by Joseph DeMaio, ©2020

In early July 1776, the Founders gathered in Philadelphia’s sweltering heat to declare “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

(Jun. 5, 2020) — One summer, 233 years ago, a bunch of people who were determined to create a new type of document to govern a republic “of the people, by the people and for the people” gathered in Philadelphia.  They met in Independence Hall in then-downtown Philly and ultimately produced the United States Constitution.  When they adjourned, so goes the story, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman as he left the grounds: “Well, Doctor, what do we have – a republic or a monarchy?”  Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Fast forward to Philadelphia in the early summer of 2020, otherwise known as “now.”  As Antifa-inspired riots sweep across the nation, engulfing primarily Democrat-governed blue states and cities in flames, with shattered windows and looted stores in their wake, mayors and police supervisors supposedly elected and appointed to preserve law and order and protect the citizens and their property … have gone AWOL.  For P&E readers younger than 50, that acronym stands for “absent without official leave.”

As a result, a mob mentality has been allowed to take hold.  Worse, it is being facilitated – thanks in no small part to conscious efforts to undercut law enforcement – to metastasize into an ugly, dangerous creature.  Stated otherwise, not satisfied that a utopian “perfect union” – as opposed to the “more perfect union” promised by the Founders – now exists, leftists, anarchists, communists, domestic terrorist Antifa goons and their enablers are intent on making sure that Franklin’s “if you can keep it” admonition comes true.  They want it to not be kept.  Like it or not, faithful P&E readers, we are now on a path to losing the Republic that Franklin and his compatriots sought to create and perpetuate 233 years ago.

Recall that it is not how far down a path you are traveling toward a destination that matters, but rather which direction on that path you are facing.  While we are not yet in a state of open civil firefight warfare – right against left; red states against blue states; conservatives against progressives – we soon will be called upon to decide which direction on the path we wish to proceed.  We are not at the end of the path… yet.  But the immediate future does not look particularly promising.

Cases in point: in St. Louis, a retired black city police captain, David Dorn, who was doing private security detail to protect a friend’s pawnshop, was shot in the back and died on the sidewalk in front of the business, with a passerby (perhaps his killer) capturing on a cellphone his bleed-out on the concrete, but offering no assistance.  In Las Vegas, a police officer, Shay Mikalonis, was shot in the back of the head while he was trying to break up a group of violent protestors and remains in grave condition in an area hospital.  In Oakland, David Underwood, a black security guard at Ron Dellums federal building in the downtown area, was shot and killed in a drive-by while rioters looted Oakland businesses.  On Wednesday night, two New York police officers were shot and one was stabbed in the neck.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, a gun-store owner guarding his business confronted four looters who had used bolt cutters to gain access to his business.  When one of them pointed a gun at the owner, he neutralized the invader with a head-shot from a Bushmaster M4.  The other invaders ran.  In response, the Democrat Mayor of Philadelphia, one James Kenney, and his Democrat Police Commissioner – ironically named Danielle Outlaw – gave lip service to a citizen’s right to self-defense of person and property.  Immediately thereafter, however, both Kenney and Outlaw lamented and decried the business-owner’s resort to “vigilante justice.”


When elected and appointed officials start calling self-defense necessitated by liberal soft-on-crime PC policies which facilitate burglaries and looting “vigilante justice,” you know something is wrong.  Very wrong.  Moreover, when city officials and police abandon their citizens, it will then be up to the citizens to protect themselves against invading thugs.  That is what happened in Philadelphia to a looter taking advantage of the policies established by people like Kenney and Outlaw.  And unless things calm down soon, incidents like that will be repeated in the near future across the nation.

These arsons and lootings are not random acts of violence.  These are calculated attacks in the opening phases of a civil war which is beginning to unfold across the nation.  And at the present time, it does not look as if it will end well.  One of the new leftist narratives is that, in order to “make things right,” cities under siege must “defund the police.”

These calls are being made not only by rioters and “protestors,” but are being repeated by celebrities and politicians who lack the cerebral ability – let alone the moral compass – to understand the consequences.  They chant in unison: “In order to save the village, we must first destroy the village.”  When anarchy unchecked by a civilian police force begins to be called the “new normal,” how long, exactly, do those wanting to “defund the police” think it will be before President Trump is forced to invoke the Insurrection Act?

Specifically, 10 U.S.C. § 253 provides as follows: “The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it (1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that state, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that state are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection….” (Emphasis added).

In the eleven days that have passed since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, tens of thousands of protestors have marched in the streets of the nation’s cities, red as well as blue, seeking justice for Floyd.  But tens of thousands of Antifa domestic terrorists, criminal looters, arsonists and, yes, murderers have also engulfed the major metropolitan areas – primarily blue in terms of political leadership – at a cost of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Antifa and anarchist’s goal is not justice for Floyd.  Far from it.  Instead, his death is but an excuse for “not letting a crisis go to waste.”  In hijacking the Floyd tragedy and conscripting it into their service, their goals are anarchy, arson, property destruction, assaults upon police officers and, yes, even the murders of police officers, as noted above.


And when feckless, dangerous goofs like New York City mayor Bill (“do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do”) de Blasio act as if nothing is wrong and that the “peaceful protests” must continue until they eventually subside, it is a recipe for disaster.  To call what is happening to New York City under DeBlasio’s lunatic and incompetent reign as anything other than an insurrection is lunacy.  On steroids.  de Blasio, like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, is facilitating the conversion of the Big Apple into fermented, rotting applesauce.  With no added sugar.

Worse, if President Trump does not invoke the Insurrection Act, or threaten to do so, how long do you think it will be before civilian armies of brutalized small businessmen and businesswomen, fed-up CPA’s and tens of thousands of owners of Bushmaster M4’s and other similar implements of self-defense determine to take to the streets themselves to do what their “leaders” have failed or refused to do?

The Insurrection Act has been invoked in 19 instances in the past by 11 former presidents extending back to Thomas Jefferson, most under circumstances far less problematic than today.  Indeed, one of the left’s scions – Franklin D. Roosevelt – invoked the Insurrection Act to quell the infamous “1943 Detroit Race Riot.”  The Insurrection Act is not at this point an inevitable consequence of the destruction, rioting and personal injuries being allowed to take place in blue cities around the country, but it is an option that should not be ignored.

That said, the rioting needs to stop.  Now.  Not Tomorrow.  Not next week.  Not November 3.  Now.  This nation is worth saving, because it is one of the few, if not the last of the functioning constitutional republics on the planet.

Can we keep it?  Sure.  Are we willing to do what is necessary to keep it?  Less sure….


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  1. I believe nationwide lawlessness is a problem that needs to be solved nationally. Local communities which not only condone but, moreover, aid and abet lawlessness will never learn the error of their ways on their own accord. To wit: New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington DC, etc., etc. A problem created by the people with the wherewithal but not the desire to remedy the problem will not only never change but, moreover, become worse.

    DC Mayor Muriel Bowser just had the city public works department paint “BLACK LIVES MATTER” along the street in front of the White House in street-width size letters. She also had them change the street sign to “BLACK LIVES MATTER PLAZA”. She also ordered the National Guard to leave the city before tomorrow’s protest by BLM, reportedly to number in the hundreds of thousands.

  2. I believe the riots are local problems that need to be solved locally. Those communities that do foolish things like disbanding the police departments will quickly learn the error of their ways. The police have too often been turned into a military organization so they do not act as the peacekeepers that is their real duty. When people get fed up with the police and government that they have, they will work to change it. A problem created by the overuse of force will not be solved by using more force.