It’s an election year, in case you’d missed that point, and our man Trump is up for reelection. Trump is not doing well in the polls at the moment, but George H. W. Bush was similarly down against Michael Dukakis at this point in 1988, and won in a blowout victory. Of course, Dukakis was an exceptionally feeble and excessively nerdy politician, and Lee Atwater’s Willie Horton ad was a gutsy, effective attack on Dukakis’s program of weekend release for prisoners.
1988 was also a very different America. Even 2016 seems like another world. Trump’s election was the paradigm shift of our age, spawning four years of constant resistance from progressives and neocons alike. Joe Biden, like Hillary Clinton before him, enjoys the full support of the media and the institutions; even in his advancing senility, they are determined to drag him into the White House, where he will serve as a dull-witted, mentally-diminished puppet for every crazy Left-wing policy ever concocted in the faculty lounge of a women’s studies department.
I am still confident that Trump can reverse course and defeat Biden just as he did Clinton. The odds seemed even more insurmountable in 2016 than they do now. Trump has the advantages of incumbency. The economy seems to be recovering after the lockdowns, and the urban ructions earlier in the summer seem to be dying down (albeit with Portland ablaze, but what does one expect from Portland?). The CHAZ/CHOP experiment collapsed, predictably, in violence and privation, with the idea that, given enough rope, the Left would hang itself.
That seems, in retrospect, like the prudent approach, and probably resulted in far less violence than a showdown with the feds. That said, my instincts would have been to seize the CHAZ moment to assert federal authority against lawlessness in dramatic fashion, a la George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion. Show up with the military (or nationalize the Washington State National Guard) and disperse the “autonomous zone.” Apparently, Americans hate secessionists (even if that’s how we got our country)—why not stamp out the Progressive secessionists?
More seriously, a robust response would have backed up Trump’s calls for “Law and Order.” It’s one thing to Tweet it; it’s another thing to do it. I fully appreciate the delicate situation in which President Trump finds himself, and the ways in which The Swamp have hemmed him into narrow ranges of choices. Most Americans don’t see that, though, to the president’s detriment. I know I was wondering why he didn’t send in authorities to crack some skulls. When the world was watching, the federal government did not exercise authority in one of the rare instances it’s supposed to do so.
I do think President Trump made the most humane decision in Seattle—let the hippies have their crime-riddled street fair and let it fizzle out—but his voters need to see some action. The mobs are out of control, while Americans attempting to defend themselves by merely brandishing weapons on their private property are facing criminal charges from politically-motivated DAs. Literally, law-abiding citizens exercising a constitutional—and God-given—right are facing criminal prosecution, while the looters and reprobates storming their gates are given a free pass to destroy.
Violence is a last resort, but as The Derb pointed out in a recent Radio Derb podcast, the whole point of law enforcement is that they must, at times, use violence to carry out their duties. As Derb put it, “How is a police officer supposed to arrest a refractory suspect, other than by applying violence?” Gavin McInnes has pointed out that BLM protesters illegally blocking traffic act stunned when a driver merely keeps driving, usually clipping one of the protesters in the process. The BLM activists then chase after the car screaming, indignantly. Watch any clips of the latest protests and scarred, manipulated college girls shriek with fury when a police officer pushes them aside. What did you think was going to happen?
Americans don’t want to see brutal repression of protesters, but they do want to see the swift, firm hand of justice applied to violent rioters. Otherwise, what’s the point? One of the major functions of government at every level is to protect the rights of citizens against those who would infringe upon them. That means protecting property owners from seeing their homes destroyed and citizens from having their lives threatened.
President Trump should act quickly and decisively when protests turn violent—if local authorities won’t do it, give the looters the firm smack of federal authority. That’s coming from a Jeffersonian localist who abhors federal overreach, but desperate times call for a confident execution of the law.