June 7, 2020
General Mattis and other retired senior military have spoken to the media to criticize President Trump’s willingness as Commander-in-Chief to use the nation’s military to put down insurrection. Of course, the media have conflated the arson, beatings, murders, widespread theft and wanton destruction of property and other outrageous lawlessness in our cities with our Constitution’s guarantee for Americans to peacefully assemble and protest their grievances against government. They are NOT the same thing and Trump knows it and so do you. We have the “right” to peacefully assemble. There is no collective or inherent right to riot. And those wishing to peacefully protest have been betrayed by others who are using them to create chaos – and perhaps even to rehearse strategies and methods for insurrection and revolution.
To quote the opening of our venerable and brilliant Constitution:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…” The highlighted italics are mine.
Our founders were well-read and could quote selections from Locke, Hume, and Rousseau, among other great thinkers who argued to divine the best means for humankind to organize itself to keep the peace and conduct affairs. In most cases, the thinkers agreed that folks instituted governments to protect them from chaos by regulating affairs, creating laws, and authorizing the judicious use of force if needed to enforce those laws and prevent chaos and evil behaviors. Our founders understood history and that whenever a state could no longer provide for the safety of its citizens, chaos ensued and led to mob rule where the laws of mankind and Nature that regulated life no longer applied. The collapse of the Roman Empire was the case in point, as it plunged Europe into the Dark Ages that lasted centuries before a degree of order could be restored.
As laws are debated and committed to writing and duly enacted, there is always the underlying assumption that the state must have the power to enforce compliance and will be expected to apply force to do so should circumstances warrant.
So where does “Burn, Baby, Burn” fit in? Where does “… Let them have room to blow off steam…” fit in? How can any levels of “governments instated among men” fail their law-abiding, tax-paying citizens by issuing “stand-down” orders and refusing to intervene to stop wanton destruction, arson, grand larceny, and mayhem that frightens citizens who deserve and expect better from the governments that they installed to keep the peace (AKA domestic tranquility).
President Trump may have rough edges, but he also has solid instincts. He understands that chaos is unacceptable and that the first order of governing is to maintain order – to maintain domestic tranquility.
The media has a key role to play in all of this. Why have they failed to do stories about the prepositioning of pallets of bricks or water stations that sometimes include frozen bottles of water for use by dissidents to throw at the police and others who attempt to restore order? They don’t mention that some folks seem to be giving orders (or at least direction) to the mob on which streets and areas to desecrate. Aren’t “journalists” supposed to “get the story,” “investigate,” and truthfully inform? Why aren’t news organizations getting to the bottom of this wide-scale and expensive “preplanning” of chaos? Who is paying? Who is doing? Why? For what purpose?
We get months of “reporting” and books and movies about a third-rate burglary dubbed “Watergate” but “crickets” about this very real, present danger to good order and even the very core of our republic. What a contrast!