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How close are we to experiencing real civil disobedience? Not from the left, since we’ve always had that. Violent protests, including placing bombs in the US Capitol, have long been a feature of the left and almost ubiquitous since the Vietnam War. We saw it last summer during the George Floyd-inspired riots – over 500 violent incidents in more than 200 cities across the United States. The days of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s exhortations to “non-violence” now look quaint. But this time, from conservatives? What might disobedience from conservative Americans look like?
This is not an academic question. It may be closer to reality than you realize. And it will look nothing like the violent Antifa and BLM protests that have maimed dozens of police officers and destroyed thousands of businesses and a few federal buildings.
The Republican Party’s affiliation with “working class” voters – plumbers, electricians, many union workers, farmers, grocery store employees, manufacturing workers, truck drivers, landscapers, etc. – is ascendent. These are increasingly diverse people deeply rooted in the real world. A great many of them used to be Democrats, having changed parties over the years, when it ceased to care about people like them or realized they had been sold a bill of goods. Many, if not most, are people of faith. They work hard, sometimes double shifts, to give their families and children hope for better lives. They work hard, pay their taxes, and enjoy simple pleasures. They’re not perfect and don’t pretend to be. They ask little more than fairness, justice, opportunity, freedom, and respect. Not necessarily in that order.
They resent being labeled as “deplorables,” or, as President Obama once characterized them as clinging to “guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…” They are tired of being called racists.
In the minds of working-class Americans, people who don’t obsess over politics but do pay attention, America is headed in the wrong direction and led by dubious people. “Two weeks to slow the spread” turned into a year, and more, of lockdowns, mask mandates, and much more. Meanwhile, “cancel culture” has continued unabated. Churches were – and many remain – mostly closed, but casinos are pretty much open. They are tired of having their livelihoods robbed, their kids’ schools closed at the behest of power teachers unions, and government bureaucrats scolding them to wear their masks even after they’ve been vaccinated. What was the point of the vaccine?
And now, they’re being told they’ll have to “show your papers” in the form of a vaccine “passport” if they want to travel, domestically, on an airplane, or maybe even get a job. But no worries! You won’t need an ID of any kind to vote once HR 1, the “For the People” Act, becomes law. And banks are being pressured to adopt a Communist Chinese style “social credit” score to earn their business, starting with climate change. Many believe the COVID lockdowns were just a trial run for the “climate emergency” soon to be imposed.
They are also tired of seeing teachers and others fired for not recognizing someone’s “preferred pronoun,” and watching their taxpayer dollars used to subsidize “gender reassignment” surgery for members of the military, or if they’re the parents of daughters, seeing them forced to compete against biological males on the athletic field and being called “transphobes.” They increasingly see colleges and universities as indoctrination centers filling heads with cretinous notions of “critical race theory.”
They are especially tired of a two-tiered justice system where Republicans and the politically unconnected are prosecuted or spied upon (see: Carter Page) as the Justice Department and the FBI are weaponized to advance a presidential candidacy, but Democrats, the wealthy and well-connected family members, seem to get off scot-free. Illegal immigrants, even those with COVID, are welcome into the US, but regular Americans are forced to lockdown, quarantine, get tested, and wear masks.
And don’t get them started on social media. They scratch their heads when friends and family members who’ve never seen the inside of a real jail wind up in the Facebook variety of one for posting what they thought was a funny meme. They scratch their heads to see a President banned from social media, but members of Iran’s terrorist-supporting leadership tweeting unobstructed. They have long stopped trusting the corporate media with any news, which they see as propagandistic, biased, or even false, long brimming shamelessly with double standards.
While a few of them might have made their way to the ill-advised “Stop the Steal” rally with President Trump on January 6 in Washington DC, they aren’t the kind of people to go crashing illegally into buildings and are tired of being associated with the nuts who did and being treated as criminals.
Meanwhile, the federal government, under the control of Democrats, is shoveling billions of dollars at or corruptly-run state government pension programs and allied organizations, working to federalize elections, paying people not to work, giving COVID relief checks to illegal immigrants, incentivizing mass migrations to the US, and more. Worse, now they want to make it harder to own guns, limit gun purchases, and outlaw the guns they have, and tax or limit their ammunition. Furthermore, they see their fuel prices skyrocket as pipeline and other energy jobs – except wind and solar – are being wiped out.
How much more will people take when they begin standing athwart history and yell, “stop!”? And when they do, what might that actually look like? After all, they see their country, and it’s the promise of freedom and opportunity slipping away to a new tyrannical order that sees them as second-class citizens – or worse.
Let’s look at who these people are. Many of them are war and military veterans. They’re lawful gun owners (there are 430 million guns in circulation in the United States). They practice at gun ranges. They have hunting licenses. Many can dig a well, hunt and fish for food, and dress a deer, or are friends with people who can. They are among the nation’s 19 million concealed carry permit holders and are the kind of people who stop mass shootings before they happen. They know how to build and fix all manner of things. They grow, make, and deliver our food and other essential services and products. And they are increasingly fed up.
These are not violent people, the kind of people who will set trash cans on fire, point debilitating lasers into the eyes of the police, overturn police cars or hurl explosive devices at federal courthouses. They support law enforcement.
Many of them live month to month. Many of them have lost jobs, many of which won’t come back. What happens when they’ve lost all hope? What might actually trigger a real “rebellion?”
My friend, Dr. William Hamilton, a noted military historian, author, and columnist believes it may first manifest itself in the form of work stoppages. That would take some organization and leadership but could prove powerful. We saw in the early days of the pandemic the panic that ensued when people couldn’t find toilet paper in the local grocery stores. What if entire food, transportation, and logistic operations shut down for a few days? Maybe another ship, or two, could block the Panama Canal or the Saint Lawrence Seaway, like the one that shut down the Suez Canal for days in the Middle East? What might happen at ports? What if truckers stayed home for a week. Or two. Or more. So much for those Amazon Prime promises of two-day delivery. Or toilet paper, soup, or much of anything else on store shelves.
More likely are so many people ignoring new laws that the state and especially the federal government cannot enforce. Imagine a governor deploying the National Guard to enforce a gun confiscation law to no effect. (Who do you think serves in the National Guard, whose first loyalty is to the Constitution?) Could “rigged” election results be ignored? Will states or local jurisdictions begin to secede from the Union? With people abandon US currency with Bitcoin, DogeCoin, barter, or other means of trade? Who is John Galt?
This is the price of partisan government, a Democratic party so addicted to power that it crams through legislation, like HR 1, a horrific election “reform” bill, without any bipartisan or even broad public support? And that’s just one example. Now, after Republican leaders protected the Senate’s “filibuster” rule in 2017 to protect minority rights and the Senate’s role to “cool the passions” of the House, Democrats are poised to express their appreciation by eliminating it to ram their agenda through Congress without a single Republican vote.
Joe Biden talked of “unity” during his Presidential inaugural speech. I thought he was serious. Now we know what he meant – unity of thought. Get in line, he basically said, and get with my progressive agenda. That’s not unity. That’s tyranny.
No thanks, most Americans are saying. That’s not the America tens of millions of us are committed – sworn – to protect and defend. Conservatives are naturally, instinctively peaceful, law-abiding, and patient. Even longsuffering. They are likely to wait until the next election to express their anger, as they did in 2010 and again in 2016. They will look for America’s version of Laurence Fox, a former actor and independent candidate for mayor of London running on a very simple slogan: “Free London.” Republicans had better be paying careful attention because things have never been riper for a new political party.
This country is deeply divided, and people of “the right” know that people on “the left” do not share their values nor define “freedom” and “equality” the same way. It didn’t use to be that way, but here we are. And it is no longer easy to dismiss many of these sentiments as wrong or crazy QAnon conspiracy theories. Facts are stubborn things.
When was the last time “conservatives” engaged in serious civil disobedience? Many did during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. After all, it was Republicans in Congress who provided the votes necessary in 1964 to overcome a southern Democratic filibuster. More likely, you really have to go back to the American Revolution. How did that turn out? A certain Thomas Jefferson quote comes to mind.
What if the next election is truly rigged under HR 1, the Democrats’ new election bill designed to make them a permanent majority, made possible by eliminating the Senate’s filibuster? That may be a final straw. When all hope is lost, and their core beliefs threatened, and with no hope at the ballot box to right wrongs and preserve rights, the silent majority is unlikely to slink quietly into the night.Published in