Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Political Violence In America

Political violence in America is nothing new beginning with the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution itself.  Shortly thereafter, in 1794, Americans in Pennsylvania staged the Whiskey Rebellion to protest the federal imposition of a tax on Whiskey.  In fact, President Washington himself led the army to put down the rebellion.  In 1859, John Brown and his followers attacked Harper's Ferry military arenol in an attempt to abolish slavery.  The founders were so fearful of rebellion that President John Adams and Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition act to deny freedom of speech to many, which was later repealed as unconstitutional.  And, then there was the Civil War, which from the South's perspective was all about state's rights.  And, let's not forget that four Presidents, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy were assassinated, while there have many other attempted Presidential assassinations.  

Political violence by the Klan against Blacks occurred in the South and even some cities in the North for decades after slavery.  Native Americans, Jews and various White immigrant groups have suffered political violence as well.   Those attempting to form labor unions were often murdered.  World War I soldiers marched on Washington during the Depression demanding their pensions.  The army was called out by President Hoover to break up the protests.  Political violence has been a part of American history since our founding. 

Aside from some who are just deranged, Americans have taken up one cause or another in the name of freedom and very often the end result has been political violence.  The difference today is the power of social media.  Many on the right believe their 1st and 2nd Amendment rights are threatened.  Many on the left believe they have been the subject of discrimination and that Capitalism is their enemy.  Those attempting to impose the Cancel Culture on America will cause violent clashes between the left and the right. If it does not stop, violence is inevitable.  The Antifa and BLM riots, looting and arson we have seen on our streets for more than a year is political violence and it must be stopped and condemned.  This violence is just as bad to the people impacted as the attack on the Capitol.  

The good news is that for now, for the most part, those aggrieved rely on elections to express their grievances and opinions.  However, election integrity is now an issue, which is why we cannot have another repeat of the 2020 election where half the country still believes the election was stolen from President Trump by voter fraud. 

Free and Fair elections are the only way to prevent political violence, which is why we must have voter ID and more controls in place to guarantee election integrity.  If the people lose faith in our elections, all bets are off.  In a recent poll, just 16% of American said they believe our democracy is working.  Elected officials of all pollical parties better take a hard look at the grievances of both the left and the right.  Government is too big and too intrusive.  The National Socialists are attempting to make government even bigger and more intrusive, which will not be acceptable to half the country.  There are legitimate issues related to income inequality; but the poor are not poor because the rich are rich.  The poor are poor because they lack marketable job skills and far too many babies of all colors are born to mother's out of wedlock, which more often than not leads to poverty.  This is not a call for more abortions; but rather a call for clearly identifying the problem and social responsibility.  

Public Schools are not doing the job in our inner cities, which is why we must have school choice so that poor inner city kids have private and charter school options.  Education is the key to income inequality not more big government programs that have failed for decades.  To prevent political violence, the root causes of grievances must be addressed.  The answer is not more big government surveillance, which just adds fuel to the fire.  Otherwise, while not justifiable ever, we will see more political violence on our streets in keeping with American history.  

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