Many Americans are dismayed and outraged by the blatant fascism and authoritarianism being exhibited by triumphant Democrats whose political party now controls virtually EVERYTHING in our nation’s capital (the elected Republicans being craven cowards). The eternal question is being asked repeatedly: “What can I do about it?”
The purpose of this article is to provide a couple of personal anecdotes regarding the most important first step that can be taken in answer to that question: be silent no more in the face of leftwing claptrap (and associated evil). It seems that everywhere these days are people who spout the benefits of socialism, viewpoint suppression, identity politics, and trampling on the constitutional rights of those who disagree with the Democrat Party line. To remain silent in the face of these people – many of whom have not the slightest clue about what they bleat – is to allow the further destruction of our constitutional Republic. Indeed, that silence – for reasons of civic courtesy, fear, or a simple unwillingness to engage in debate – has led us to the present situation in which the Left controls most of America’s cultural and political institutions. We simply ignored their “long march” through our institutions and have now been awakened to the dangers posed by one-party Democrat rule. Could anything be more clear about what the Democrats intend than the dozens of executive orders signed out by The Hologram during his first two weeks in office?
The first step in fighting back is to confront the fools directly in your everyday lives. That includes family members, colleagues, clients, neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers in public places. We have the facts on our side, not the least of which is the knowledge of the tragic history of socialism and fascism wherever it has been tried in the world. There are plenty of online websites that can arm you with the facts needed to successfully confront and debate any leftie Democrat, most of whom are ignorant of basic economics, fiscal policy, real American history, and the historic failures of socialism throughout history. I know that it can be done from my own personal experience. Here are a couple of anecdotes.
As a young naval officer, we were all expected to be “nonpolitical,” but that didn’t mean that we couldn’t express our political opinions as long as those opinions were not tied to the Navy in any way. I became politically aware during the first Reagan campaign in 1980 when an old LDO lieutenant commander handed me a copy of “Human Events: The National Conservative Weekly,” which happened to be Ronald Reagan’s favorite weekly political newspaper. I began comparing what was printed there with what the three TV networks in those days conveyed in the run-up to the 1980 election. As you might imagine, the networks were all-in for Jimmy Carter, much like the networks in 2020 were all-in for Joe Biden. And my eyes were opened bigly!
Much like former smokers who rail against the perils of smoking, I became an apostate Democrat (my parents were big McGovernites in South Dakota, and I was “sympathetic” although unregistered in my early adulthood) and an evangelist for conservative causes, absorbing various rightward periodicals of the day (e.g., Human Events, National Review, American Spectator, Conservative Chronicles, etc.). I registered as a Republican in 1980 and cast my first vote in a presidential election for Reagan and never looked back.
But that initiated decades of political arguments with my parents, both of whom grew up with nothing and were brainwashed by FDR’s socialist New Deal programs. They constantly regaled me with stories about how bad things were in the “Dirty Thirties.” But just like older modern-day Democrats who remember the Democrat Party of the ’60s and ‘70s and cannot bring themselves to vote other than straight-ticket Democrat, they were stuck in the 1930s and could not accept the fact that the Democrat Party was moving inexorably leftward even in the 1980s and was not the same party they joined so long ago.
My dad read the “US Farm News” all his life, which was a leftwing hard-copy weekly newspaper put out by what I would consider to be Communists in Iowa. Nothing but pro-Soviet screeds (the Soviets were highly dependent on US agricultural imports back in those days). These days, US Farm News has upped its game and become essentially an “agricultural news aggregation site.” A quick perusal of the website will show that they are not overtly socialist in content anymore, but virtually every linked article is pro-Democrat and leftist-oriented. So my father was definitely as pink as they come, if not an outright Red. Oddly enough, he served in World War II and received a Bronze Star for service in the Hürtgen Forest, which made him a patriotic American but a socialist at heart. My mother was a registered Republican, but she never voted for a single Republican in her life (similar to James Comey). As I said, they were both McGovernites.
That led to a lifetime of political arguments with them while they were alive. In the early 1980s, I grew tired of their nonsense, so I sent them to Czechoslovakia twice to witness socialism first-hand. My dad spoke fluent Czech, among other Slavic languages, and he got to experience the “fruits of Communism” first hand from shirt-tail relatives in Ceske-Budejovice (who gave him an earful, too!). Each time upon return, they were totally silent about politics and their insufferable support of the Democrat Party, but their experiences always wore off, and they returned to blind defense of the Democrat Party on all matters. They died leftist Democrats, but they didn’t win any political arguments with me beforehand because I had the facts on my side while they argued from emotions just like most lefties do. One benefit of my arguments with them is that they became somewhat subdued and less vocal about politics in their elder years.
Those arguments helped hone my conservative principles over the years, as well as informed the over 1,000 Twitter threads that I have posted in recent years and the over 350 articles I have written here at Redstate. My retired Marine brother and I carry on as rock-ribbed conservatives, probably somewhat to the chagrin of the ghosts of my leftwing parents. And neither of us are silent!
The other personal anecdote involves confronting some paid protestors at a professional conference at the Applied Physics Laboratory/Johns Hopkins University in 1985. In those days, the Democrat Party (and the Left in general) were aligned with the Soviets against the deployment of nuclear-tipped Tomahawk missiles to Europe that President Reagan had ordered to counter the deployment of medium-range Soviet SS-20 missiles to Eastern Europe that were intended to intimidate NATO countries. The protestors were also against modernization of the US nuclear arsenal through the deployment of the MX missile. Just as the Chinese Communists have underwritten Antifa and BLM protestors in 2020, so, too, did the Soviets underwrite left-wing protestors in America in 1985. As an aside, isn’t it “coincidental” that Democrats in 1985 made common cause with the Soviets and also with the ChiComs (via Antifa and BLM and over corruption ala the Biden family and others) in 2020?
Anyway, two yellow school buses filled with paid protestors showed up outside the JHU/APL building in which the conference was held on the first morning – over 100 people total. Many were pretty nondescript individuals: poorly dressed, bad hygiene, etc., some wearing skeleton masks (very popular at the time when protesting the US military). They seemed like street people who were getting a few bucks to protest for the day. During a coffee break, I went outside to confront them in my three-piece suit. We got into a debate about the Vietnam War and “military atrocities” about which they were clueless. I calmly answered them with facts to the point that they ran out of questions, and sheepishly returned to their picket line and signs. I went back inside to join the conference.
The next day, the yellow school buses showed up again. During a break, I went outside again to confront them but found out that only about 25 people were protesting on that second day. Puzzled, I asked one of the bus drivers why so few were protesting today. He told me (paraphrasing), “Some guy came out and debated yesterday’s group, and those people decided not to show up today because it wasn’t worth it to be confronted by that guy again.” Made my day! The protestors were weak of heart and mind, and all it took was a little dispassionate discussion to puncture their balloons. That episode convinced me to never be silent again!
Does confrontation work every time? Of course not, particularly with violent thugs like Antifa and BLM (actually, some of them CAN be persuaded in other than street protest settings). But that doesn’t mean it won’t work with others. It is the first step in the counterrevolution – being silent no more.