In the past two weeks, we have been witness to (1) an attempt to violently disrupt the inauguration of a duly-elected American president, (2) a “feminist” march in Washington the day after the Inauguration and “sister” marches throughout the country, (3) a boycott of said inauguration by members of Congress, (4) a sitting Congressman calling the election of a president “illegitimate,” (5) lecturing by Hollywood celebrities at boring awards ceremonies, (6) demonstrations at airports over a travel ban characterized incorrectly by the media, (7) knee-jerk media and special interest rejection of a Supreme Court nominee absent any evidence, (8) a violent protest in Berkeley, California against a gay right wing speaker, and (9) another protest against a right wing speaker at New York University. With Trump as president, expect more of the same.
However, there will come a time when the protests will become boring and passe. Truth be told, the media does not really cover the more peaceful protests to the degree they cover the violent ones. While a group of thugs were vandalizing window panes in DC on January 20th, a more peaceful demonstration two blocks away went uncovered by the media. Some incendiary device and/or broken windows make for better television.
There are many of us on the true Right who have problems with the presidency of Trump. Unlike the Left who exercise their constitutional rights to protest against a Constitutional outcome, our arguments are more valid than their knee-jerk reactions. With more scheduled protests, one can expect that the Left will eventually wear out their welcome in the minds of Americans. In effect, they are over-playing their hand.
The ultimate goal of the more radical Leftists is to create disorder to beget more disorder. Some are under the mistaken belief that an eventual revolution will then occur. These are the ones most likely to be wearing their tattered Che Guevara T-shirts and shouting communist slogans. Not that revolutions have never evolved from disorder, but the chances are very rare. Some examples may be the Boston Tea Party, the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, but they are quite rare. Things have to be really, really bad for a true revolution to occur and that is just not the case today.
But assume for the moment that a revolution did occur. The likely response would be a counter-revolution. We can look to Germany in the early part of the last century as a guide. From the end of World War I and the Leftist street violence in 1919 of the Spartacist uprising through to the early 1930’s, there was general disorder in Germany. This basically pitted the more moderate Socialist Democratic Party of Germany against radical Bolsheviks. We all know how that ended and it was not very good for the street fighting anarchists on the German Left.
Given the rarity of a successful revolution and the greater likelihood of a counter-revolution, the Left’s protests will not succeed. They may for a time, but most can agree that the revolution ushered in by the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 and that of the Jacobins in France in 1789 were, in the end, utter failures in most respects.
The fact is that Americans do not at their core look with favor upon disorder and social disturbance. There are, one would hope, many Democratic voters and those who would have much preferred to see Hillary Clinton in the White House looking at these demonstrations with a certain degree of disgust. There is a silent majority out there and not of the Richard Nixon type. Most of the violence committed is done so by the more radical elements of the protesters, or refugees from the anarchist Occupy Wall Street movement as this writer likes to call them.
Perhaps the worst thing that could happen right now is for the government or the Trump administration to clamp down firmly on these protests. One must be reminded that the violent protest at Berkeley and the one at New York University was not against Donald Trump per se. Americans cherish our liberties and when weighed against forced order from the government, our liberties will win every time. In fact, as a country we are perhaps more tolerant than any other when it comes to demonstrations and protests. Therefore, a firm clampdown will likely backfire. The one thing this country does not need is another Kent State-like event.
Conversely, not responding at all could potentially send a signal that the government is feeble in maintaining order. At that point, one will hear common refrains like, “Why isn’t anyone doing anything?” In fact, the vast majority of Americans look at the protests and occasional violence with disgust and disdain while simultaneously supporting the rights of people to protest. The violence could potentially get out of hand and it is at that point that the Left has overplayed their hand and their message becomes lost. It happened in Oakland, California during demonstrations over the death of Eric Garner. The sporadic, but very visible and much-covered violence from a certain element of the protesters overshadowed the message. Simply, people forgot about Eric Garner.
Instead, the best tactic is to let them have their day and their place in the spotlight. Everyone knows they will overplay their hand and a full-scale riot will ensue with loss of property and possibly life. It is at that point that some well-placed arrests and prosecutions should occur. The Chinese called it “killing the chicken to scare the monkey.” Former British prime minister called it the “smack of firm government.”
Generally, the behavior and sometimes over-the-top rhetoric of the Left is playing to their own audience. This writer knows of people who attended the Women’s March in Washington and Philadelphia who came away disappointed and disgusted by some of the rhetoric, or the costumes some wore, or the messages on some signs carried. If their catharsis over the Clinton’s loss results in a burnt limousine, a burning light stand and “MILO” sign and broken windows at a student union, it is a small price to pay. It does not mean it has to be accepted and it is certainly worthy of criticism.
Just as some of the protests against Trump during the primaries and presidential campaign likely drew some converts to Donald Trump, the Left now overplaying their protest hand will likely draw some more fence sitters to his side.
This writer is firmly of the opinion that Trump is neither conservative nor Republican and fears that he will damage conservatism for a generation given his attachment to the moniker. That was one of my primary reasons for opposing his candidacy since its infancy. The Left is alienating many on the true Right through their antics, rhetoric and obstruction. They are confirming in the minds of many what Trump supporters believe. The true Right can clean up our mess (Trump). Unfortunately, the Left is making that task more difficult by not cleaning up the mess on their side.