The American Conflict Between the Left and the Right: Violence is Never Justified

Violence never really deals with the basic evil of the situation. Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn’t murder murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn’t murder lie; it doesn’t establish truth. Violence may even murder the dishonest man, but it doesn’t murder dishonesty. Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn’t murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leading nowhere. This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn’t solve any problems.”
― Martin Luther King Jr. –

For the Antifa mob that tried to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland (with people inside it, I should add), the poetic truth of America is that of a racist hellhole fatally infected with the twinned diseases of capitalism and white supremacy. For the mob that took over the Capitol on Wednesday, the poetic truth of America is that of a proud and free society captured by sinister leftists. Both sides trade in lurid hyperbole, and denounce the other side’s extremism as pathological, while defending their own thug tactics as brave and morally justified. Neither acknowledges that they are the other side’s exact mirror image.
– Jonathan Kay, editor of Quillette, contributor to National Post

America has seen a whole stream of violence this election year. Under the opportunistic use of BLM banners and the wretched so-called Antifa movement, well over a dozen cities have been plagued by rioting, arson, “occupations,” attacks on police, public mayhem and mob beatings. These have been treated, as they emphatically should not have been, with underplayed reporting, denial of the violence on display, and frequently by some sort of contorted “justification” by some elected officials.

We should look upon the events in Washington as a vast caution against allowing any manifestations of violence and extra-legal protest the slightest tolerance. And perhaps, take some painful comfort that the scale of that riot, and the great, sad symbolism of where and when it took place — in the halls of the U.S. Congress, days before a new presidency — will install a profound awareness that politics must always be practiced with the boundaries of civility, mutual respect and temperate exchange.
– Rex Murphy – National Post

Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his remarks to supporters before the rioting at the Capitol. Like others, I condemned those remarks as he gave them, calling them reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. But his address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code. It would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court…

Despite broad and justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or riots.
But he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to raise their opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to back the recent challenges made by a few members of Congress. Trump told the crowd “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard.”…

He ended his remarks by saying a protest at the Capitol was meant to provide Republicans “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” He told the crowd, “Let us walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”…

The damage caused by the rioters this week was enormous, however, it will pale in comparison to the damage from a new precedent of a snap impeachment for speech protected under the First Amendment. It is the very threat that the framers sought to avoid in crafting the impeachment standard. In a process of deliberative judgment, the reference to a snap impeachment is a contradiction. In this new system, guilt is not doubted and innocence is not deliberated.

This would do to the Constitution what the violent rioters did to the Capitol and leave it in tatters.

– Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University –

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