Whether Donald Trump’s January 6 speech to his supporters climbed to the amount of criminal incitement beneath the Supreme Court’s possibly excessively liberal Brandenburg normal, it was a thoroughly reprehensible action, or even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put it after the impeachment trial,”a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty.” Nothing could excuse it.
However, while news websites have every right and reason to condemn Trump’s behaviour in provoking a mob (despite his admonition that they ought to act”peaceably”) to participate in a violent attack that resulted in five deaths (and may have cost more, had it not been for the courageous actions of the understaffed Capitol Police), it is unfortunate that couple have put Trump’s action in a broader context that will admit the dangers to our Constitutional sequence arising from everywhere on the ideology. Starting with the election of 2000, prominent Democrats have questioned the validity of each election where a Republican won the Presidency–indeed, devoting the majority of Trump’s term to trying him to remove him, on grounds a lot more spurious than those which his post-Presidential impeachment rested.
More recently, a thoroughly anti-constitutional precedent was established by then-minority pioneer Chuck Schumer just last March, when he led a posse of approximately 75 members up the steps of the Supreme Court to frighten recently appointed justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh that they had”published the whirlwind,” could”pay a price,” and could”not know what hit” them if they voted that the”wrong” way in an abortion case. (Schumer’s action obtained a rare rebuke in the normally booked Chief Justice Roberts, that denounced Schumer’s comments as”inappropriate” and”reckless,” stressing,” which”all members of the court will probably continue to do their task, without fear or favor, from all quarter” In a proto-Trumpian reply, Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman explained that his boss’s words didn’t mean exactly what they sounded like, and refused that.
A decade ago, a much more threatening and direct, although finally (mostly) nonviolent, challenge to constitutional government was provided by Wisconsin public employee unions that invaded that nation’s Capitol to protest and make an effort to prevent Governor Scott Walker’s plan of reforming public-employee contracts so as to balance the state budget without increasing taxes, and also liberate public school administrations from stiff tenure rules (closely paralleled in school districts throughout the country) that prevented them from hiring teachers based on merit and also adjusting their pay based on performance. Walker’s reforms even went so far as to demand public employees to add to their own health-insurance and retirement costs–although still paying less for those advantages than the normal Wisconsin citizen. (See Walker’s retrospective perspective of the”Capitol Siege,” with over 100,000 occupying the building and its surrounding square). And one woman who emailed death threats to Republican lawmakers also pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat. Nevertheless it would be difficult to find criticism of Schumer’s warnings or the Wisconsin unions’ effort to intimidate their nation’s public institutions in most of the”mainstream” media.
The danger of the principle of law, and even to the constitutionally protected freedom of speech, even in the modern America goes well past the attack on the U.S. Capitol, let alone the other efforts to bully lawgivers and judges just mentioned. The wave of riots, violent crime, and looting apparently actuated by George Floyd’s death while police tried to control him is of course well known. However, as independent journalist Andy Ngo documents in his just-published publication Unmasked, widespread rioting headed by the loosely organized anarchist group Antifa started in his home town of Portland many years before the Floyd occasion. With considerable courage, Ngo both reported and off the weeks of rioting from Portland and Seattle, entailing direct assaults on police departments and judges in both cities, attacks on police leading to countless injuries, and many deaths. Yet in every case local authorities let most of the violence go bankrupt, using Seattle’s mayor Jenny Durkan even celebrating the institution last June of the”Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ), from which police and other government employees were excluded, as exemplifying a”Summer of Love”–before mounting deaths and other casualties, to say nothing of expensive damage to local shops, eventually caused her to close it down following fourteen days.
The fact of the riots from Portland and Seattle, in addition to in many other cities, has of course been widely reported. Repeatedly, news commentators and columnists have denied that the very existence of Antifa within an entity, or its obligation for any criminal action. (See recent documents by Tarisai Ngangura or Mark Bray, for example.) And everyone from public officials to professional sports stars to Hollywood celebrities to the owners of sports teams has embraced the banner of Black Lives Issue, mistaking a slogan (in lower-case letters) with which no sane person has the ability to disagree, with an explicitly Communist-directed company (because its site affirms), as if joining its leaders in wishing to bring about the violent behaviour of Western democracy. The level to which the celebrities’ acceptance of the BLM movement is that the effect of utter ignorance, fear, or the pursuit of profit is a judgment that would have to be rendered on a single basis.
It’s a indication of our changing political times that Andy Ngo, who describes himself as homosexual, an unbeliever, and (at least in the past), a Democrat, ought to locate his main defenders among those who identify as conservatives.But the very troubling element of the Ngo narrative is not the fact that he endured severe beatings at the hands of mobs whose actions he had been attempting to film and record (unsuccessfully trying to disguise himself), which landed him in the hospital. It’s rather that bookstores, starting with Powell’s (the best-known independent bookseller perhaps not just in Portland but probably in the full U.S.) happen to be intimidated by Antifa not even stocking the novel.
Though Unmasked reached no. 1 standing on Amazon ahead of its launch, when Antifa members protested Powell’s strategy to market the publication, the shop’s managers immediately apologized, explaining that although a lot of the shop’s inventory was hand-picked, that was not accurate of Ngo’s publication. They consequently pledged that the publication”will not be set on our shelves. We will not promote it.” They did add that Unmasked will”remain in our online catalogue,” since”we take a whole lot of publications we find abhorrent, in addition to those who we treasure” An individual might think that they were speaking of Mein Kampf! But despite the assurance that Powell’s wouldn’t stock the book, a crowd of protestors assembled outside the shop’s flagship, downtown place (according to ABC News) on the day of the announcement, plastering the windows with all signs and alerting the shop to close early as a security precaution.
A dialogue with a friend and former pupil of mine that owns another of America’s leading independent bookstores, located in a trendy downtown area much removed from Portland, guarantees me that Powell’s had no choice in the situation. Actually, my friend, that is of a reasonably conservative inclination, told me that he wouldn’t dare stock the book , since the result may be the burning of his institution. If he will not, I doubt that lots of organizers, out of the very conservative areas of the nation, will dare to.
But while the son of Vietnamese boat people who risked death to escape British prison camps,” he reluctantly enjoys the value of law-based liberty more intensely than many native-born Americans who take it for granted. And most American conservatives, one expects, have begun to recognize that what they share with fighters for liberty like Ngo things a lot more than any discussions about sexual orientation, religion, or party affiliation. However, what could John Milton or John Peter Zenger, Thomas Jefferson or John Stuart Mill state of a situation where a state that historically prides itself in an excellent freedom of speech and of the press enables anarchist groups to stop novels that express views against their own from being marketed? And why are the mainstream media, both print and electronic, which makes so little ?
Of course, it is now well-known that leading social websites utilized their power to steer public opinion into what Time magazine recently described as a”conspiracy” to make sure that Joe Biden could win the election–for example, by suppressing the New York Post’s story on the damning info on corruption, and possibly between his father, found Hunter Biden’s notebook. But should they not have the sense, if not of principle, then of enlightened self-interest, to love, promote, and take a firm stand contrary to the endeavor of violent gangs to stamp the honest reporting of events that severely undermine America’s well-being?
Donald Trump’s contested followersthough their attack on the country’s seat of government had been posed a threat to our Constitutional order. Nevertheless a recent story in the New York Times, based on a meeting with an obscure”writer and people scholar of religion and racial hatred,” includes just a capsule history of the way (according to the scholar)”white Protestant Christianity and nationalism have long been interwoven — a mainstream movement” in America,”and how many white churches now have to reckon with white supremacy.” The narrative makes no reference to the violence and violence of Antifa or Black Lives Matter (neither of which have any connection with the Christian, or any other, religion), let alone alluding to yesteryear, non-white inciters of violence and murder as Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, or (once again a darling of Democratic politicians) that the Rev. Al Sharpton. The narrative even blames American churches (without the evidence being provided ) for ostensible involvement in the January 6 strike.
Meanwhile, Times contributor Sarah Jeong, that made headlines 2018 because of her background of occasionally disgusting tweets denouncing white individuals as a course, has branded Ngo because”harmful” and lately called for his censorship on Twitter. And in a meeting with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley denounced Ngo for encouraging a”false equivalence” between left- and right- wing political violence in the U.S.. Nevertheless, it had been Ngo, maybe not Jeong, that received a lot of death threats from Antifa that he decamped to London.
Whatever noises he may make, and however outrageous his behavior from workplace, Donald Trump will present no threat to the preservation of the constitutional liberties and the rule of law. If those principles are threatened now, it’s because of the spinelessness of civic authorities who fear to shield them, and believe that the appropriate response to riots is to”defund the police” However, in this case, Andy Ngo’s facet ought to be recognized as the cause of all decent Americans. Whether conservative or liberal, we need to stand by him, and also the principles he reflects.