Friday, July 3, 2020

When States Go Wild

Leah Millis/Reuters
In past rioting, over the last 60 years, mayors, police chiefs, and governors restored law and order. They often beseeched the federal government for backup when they were unsure of their efforts.
Now, in a first, they are more often passive in the face of massive lawlessness and disorder. Some blue-state officials, in neo-Confederate style, silently sympathize with their local protests, violent though they are. Others are willing to endure chaos in hopes it reflects national anarchy that can be attributed to Trump’s inert leadership come November. Still more are not sure they have reached the tipping point where the once passive or sympathetic suburbanite or inner-city resident trapped at home finally pushes back due to a busy signal on a 911 call, or a nice park littered with bronze and stone corpses of even liberal icons, or a major thoroughfare once again shut down by illegal hood-pounding demonstrators.
Trump can call in federal troops to restore order to downtown Seattle or calm in parks in San Francisco, but given that he will have zero local support in blue states that have a monopoly on the violence (the D.C. mayor evicting Guard personnel from hotels, or the Seattle mayor warning him to stay away from her “summer of love” non problem), who knows what would greet federal troops in blue land?
In addition, our most esteemed retired military, in unprecedented fashion, essentially have called the president unfit and not deserving of military support to deal with the “small number” of violent protestors — to the degree that Joe Biden interpreted their “skinned him alive” commentary as support for removing Trump from office if he did not leave after losing the election — “losing” apparently defined by Biden on the basis of whether Biden himself determines Trump cheated and thus “stole” his victory.
When the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs cites a technicality and offer apologies for appearing alongside the commander in chief for a photo-op — oblivious of the long tradition of presidents posing with bemedaled chiefs during most crises that inevitably involve controversial political decisions — we are indeed in new territory and cannot completely count on federal troops to quell civil unrest. (E.g., from now chairs will apparently consult retired and serving military to determine on what occasions they will agree to appear with the commander in chief, and thus down the chain of command, majors will resent appearing alongside colonels during politicized parades, or one-stars tell four stars of a different party that they are not going to play along with their ostentatious presidential ceremonials.)
As a result, we are in a sort of standoff.
Read the rest from Victor Davis Hanson HERE.

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