Political violence is the enemy of a free, orderly, constitutional republic. Left or right, political motivation matters not a twit. Respecting rule of law is key, the only way a self-governing republic survives. As ANTIFA steps up destruction across the West, in Seattle, Portland, Denver and beyond, President Biden must step up – and unambiguously condemn ANTIFA by name. See, e.g. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jan/22/chuck-grassley-prods-joe-biden-condemn-protest-v; https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/antifa-s-inauguration-day-message-we-re-not-going-anywhere/ar-BB1cYsO2?ocid=uxbndlbing; https://www.foxnews.com/media/dana-loesch-antifa-portland-seattle-biden-democrats.
ANTIFA’s self-described credo, mantra and mission involve anarchic disruption, motivated by claims of equity, socialism, communism, anti-fascism, anti-Republicanism, and – operationally – Marxist-Leninist-Maoist anti-establishment violence. That is their dominant method of operation, means for advancing their ideology – through violence not dialogue. They make no bones about it. In short, they are fundamentally anti-American, bent on destruction not construction, rampaging not reform. See, e.g., https://www.foxnews.com/politics/what-is-antifa; https://www.nationalreview.com/news/just-an-idea-extremism-experts-explain-the-online-organizing-behind-leftist-riots/; https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/06/blmantifa_violence_is_prelude_for_november.html.
Honest national leadership – in both political parties – is on the spot. Moral leadership requires an honest assessment of the “state of our union,” which is not good. Pretending the nation is not roiled by ANTIFA violence, that it was not roiled in 2020, is simply untrue. It is also disingenuous, to the point of becoming a fatal omission. Silence, alas, can be deadly.
Yes, half the nation is profoundly disappointed in the election, the other half somehow content to ignore rising ANTIFA violence. Biden is President – for better or worse – and now the show is his. He must act like a president. That means calling a spade a spade and calling out ANTIFA.
ANTFA is the uninvited extension, as the “weather underground” was during late 1960s, of groups that raised legitimate questions about lingering societal divisions, national policy, and equal protection – but they are neither peaceful protesters nor legitimate anything. They are animated by, and unrepentant defenders of, raw violence.
In the 1960s, BLM stood not for Black Lives Matter (itself now implicated in political violence) but for Black Liberation Movement, an arm of which was Black Liberation Army, another of which was Black Panthers, neither peaceful, both apologists for political violence. That is not opinion, interpretation, discrimination, or disinformation, just facts. Crosscheck these facts with on any objective historical tract, treatise, or website.
Then, take a deep breath, look out the window, and just think. Look what we got in the 1960s, at both the state and federal levels. By moving too slowly against political violence on the left, we got mass destruction of property, death of innocent citizens, federal buildings attacked – eventually blown up – tragic high-level shootings, assassinations of a president, attorney general, and civil rights leader. We got chaos, division, escalating violence, and deep national hurt.
Here was a decade too when foreign adversaries took advantage. They perceived us as weak, provoked us, dragged us into an extended hot war, redoubled their investment in Cold War aggression, leverage and duplicity, missile production, nuclear ambitions, espionage activities.
They strived to widen perceived divisions within American society, bore holes in the planking of our republic, tried to sink us. They aimed to unsettle, wound, upend the American people – our cohesion, belief in ourselves, in our extraordinary, people-centric, trust-based government.
They almost succeeded. But Americans hobbled along, somehow aware, reminded by moral leaders that we are a unique people, more blessed than burdened by our history, endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. We realized it was up to us, and we turned things around. We realized it is up to each new generation of “us” – to protect the institutions, laws, ideals.
We are here again, alas. In this turbulent moment, the obligation of the American People is to stay firm and peaceful, not depart core principles, faith in institutions, nor in our history, each other, rule of law, our Constitution, or our collective resilience.
But there is more. The President – now Biden – and leaders on both sides of the political divide must step up. If far right violence is anti-constitutional and it is, rising leftist violence, which is fundamentally destructive, outside our political process, unacceptable in America – must be roundly, directly, unambiguously, and swiftly condemned.
Law enforcement, state and federal laws, federal agencies and buildings, citizens and property must be completely, affirmatively, unapologetically protected, defended, and respected. That starts at the top, with national leaders in both parties – especially with the President of the United States. Silence from him, would be unforgivable – and empower those aiming at destruction.
History is a wonderful teacher. It involves far less conjecture and fiction, far more contemplation of facts and recorded depiction. What does it teach? Appeasement never works. Political violence not forcefully, specifically, immediately condemned begets more, often leading to a cascade of destabilizing political chaos from early offenders and those reacting.
To stop this cycle, to affirm belief in laws, in those commissioned to enforce laws, in civil discourse, in love of America – the world’s most exceptional, self-governing, constitutionally anchored, and resilient republic – leaders must speak. The new president must stop signing executive orders, hemming and hawing, dodging a true call. He must be equal to the moment, and unequivocally condemn ANTIFA and every incidence of leftist violence, just as he has condemned violence from extremists on the right. Honest leadership is urgently needed. If we lose this moment, if President Biden does not speak out, we may lose more than the moment. Enough said.