people we invited took away all the food at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. we need more food to keep the area operational. please if possible bring vegan meat substitutes, fruits, oats, soy products, etc.—anything to help us eat.” 

Ever since Herbert Hoover began sending American aid to Soviet Russia, Marxist regimes have only forestalled ruin by leeching off the generosity and resources of productive free nations. Left to themselves, Marxists inevitably engineer catastrophe: the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward, the Khmer Rouge’s emptying of the cities, North Korean famines.

Marxism is Marxism, everywhere it has been tried: the same tragedy, the same horror, the same man-made disaster.

The second attempt to solve the food problem was as pathetic as it was instructive. Photos began to emerge of a vegetable garden in the middle of the zone. These photos revealed that this “garden” consisted of throwing a few inches of soil atop cardboard(?!) in the middle of a park, and then plopping a few seedlings on top of the soil. They don’t appear to have bothered to plant those seedlings, because why would you need to do that? 

It didn’t matter anyway, because within a couple of days video emerged on Twitter of a homeless man destroying the garden, possibly while high.

In this little farce, the Antifa of CHAZ reveal their complete ignorance of anything necessary for a functioning society. Marxist revolutionaries only know two things: Marxist ideology and terror. Before the revolution, Marxists use violence and subversion to undermine society. They spend their lives dilating upon theory and feuding with fellow Marxists over doctrine (think Lenin and Julius Martov in 1902). They’re steeped in ideology, and perfectly useless otherwise. Once in power, they act as though all that is necessary is to implement Marxism correctly, and utopia invariably will follow. Soviet ideologues thought they could create five-year plans and issue production goals, and that the goods would simply be produced because the plan said so. 

Marxists are so wedded to Marxist ideology that they can never accept the demonstrated truth that their ideology is precisely the problem. So when their plans fail they conclude that they are surrounded by traitors, wreckers, and class enemies who are subverting the worker’s paradise. Institutionalized terror follows: denunciations, arrests, show trials, gulags, and mass executions. It’s always just a few more executions to utopia, comrades!

CHAZ is already moving in this direction. While denouncing existing law enforcement, it took about two days for a self-appointed police force to begin prowling the Zone, led by an aspiring rapper named Raz Simone. Simone proclaimed himself the leader of a “People’s Force,” implemented a policy of stopping and questioning anyone deemed suspicious, and began employing violence against those who step out-of-line, as the People’s Force understands it.

The rhetoric of “defund the police” dovetails neatly with Marxist notions of the withering away of the state, but it never happens that way. Marxists invariably create armed forces to enforce their ideology, like the NKVD in Soviet Russia and the Stasi in East Germany. The Marxists have a monopoly on force and use that monopoly to crush their enemies, real or perceived. Man ceases to be governed by law and is governed instead by the will of the powerful. Marxism returns man to the state where “the strong do what they will, and the weak suffer what they must.” 

In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn demonstrated to the world that the horrors of the Soviet system were not Stalinist perversions, but were inherent in Marxism itself. Marxism is Marxism, everywhere it has been tried: the same tragedy, the same horror, the same man-made disaster. 

Antifa in Seattle has done us the favor of reminding us of these realities on a small, comical scale. We can heed these lessons, or be bludgeoned once again by what Solzhenitsyn called “the pitiless crowbar of events.”

Great America

Send in the Social Workers!

Condoning the Black Lives Matter organization and tolerating their fascistic methods is a dramatically more serious threat to this country than the police force.

If America persists on its present course, we might soon observe something like the following interaction:

911 Operator: This is 911. What’s your emergency?

Caller: I’m at the bank on Eliot at 19th. A guy with a gun is demanding cash.

911 Operator: Stay calm. We’ll dispatch a social worker immediately to mediate.

This dialogue is probably close to what will happen if the Minneapolis City Council gets its way and abolishes the police force in favor of “alternative peacekeeping solutions.” 

A logical next step would be to ban all firearms to avoid shootouts that result in carnage. (Corollary question: Who would even collect all these firearms without a police force? The local gangs? The mafia? Black Lives Matter activists?) Maybe the city will institute a tax on protection payments made to the enforcers who take over “policing,” and all will be well. 

The driving force behind the defund-and-abolish-the-police movement is Black Lives Matter, a classic oxymoron if ever there was one. If BLM actually cared about black lives, the group would be calling for more police. 

According to 2018 FBI statistics, black offenders (90 percent of them male) committed 48 percent of the 6,570 murders in the United States, and 83 percent of their victims were black. Only 8 percent of murdered blacks were killed by whites. High incarceration rates among the African American population are not surprising, given that various studies attribute a similar percentage of violent crime to black perpetrators. If you do the crime, you do the time.

Yet BLM preaches there is systemic racism among police, which leads directly to a supposed epidemic of unarmed blacks being killed by police. This is clearly a fabrication, as only 10 such cases occurred in 2019, and half of those victims were violently attacking the officer when they were shot. The George Floyd killing is a clear case of gross misconduct and the offending officer should spend the rest of his life in prison. But Floyd’s case is not typical in any sense.

BLM-inspired demonstrations have protested even justifiable police action recently in St. Louis, Baltimore, and other places, deterring officers from proactive policing (known as the “Ferguson Effect”) and increasing the toll of black victims above all others. BLM’s lies have killed innocent people.

Abetted by the media, fearful employers, and “woke” liberals, BLM has established the premise that to disagree with them is, essentially and by definition, racist. Facts are subservient to their “truth.” According to them, every disadvantage (and there are many to be sure) experienced by blacks is inherently driven by racism. Common sense and proper attribution of responsibility, especially if directed at blacks and individuals rather than classes, have no place.

Thus, it’s past time to recognize BLM for what it is: a fascistic movement seeking to gain power through false narratives, suppression of dissenting speech, and a takeover of the policing process under the banner of “Defund the Police.” The Floyd murder has offered BLM a golden opportunity. BLM has made clear that for public figures, simply demanding justice via prosecution is totally insufficient. They are expected to grovel before the mob to pay tribute to the gross exaggerations BLM promulgates by their portrayal of police as systemically racist or brutal. They require that we all ignore crime statistics and thus reality.

Ironically, BLM is engaging in classic discriminatory behavior: condemning people for who they are and imputing their actions to racism. Their followers are discovering that there are no consequences for punishing innocent people who do not bow before their altar. In the process, they are inviting reactionary racism among those unfairly targeted. Perhaps that is BLM’s desired outcome to further justify themselves.

There has been a recent wave of employee firings for perfectly acceptable speech or behavior that fails to conform to the BLM standard. Companies that capitulate are depriving employees of their livelihood for exercising free speech on subjects irrelevant to their jobs. How is that acceptable? This is no different than firing employees for their sexual orientation. Companies have no right to a pseudo-morality test, nor should they kowtow to “woke child mobs” (as Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., calls them) in their midst.

Ritual confession of guilt is what happens in North Korea today or what was demanded during Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution. Even the totalitarian concept of guilt by family has become a firing offense—as exemplified by a Serbian MLS soccer player whose wife questioned BLM (in the Serbian language, no less) in a tweet.

BLM also declares it racist to criticize black cultural norms that perpetuate their societal disadvantages. Yet nobody more than blacks should want those norms to change. Homes without fathers and children from multiple fathers, kids born out of wedlock (75 percent or so), or dependence on welfare are not conducive to good long-term prospects. Mothers have limited time (or motivation) to nurture, discipline, and read to children if they are the only ones working to support their families. Too many black men in the home have a history of abuse and end up passing that behavior down to their children and stepchildren.

Yes, there are indignities (and sometimes abuse) when police stop blacks under dubious circumstances. Reforms should be welcomed by all. Also, a handful of cops in almost every large city are just angry and abusive, and not solely with blacks. Their use of unjustified physical force or detention, or intense verbal harassment should be carefully monitored, and appropriate discipline applied to offending officers, including firing. Yes, police unions are a problem to be addressed. No argument here.

Politicians of all stripes are also complicit in depriving African Americans of equal opportunity. The public school system has failed in most big cities, and although charter schools often provide a far better path, a devil’s bargain between the teachers’ unions and politicians stifles them. Donations and votes overwhelm politicians’ concerns for low-income and minority children. Pols kneel before the unions, so where is BLM? Pressure here would actually matter!

Americans are falling for, or intimidated by, the BLM ruse out of a sense of justifiable revulsion and reflected guilt over the George Floyd murder. However, that miscarriage of justice does not justify accepting fascistic controls on thought, speech, and action. It does not justify punishment for not agreeing with the BLM agenda or accepting BLM’s blatant racism just because they are black. Condoning BLM and tolerating their fascistic methods is a dramatically more serious threat to this country than the police.

Great America

Rich People Like Romney Need to ‘Woke-up’

The few of us still fighting for freedom and opportunity have noticed the conspicuous absence of rich people from the cause of liberty.

Pull up a chair. Our great civic father, Mitt Romney, graciously has offered to instruct America on racism.

We mere ordinary Americans (racists) need the benefit of Romney’s superior wisdom, lest we succumb to our own warped natures and opinions. Worth somewhere around $250 million, the senator from Utah (by way of La Jolla, California) will share with us his observations on the common man’s battle with the racism in his common heart and the racism that naturally afflicts the community around him.

Romney will, of course, remind us that he is not a racist. After all, his father had the foresight to get photographed marching for civil rights. No, Romney is speaking out against the vast, unwashed, ignorance of the country. 

“We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality,” he recently exclaimed. “We need to stand up and say black lives matter.” 

Perhaps Romney thinks he’s purchased safety by writing a check of tribute to the neo-Maoist mob that topples statues, destroys private business, and torches police stations. Somebody wrote checks. Somebody equipped the guards of Antifa’s new Seattle anarchy zone with AR-15 rifles and body armor. Benefactors paid for signs, pallets of bricks, bail, and legal expenses for the few members of the mob the police managed to arrest. Romney isn’t afraid. He marched. He understands. He’s hip to the cause.

What Money Can’t Buy

If Romney wants a glimpse of his future, he might visit his kitchen staff. He may find among his servants a Venezualan ex-millionaire who also thought his money bought safety until a man from the revolution showed up to announce, “you don’t live here anymore.” 

Schools have hidden the truth from our new American revolutionaries who think they’ve invented something. Ask a young person about the famines and murders of previous Marxist revolutions. They’ll have no idea what you’re talking about. 

Of all the problems countries like East Germany, North Korea, Venezuela, and Nicaragua suffered, at least none of them had to pay to house refugees fleeing all of the exploitation and oppression capitalists are always accused of perpetrating. No West German guard ever shot a citizen fleeing east. 

Rich men like Romney believe they can afford private mercenaries to protect them. In 1776, British salary payments didn’t stop 1,500 Hessian mercenaries from taking the knee at the Battle of Trenton after a brief skirmish. If the FBI and the U.S. military will kneel without a shot fired, do you think mercenaries will stay loyal to their rich masters when the mob comes?

Rich people, you need to woke up. Antifa actively seeks to smash capitalism and redistribute wealth. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a little more coy but nevertheless looks to “reform the policies that continue to perpetuate racial wealth inequality.” That’s code for nationalizing and redistributing the Romney fortune and others like it in the name of social justice. 

Venezuela “reformed” itself from one of the richest countries per capita to one of the poorest following a nearly identical recipe. Is this speculation? There’s a demonstration of the revolution’s seize and occupy strategy going on in the heart of Seattle right now. Just try collecting rent from one of the revolutionaries in a townhome within the CHAZ. Yeah, you no longer own that property in the free state of CHAZ. 

Where This Leads

In reality, the racial issues behind the current violence have taken a back seat to the true neo-Maoist objectives. These are indoctrinated Millennials leading the revolution. Remember that Castro didn’t reveal himself as a Communist until two years after he took power. They won’t tell you about the plan to confiscate your wealth until after they seize power. 

Money means nothing if there’s no civic order to protect your rights. The legal system won’t enforce your property rights if all the lawyers and judges are woke servants of the mob. You may think your money offshore will be there for you. Get woke or go broke. The IRS already knows about your foreign bank accounts and the American financial system can be leveraged to claw back anything. In Russia, Vladimir Putin could destroy an oligarch simply by doctoring-up a tax bill

The few of us still fighting for freedom and opportunity have noticed the conspicuous absence of rich people from the cause of liberty. We see you over there on the other side, censoring free speech, rigging the legal system and elections. We’ve suffered your condescending lectures on what it’s like for the working class in America. Like you would know! You think cozying up to radical authoritarians proves you’re socially conscious. You’re like those people who thought it would be cute to buy baby tigers and lions. 

Look around at these riots. These people are not your pets to show off at cocktail parties. Soon enough, you may be looking at your former mansions from the outside, through the bars of the gates you paid for, as Antifa adds your house to the nearest autonomous zone. You may even recognize some of the “volunteer” guards from your former staff who turned on you when the revolution came. 

Look, they’re not coming for my 2017 Camry. They want what rich people like Mitt Romney have.

Romney and others like him need to understand that it’s futile to attempt to prove they are not racist. Because once that label has been assigned to you, nothing can wash you clean. Denying you’re a racist supports racism. Even you, Mitt Romney. You are a racist. They said so over and over and over again

Remember, Senator Romney, to cancel your newspaper and shut off the internet when Antifa moves in. If you’re lucky, maybe you can wash dishes in Canada when this is all over.