Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues | The Federalist

Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues

Source: Conservative Cowards Are To Blame For Falling Statues

“But here’s the thing: after you write your little op-ed about how of course the evil Confederate statues have to come down, they still think you’re a racist. They just think you are a spineless one.”

There are times when you really hate to be right, to have to be the one who says, “I hate to say I told you so… but I told you so.” I have been saying since 2015 – and more than once on this blog – that regardless of what you think about Confederate statues (and flags, and other iconography, like street and school names), you’d better not be indifferent about their destruction, or removal, or alteration, or replacement.

Because love them or hate them, they’re not the goal, they’re just the low-hanging fruit for the Leftist mob. The real goal was, and is, different and bigger: the destruction of America and the West, its political and social institutions, its government and economy, its customs and traditions, its history and heritage, and their replacement with a collectivist, totalitarian Marxist utopia.

Looked at objectively, the Left has played this all too brilliantly: go after the Confederate statues and iconography, because even the so-called “conservatives” will be afraid to defend them, for fear of seeming racist, or like they’re defending slavery. Or even “anti-American,” since the Confederates were rebels and traitors… right? Well, not by their lights:

“When the South raised its sword against the Union’s Flag, it was in defense of the Union’s Constitution.” — Confederate General John B. Gordon

“I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it.” — Confederate President Jefferson Davis

“I loved the old government in 1861. I loved the old Constitution yet. I think it is the best government in the world, if administered as it was before the war. I do not hate it; I am opposing now only the radical revolutionists who are trying to destroy it.” — Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest

“All that the South has ever desired was that the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth.” — Confederate General Robert E. Lee

None of that matters, of course, to the Left. Their playbook is consistent:

Ignore or deny the fact that slavery was only one reason – and not even necessarily the biggest reason – for secession, and had nothing directly to do with sparking the War Between the States. Ignore or deny the fact that more than 260,000 Confederate soldiers died to defend their homes, families, and land from an illegal and unconstitutional invasion.

Ignore or deny the fact that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. Would Southerners have been willing to incur such casualties to defend the right of a small minority of the population to own slaves? Not likely!

Ignore, for that matter, the fact that there were four slave-holding states (plus the District of Columbia, where slavery was also legal) in the Union itself, and that Lincoln repeatedly offered that any seceded state which returned to the Union could keep its slaves (or that there were more free blacks in the South than in the North, and some of them had slaves).

Just focus on the fact that the Confederacy was made up of “slave states,” and you’ve made it impossible for good, “moderate” conservatives to object to the removal and destruction of statues and other Confederate iconography, and keep banging the drum that anyone who does object is “far-right” (and therefore “fascist”) and a “racist.” It was a brilliant plan, and it has largely succeeded.

And in the process, the Left has successfully – or seemingly so – softened up the nation for attacks on others, including (inter alia) Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Francis Scott Key, and even Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, along with a host of lesser luminaries.

Because of the way American history has played out, all have the Achilles heel of “racism,” colonialism, or both; and by the Leftist narrative, that invalidates anything else positive they might have ever accomplished, including the creation of a nation which is so open-minded and tolerant as to allow even lunatics and seditionists like the current Left to function without being shot, beaten down, and/or imprisoned, as they would in a less free and open nation… such as the one they want to create.


“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day-by-day and minute-by-minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

— George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four


In an again brilliant example of sociopolitical aikido, they have found the soft spots: 1) that everyone in history has had something that was less-than-perfect about them, and that if compared to current mores (the historical fallacy of presentism), it often has to do with favoring one’s own people – defined today as “racism” – and 2) that no one wants to be seen as defending racism, so protests to the removals, destruction, and desecration are sporadic, muted, and easily dismissed as a “fringe.”

But if the tactics of the Left have been remarkably if dismayingly creative and effective, the response from most mainstream conservatives has been feeble and incompetent, if not missing-in-action entirely. As the quote with which I opened this put it,

“But here’s the thing: after you write your little op-ed about how of course the evil Confederate statues have to come down, they still think you’re a racist. They just think you are a spineless one.”

It is as I have said before: don’t let the camel’s nose in the tent; don’t give an inch, because if you do, they’ll sense weakness and fear, and come at you all the harder. Bullies always do. But they often run from a spirited defense – something of which there has been a notable lack, of late.

There have been some notable exceptions, but as Marcus points out further down in the linked post,

“The so-called conservatives who have been coddling mindless calls to destroy public art know who they are. So do the rest of us. These are the reasonable conservatives, the good ones, ever so careful not to be called racist. They had a compromise in mind because they always do. Throw the Confederate statues under the bus and we can save the rest…

“Do you know who is to blame [for the continued destruction]? It is not the hordes of progressives with ropes and chains; it is every conservative who thought those Jacobin lunatics could be appeased by just tearing down certain statues. It is a metaphor for the fecklessness of an American right too cowed to stand up for itself.”

They should be ashamed.

Leaving aside the complete philosophical and ethical surrender it represents, this roll-over-and-play-dead response is not even an effective tactic.

“Feed the hyenas and maybe they’ll eat us last” is not only ineffective, it’s actually counter-productive, because it leads them to expect a free meal, and thus emboldens them. The results can be seen in far too many locations throughout this once-great land.

In fact, the destruction we are seeing in American cities today is reminiscent of the Nazi Kristallnacht, the French Revolution, or a slew of Communist ones over the last century-plus. Irreplaceable elements – tangible representations – of our history and heritage (many of which are superb works of art in their own right), are being damaged and destroyed in the name of an unconscionable fallacy: the idea that the past must be judged by the standards of the present.

(Sadly, that is not the worst of it. History shows us repeatedly that where there is violence against icons, sooner or later there will be violence against institutions, and against persons. If the present chaos is left unchecked, the situation will only go from bad to worse.)

And where are those who claim their philosophy is to conserve – to protect, preserve, and transmit unimpaired to future generations – that history and heritage? Too often, silent, or entirely absent. As I say, they should be ashamed!

Here’s Marcus again:

“… what are the wages of these sad genuflections? What did you get out of the deal? Are they going to come support you now that the Founding Fathers are up against the wall? Nope. They will throw you right up against the wall with them as you insist how reasonable you are.

“To these fair-weather friends, I have a message: This is your fault. And you were well warned. For years, those of us with the courage to open our eyes knew exactly where this was going. It was never about the Confederacy, or slavery, or racism. It was always about destroying the very concept of America and replacing it with a Marxist utopia. That’s who you decided to compromise with.

“What’s done is done, but it is not too late. Now that you have seen the miles the left takes when offered an inch, you are welcome to get back in the fight for freedom. They burned you, made you look like fools. Be angry. Otherwise your silence is complicity with mobs that would destroy not just statues but the very foundations of our liberty.”

Amen.

A time of great uncertainty, and a need to recharge

I can't believe it's riot season already. I still have my COVID ...

So, we segued right out of coronavirus and into race riots. Think I’m kidding? At least one television station broadcast guidelines – I’m not sure which state is represented – that stated no gatherings of more than 12 people, or protests with more than 100. Apparently there are different standards, depending on whether you are gathering for social or political purposes.

There is a lot that I could say about many of the things that have been and are going on right now, but I’m not going to say most of them. One cogent observation, however, is this: “We have reached a point where people are held responsible for things their ancestors did, or that people who look like them have done; but they are not held responsible for things they themselves are doing right now.”

For now, I’m going to leave it at that.

The reality is, I’m tired. I’m physically tired, because I’ve been stressed and I have not been sleeping well. But I am also mentally and emotionally tired by the non-stop battering of… pardon me, but crap, of various sorts, over the past few months. As I commented on Facebook, announcing that I was stepping back:

I think I need to step back from online engagement with the sociopolitical scene for a while. Getting myself all worked up over things over which I can’t change is not good for either my spiritual or my psycho-emotional health! *sigh*

That does not mean that I’ll not be speaking to specific issues if I feel called to do so. And it certainly does not mean I’m disengaging! But it does mean that I think I need to switch the primary field of my engagement from posting to praying.

This is a spiritual issue as much as (if not more than) a sociopolitical or metapolitical one, and as a man of the cloth, prayer is a fitting venue for my activity. And I pray for grace to trust in God, even as I offer Him my own fervent prayers. Lord, in thy mercy, hear my prayer!

All of the above applies here, as well. I haven’t stopped caring. Far from it. Maybe I care too much. I am running on empty, and I need to recharge.

Thank you for understanding.

 

Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, their own brownshirts | American Thinker

Antifa thugs in Washington, DC. Photo credit: cantfightthetendies.

As America slips into what many are calling a “cold civil war,” not a single Democrat running for president is willing to condemn Antifa, the contemporary version of the Brownshirts that terrorized opponents of the Nazis.

Source: Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, their own brownshirts | American Thinker

I still think “Red Guards” is a more historically and ideologically accurate comparison for Antifa than the “Brownshirts,” but I also realize it has less resonance, and less recognition value. Such quibbles aside, this essay is sadly all too correct.

“Antifa activists constitute a dedicated, organized national violent organization openly suppressing political opponents, something that ought to be condemned by everyone, not just those whom they seek to silence.

“Antifa now is arming itself. History teaches us that armed thugs pave the way for monstrous political oppression. Yet the leaders of the Democratic Party are now becoming complicit with armed thugs…”

A good friend of mine (and a fellow Anglican priest) posted this on Facebook yesterday, quoting another clergyman who commented,

“In the choice between the civilized and the uncivilized, one must always choose the civilized.”

Indeed! Today’s Democrats are full of hot air about supposed “white nationalist / supremacist terrorists,” but – as this essay points out – haven’t a word to say about their own Antifa thugs, who represent the far greater threat to peace and stability. Projection at its finest!

My friend who posted this added, in a reply,

What the Jacobins did to France, and the communists to Russia, Asia and other parts of the world, Antifa would do here if they had the power to do it. That’s why they must be crushed. It’s also why any connection that can be established between Antifa and the Dems must be highlighted.

I agree, and am doing my bit to that end!

Hong Kong protesters wave American flag and sing our National Anthem

Protesters in Hong Kong waving the American flag and singing the American National anthem as they advocate for democracy. Wow!

Source: Kaya Jones | Facebook

That moment when protesters for freedom and democracy abroad are more patriotic Americans than are many here…!

Too many here in the U.S. are “taking a knee,” or attacking symbols of our history and heritage – including statues of Francis Scott Key, and even the National Anthem (“The Star Spangled Banner”) itself – while in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy, pro-freedom demonstrators have been protesting against the oppressive Chinese Communist government in Beijing for months, some of them (pictured here) are waving the American Flag and singing our National Anthem.

Unlike too many of our own people, they know what it really stands for.

Oh, Tommy Robinson #FreeTommy | Official Music Video – YouTube

“Oh, Tommy Tommy! Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Robinson!”

There can be no question that the arrest and sudden incarceration – all taking place within about five hours – of activist and online journalist Tommy Robinson has struck a nerve with the British people. Whether this will prove the spark that sets the fires of open revolt against the present government remains to be seen, but Robinson has clearly become the icon around which a lot of British anger and resentment has coalesced.

And unlike the so-called “Resistance” against President Trump, here in the U.S., the Brits have a good deal of genuine authoritarianism, even downright tyranny, to revolt against. The sources of resentment are multiple:

  • BREXIT – in which a clear (albeit narrow) majority of the largest percentage of the British electorate to turn out for an election or referendum in decades voted to Leave the European Union, only to see the government stall, waffle, and second-guess until it’s now questionable whether a BREXIT will actually happen, or whether if it does, it will be hedged with so many conditions as to be in practice little better than Remaining.
  • Continued mass immigration, with pressure to submit to still more – most of it from places such as the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southwest Asia (primarily Pakistan) which are both majority Muslim and culturally and ethnically alien to Britons, and which have led to a vastly increased crime rate in the UK as well as considerable cultural dislocation, leading to fears – entirely justifiable, in my view – that Britain is in danger of having its history, heritage, and present culture swept away and replaced by something foreign.
  • On the subject of crime, the dismaying unwillingness of the British police and judiciary to constructively address the problem of “grooming gangs” (or as British journalist Katie Hopkins accurately labels them, “rape squads”) made up of so-called “Asians” (Southwest Asians; again, Muslim Pakistanis) who seduce, enslave, rape, and abuse ethnic British girls with, to date, almost complete impunity, due to the fear by the authorities of being labeled “racist.” It is this that Tommy Robinson was protesting, when he was arrested.
  • And increasingly, thought-policing: Brits have been warned by the police to “be careful” what they post online and in social media, and that they could be arrested for posting anything that might be deemed a “hate crime” or incitement thereto. Given what happened to Tommy Robinson, who was live-streaming outside a court sentencing (a rarity!) members of one grooming gang, this has understandably had a chilling effect on public discourse regarding the above issues!

Draconian anti-gun laws have already stripped Britons of their ability to defend themselves, and now (as described above) their right to express themselves is coming under increasing attack, as well. As I have commented before, in more than one forum, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was not incorrect, it was just a few decades premature!

Nonetheless, as I say, the arrest and imprisonment of Tommy Robinson has galvanized a significant segment of the British public. It has certainly and understandably enraged those who have been frustrated and angry for some time over the issues listed above, but I have a strong sense that it has also awakened many others who, up to this point, had been reluctant to either admit to the problem, or to take a stand.

People are coming – however belatedly – to the realization that they, too, could be arrested and imprisoned simply for speaking their minds, expressing their opinions, in the public square: either literally, as Tommy Robinson did, or online. So it is no surprise to me that this has become a flashpoint in the UK. And maybe, God willing, a turning-point as well. I hope so! Time will tell.

Is the worm turning for Britain? One can hope!

I am beginning to be guardedly optimistic that for Britain, the worm is turning at last. The decision by the British government to arrest, convict, and incarcerate Tommy Robinson – with what might be called, at the risk of understatement, unseemly haste – appears to have galvanized at least a significant segment of British society. The protests and calls for his release are growing larger and more numerous, with the rally in this video, which occurred earlier today, standing as the most recent example: thousands of people gathering in London itself.

To paraphrase the great Professor Tolkien, there is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the most peaceful and complacent Briton, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow. Perhaps the sudden realization, forced by Tommy Robinson’s arrest and immediate incarceration, of how close Britain is tottering toward the brink of totalitarianism and tyranny – that anyone could, for some reason deemed sufficient by the bureaucrats and politicians, be suddenly arrested and thrown into prison for expressing their views – is that “final and desperate danger,” for many Britons. I hope and pray it is, and for a sufficient number to do some good.

As an anglophilic Anglican – “The Anglophilic Anglican,” for the purposes of this blog – I bow to no one in my love of England, and Great Britain as a whole. But as I have previously stated, that doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with some of the stances taken by its present government. With some, I disagree profoundly. And I am grateful to live in the United States, where the First Amendment of our Constitution protects – for now, at least – my freedom to say so. Sadly, some of my British friends are not so fortunate, having been warned that making their true feelings known on social media could lead to their arrest!

This, from the country which is the source of our understanding of rights and liberties. It’s sad, and it’s truly appalling. But I am, as I say, hopeful that at long last, the worm is beginning to turn, and the people of England and Britain are on the road toward beginning to take back their ancient liberties from the Left-leaning politicians, bureaucrats, and budding authoritarians that make up far too many of the present governments of Europe, not just Great Britain. If that happens, the unjust arrest and imprisonment of Tommy Robinson will have at least served some useful purpose!

School “walkout” – grassroots or astroturf?

So, yesterday (Wednesday, March 14th), many schools around the country had a “walk-out” in which students – many with the support and encouragement, and even in some cases the mandate – of their administrations protested violence in schools (which is a legitimate concern) and in most cases also called for additional gun control measures.

It is the latter that (as will not surprise regular readers of this blog) I have issues with.

The sad reality is that it is actually much more likely that kids will be killed at home by a relative than that they will be shot in school by a lunatic. Well, anybody who shoots anyone who isn’t threatening them is a lunatic, but you know what I mean…

Point is, this should have been a “teachable moment” to help kids understand a) where the real threats are, and are not, and b) the point and purpose of our God-given and inalienable rights and liberties, as enumerated in – not granted by – the Constitution. Instead, we see this.

It is very frustrating to me to witness schools, which should be fonts of knowledge, promulgating misinformation and disinformation and even encouraging it. Civil disobedience is also a right (as long as it does not involve violence or mayhem), of course – but we need to be very careful, imho, what examples and precedents we set!

It’s also interesting to see which rights schools deny students, and which they do not – and why. In many school districts (including, now, my home district of Carroll County, Maryland), it is not permitted for students to wear or carry Confederate images or memorabilia: a prohibition which is a clear infringement on their First Amendment right to free expression. But, goes the argument, schools have the authority to limit the rights of their students while they are in school.

However, now students apparently have the right to walk out of class in protest… as long as it’s for an approved cause. Wonder what would happen if they walked out for gun rights, or to protest bans on Confederate iconography, or in support of the white farmers in South Africa being brutally attacked, and who are now in danger of having their lands seized without compensation?

I’ll bet the administration wouldn’t be so eager to have them walk out for those causes!

Also telling: some students have been disciplined for refusing to join the walkout, and others for carrying signs that disagreed with the premises of the protest. While I do not deny that many students are concerned – nor that they have a right to be – their teachers and administrators are not, in many cases, serving them well by supporting and encouraging emotional reactions not justified by the facts.

Update: it’s not just students:

A California high school teacher says she was “aghast” to learn she was placed on leave over comments she made about National School Walkout Day.

Julianne Benzel, a Rocklin High School teacher, said that administrators’ decision Wednesday followed a debate she held in her history class about the nationwide school protest supporting gun control reform…

“I just kind of used the example, which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time — a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?”

That is a darned good question, actually, and it ties in directly with my comment above: that civil disobedience is being selectively allowed – and even encouraged – by schools, so long and only so long as it’s in support of a cause they favor.

“I didn’t get any backlash from my students,” Benzel said. “All my students totally understood that there could not be a double standard.”

On National Walkout Day, she received a letter from the human resources department notifying her that she was being put on paid administrative leave.

Benzel, who has since retained legal counsel, said the school’s decision has raised questions about First Amendment rights.

Indeed it has! And her point about a double standard is square on. But as I have commented before, double standards and unintended irony are all too characteristic of the contemporary American Left.

In a related move, the City of Baltimore (struggling against rampant crime and an opioid epidemic, among other challenges) apparently plans to spend $100,000 to bus students to an anti-gun protest in Washington, DC, and even provide t-shirts for them!

Indeed, far from being the “grassroots” movement that is claimed, this whole thing shows definite signs of being astroturf, instead.

While I do not doubt that there is legitimate concern on the part of many students, which is entirely understandable under the circumstances, teachers and administrators – rather than engaging students in a genuine dialog on the costs of freedom, the limitations of attempting to legislate safety in the absence of a moral climate which encourages self-control and respect for life, and the importance of balancing rights and freedoms with safety and security (or vice versa) – appear to be encouraging and even manipulating them in some very concerning and authoritarian directions.

I am once again boggled by the prospect of people who self-identify as “liberals” loudly and aggressively insisting that their rights be taken away!

In Their Own Words: This Chilling Chant Shows What ‘Antifa’ Fascists are All About

These four words tell you everything you need to know about antifa.

Source: In Their Own Words: This Chilling Chant Shows What ‘Antifa’ Fascists are All About

What are those four words, chanted at the Berkeley “demonstration” on Saturday? Listen for yourself:

Hard to miss: “No Trump. No Wall. No USA at all!”

Note those last four words. Mark them. Ponder them. Consider their implications.

You don’t have to like President Trump. I don’t, particularly, although I do respect him as the Constitutionally-elected President of the United States. You don’t have to agree with the concept of a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants. I think we should keep out illegal immigrants, and deport those who are already here, but I am ambivalent on whether a border wall is the best way to do that.

But… “No USA at all”…?

Yep, the article is correct: that tells you everything you need to know about these… people (and I used the term loosely).

This is what we’re fighting, folks. While the politicians and media and the professional complainers of the Left are whining and moaning about “racists,” “white supremacists,” Nazis, and God knows what-and-all, this is what’s sneaking in the back door. Except that they’re not exactly sneaking, anymore. More like breaking down the front door!

And we’re not fighting it; too many Americans are embracing it, or – what is almost as bad – ignoring it, and hoping it’ll go away. But it won’t. It’s a disease, a cancer, and if we don’t oppose it, actively and vigorously, it will spread and worsen.

“No USA at all.”

Is this what we want? Really?

Charlottesville: latest battle in the culture wars

A tale of two rallies.jpg
The top picture is from a torchlight procession held on Friday night, the night before a “Unite the Right” rally scheduled – and legally permitted – for Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday: Saturday, August 12, 2017. The second is of “protests” in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2015, following accusations that police officers had mistreated an African-American suspect, resulting in his death while in custody; the officers so accused were either acquitted by the mostly-black juries, or the charges were dropped. The contrast, I think, speaks volumes.

The legally-permitted “Unite the Right” rally scheduled for yesterday – Saturday, August 12th, 2017 – to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by the City Council (part of the ongoing purge of Southern and Confederate iconography, and in fact much other historic iconography as well), and in the process to serve as a rallying cry for conservatives and others on the rightward side of the social and political spectrum to come together against the mass of cultural Marxists and social-justice warriors arrayed against anything and everything conservative, traditional, or classic in our present-day culture, didn’t take long to go awry.

What was intended to be a peaceful rally turned violent when radical Left-wing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter showed up and began showering the rally attendees with expletives, punches, pepper spray, and water balloons filled with urine, feces, paint, and other noxious substances. Unsurprisingly, some of those so attacked fought back. But did the local and national news media broadcast stories about a peaceful, permitted rally being attacked by extremists? Nope. Instead, all the news media could do was accuse those present at the rally of being right-wing racists, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists.

To which my response is: Continue reading “Charlottesville: latest battle in the culture wars”