“They” tell us that history is told by the winners. That’s not altogether true as the “losers” write their histories as well, the difference being one narrative is foisted upon the rest by virtue of victory, and by the propaganda machine that drives it. Propaganda is as old as civilization itself; it didn’t originate in the 20th century. Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus initiated propaganda on their own in ancient Rome, attempting to turn the people against the government regarding land redistribution. They were successful…for a time. Eventually, they were both assassinated for their views and plots against the government.
During the French Revolution, writers such as Jean-Paul Marat wrote to further revolutionary goals, influencing many along the way, but dying an ignoble death at the hands of Charlotte Corday. Her father was a victim of his pro-revolution extremist writing and she murdered him as he bathed.
Even in our own revolution, propaganda ruled the day with writers such as Thomas Paine reminding us that it was Common Sense to revolt against the British government. The Declaration of Independence was one of the greatest documents of motivational propaganda in our history – begetting the United States Constitution to support the ideas contained therein.
The point is that people are easily swayed to a particular point of view and when their emotions are kindled, will devour that which not only supports their appetite for action (often resulting in destruction), but anything else that gets in the way of their pre-digested narrative. Further, one side cannot excuse the behavior of one group and then express indignation against another when something similar happens. To wit:
-The White House was attacked by bricks and iconic St. John’s Church burned in the heat of protests.
-The media fostered a narrative that it was ok to riot. Chris Cuomo stated during one riot, “and please, show me where it says protests are supposed to be polite?”
-Were we not told by the media that “rioting is the language of the unheard,” or “damage to property isn’t violence, that’s what insurance is for,” or the riots in Kenosha, New York, Seattle and Portland were “mostly peaceful”?
I am NOT defending what happened at the Capital Building. The events there were un-American, reprehensible, pathetic, and any other adjective one chooses to add. Further, it is not the way our nation has historically conducted itself over a contested election. Mr. Trump’s narrative over the last few weeks was one of a temperamental child who lost, much like Mrs. Clinton, who toured the nation and even wrote a book about it, or Stacey Abrams who progressed through the country insisting she was the governor of Georgia while losing by over 50,000 votes. What do children do when they lose? Cry, scream, and place blame on mostly anyone else but themselves.
Mr. Trump held rallies wherein he was stumping in Ga. for the senatorial election and at the same time was energizing his base, whipping them into a frenzy and continuing the drumbeat of a stolen election in order to feed the masses exactly what they wanted to hear, and not without merit.
Voting irregularities did occur – that is fact. The amount, meaning 12,000+ votes in various states was not proven but rather small numbers in the hundreds were. These results were certainly not enough to overturn an election, and actually consistent with elections past. Doesn’t matter. Neither did court rejection of his claims. That’s all his more rabid followers needed, tacit approval, just as those that support Antifa or the violent wing of BLM or even the Proud Boys need – anything to feed the narrative and gin up the radical members of any base. This tactic is as old as humanity itself.
However, when the media, a megalith in our modern times, supported even more by a complicit social media and the howling Hollywood machine do nothing but refer to conservatives as Nazis, traitors, racists, Uncle Toms, and any other invective they can think to muster up, or when there were four years of investigations that led nowhere and an impeachment that was purely political (much evidence to prove this), was there an expectation of something different? If you think so, you’re fooling yourself. Anyone with 20-20 vision could see this coming.
Many voices on the left, as Thomas Chatterton Williams stated “spoke romantically for months, all damn summer, about the righteous virtues of property destruction and ‘mostly peaceful protests.’” For those on the left to now foster a narrative of indignation is disingenuous at best, and hypocrisy in the severest degree at worst.
Americans have a history of protest and its noble ideals built into their DNA. Enshrined in our 1st Amendment right to peaceably assemble, it is a guarantee to protest our forefathers left us. Since the dawning of this nation, coming to full flower in the 1960’s, protesting has become more than a means for expressing one’s displeasure with government. It’s now become a cancer, metastasizing at a rate far faster and more deadly than ever before, leaving in its wake a broken nation more concerned with the act of protesting itself than obtaining results. Yesterday left a dead woman, herself a protestor, as a tragic monument to the stupidity of violent disapproval.
Our local, state, and national governments have given tacit approval to such actions. Failure to address and put down the creation of “CHOP” during the summer months, the burning, looting and rioting that took place throughout the last four years both in cities and college campuses (the latter in protest of conservative speakers being invited on campus) without being stopped in their tracks led to this moment, among others. A nation spinning out of control because a few, funded by outside sources or whipped into a frenzy by their leaders essentially without reprisal are responsible for this state of affairs.
Even those that profess to be our leaders are complicit. The aforementioned Trump, the current Vice-President elect who openly fund raised for those arrested during the riots – along with the glitterati of Hollywood, not only fundraising but announcing their disdain for any Republican among many others share in the blame. Recall Madonna saying she’d like to burn the White House down. Righteous indignation does not get to take a seat at this table when one side actively called for violence or “confronting them wherever they are”, as Rep. Maxine Waters proudly proclaimed to her followers.
We reap what we sow, or as Malcom X put it, “the chickens are coming home to roost.” We’ve tacitly encouraged this type of behavior, on both sides, with an open refusal to put down the violent protests, and put them down hard, for fear of political optics. Well, optics be damned…it’s time to end it all as soon as the violence begins. Protesting is one thing, violent protest another, and that cannot be argued. Arrest, prosecute and imprison anyone who is guilty of violent protests.
Finally, it was mentioned that members of Congress were frightened at the violence heaped upon the Capital Building, with most being evacuated and shuttered for their safety. I can’t help but think maybe they experienced just a little of what many business owners felt as they witnessed their business being burned to the ground and were powerless to stop it. Empathy can be a powerful thing – let’s hope it opened all of their insulated eyes, but methinks there’s little hope of that, just as the Roman senate never really grasped their end either as Alaric entered the eternal city bringing it to an end.