Politics can be described as the process through which citizens attempt to educate and persuade each other to not kill each other. History shows that differences in political philosophy create very real differences in perception. What appears "self-evident" to conservatives may appear to liberals as "authority needing to be questioned." If you ignore for a moment the recent media hyperventilating about right-wing hijacking of democracy, it becomes clear that it is not the right advocating violence against their own government.
To conservatives, the idea of armed overthrow of the government is nigh on unthinkable. To foment a revolution seeking to invalidate the Constitution in favor of some form of beneficent utopian dictatorship seems as lunatic as to be dismissed without thought. Yet this is precisely the stated aim of hundreds of left-wing groups in America and abroad. Where conservatives can envision resistance to only a government that has destroyed the Constitution, progressives now advocate armed rebellion against a government that won't destroy the Constitution.
Global leftist protest is beginning to coalesce around a single theme of a coming civil war. Following the results of the midterm elections, the leftist blogosphere in America is buzzing with rant after rant about the need for armed conflict to stop "casino capitalists" and wrest control of the government from "retrograde politicians." "The Coming Insurrection," published in August of 2009 as the blueprint for revolution in Western Europe (rising as high as seventy-first on Amazon.com in the U.S.), declares itself to be "a strategic prescription for an emergent war-machine to "spread anarchy and live communism." Liberals point excitedly at a Tea Party candidate musing about applying "Second Amendment remedies" to a federal government operating far beyond constitutional bounds, but fail to note the myriad examples of actual violence and mayhem from the far left. The left projects its own failings of character onto the newly resurgent right, and the media amplifies the charge until it attains credibility via repetition. The continuum on the left that ranges from the "wouldn't it be nice if we all just smiled" types to the hardcore authoritarian communists may disagree about methods, but sadly, all agree on one thing: if their utopia is to come about, the Constitution -- and the form of government derived from it -- must be replaced with...something. The "something" differs depending on which wild-eyed radical you ask, but all versions spring from the same central core of collectivism.
Now that the euphoria of midterm electoral victory has begun to fade into a more reasoned sense of accomplishment among the conservatives, our thoughts necessarily turn to the business ahead -- restoring our republic to its constitutional mooring.
Senator-Elect Marco Rubio (R-FL) noted that this was not a victory for Republicans, but rather a second chance for them to govern responsibly as conservatives. Although Republican candidates were the main beneficiaries of the Tea Party phenomenon, it should be recognized that many liberal and moderate Republicans found themselves packing boxes much sooner than Democrats due to primary challenges from their own right. The real lesson the Tea Party movement teaches is that anti-constitutional governance is unacceptable, no matter the practitioners.
In 1918, the Sedition Act was added to the Espionage Act of the prior year, making it a crime to publish, speak, or write in a fashion critical of our form of government. Aimed at the radical Progressives, there were more than two thousand successful prosecutions under the act. The Sedition act was upheld in the Supreme Court numerous times as a perfectly constitutional means of protecting the Constitution from those who sought to subvert it. Twenty-two years later, the Smith Act made it illegal to advocate the violent overthrow of the government. Yet just the other week, MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan committed prosecutable violations of both acts when he hosted a segment on his show featuring cartoonist/author Ted Rall discussing his cheerful new book, The Anti-American Manifesto.
Ratigan led off the segment by saying,
So what kinds of abuses are we obviously going to rise up against? "Wrongful wars," "corrupt economy," "special interest industries," "the political system itself," and "gerrymandering."
To clear our dire problems may require even more drastic solutions; violence or at least the threat thereof. (Italics mine.)
Rall then suggests that the appropriate response by an American citizen is to rise up and violently sweep our government into the abyss.
That such a discussion was held on a mainstream American news network defies belief. What might be more disturbing is that open anti-Americanism has become so commonplace that this episode garnered little notice -- although in all likelihood, only a comparative handful of people actually viewed the segment when it aired.
Nevertheless, the stage is being set. Minor incidents like the rough treatment of the MoveOn.org protester at a Rand Paul for Senate event are given the lead on multiple news channels, while far more disturbing violence on the left is either ignored or given low-key treatment. When the new Congress begins the process of dismantling the overreaches of the Obama administration, there is a significant danger that many on the left may choose a violent path.
The Noam Chomsky mindset of the radical left is well-known, but what has not been readily apparent is the virulence of their anti-Americanism. We have sent Republicans to Congress to defend the Constitution, stop the progressives, and undo all the left has done. Given the stakes, to compromise is to capitulate.
A few days after the midterm election, Harry Reid greasily mumbled that he has learned his lesson: "The American people want us to work together and stop the partisan bickering." I sincerely hope no one disabuses him of that notion, as its tone-deafness serves to enhance Democrat vulnerability in 2012.
In the hope that Harry Reid is reading this, I'll speak frankly: the American people didn't bring conservatives to power to sit down and work with you, Harry, but to whip your tail back to Searchlight, Nevada. If you have any love for this nation at all, you'll spend your remaining political capital urging your left-wing "useful idiots" to stand down before someone gets hurt.
The author writes from Omaha, NE and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.