Horowitz: America or Afghanistan? The growing danger to truckers on America’s roads

· June 26, 2020  
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Seattle highway protesters and motorists
David Ryder | Getty Images

It’s the type of nightmare we never envisioned even under a Democrat presidency. Truckers on the nation’s highways and streets now face a serious threat of being surrounded by a mob or potentially dragged out of their trucks and beaten, reminiscent of grisly images we’ve seen in other parts of the world. Where is the Trump administration’s plan to protect the nation’s truckers from the anarchist mobs?

Minneapolis crime watchers reported Wednesday night that a group of four males were attempting to pull truckers out of their cabins. Another trucker was reportedly driving on the Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta, Georgia, when his fully loaded tanker truck came under gunfire, as if he were traveling in Afghanistan. Similar stories have reportedly occurred on I-70 in Ohio and I-95 in Connecticut. Truck drivers have reported at least two shootings on interstate highways near Memphis, Tennessee. These are some of the most traveled interstate highways in the country, where we now have armed anarchists shooting at motorists.

If securing our interstate highways is not a job for the federal government when states are refusing to protect them, then I don’t know what is. If armed right-wing militias were shooting at trucks or blocking them and attacking the drivers, I don’t think the government would have waited more than 24 hours to take action. We’re now going on four weeks.

According to a poll on trucking app CDLLife, 79 percent of truck drivers said they’d refuse to deliver to any city that defunds the police.

The problem is that even without such legislation, the police have essentially been abolished. Officers get prosecuted for doing their jobs, while rioters escape prosecution. Consequently, they have taken a hands-off approach, resulting in mobsters blocking roads and highways with impunity. The police have been abolished in all but name only, which is why Trump must secure the roads with federal resources until order is restored at the local level.

Fleet of Angels, an equine transportation company, issued a safety advisory for all horse transporters to avoid riot areas and traveling in urban areas at night. Several weeks ago, a man towing a horse trailer was nearly mobbed on I-244 near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was only spared a grisly fate because he drove through an ad hoc checkpoint set up by the mobsters.

While truckers are the most in danger given how often they travel, the mob control of streets and highways affects everyone. Hundreds were stuck in traffic yesterday in Raleigh, N.C., as rioters blocked I-40. A terrified female driver was surrounded by a mob in Madison, Wisconsin:

This is even happening to the police. On Saturday, a crowd of hundreds blocked a police car responding to a report of a shooting and injured two police officers. All local police officers were called out to deal with the situation.

Trump must realize that this cannot wait until after November. He is president now and will not have more power after the election. He may be counting on a repeat of 1968, when people voted Republican because they were scared of the rioting and chaos. But back then, Republicans weren’t politically correct weenies. The battle lines were clearly drawn, and the public knew what Nixon would do for them if elected. Today, Trump already is president, and yet we are facing the worst anarchy of our lifetime.

I have proposed a 10-point plan for the president to pursue now. Specifically related to the blocking of highways, Trump must federalize the National Guard and deter and apprehend those blocking highways. He should also push right-to-carry reciprocity legislation to allow motorists to carry firearms across state lines, a form of protection that is needed now more than ever.

Senate Republicans should introduce legislation making it a federal crime to block interstate highways and institute tough mandatory minimum sentences for those who do so and even tougher ones for those who violently attack motorists. Mobility and transportation are the lifeblood of our freedom and cannot be sacrificed for another day. The ability to travel on the roads unmolested and the ability of police to respond to emergencies are what distinguish us from the Afghan government, which can’t secure its roads from the Taliban. Or at least they used to distinguish us.

This is no longer a local crime issue. This is a violent insurgency, and it’s time for Trump to treat it accordingly. Not after “the next election.” Now. Otherwise there might not be another chance.

Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.