“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. ~Ronald Reagan, July 31, 1968
What about the justice for the other 330 million Americans who didn’t participate in the murder of George Floyd? When will we get justice for all of the people rioters killed and maimed and property they destroyed over the weekend?
In many places in America you still can’t get a haircut, but you can go out and riot. In California, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, you can’t go to church, but you can riot with impunity and burn down lifelong dreams of business owners without facing jail time. One such riot led to the murder of a federal agent protecting a courthouse in Oakland. 11 Secret Service agents were taken to the hospital after trying to repel a mob near the White House.
This has become a federal issue. We’ve never seen such a perverse sense of “justice” in this country. The reason we have a federal government is to protect liberty when state governments are either inherently unable or unwilling to do so. There is no greater threat to liberty than violent mobs sacking every major and mid-sized city, destroying businesses, and beating innocent people to death. Just as George Washington did with the Whiskey Rebellion, Trump should have sent troops immediately to quell these rebellions and use deadly force to restore order. That this has gone so far with so much destruction reflects a failure of biblical proportions on the part of this government, especially when juxtaposed to the heavy hand used in crushing civil liberties for a voodoo strategy of “fighting” a virus.
During the Ferguson riots in 2014, Trump tweeted:
Our country is totally fractured and, with our weak leadership in Washington, you can expect Ferguson type riots and looting in other places
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2014
Then he was a private citizen. Now he is president. Yet now we have a Ferguson in dozens of cities. So what happened to candidate Trump, who drew a sharp contrast in 2016 by saying during a debate with Hillary Clinton, “Secretary Clinton doesn’t want to use a couple of words, and that’s law and order. And we need law and order. If we don’t have it, we’re not going to have a country.”
Ryan Girdusky reported that Jared Kushner and the other proponents of weak-on-crime policies have convinced Trump to take a more muted response for fear of ruining their plan to supposedly win some of the black vote:
It's been 5 days… you need to stop. Jared, Brooke Rollins, and Ja'ron Smith are advising him not to address the riots
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) May 31, 2020
Let me just be perfectly clear… Jared Kushner is going to cost his father-in-law his re-election. He is so concerned with his experiment to win 1% more with the black vote, he's willing to lose the suburbs and rural America. https://t.co/MLgkh8POvn
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) May 31, 2020
Girdusky has a lot of sources in the White House and has covered the political civil war between those supportive of the MAGA agenda and Jared Kushner for quite some time. If his take is true, then Trump would be throwing away this election for nothing.
Trump should use the Insurrection Act of 1807, which was last invoked during the 1992 Rodney King Riots in LA. It’s time to use deadly force. George Washington sent in troops to quell the Whiskey Rebellions, which was much less violent and widespread than these acts of mass mob terrorism.
In response to the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, Washington commanded, “All persons, being insurgents…to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes” and warned “all persons whomsoever against aiding, abetting, or comforting the perpetrators of the aforesaid treasonable acts.” That was the first use of federal force pursuant to Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, which tasks the federal government with guaranteeing states’ protection from domestic violence.
The show of force ended the rebellion with minimal life lost. Peace through strength.
Trump needs to understand, as Washington did, that absent the restoration of deterrence with the use of deadly force, this cancer will spread and more people will ultimately be killed. At its core, this is why we have a government. The fact that in the nation’s capital there could be an iconic church set on fire after authorities already were alerted to the rioting from the previous night (with 11 Secret Service agents hospitalized) is mystifying.
Next is the issue of prosecutions. It’s good that Trump has promised to designate ANTIFA a terrorist group, but he should treat all rioters as terrorists, regardless of their affiliation. He must prosecute all of the rioters under federal terrorism charges, as well as anti-insurrection laws, such as 18 U.S. Code § 2383, which prescribes federal punishment for anyone who “incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto.”
During his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention in the summer of 2016, Trump noted that “the most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens” and that “any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
“Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities,” said Trump in his Cleveland speech. “Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims. I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end.”
How nostalgic that night was when the would-be president declared, “Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”
Well, Mr. President, those promises have come due more than you could have imagined at the time. That is the Donald Trump voters elected.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.