Opinion / Politics

A Clutch of Fools

foolsReporters standing in front of scenes of arson, flames billowing behind them, not very far from scenes of shooting and murder, insist that the protests are “mostly peaceful.” National Public Radio and a multi-billion-dollar global media conglomerate team up to bring you an illiterate “defense of looting.” The president comes to the defense of a dangerously stupid teenager who went looking for trouble illegally armed with a rifle in his hands and, to no one’s great surprise, found the trouble he was looking for.

The lesson of the summer is that intellectual and moral anarchy eventually bring with them political anarchy, that chaos in the democratic mind unleashes chaos in the streets.

Our friends on the left pirouette from position to position, desperate to please the mob. Consider a point of comparison: Only a few years ago, a bunch of irresponsible people who took out mortgages they could never hope to afford eventually lost their houses in foreclosures. People lost businesses, too. That was, we were assured, a national tragedy, an indictment of capitalism. But now the anointed mob is burning down homes and businesses, and progressives sniff that these losses are “just property.” Sometimes, property losses (those resulting from failure to pay a valid debt) are the cause of lamentation and the rending of garments, and sometimes property losses (those imposed by criminal violence) are no big deal.

A cynical man might suspect that such progressive posturing is not to be taken seriously.

In reality, it isn’t “just property.” It is mobs setting fire to homes with children in them. It is mobs shooting children to death. It is mobs shooting adults to death. It is arson that endangers the lives of innocent bystanders, firefighters, and other emergency workers.

It is also a near guarantee of long-term disinvestment from communities in which property is not secure. The same people burning down grocery stores today will be complaining about “food deserts” in 18 months.

But if it were “just property,” that would be bad enough.

Governments exist to protect property. That is what they are there for — life, liberty, and property, each of which is bound up in the other two. Property is the basis of liberty, and security in one’s property is a prerequisite of a decent society. Attacks on property are attacks on civil rights.

Property is necessary for the exercise of civil rights. Civil rights without property rights is a rhetoric, not a reality. The freedom of the press enjoyed by the New York Times is not worth $0.02 without the hundreds of millions of dollars in printing facilities and digital infrastructure that the newspaper relies on to actually disseminate the news. Burning that down would not be “just property” damage. If you can see that but cannot also see how looting a business involves more than “just property,” then you should go someplace quiet and think about it for a while, and pray fervently to whatever deity you believe in to reach down from the transcendent celestial realm and make you a little less stupid.

The answers are not on the radio.

But if there is a case to be made for looting, how about we start with NPR and its affiliates? The NPR Foundation reported holding $342 million in assets in 2018, and NPR’s management and on-air talent are splendidly compensated, many of them in excess of a half-million dollars a year. You can commission a shipload of lectures on income inequality and the salubrious effects of looting for that kind of “just property.” NPR’s headquarters on North Capitol Street in Washington, D.C., is “just property,” too — property NPR isn’t even much using at the moment, because of the epidemic. Would NPR object to someone burning it down to make a political point? Would looting NPR’s property be defensible? Yes? No? Why or why not?

A professional investor once said that in the short term, markets are dominated by greed and panic, but, in the long term, they are dominated by math. Politics in the short term may be dominated by tribal hatred and petty advantage-seeking, but politics in the (very) long term is dominated by ideas. Ceding the field of ideas in pursuit of short-term electoral gains is always an error, because vacating the field does not make it vacant — it only clears the field for other ideas, other articles of faith, other systems of values.

In the short term, the problem is the looting. In the long term, the problem is the defense of looting.

Because we live under the yoke of a post-literate culture, there are certain obvious truths that are effectively impossible to communicate to the mass population. Everybody who has ever dealt with the TSA should understand in broad outline what is going on with law enforcement in cities such as Minneapolis and San Francisco, that it is not only possible but common for public-security measures to be simultaneously excessive and insufficient, invasive and ineffective, heavy-handed and incompetent, corrupt and abusive and necessary, that criminal violence and police violence — and police corruption and political corruption — are genuine problems that are entangled with each another in complex ways. There are productive ways to respond to that. Burning down cities is not one of them. Tweeting hysterically about burning down cities is not one of them, either.

But the petulant children in Portland want only to play-act at being Jacobins, and the petulant child in the White House requires a full-time culture war lest he be forced to run for reelection on his record of spotless administrative excellence and confidence-inspiring leadership. If ever two clutches of fools deserved one another, these are they.

Life, liberty, and property: simple to say, difficult to achieve — and still more difficult to achieve if you have forgotten how and why to secure them or never understood in the first place.

Reprinted with Permission from - National Review by - Kevin D. Williamson

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Paul W
1 month ago

“The petulant child in the White House requires a full-time culture war lest he be forced to run for reelection on his record of spotless administrative excellence and confidence-inspiring leadership.” Are you kidding?! Name a president, any president, that can claim “spotless administrative excellence”. What a ludicrous statement. Pre-vrus, although not “spotless”, President Trump had achievements that were the best I’ve seen in my lifetime. That includes the great RWR. This author can peddle his never-Trump crap on someone else. I’m disappointed that Amac even posted this tripe. As for the author, talk about fools… PS Take a gander at… Read more »

David B.
1 month ago

This author appantly thinks “Hidin’ Biden” is a better choice to run the Country- talk about a fool? Did AMAC borrow this fool from AARP?

1 month ago

This is the first AMAC article that has really ticked me off. I’m so disappointed. I hope AMAC isn’t going to go to the dogs.

John C Irish
1 month ago

I am VERY disappointed in AMAC for promoting this piece of crap, and especially allowing for our President to be openly called a “petulant child”. I would appear that the passing of the Founder of AMAC has already begun the decline of the Conservative platform that many of us used as justification for joining AMAC. Sorry to say this, but if I see one more promotion such as this, I will be thinking long and hard as to whether or not my wife and I remain with AMAC…

Brian Richard Allen
1 month ago

…. a dangerously stupid teenager who went looking for trouble illegally armed with a rifle in his hands ….

TRANSLATION: An Intact American Man took seriously our beloved fraternal republic’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution and went to provide the kind of protection and defense of the products of his neighbors’ lives energies that our governments are sworn to defend and protect — and do not. And those Darwin Awardees who then attacked Kyle Rittenhouse were: as Mr Rittenhouse exercised his absolute rights to stand his ground and to self-defense; afforded the dignity of the consequences of their own actions.

Philip Samon
1 month ago

If I wanted to read crap like this I would’ve joined AARP

1 month ago

People who have had everything handed to them for free (such as housing) have no appreciation for real freedom or have the understanding for what it is nor do they care. They think sitting on a couch all day watching Oprah or talking on their free cellphones is freedom. The concept of working for anything is out of the question. Therefore, when they see that you have good things and are working hard to keep them, they want to destroy it to bring you down to their level. The problem with Democrats is that they cater to these destructive people… Read more »

1 month ago

I hope all that seek this type of utopia and approve of this type of behavior are able to achieve their goals but not in this country. If this country and Our President is so bad then why not just leave for greener pastures ? Because they’re aren’t any. We live in the Greatest country in the world with the best President this country has seen in my lifetime. Any and everyone is able to succeed or fail at your own discretion. That is Freedom. Not a handout.

James Kelly
1 month ago

In the short term, the problem is the looting. In the long term, the problem is the defense of looting.

You shoot looters.

Patriot Will
1 month ago

Sadly many Americans say with pride that they are in the know because they trust the news from NPR. For years, NPR has been very inconsistent with the quality of its news, but since President Trump has come into office, NPR has quickly devolved into a very slanted, unpatriotic, beacon of lies and half-truths. However, NPR often pretends that it is very measured and professional.

Rick J.
1 month ago

This article is a mixture of horse and bull manure. Both ingredients stink, and the result is
a mixture of crap that isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. So typical of National Review !!!

Cherie Athanasoulias
1 month ago

Why can’t this destruction of Democrat cities be dealt with under the Insurrection act? Bring in the military and put these terrorists away for good. Another point, if you read the Democrat Socialists agenda if they win the election, they plan on destroying the country through violence anyway. They will give nothing to anyone except themselves. What is wrong with people that can’t go read the Bernie Sanders plan that will be implemented. The Dims will open the borders to every illegal including vicious gangs and remove all laws and enforcement. Love him or hate him, President Trump and voting… Read more »

1 month ago

I hate this piece for its rating of President Trump. I think it is wrong and I know it is disrespectful.

John A. Fallon
1 month ago

Police corruption and polce brutality are part of the socialist/dem plan to intimidate and harrass thier citizens and keep thier power, notice that all the problems with excessive police tactics are always in dem controlled cities and states, caused by the failure of dem controlled courts to punish criminals, they just keep turning them loose on thier citizens, the people that keep re-electing this dirt bags are responsible for what is happening, if they want this terrorism to end, they need to change thier voting habits, this is NOT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY! save your cities and… Read more »

Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Dems use riots for Power & control only, Or riots would have ended maybe
see prior riots LA CA 1992.
Media ruining true stories of riots & victims.
ALL Leftists are fools

1 month ago

Govt doesn’t exist to protect property. Govt is supposed to protect our GOD given Rights.
I didn’t see it in the article, but the kid had a legal firearm, he wasn’t looking for trouble.
He was trying to help injured and was attacked. Even The NY Times said there was 16 shots fired prior
to him defending himself. The rioters who were shooting prior should have been arrested.
Harris has said this violence which she calls a movement on late night, will not end and it shouldn’t end.
this will not end well

Charlotte A Mahin
1 month ago

I have heard the people in the mobs say looting is just “getting what they deserve” but to have media start agreeing with that premise is madness! The Marxist/Communist BLM mob is nothing but a puppet of mega donor George Soros who really wants to get rid of America as we know it along with a bunch of donating elitist “celebrities” and who just do whatever is “cool” at the moment in hopes of staying popular. Many Democrats have also been donating. NPR has always been a far-left media outlet just not as blatant as CNN and the “big three”.… Read more »

Art A
1 month ago

I call it the ship of fools. Many of them are from out of town and white. You have low life undocumented shoppers who claim the stolen goods are reparation. Then you have the arsonists and rioters who claim it is OK to destroy things because insurance will pay for everything.I believe that most people are now fed up with this garbage. It is time to meet the issue with force otherwise all you do is beat your gums to death and contribute bad stuff to climate change plus ensure that MSM folks have high paying jobs. I do wish… Read more »

leonard tatko
1 month ago

Isn’t NPR/PBS funded w/taxpayer $$? If so, I don’t like it. Esp the Gates program. That “pinhead”!!

Glenn Lego
1 month ago

Our friends on the left pirouette from position to position. I don’t know if I have any friends on the left. 🤔

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