From a number of friends, I have heard some version of:
“The Democrat governors and mayors are keeping lockdowns in place to hobble the economy and make Americans miserable, so that Trump will lose in November.”
Is it true?
No doubt this silver lining of the lockdowns crossed the minds of lefty politicians like California’s Gavin “American Psycho” Newsom. Another likely perk: Democrats see the lockdowns as a vehicle to change the culture permanently in their favor.
But however you slice the lockdowns, the suppression of business, the riots, the monument smashing, the social media witch hunts, the endless punitive investigations, the Kavanaugh show trial, the Michael Flynn persecution … it’s terrorism. All of it. Economic terrorism. Mob terrorism. Cyber terrorism. Bureaucratic and legal terrorism.
Democrats and their partners at Antifa and Black Lives Matter are taking hostages and spreading fear among the American people in order to achieve their cultural and political objectives. F.H. Buckley writes at the American Spectator:
We’re in the middle of a chicken game, where the Left tells us they’ll let this go on as long as Trump is president. The liberal media will ignore the riots, the liberal mayors will tell the local police to stand down, the liberal prosecutors will promptly release anyone arrested. Try to defend yourself, and you’ll find yourself prosecuted.
The message is: this is what you’ll get, America, if you reelect Trump. Elect our guy, and the madness will stop, pronto. A Democratic president would forcefully suppress the riots without a peep from the press. But until then we’re held hostage.
It’s an axiom of strategy that, when you cave and negotiate with terrorists, they have won. Conservatives have fallen into this trap again and again.
Establishment pundits on the right spill oceans of digital ink arguing with the left’s red hearings–or in the case of National Review’s Rich Lowry, rationalizing progressive canards in order to appear “reasonable.” (I think Lowry is really hoping the Washington Post will hire him after National Review folds.)
So-called conservatives in Congress dicker and bicker and react to every new stink bomb Democrats set off to hamstring the country and keep government from functioning: “Oh, the statue smashing and looting will stop if we take down the monuments of nasty white men and rename military bases? Fine, we’ll pretend this is about statues and bases and do as we’re told, while acting like it was our idea.”
Only President Trump has identified the left’s tactics as terrorism and refused to buckle. Only the president has said in effect: “If you want a real negotiation, I’m happy to negotiate. But if you hold the country hostage, threaten safety and livelihoods, or destroy property as your first move, then we will throw down. So go ahead: BRING IT.”
Trump’s approach makes many conservatives uncomfortable, because it strikes them as combative and inflexible. Over the years, establishment conservatives have fallen into the habit of responding to liberal threats with bargaining and woke tantrums with fussy logic and appeasement. These neocons resemble spineless parents who cajole and negotiate with their manipulative and uncivilized children about bedtime or bullying their peers. Establishment conservatives would rather Trump act “presidential” and reasonable while the left steals our lunch money on the playground.
Reason only works when a counterparty agrees to abide by reason, too.
Democrats have no intention of abiding by reason. They have made that abundantly clear. The left has endorsed savagery in their proxy fighters. They have declared that any methods up to and including legal persecution, character assassination, unlawful leaks, sabotage, arson, physical intimidation, blacklisting, wanton looting, vandalism, flushing the Constitution, and even cold-blooded murder are justified to rid the country of the Bad Orange Man and remake the American system in their progressive image.
The madness will end only when conservative Americans tell the left en masse: “We’re done playing this game–BRING IT. But know that if you do, retaliation will rain down on your soft little heads in ways you cannot imagine.”
Such resolve will not come cheap. Conservatives will have to accustom themselves to pain and sacrifice. Terrorists count on a differential between themselves and their targets: “We aren’t afraid to lose, but we know you are, now accede to our demands!” Terrorists’ strategic advantage evaporates when their victims refuse to be victims and call their bluff:
“We’re fine with losing the hostages. Do what you need to do, but prepare yourself for the aftermath. Not even the tick on your armpit is coming out of that building alive unless all the hostages do.”
That is not to say that savagery should be met with savagery. Rather, savagery should be met with cold resolve, a well-documented willingness to go to the mattresses, to sacrifice whatever it takes.
To give just one hypothetical, Democrats are threatening to abolish the police and leave law-abiding citizens without protection from criminals. What happens if conservatives call their bluff? “Go ahead: abolish the police. Make our day.” After all, citizens have the unambiguous right under the Second Amendment to organize local armed militias for peacekeeping and defence of natural rights. Long before America had professional policing, that’s how every community in the country maintained order. We can do it again.
At that point, Democrats can mull their options: do they want highly trained professional police officers to deal with offenders across the country? Or do they want locals citizens with much less training to form up, shoulder their AR-15s, and get the job done? I know plenty of folks in my area who are ready to volunteer for the latter. It might be rough, but it’s better than nothing.
Democrats also will have to figure out whether they have enough men in their wonderful and woke blue cities–men with steel in their hands and in their spines–to keep order once they follow through with their threat to bench the cops. If they don’t have manpower, those cities will turn into living hells of gang warfare and economic desolation inside of a week. Let them chew on that for a while and get back to us.
When targets refuse to be victims, terrorists magically transform into confused thugs with no leverage.
Too many conservatives have come to see themselves as helpless victims of the left. “Oh noooooo! they have taken over the universities! They are making lies in the newspaper! They are censoring muh speech on the Twitter! They are–” GOOD GRIEF ENOUGH ALREADY!
Conservatives either must admit they are comfortable negotiating with terrorists–with the shriveling of soul and freedom that such negotiating brings–or they must accept responsibility for their fate. When it comes to terrorism, there is no middle ground, no “wait and see.” Terrorists bring the fight to the place where their targets live for just that reason.
The government will not save us. The administrative state in America rests tightly in the grasp of progressives who *live* to rule by threats against the populace. The smell of fear on Americans is the single reason our bureaucratic handlers get out of bed in the morning and head to their offices in capitals across the nation. They are thrilled the Antifa proxies they have enabled are driving law-abiding citizens to them for succor and compromise.
But like all bullies, their power is psychological, a bet that their targets are too afraid of getting knocked around and losing what they have to step out of line.
Upstanding Americans are not alone. Through an improbable miracle, we have a president who is begging the people to grant him the mandate to take the fight to the terrorists among the left, to pound them until THEY beg for parley. At the very least, we owe the president a clear answer.