On Violence and Today

Donald Trump, a buffoon who stumbled into the Presidency and nevertheless did much more good there than I might have expected, was unwise to call for today's march. Having tens of thousands -- hundreds of thousands -- of angry people outside Congress while they counted the Electoral College votes was bound to result in an attempted incursion. The failure of the police and the military to take this seriously is almost unaccountable, but the President should have known it would happen too. It was wrong to call for such a thing unless he was intending to lead it in an actual revolutionary attempt to overthrow and replace the government.

This is a moral claim presented as a material conditional. I believe that no true son of the American revolution can ever reject political violence per se. How could you vote for a successor of George Washington, who crossed the Delaware and killed sleeping soldiers on Christmas morning? How could you honor the Founders at all, or what they built? Revolutionary violence is at least sometimes called for in human history, and when it is, it is. 

What is never called for is endangering lives when you don't mean to follow-through. Trump was just attempting some political theater, the obvious consequences of which he didn't bother to understand. The military I criticize in the post below for failing to do the obvious thing too. The DC police apparently opened the barricades and let the mob though. 

After a year of watching mobs storm police stations and Federal buildings, or attempt to set them on fire (often with police inside!), it should have been obvious that this was going to happen. Apparently almost no steps were taken to prevent it.

Now we will be told, in the interest of unity and calming the waters, that we should give up all our grievances and admit that there was no truth in them. There was, though.

The elections really were illegitimate and stolen, and it really has been proven: Pennsylvania blatantly violated its state constitution. Wisconsin violated its laws. Georgia violated its laws both in the 3 November election and again in the run up to yesterday's.  For example, Georgia allowed Stacey Abrams to continue to register new voters even though Georgia law specifically forbids voting in a runoff if you didn't vote in the general. 

There still remain important matters that haven't been proven in court, such as the ballots-in-suitcases that were pulled out in Fulton County after the poll watchers and media were dismissed from the building, then counted for hours. Even if every one of those turned out to have an innocent explanation, though, it's clear that this election was illegally conducted in ways designed to give Democrats an advantage.

That being true, it is right and proper to say that it is true. The fact that there are weak-minded people out there who might engage in bad actions if they get excited doesn't excuse us from the duty to speak the truth. This is especially binding when we are speaking a truth that those in power would very much like suppressed. Right now the whole of the media and the Democratic party -- which is about to assume all three elected parts of the government, having promised to pack the fourth one to their satisfaction -- wants you to quietly pretend that they won fair and square.

They would also like you to be ashamed to have been associated with any of this, so you won't push back on what they do with their newfound power. 'Wouldn't that be giving encouragement to crazies, like your friend in the buffalo hat and Viking tattoos? You shouldn't encourage them. We won fair and square. Say it again. Everything we're doing is legitimate and justified, because we won fairly and you are bad people.' 

We do have to decide on basic question of what is to be done. Elise asks, in one of the Plato posts below, what we do if the government falls into wickedness and also there is nowhere else to go. That's a good question. There's nowhere else to go.

Does that justify revolution? Maybe. At this point, I'm inclined to be stoic in the literal sense -- to return to philosophy, accept what can't be changed, and to hope that the Biden crew of Establishmentarians won't get too crazy. I'm going to try, in other words, to obey the constitutional order and do what a citizen ought to do. 

That said, I absolutely do embrace political violence on those occasions in human history when it is truly called for and necessary. I do not reject it as an option. I just intend to try to live peacefully, and see if that works. Even the mighty Declaration of Independence says:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

So we'll try that first.


raven said...

My prediction is they will pass a bunch of laws, designed to make the deplorable's criminals. Then they will execute on those laws, use the resulting pushback as a "see, we told you they were bad" example, brand us as terrorists, and ramp up the actions.

Dad29 said...

I think you dismiss lightly the very real actions of Antifa false-flag personnel who have been ID'd with pictures.

There is also the question of "who told the Cap Cops to allow entry" when known Antifa agitators/professional insurrectionists were in the crowd?

And of course, the big one: when will the Cap Cop who killed the USAF veteran be prosecuted for manslaughter or 2nd degree murder?

Grim said...

So, the guy in the Buffalo Robe is Jake Angeli, an actor out of Arizona who is apparently a Q theorist. He's got to be the most easily identified criminal in world history, having opted for every single identifying mark.

I assume he will be in custody sometime today, and in prison for a long time after that. Under different circumstances it might only be for a short time: they seem to have been fairly well-behaved compared to the ANTIFA kids who literally burned down police stations and tried to fire Federal buildings that were occupied. But a woman died, a 14-year USAF Vet who had reportedly held a high-level security clearance before becoming MAGA as a Veteran, and although she was probably shot by police I expect these dudes to get charged with her murder on the theory that their felonious conduct led to it. Thus, in principle, they could even be executed.

Since this was DC and these were right wingers who will be portrayed as terrorists (which normally requires the use of violence that they didn't employ), I expect the AUSA in DC to drop the hammer on them all. I doubt they'll ask for the death penalty, but I wouldn't be surprised for them to get 5-20 year sentences for this act of trespassing and tomfoolery.

As for them coming after 'us,' my guess is that they will simply pass a gun control law we will regard as unconstitutional. If we fail to comply, we're felons in our own country for doing what we've always had a legal and Constitutional right to do. No reason to go further than that.

Elise said...

to hope that the Biden crew of Establishmentarians won't get too crazy.

Following the 2016 election, a friend of mine believed every Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad thing anyone said about Trump. A lot of our conversations were me trying to assure her that the reality of Trump did not justify her concerns. I am going to hold the hope that the same will be true of the Democrats currently in charge of the Federal government - and remind myself that the Democrats do not hold power in my State.

Grim said...

The USAF Vet was Ashli Babbit, whose MAGA leanings are affirmed by her husband.

So, I’ve seen pictures of people claimed to be ANTIFA too, but so far no hard evidence supports it. Just Twitter speculation. These two are confirmed, and they’re both right wing.

David Foster said...

I don't think Trump is a buffoon...he has a very undisciplined but also very creative mind. The second attribute has allowed him to have insights that few others at high levels in politics/media have had. Creativity and lack of mental discipline do often (but by no means always) go together.

I did have some concerns that there might be some violence at the rally today, but expected it to be random and limited, certainly not on the scale of what happened.

Grim said...

Well, and it should have been limited. We understand that tempers are high and demonstrations sometimes spin out of control, but it’s a crucial freedom and safety valve. So we permit them, but put adequate police or Guardsmen out to control outbreaks.

This should never have happened. These kids shouldn’t have been doing what they did, but they’re not the only ones at fault.

Trump, though, definitely acted a buffoon here. He invited a huge crowd and then fired them up. Of course they were going to riot, especially after a year of being taught that riots work.

E Hines said...

I'm not convinced Trump was wrong to call for the march. He did fail by not also admonishing them to keep it peaceful. They likely would have obeyed that better, as evidenced by how promptly they left when he (too late) told them to go home and go in peace.

Which brings me to a second point. The NLMSM and most of the politicians of both parties are ignoring the peaceful nature of the protest itself, especially compared with the BLM and antifa peaceful protest riots. There were 10s of thousands of participants in the overall protest. There was a small minority of that who were the gang of thugs who broke into Capital Hill and did the damage and inflicted the violence they inflicted.

The NLMSM made much of DC's private businesses spending days last month boarding up their businesses in anticipation of violence in the streets in these days. The NLMSM is carefully not reporting on the level of damage done those boarded up businesses in the streets. Maybe because there was none.

My own prediction, which I claim I made (to my wife) days before today: Ocasio-Cortez has openly hoped for Progressive-Democrat control of the Senate so that Party would not have to negotiate with Republicans. Pelosi and Schumer have axes to grind and grudges to settle. They would settle those grudges and grind those axes before they got around to their version of what they think is good for our nation. With yesterday's Georgia outcome, the Progressive-Democrats got their wish. With today's events--again, inflicted by a small minority of the 10s of thousands who were protesting non-violently, if loudly and zealously--the Progressive-Democrats will indeed grind their axes and settle their imagined scores, with great vitriol and viciousness.

And they'll be enthusiastically aided and abetted by a Joe Biden who calls for unity out of one side of his mouth and derides and smears Republicans and Conservatives out of the other side of his mouth. He objects to Republican and individual voter efforts to be heard regarding voting and vote counting irregularities--such efforts are unAmerican, he and Party insist.

Here's Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, paraphrased by The Wall Street Journal: [T]he opposition's goal of objecting to every policy initiative of the government may fall into the category of subverting state power. Sounds familiar.

One more point. The DC authorities and police, and Portland police, all summer long, worried about events "after dark" on days of protests. They were right: BLM and antifa came out and violently rioted during the night. This evening the DC police say they worry about tonight, "after dark." It's approaching midnight, and there's nothing going on as the Capital Hill assault is pushed back and defeated, and the protestors honor the curfew.

Eric Hines

Ken said...

I not sure Trump is a buffoon; however, he was not a politician by any stretch of the definition. In 2016, I was not and could not vote for Ms. Clinton. When men are put in a life-threatening position, there is always a backup, some means of extraction or to get help. And believe me, I did not think she was the smartest woman in the world.

I could not vote for Ms. Clinton and did not vote for Mr. Trump. However, during the 4 years, I watched Mr. Trump being held back and obstructed every which way. I saw he had some reasonable ideas on how to help this country. But was made to look like a buffoon when he addresses his solutions. A recent example, the travel restriction right after the Wuhan virus was recognized as a potential major disease.

I am sure there are people in the mid-east that are grateful for Trump's efforts in peace in the mid-east. How long it will last with Mr. Biden being president I can’t guess. If Iran gets the bomb, this new administration will do nothing to prevent the use.

I will stop here.

What I would like to see, is a substantial investigation of the voting this year. If there were laws broken, send the bokes to prison. Start with the lower personnel and work your way up. No lower-level election worker is going to jail when he can get a lesser time by helping the authorities to move up the ladder.

Also, I would like to know the amount and the people who are getting money from the Chinese.

I'm saddened, that TV personalities and their producers are more interested in profit and salaries than the truth.

A strange world when Mr. Como is celebrated for his leadership. Hell, it could be worst, just think in 4 years Mr. Como runs for president. South America here I come.

Grim said...

Trump is a kind of farcical Ronald Reagan. Like Reagan, he's an actor; unlike Reagan, who was a major star at one point in Hollywood, Trump was a sideshow actor in the World Wrestling Federation, and later a reality TV show star playing himself. I think he tried to 'do Reagan' in office, and sometimes succeeded -- Reagan had a good basic approach, and "Make America Great Again" probably translated in Trump's head to something like "Let's do the 80s Again." It worked, to some degree.

The Middle East peace is, I think, more to Obama's credit than to Trump's. Well, not credit exactly. When Obama showed the Saudis that it was possible for an American president to essentially endorse Iran's government and give it a 15-year pathway to nukes, the Saudis began to open their eyes about Israel. Trump's endorsement of Israel and movement of the embassy to Jerusalem made partnership with Israel a plausible thing to do in 2017, and smoothed the path; but these Sunni powers were likely to see alliance with (quietly) nuclear Israel as a hedge against Iran as viable given Obama's betrayal of our long alliance.

Unfortunately, while Trump was definitely better on China than any of his predecessors, I suspect his unreliability will have convinced many in Europe of the wisdom of accepting the 'Chinese vision of freedom.' Submission to a Chinese-led order means stability, because they never change their interests. The US is chaotic, swinging from Obama to Trump and back to Biden. China, the long tyranny, is stable.

E Hines said...

Trump is more volatile than democracy generally, but democracy--popular or republican--is volatile. Europe demonstrates that volatility like we do; they're already used to state controls. But the volatility of European democracy will teach them the failure of surrendering to a conqueror. Just, maybe too late for them to act.

And with Biden and Progressive-Democrats wholly unfettered and openly uninterested in negotiating with Republicans (and in the middle of the riotous invasion of the Capital Building, they were busily blaming Republicans for the invasion), there may well be no United States capable of pulling their fat out of the fire again.

Eric Hines

David Foster said...

Stability is seductive...and, sometimes, dangerously so. As George Eliot put it (in Silas Marner):

"The sense of security more frequently springs from habit than from conviction, and for this reason it often subsists after such a change in the conditions as might have been expected to suggest alarm. The lapse of time during which a given event has not happened is, in this logic of habit, constantly alleged as a reason why the event should never happen, even when the lapse of time is precisely the added condition which makes the event imminent."

Or, much more recently, Mark Steyn:

"‘Stability’ is a surface illusion, like a frozen river: underneath, the currents are moving, and to the casual observer the ice looks equally ‘stable’ whether there’s a foot of it or just two inches. There is no status quo in world affairs: ‘stability’ is a fancy term to dignify laziness and complacency as sophistication."

In general, I think, while everyone needs some level of stability, people and societies that are *tired* tend to need more of it.

douglas said...

"and although she was probably shot by police I expect these dudes to get charged with her murder on the theory that their felonious conduct led to it."

Wouldn't that require that the shooting be deemed justified first? I'm not sure.

"Trump is more volatile than democracy generally, but democracy--popular or republican--is volatile. Europe demonstrates that volatility like we do; they're already used to state controls."

Indeed, by European standards (especially French) this was minor league protesting at best.

Grim said...

Laws differ, but in Georgia a Felony Homicide charge only requires two things:

1) That you were committing a felony at the time, which is surely provable;

2) That someone was killed in the course of it, which is definite.

Grim said...

Here's another positive ID, for those keeping track. This guy is not a registered member of either party, and not a voter in recent elections. He looks like a happy go lucky goofball, and perhaps that's just what he is.


Still nothing suggesting infiltration by ANTIFA or provocateurs.

E Hines said...

"and although she was probably shot by police I expect these dudes to get charged with her murder on the theory that their felonious conduct led to it."

Wouldn't that require that the shooting be deemed justified first? I'm not sure.

It doesn't when the shooter is the criminal. I don't know whether that extends to the shooter being the cop responding--legitimately or otherwise--to the crime.

Eric Hines

E Hines said...

He looks like a happy go lucky goofball, and perhaps that's just what he is.
Still nothing suggesting infiltration by ANTIFA or provocateurs.

Nothing happy-go-lucky or goofball-ish about open theft. Swiping the podium was not a grab for a souvenir.

Some evidence of a couple of antifa thugs present/participating, but like you, I've not seen anything suggesting they were provoking anything.

Eric Hines