Trump's January 6 speech celebrates democracy
Notwithstanding the colorful chyrons and bold headlines proclaiming the "Second Trial of Donald J. Trump," the proceedings we are witnessing are nothing of the sort. Instead, in the dock stand the United States Constitution; its Bill of Rights; and, particularly, its first and most important amendment. Thus, there can be no greater time than this to re-consider our fighting tactics to determine if they're up to the task for these vitally important battles.
Conservatives by nature seek to conserve but often seem to confuse outcome with process. We desire to protect and defend what is just and righteous in this world, but we need not always be "on the defensive" to do so. Clichéd as it may be, offense truly is the best defense.
In a world where the vaunted "narrative" is in the left's hands, it is natural to fight with our backs to the wall and to push back on the left's ceaseless attacks. But what if there's another way? What if we defined our own "narrative" and made leftists defend theirs?
Take the current Senate spectacle (it's not an impeachment trial since it does not seek to remove anyone from office). The left accuses President Trump of having "incited" violence. Conservatives, rightfully outraged at this preposterous accusation, proclaim the president innocent of any such thing.
Notice, however, where the action is taking place: it's on the enemy's turf. Once again, we are in the left's "conservative circle of hell." They accuse, we deny, and round and round she goes. They scream, "Sedition!" We respond, "No sedition!" They yelp, "Insurrection!" We holler back, "No insurrection!"
The left loves this, since leftists are in a no-lose situation, no matter how outrageous their claims are. Should their accusations stick, great. If not, back to square one, and on to the next ridiculous charge. It's not as though they pay a price for losing, do they?
It need not be this way. Conservative principles are rock-solid and have withstood the test of time. We should stop "defending" them and start "celebrating" them. Case in point: President Trump's January 6 speech was not only constitutional, legal, and ethical, but democracy in action, the epitome of the First Amendment.
The Constitution doesn't simply "allow" free speech; it explicitly encourages it. The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In plain English: Do you dislike what your government is doing? Are you feeling angered or "aggrieved" at your elected representatives' behavior? Don't just sit there. Go out, gather some like-minded people, and make some noise! Make a stink, demand they hear you out, and make sure they put things right.
Notice what the First Amendment does not say. It does not say, "Bottle up your grievances until the next election when you can vote the bums out." Nor does it say, "Do not gather to protest when feeling 'aggrieved' because it may lead to violence." It also doesn't say to make sure you're telling the "truth" and not spreading "misinformation."
The only criteria are that you gather peaceably and that you do not explicitly incite violence. That's all. It takes a leftist to take the word "peaceably" and redefine it to mean "inciting violence."
Having met the constitutional and legal requirements, you're good to go. Now let it rip. Let them know exactly what you think of them. You're a free citizen, and they work for you. Do not be afraid. Remember, these are inalienable, God-given rights that no politician or "expert" can take from you. Let freedom ring!
This is just one example among many. If the left has taught conservatives anything, it's that words matter. Henceforth, when fighting the good fight, let's do so on our terms. Let the left stumble for words, trying to explain why Trump's speech is not a "celebration of the First Amendment" instead of us scrambling to explain why it's not incitement and sedition.
The pro-life movement, as its name implies, has done this well, and we should expand the tactic to all areas of the fight. We are not anti-immigration (or even anti–illegal immigration); instead, we are pro-worker. We aren't against raising the minimum wage; we are pro–small business. We are not anti-transgender; we are pro-women.
Let's hear it for President Donald John Trump, who kept his cool when confronted with his worst nightmare, an election brazenly stolen in broad daylight. He did not invoke martial law or the Insurrection Act and did not call for unrest in the streets or the hounding, harassing, or de-platforming of his opponents. Instead, he called for the people to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances. The Founders would be proud. We should be, too.
Image: Peaceable Trump-supporters, November 2020. YouTube screen grab.