The Summer of our Discontent

We are entering the summer of our discontent. The season promises to be a long, hot struggle to maintain the integrity of our founding principles that are increasingly compromised with the best and worst of intentions.

The worst intentions are those of the rabble whose objectives we shouldn’t underestimate. They will instigate and inflame chaos and anarchy to achieve what a former president promised: “to fundamentally transform America.”

They will opportunistically take advantage of the nation’s weakened status from overreaction by government to COVID-19, compounded by the well-intentioned but ultimately destructive flood of trillions of dollars in “temporary” cash benefits.

The street scenes of Minneapolis and Seattle promise to play out across the country all summer, leading to November’s election. Come election  time, the same “protesters” who stood shoulder-to-shoulder high-fiving each other will claim it’s too dangerous for them to go to the polls, and insist on mail-in ballots, which conveniently can be “harvested” as California Democrats perfected in 2018.

It is convenient to blame arsonists, looters, and far-left activists. But people pretty much get the kind of government they deserve.

Police stood down repeatedly in cities aflame with violence inflicted on lives and to property. Excuses for blatantly illegal acts flowed from the lips not just of the usual suspects in media and the academy but from high ranks of politicians eager to ride the wave of anger to even greater control.

As conditions worsen, it will be easier for millions more to capitulate to the destructive demands and more convenient to go along with infringements on liberties.  Appeasers are sure to invoke Rodney King’s words, “Can’t we all just get along?”

As corporate America learned decades ago, it is smoother sailing aboard the Good Ship Compromise by throwing in with the mob rather than bucking the trend. Ask Drew Brees. Or the Seattle civic fathers.

Sadly, it takes more than ordinary courage to resist caving in when confronted by angry mobs demanding you capitulate, particularly at the point of a gun. Or a Molotov cocktail.

The temptation to invoke more lockdowns will be irresistible for those whose goals are not to protect, but instead to crash the economy along the lines of Saul Alinsky’s doctrines.

Our nation is beset with anarchy in the streets, insurrections in the body politic and increasing demands for punishment for any who dare dissent from the mob’s mentality.

Something unthinkable until recent days now must seriously be asked: will the chaos and lawlessness prevail or will enough people rise up in protest of the protesters to avoid the U.S.A. suffering the fate of Venezuela, China, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union, all of which got where they are via similar revolutions?

America has coasted for a long time on skids greased with the morality -- political and personal -- set in motion by the Founders. While not overtly Christian in application, the states that voluntarily formed this nation adopted laws and lived by social norms rooted in biblical standards. The entire notion of unalienable rights is based on the Christian precept that God created and continues ownership of everything, and any rights we enjoy are because of His grace, not because of the benevolence of fallen sinners risen to power.

We are approaching a point where all that is threatened. We are at the precipice of being fundamentally transformed. Our tacit acquiescence to evil provides the soil in which these weeds grow.

If Minneapolis and Seattle are harbingers of what is to come, prepare yourselves for the kind of government you deserve.

It will be a government in which the potentates of identity politics, champions of anarchy and wannabe Marxists will let you know what “rights” you may exercise. Once that happens, be ready for those rights to change with each new gust of political wind.

What we have so long taken for granted, we stand to lose because we’ve allowed it to happen. It all can be gone with the wind, just as the politically correct desire the movie of that name to be.

There are exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions to the rule. The rule is we get the kind of government we deserve because we allow it.

In any political system there are those who make things happen and those who watch things happen. Even in politically engaged cultures, those making things happen are the minority. Our nation was founded by a secession, not a revolution. It was the work of a distinct minority’s activism.

Only about a third of colonists supported the break from England. Another third remained loyal to King George, but fortunately for us didn’t do much about it. They watched. And of course, the muddled middle, those neither overtly for nor against, watched from the sidelines, content to go whichever way the wind blew.

How do you calculate the percentages in today’s milieu? The most active minority, if indeed it remains a minority, clearly is those who seek fundamentally to change our nation.

Mark Landsbaum is a retired journalist, former investigative reporter, editorial writer and columnist. He also is a Christian, husband, father, and grandfather. mlandsbaum@gmailcom.