OpEd: When the country’s rule of law disintegrates

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My OpEd ran in today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News

As a Christian libertarian I am non-partisan, beholden to neither the evil party nor the stupid party. Most tend to disparage one party’s offences while dismissing the other’s. This is especially true on the subject of physical violence. The Libertarian platform states it well: “the only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression.” But other viewpoints that normalize violence over a rational response should be prepared for the consequences.

Last July, I discussed the Antifa and BLM violence that started in May. Both use violence as a political strategy. For Antifa, it is an anarchist goal. For BLM, a Marxist goal. As expected, BLM’s violence lasted until the election was over and Biden won. But Biden’s election will not end Antifa’s violence since they will not be satiated with the camel’s nose under the Marxist tent.

When it comes to violence, Republicans point out that progressives and their media dismissed the rioting and looting leading up to the November elections and accepted vandalism as a strategy to get Trump out of the White House. Since Trump is “literally Hitler,” anything goes, even suspending the COVID lockdowns to allow for rioting.

In May in a classic video, an MSNBC reporter was standing in front of a burning building, reporting that the “protest” was “not, generally speaking, unruly.” Rioters besieged the White House, forcing the Secret Service to take Trump into a bunker designed for terrorist attacks. In Minneapolis, BLM took over a police station and burned it to the ground while the media defended it.

In June, a mob threw a statue of abolitionist Hans Christian Anderson into a lake, Seattle surrendered a police station and four city blocks to Antifa, and nationwide rioting and looting continued.

In July in Portland, Antifa set fire to a severed, bloody pig’s head with a cop’s hat on top of a US flag. Journalist Andy Ngô was stabbed for being a conservative reporting on Antifa. And the mayor and the media referred to the ongoing assault on the federal courthouse as “protests.” Rioters continued to attack that courthouse with mortars for over 100 days.

In August, all hell broke loose across America.

  • In D.C., a BLM mob harassed white diners, demanding they raise fists in solidarity. Sen. Rand Paul and others were attacked by mobs after leaving a Trump speech.
  • Seattle rioters sealed shut a precinct door with officers inside and attempted to set the police station on fire.
  • In Portland, a BLM mob caused a man to crash his car and then beat him unconscious. Rioters wheeled a guillotine through the suburbs and executed an American flag. And “peaceful protestors” set fire to a county government building.
  • In Chicago, looters attacked a Ronald McDonald House, and over 100 people were arrested for rioting and looting.

In September, BLM protestors in Georgetown targeted a CVS because employees called the police on shoplifters. Two L.A. county deputies were shot, and BLM chanted “we hope they die” outside the hospital. BLM rioters ransacked Rochester, NY. And “peaceful protestors” pushed St. Louis and Portland mayors out of their homes.

In October, the National Guard was deployed to Philadelphia after violence and looting for the second night. Attendees at a Pro-Trump rally were attacked in liberal Ithaca (NY). And BLM rioters damaged homes and stores in Wisconsin after the DA didn’t charge a cop in a fatal shooting.

The BLM and Antifa rampaging, looting, violence, thuggery, and murder of 34 people should have been categorically condemned by the progressives and their media. But often they were celebrated by the press and lionized by politicians as the just desserts for a systemically racist nation electing a Nazi president. The NY Times reported that charges against thousands of rioters were dismissed because they were simply exercising their basic civil rights. Only when reason has left and emotion is king do we overlook crime and murder as ‘basic civil rights’.

With that backdrop the Capitol riot occurred, which everyone should categorically condemn. It should be a cautionary tale to both parties about what happens when you wink at mob rule, normalize political violence, and coddle paramilitary terrorist organizations like Antifa. Don’t feign to be shocked when the rule of law subsequently disintegrates.