As someone
who is on record condemning lawlessness
and sedition,
I am appalled and horrified by what
happened today in Washington, D.C.
 
It is indefensible and inexcusable, and the rioters and vandals ought to
be prosecuted.  But then, the rioting and
vandalism that occurred in Washington last summer – and in Minneapolis,
Portland, Seattle, and other major cities – was also appalling, horrifying,
indefensible, and inexcusable, and its
instigators should have been prosecuted. 
Yet some of the people who are now talking tough about law and order
were then blathering on about “mostly peaceful protests,” “defunding the police,”
and other such lunacy.  We are reaping
what they sowed.  If you are going to
tolerate and excuse left-wing political violence, you are opening the door to
right-wing political violence.  But if
you rightly condemn the latter, then to be consistent, you must condemn the
former.  You must insist that all citizens respect law and order –
your political allies no less than your political enemies.

Then there
is the cause in the name of which the Trump supporters stormed the Capitol,
viz. a refusal to accept the results of the election.  Here too the left-wing hypocrisy is
breathtaking.  After the 2016 election,
some on the Left attempted, through
recounts
and intimidation
of members of the Electoral College
, to reverse the outcome.  Many more left-wingers spent the next three
years trying to delegitimize the outcome by pushing a groundless
conspiracy theory
according to which the Russians had helped steal
the election for Trump.  Some plotted
impeaching Trump before
he was even sworn in
, and spent his entire administration looking for
pretexts for doing so.  Some
warned darkly
of the possibility of future election fraud through
hacked voting machines, just as some
left-wingers had insisted
that George W. Bush had stolen the 2004
election by such means.  When raising
doubts might benefit left-wing candidates, some characterized the flaws in the voting
system as “staggering,”
indeed a “crisis
for American democracy,”
and questioned
the agendas
of the companies that manufacture voting machines.  Some insisted that the 2018 Georgia
gubernatorial election was
“stolen” from Stacey Abrams
.  Hillary
Clinton said,
before the recent presidential election
, that Joe Biden “should not
concede under any circumstances” if it is close.

And yet, in
2020, left-wingers nevertheless pushed through a mail-in voting system that was
sure to increase
the risk of fraud
and open
the door to endless litigation
.  And
they made arbitrary changes in the rules for accepting mail-in ballots in
states like Pennsylvania.  Such moves guaranteed that the legitimacy of the
outcome in any state where the vote was close would come to be widely
doubted. 

In short,
the Left spent four years making the questioning of an election’s legitimacy a
routine political tactic, and then in 2020 produced conditions where such questioning
would be a priori more plausible than
usual.  Again, we are reaping what they
sowed.

Not only has
the Left itself inadvertently created this bear of a mob they now decry, they
have insisted on poking it relentlessly. 
They have imposed on the country open-ended lockdowns that have destroyed
the livelihoods of working class people while enriching the Left’s corporate
allies.  These same corporate allies have
imposed, on the Left’s behalf, a
regime of political censorship and information control
.   Left-wingers
shrilly and ceaselessly demonize their opponents as racists and bigots who
cannot be compromised with but must be “cancelled” and driven into the cultural
and political margins.  And they have
talked of securing
indefinite one-party rule
by ending the filibuster, packing the
Supreme Court, and admitting into the Union new states whose voters could
guarantee perpetual left-wing control of the Senate.

In these
ways, left-wingers have worked to make their political enemies feel boxed in
and desperate.  They can hardly be
surprised when those enemies start acting in the ways that desperate people
tend to act.  Trump’s rise was in the
first place a
reaction against left-wing excess
. 
Yet while he is now leaving the stage (albeit kicking and screaming),
that excess has in four years massively increased.  While liberals piously pretend to fret about
extremism, they have tolerated left-wing extremism and created the conditions
for a backlash of right-wing extremism.

If Joe Biden
is anything remotely close to a statesman, or even just politically savvy, he
will do what is in his power to arrest this spiral of lawlessness and mutual
hatred.  He will enforce the law against both
right-wing and left-wing rioters, and
insist that every governor and mayor do the same.  He will act to reign in the lunacy of the
wokesters now cancelling and indoctrinating their way through every institution
of American society.  He will urge the
lifting of lockdowns that have no proven efficacy in controlling the virus, but
have produced widespread economic devastation, psychological stress, and social
unrest.  He will put an immediate end to Democratic talk of court-packing and other power grab schemes that will only pour gasoline
on the fire.  And he will, as
Jonathan Turley recommends
, set up a commission to investigate the
integrity of the election, and work to reverse the lax election rules that
opened the door to doubt.

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