Thought I would re-post this here:
My local paper ran this story:
To which I commented:
“We must be united in revulsion at Capitol Hill rioters and lies that fueled them”
Perhaps we could just say “We must be united in revulsion at rioters”.
Is that not sufficient? It appears that we’re inching toward a mindset that says condemnation of violence is a function of one’s attitude toward the cause the rioters proclaim. That’s a dangerous path to take, but it is exactly the attitude conveyed with the OWH headline.
Perhaps the most essential foundation to any functioning society is the Rule of Law. We talk about it, but do we really understand what it means? Do we understand the long and painful history that took place in order to create it?
The Rule of Law means that all people are judged equally: There are no “castes”. There are no “nobles”. There are only “citizens”. The Rule of Law means that the same rules apply in the same manner to all people, at all times.
Trump acted shamefully yesterday, as did the rioters. All of that deserves robust condemnation.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Those rioters walked through a door that American society opened.
Here’s one example: The Speaker of The House referred to Federal law enforcement officers as “stormtroopers”. That is rhetoric every bit as inflammatory as anything that has ever come out of Trump’s mouth, and yet where is the condemnation? Certainly not on the pages of OWH.
Another example: Last year, Chris Cuomo (prominent media figure and brother to the Governor of New York) said “show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful. Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time.” In a functioning society, that would have been the end of Cuomo’s career, but he remains celebrated at the highest levels.
The point is made. We saw an unprecedented trend in 2020 where left-wing violence was justified/rationalized/defended because the dominant institutional voices in society considered the cause righteous. And maybe it was righteous, but it used to be understood that a righteous cause was undermined when advocates turned to violence. Did we learn nothing from MLK?
So, now that we’ve dug this trap for ourselves, we think we can put the genie back in the bottle? Good luck. Over 70 million Americans voted for Trump, and even if only 1% of them are radicalized, that’s 700,000 people. What are you going to do about THAT? Send in the “stormtroopers”?