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Laura Hollis / Jul. 2, 2020

Lessons Learned

The last few weeks have provided plenty of support for the political positions traditionally espoused by conservatives. Some of the evidence is so painfully obvious it's hard to believe there could be any dispute about it. And yet, disputes there are. In fact, the divisions in this country seem deeper than ever.

The last few weeks have provided plenty of support for the political positions traditionally espoused by conservatives. Some of the evidence is so painfully obvious it’s hard to believe there could be any dispute about it. And yet, disputes there are. In fact, the divisions in this country seem deeper than ever. As we approach the November election and beyond, it is vital that we understand the lessons current events teach us about what we’re facing in our future. Here’s a short and (very) incomplete list:

1.) Our governments are shockingly weak. COVID-19 has revealed that the twin pillars of some city and state governments are hypocrisy and cowardice. Rules put in place to prevent the spread of the virus were strictly enforced when the would-be violators were Orthodox Jews and other worshippers, small-business owners and skateboarders. Ill and elderly people died alone, their loved ones forbidden from visiting them in hospitals and long-term care facilities. These sacrifices, we were told, were necessary to keep the public safe. But when the George Floyd protests exploded into the streets across the country, the narrative changed. “Social justice” became an exception to the infection rules, as if the virus would somehow distinguish between irate Black Lives Matter activists and frolicking beachgoers.

Worse, the riots, arson, violence and secessionist colonies in major cities were allowed to take place with virtually no interference from law enforcement — often at the express directive of city government. Statues and monuments were vandalized or torn down. Buildings were burned. Businesses were destroyed. People were harassed, assaulted, raped, shot and killed. All of this was done with impunity and under the watchful eye of governments that did nothing, for fear of being called “racist.”

The clear message is that rules are only enforced against the law-abiding, but the government will let you do whatever you like if it is afraid of you.

2.) Never give up your Second Amendment rights. Is it not obvious now? The Second Amendment was not written to enshrine hunting as a protected constitutional right; it was written so citizens could protect themselves from oppressive government. Or, in our case, perhaps, weak and feckless government that allows criminals free reign. The chaos in Seattle, Portland, New York City and Washington, D.C., drove the point home that private citizens are on their own and can expect neither government nor law enforcement to help protect their lives and property. That will double when police are “defunded.”

3.) The media is relentlessly biased and deceitful. As exhibit A of the above, St. Louis attorneys Mark and Patty McCloskey made national news earlier this week when they confronted a group of protesters on their property in a heated exchange. The McCloskeys were armed, and the press was quick to cast them as the wrongdoers overreacting to “peaceful protesters.” (As if we haven’t watched riots and arson for the past three weeks characterized by the press as “protests.”) Mark McCloskey and his attorney had to point out that the protesters had trespassed on private property, breaking down a wrought-iron gate to obtain access to their home, and that some of the protesters were armed and threatened the McCloskeys with violence.

4.) No one can survive the ideological purity tests that are being administered to justify tearing down statues and monuments. And, in truth, they’re not meant to. The attacks started with Confederate soldiers but quickly moved to the Founding Fathers (Washington and Jefferson), to presidents (Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant) and even to Jesus Christ and his mother. The battle is really one to tear down Western civilization — democracy, capitalism and Judeo-Christian values — and replace it with a Marxist state. If you don’t think this is their goal, you’re not listening to them.

5.) Ah, Marxism! The only example of perfect diversity. No matter where it has been tried, or by whom, Marxist regimes have failed spectacularly. Whether installed by whites (Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe in the old Soviet Union), Asians (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea), Hispanics (Venezuela, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru) or Blacks (Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia), Marxism invariably promises equality and utopia, and equally invariably results in government oppression, corruption, starvation, torture, imprisonment and death on a massive scale.

6.) The highest praise for Marxism comes from those who have never lived under it. History shows that academics and the press in free countries (as opposed to those in the Marxist countries themselves) continue to praise and tout Marxist regimes, even when they are aware of their brutality. True of The New York Times in the 1930s. True of the New York Times today.

7.) Yes, it can happen here. Historian Crane Brinton noted in his classic work “Anatomy of a Revolution” that the American Revolution was the only one of the four major upheavals he addressed that did not have a “Reign of Terror.” But for all their criticism of the Founding Fathers, today’s revolutionaries seem to have a greater penchant for bloodshed, as we’ve seen with the antifa movement, violence in the lawless “occupied” zones, signs that say things such as “Murder Andy Ngo” (an independent journalist), the trending #FrenchRevolution hashtag on Twitter, a guillotine in front of Jeff Bezos’ home and an enraged Ivy League student threatening to stab anyone who defends the universal importance of all lives.

8.) It isn’t about President Donald Trump. Those seeking to destroy the United States were committed to that objective before Trump was elected. They’ll be just as committed when he’s gone. Trump is obnoxious to them because he doesn’t fear them or seek to mollify them like so many other politicians. They want a weak president who will capitulate to them as so many mayors and governors have done. We can’t give them that.

Not in 2020. Not ever.

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