The last couple of years have really seen a remarkable about-face from the hippies and those who espouse the recycled hippie ideals in the modern left. Used to be, we all (with the exception of a few quacks) accepted that violence and intimidation weren’t legitimate methods of achieving political change. Even if we agreed with the change that was sought, we had to condemn anyone who resorted to death and destruction to achieve those means.
The American Left no longer even pretends to believe in this message. Allow me to illustrate with three recent, high profile examples. The first of these, of course, is Baltimore. I personally am broadly supportive of the need for police reform, as I’ve stated here repeatedly. However, I’m less supportive of innocent people having their homes and businesses burned and destroyed. The way this would have been talked about 20 years ago, we would have condemned the violence and waited for order to be restored before discussing reform. However, dozens of prominent and respected liberal commentators actually expressed public support for rioting and looting while it was ongoing.
The second was the California High School’s decision – widely hailed by the left and upheld by the 9th Circuit – to ban American Flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. The threat of violence, you see, justified the school’s decision. Never mind the idea that the school should have been prepared to actually manage violence and discipline anyone who was motivated to use violence and/or intimidation against someone who was offended at the display of the flag of the country in which he or she lived. No, see, what we really have to focus on is the fact that if something might incite people to violence, we put a stop to that, not punish the violent.
Third, of course, is the shooting last night in Garland at the Pam Gellar event. Whatever you think about how offensive it is and whether it should or should not have occurred, the only thing that people should be saying today is that no one should have been shot for attending. Yet instead of condemning the shooters, most liberals are focused on condemning the fact that the event occurred.
In each of these three cases, the expectation of liberals is that Americans should be forced to withhold from participating in lawful activities due to the threat of violence. Rather than expecting that the American justice system should catch and punish those who would use violence and force against the peaceful exercise of Constitutional rights, liberals expect Americans to voluntarily forego the exercise of those rights in order to mollify the feelings of violent criminals.
Alright, fine. Let’s apply this logic to certain other things that are areas of hot political disagreements.
You know what gets some people really angry and upset, to the point of violence? Abortions. I know that the Supreme Court has invented a Constitutional right for a woman to get an abortion, but you see, when they do this, they might cause a James Kopp or somebody to engage in some violence against an abortion doctor or an abortion clinic. And nobody wants that. So if violence is a legitimate means of achieving political ends, maybe the next time an abortion doctor gets shot, liberals can engage in this same kind of pained soul searching and condemn the women who get abortions and provoke the violence rather than the perpetrators of said violence. What do you say, liberals, do we have a deal?
Because the thing about violence is that it’s super effective, especially if it’s treated as legitimate. Violence works. Baltimore is getting a whole ton of Federal money and police reform while their city was still on fire. Pam Gellar is probably going to have a very difficult time getting a venue for her next event. Allegedly violent teens put an end to wearing American flag shirts in California High Schools.
The only problem is, liberals might not like this particular shoe when it’s on the other foot.