How Would The Founders Have Confronted Left-Wing Violence?

Jack Kerwick Professor
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“It’s clearly open season on prominent Trump supporters.”

So said nationally syndicated “conservative” talk radio host Michael Savage after he and his poodle, Teddy, were assaulted while exiting a restaurant in the Bay area of California last week.

A gutless specimen of a man nearly a foot taller and 20 years younger than the 75 year-old Savage followed the latter from the eatery and taunted him. Savage was holding Teddy’s leash with one hand and his bag with the other when his assailant kicked his dog and pushed the octogenarian to the ground.

Savage, though escaping any serious injuries, was “bloodied and shaken.”  Teddy, he said on his Thursday afternoon broadcast, was “traumatized.”  According to his lawyer, Dan Horowitz, criminal charges will be filed.

Savage was only partially correct in describing the current situation as open season on prominent Trump supporters. It is open season on Trump supporters, most of whom, in fact, are not prominent.  No one is safe, not the elderly, the young, or women.  Moreover, even some who were merely suspected, perhaps wrongly, of being Trump supporters have been targeted by leftist thugs.

It is open season on Trump supporters and anyone and everyone who is suspected of being insufficiently “progressive.”

Michael Savage and I are hardly the only two people to recognize this.  Many “conservative” commentators in print, radio, and television have remarked upon it. They need to continue doing so.  But as the property and person of innocents are being violated solely because of their politics, it is irresponsible to only talk about it when it is possible to do more.

Given their vast resources and extensive influence, people like, say, Rush Limbaugh and his colleagues could organize boycotts, marches, rallies—all designed to resist “the resistance” that’s been intimidating and pummeling innocent human beings that it demonizes as “fascist” and “racist.” Glenn Beck alone was able to arrange a sizable pro-American, Tea Party-type rally in D.C. a few years back.  The March for Life mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people every year in the coldest of months and regardless of the weather.

Why, when some of these pundits have, on more than one occasion, described our time as a “post-Constitutional” era and likened it to the days leading up to the Civil War, have they not called for some kind of action?

The violent, intolerant, hate-filled left expects to continue getting away with their civilization-destroying conduct.  Collective assertions of self-defense, on a mass scale, might force them to reconsider their current approach.

These same “conservative” media personalities, bear in mind, regularly invoke the Founders. This being so, they should ask themselves:

If it was the Founders and their fellow partisans who were routinely treated by their political opponents in the ways in which Trump supporters have been treated by “Antifa” (“antifascists”) and other self-styled “progressives,” would the Founders only talk and write about it?

Would the Founders urge their supporters to exclusively rely upon government employees, the police, to protect them from the imminent harm that vicious people would visit upon them because of their politics?

Contrary to what many right-leaning pundits would have us think, when Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a video a couple of weeks back, she was not calling for violence and murder on the streets.  Though I am anything but an admirer of the dishonest Lynch, the truth of the matter is that she invoked the memory of those who risked their own lives to advance left-wing causes, or at least those causes that the left claims as its own.

Neither do I call for unprovoked violence when I remind patriotic Americans of the sacrifices made by our ancestors, their willingness to fight and die in order to advance the cause of liberty over tyranny, freedom over oppression.  The men and women of the Founding generation were willing to lose all to fight against the most powerful empire the world had ever known up to that juncture in history.

Patrick Henry is a classic example on this score.  “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty,” he declared.  “Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.  Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.  Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

When the British demanded that he surrender, John Paul Jones exclaimed: “I have not yet begun to fight!”  Jones expressed the perspective of the Spirit of ’76 when he wrote in a letter to Gouverneur Morris: “An honorable Peace is and always was my first wish! I can take no delight in the effusion of human Blood; but, if this War should continue, I wish to have the most active part in it.”

Captain John Parker, who commanded the militiamen at Lexington, informed his men: “Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war, let it begin here.”

George Washington eloquently remarked: “If we desire to insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”

And who can forget Thomas Jefferson’s comments about “the tree of liberty.”  The latter, he said, “must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

We know how the Founders responded to those who they perceived as threats to their liberty.

Will live-and-let live, peace and freedom-loving patriots today learn from their example?