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COMMENTARY

Hard Lessons

By Herodotus Paine

Watching and reading these past couple of months has been enlightening. Here are two observations on subjects I find of particular interest. Both, I fear, have potentially ruinous long-term consequences.

As near as I can tell, President Obama was the first to frame opposition at the national level to set them apart from others and destroy them (in a political sense). He transformed his political opponents from Americans who disagreed with him into Bible and gun-toting “bitter clingers.”

The Saul Alinsky tactic is injurious to the body politic, and Obama executed it brilliantly. If these “conservatives” are “different” and out of the “mainstream,” they do not need to be listened to or taken seriously.

Obama was a good teacher of these dark verbal arts, although Hillary already knew how to play the game. She escalated the polarizing oratory during the 2016 presidential race by describing the tens of millions of American citizens who supported Donald Trump as “deplorables.”

Others, including what was once mainstream media, found meaning in this tacit permission to spiral up the rhetorical cancer and, with a Trump win, took full advantage. The “deplorables” and “bitter-clingers” morphed into “racists,” “bigots,” “Nazis,” “evil,” “white supremacists,” “inciters,” and more recently, “insurrectionists” and “traitors.”

In the Left’s eye, just supporting a candidate who believes in strong borders and equal protection under the law is now grounds for punishment. And they must be silenced in the public square.

The Left’s relentless framing of people who think differently or express different opinions has made it possible to dox, fire, beat up, kick, demonize, and ignore Republicans. It is now acceptable for an angry mob to surround homes and threaten others with whom they disagree. This is no accident.

The Left, its media, and its foot soldiers in the streets and in academia are mainstreaming division and hate for a reason. Few voices rise in opposition because too many Americans are constitutionally uninformed to grasp the consequences of what the Left has now bequeathed future generations.

History has lessons. You will not treat your neighbor differently until you have been conditioned to do so. Josef Goebbels began using his propaganda in the early 1930s to frame Jews as “rats,” “crooks,” “liars,” “evil,” “impure,” “diabolical,” and “a threat to Germany.”

This was no accident.

It was not to make it easier to shoot and gas them. The “Final Solution” had not yet been planned. But Goebbels knew his language would condition the general public, so it would be easier to treat Jews differently. To ostracize them. To herd them together and ship them away to live and work elsewhere.

Conservatives are the new Jews.

*     *    *    *

The attack on the Capitol also has my attention—but I see it differently than most commentators. To be clear, the attack was wrong, illegal, and those who participated should be criminally prosecuted – and they will be.

Quick to pounce, the relentless Left and its media has framed the event for immediate public consumption as an attack instigated by President Trump’s words and carried out by “Trump’s mob.” People too lazy to think for themselves or ask the right questions nod in agreement. Asking supporters to gather peacefully and put pressure on politicians is the foundation of one of our First Amendment freedoms. A few bad actors do not diminish that fact. (There is now significant evidence that the violence was planned days or weeks in advance.)

Think for a moment. The Left spent more than six months promoting the riots and the looting across the country and the attacks against an occupied Federal courthouse in Portland. Its political leaders called the police who tried to save business and lives “stormtroopers” and “Nazis.”

The same Left is now clutching its collective pearls in outrage over a handful of people entering the Capitol unlawfully. Why the stunning turnabout?

Fear. Cold, simple, unadulterated dread.

More than seventy million Americans voted against the Left and believe the election was (and may remain) a rigged game. Republicans and conservatives (they are not the same thing) do not riot, do not tear down statutes, do not attack buildings, do not destroy predominantly minority-owned businesses. They do not block traffic, and they do not surround Leftist’s homes.

What happens if this giant block of tax-playing, liberty-loving Americans stops playing by those rules and adopts the Left’s playbook?

How long will half of a free people allow themselves to be isolated, marginalized, compared to Nazis and stormtroopers, have elections stolen in front of their eyes, and silenced on social media?

What happens to a free people when the Supreme Court shrugs its black-robed shoulders in refusal to even hear, let alone uphold, a case that threatens the viability of the very document that gave the court its birth? Where do they turn?

The Left and its minions just caught a whiff of Mr. Napoleon’s grapeshot. The event at the Capitol was a brief but tantalizing glimpse of what “pushback” might look like. A powerful leadership figure who hears the cries of the ostracized and the demonized could, with a word, overturn the corrupt temple in which the Left worships. And the Leftists know it.

President Trump believes that he and the American people were robbed and that the country is being turned into something it was never intended to be.

He does not like to lose. He does not forget.

And neither will tens of millions of his supporters.

Submitted by Herodotus Paine, an attorney, writer, father, husband, constitutional activist, avid cigar smoker, and a rescuer of dogs.

 

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