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COMMENTARY

If You Believe…

By Herodotus Paine

“These people are crazy!”

My wife was drinking her coffee the other day, scrolling through Facebook (mostly looking at local posts regarding school openings) when she blurted the observation. She is very conservative and never misses a vote but is one of the Silent Majority who rarely engages others and almost never posts a thing online.

I tilted my head and raised an ample eyebrow.

“You know my friend Laura, from school?” she asked. By “school,” she meant a football mom (our son plays high school football). I nodded. “She is all over Facebook siding with the rioters and criminals in Portland and blaming the president for sending ‘stormtroopers” into the city to protect the Federal courthouse from being burned down. What is wrong with these people!? Are they really my friends?

I acknowledged her frustration and explained that many of my customers (who I like very much when I meet them in social settings) are rabid in their Trump hatred and openly advocate the burning and looting in several of our major cities, the tearing down of historic statues, and the silencing of voices that disagree with their world view. “It is disheartening and maddening,” I admitted. “Many of these folks are apparently well-educated. How can you claim to love your country and its ideals while simultaneously tearing apart the civil society upon which it rests?”

“Exactly,” shot back the agitated misses. “Mrs ____ is arguing that Black Lives Matters representatives should be allowed into our classrooms to lecture kids! She is a teacher, for God’s sake!”

I reminded her that a sizable number of teachers were arrested in Portland for criminal activity. “How do you go into the streets and riot and throw Molotov cocktails by night,” I asked, “and slip back into the classroom and teach English by day?”

This led to a deep discussion about where we go from here—not only as a country, but as states, counties, cities, neighbors, and even families. How do people who so fundamentally disagree on the major issues that unite us as a nation—like Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, due process, equality under the law, and the supremacy of federal law—continue the social compact?

Finally, I said something like this: “If you believe someone is ever justified in destroying the personal property of another and insist on calling it a ‘peaceful protest’ instead of what it is, ‘a riot,” we have nothing left to talk about. Where is the middle ground? Burn down only the small stores? Smash the windows of only foreign cars, but not Chevys? How do you compromise?”

Several seconds of heavy silence hung between us, pregnant with portent and import. “How do you indeed?” she replied. “I think you are on to something. You should write it up.” This got me to thinking…

If you believe robbing someone’s home or business during a “protest” is acceptable behavior under any circumstances, it means we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe mobs pulling down statues, monuments, or other historical structures with ropes, chains, and brute strength is justified under any circumstances, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe spray-painting or defacing statues, monuments, cemeteries, or other historical structures or sites is appropriate, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe that one police officer who commits a criminal act tars the entire police force, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe America is a systemically racist country, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe our country was founded on the principal of slavery in 1619, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe people should lose their jobs because they disagree with your point of view and it is acceptable to advocate their being fired or call for picketing at their homes, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe what someone said or posted years earlier somehow justifies them losing their livelihood, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe it is acceptable for armed thugs (Antifa) to take to the streets wearing masks and threaten and intimidate and beat up others who disagree with them are not domestic terrorists, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe someone with a different point of view should not be allowed to speak freely on a college campus, and can be shouted down into silence, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe police departments should be eliminated or defunded, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe it is acceptable to burn down federal courthouses, and the problem is the federal officers sent in to protect them, we have nothing left to talk about.

If you believe a mother and her doctor have the right to decide whether to allow her living infant to be left to die, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you think Epstein killed himself….(Sorry, that was typed accidentally, while the video cameras were off.)

If you believe the sentence immediately above wrote itself, then we have nothing left to talk about.

If you can’t compromise on fundamental issues without giving away your own country to the anarchists and Marxists, where do we go from here? The first step is a landslide victory for President Trump and the Republicans. Not a close win, but a beatdown. Especially if you live in a swing-state, register people, talk to your neighbors, and educate those on the fence, those who have not drunk the Marxist Kool Aid. Volunteer for a local politician. Run for your school board.

Make a difference. Don’t just read and talk. DO.

Look down. President Trump is not the only one with a lot on his plate.

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

 

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