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There was a brilliant post earlier today that expressed concern that modern Democrats were treating Republicans like enemies, not like friends and neighbors with whom they disagree about, say, tax policy. Leftist groups like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, NFA, etc are burning cities all across America, and Democrats are not criticizing them. In yesterday’s hearing, congressional Democrats treated AG Barr not like an American colleague with whom they sought common cause, but as an enemy agent unworthy of common courtesy. They exuded hatred. Democrats are getting more and more vicious, and have no apparent interest in debating policies like adults. This post stimulated a lively debate, in which a couple people responded with, basically, “Yeah, well, conservatives hate liberals too!”
I read the comments on the thread, but I didn’t participate, because I couldn’t get past the absurdity of the basic concept. I just kept thinking, “Ha! Republican rioters! Right!”
But why is that so absurd?
At its root, conservatism is based on the concepts of freedom expressed by our Founding Fathers. That all men are created equal and are bestowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A government of men has no standing to limit rights bestowed by God. People have the right to do as they please, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else. There are lots of varieties and details, but at its root, conservatism is based on individual liberty.
On the other hand, the left, at its root, is based on coercion. Before a government can give anything to anybody, it must first take something from someone else. The left seeks to control people. Perhaps with good intentions. Perhaps to save the world with a coordinated attack on global warming. Perhaps to get people to think the right thing about transsexual marriage or something. Perhaps to reduce income inequality by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Perhaps to right the past wrongs of slavery 200 years ago. Perhaps, well, perhaps whatever works today. But regardless of their current tactics, leftism eventually boils down to coercion. Forcing people to do something that they might not otherwise do.
So to the left, rioting and violence make sense. It’s an open threat. “Give us control, or we’ll destroy you!”
Why would Republicans riot? “Feel free to do whatever you were going to do anyway! Or we’ll destroy you!”
When you see a political movement that depends on threats and violence to gain followers, that movement seeks to control you. There is no other reason for them to threaten you.
When the political leaders of that movement shout down their colleagues across the aisle, rather than allowing them to speak, there is only one reason for them to do that. They seek control. If Democrat policies encouraged individual liberty, and the Republicans sought to control people, the Democrats would have encouraged Mr. Barr to speak, to expose his tyrannical ambitions. They shut him down because they don’t want anyone to hear what he has to say. Democrats know their policies are unpopular, and for good reason. There is no other reason to shut down debate.
It’s not difficult to discern the ultimate motivations of those who use violence and vicious political theater to achieve their goals. You know what their goals are. You don’t need to know the details of their policy proposals. They usually don’t have any, anyway. All you need to know is that they seek to control. There’s no other reason to bring Molotov cocktails to a “peaceful protest.” There’s no other reason to scream at the Attorney General in a congressional hearing.
That’s why Democrat rioters are so widespread. And that is why they are dangerous.
And that’s why Republican rioters don’t exist.
The very concept is absurd.
While this post was stimulated by a couple of comments on another thread, please note that I’m discussing ideas here. This is not intended as an attack on anyone, and I hope the authors of those comments don’t take it that way. I also hope that any discussion that ensues on this thread fill focus on the ideas in the post above, and not personal attacks. This request is generally unnecessary on Ricochet, but I just wanted to clarify my intentions. Thank you.Published in