If I held the power to save one young protestor by getting them to listen to reason, what would I say?
I tried to think of a means to convince someone, but I am embarrassed to say I cannot think of a single way to reason with a rioter. We are not talking about protestors. I attended, as a protestor, events on the National Mall. Not one time did we threaten the police or the vacationers going about their business. No one got arrested, we left the area cleaner than we arrived, and the mainstream media lied about the protest and us.
Now, we view riots, and the media lie, “mostly” peaceful, which means violent and criminal. In a non-violent demonstration, no one cleans up after you. No one gets detained, and no property or people are damaged or hurt. I encourage the right to peacefully assemble and petition our government and proud to do so when I thought our president and Congress jumped the rails and welcomed all to participate.
Before the pandemic, when our Second Amendment rights came under scrutiny by the governor and legislature in Richmond, I did not attend the protest. There were no reported assaults, no vandalism, no arrests, and not too surprising, no counter-protest either. Why, because those who want to limit our rights resort to violence, and doing so against armed citizens did not make a healthy choice and only further demonstrated the purpose of the Second Amendment. I supported them.
Why should I try to persuade someone not to question our government publicly? Or request people not to gather and ask for redress of perceived grievances. I support doing such things despite differing opinions because public decent is their legal right.
The USA is a nation of laws. At the beginning of this article, I suggested people read history. Assuming you understand the concepts of the founding of this country and how unique the idea was in comparison to all other countries and people, rioting would be shocking to you. Our United States created the concept of individual sovereignty. Each person represents a nation in themselves with rights no one could take away. Individuals free to form groups, develop boundaries, and local, state, federal governments. Entities that did not exist to rule the population but to serve the citizens by keeping order, resolving disputes, protecting the country from invasion. Our representative on the world stage.
To stand against legal authority is a personal choice. You identify with an issue. You speak up, defend your opinion, and address those issues to the people who represent you in the seat of power. Compare ligament public assembly to the rioter. Anonymous because his or her acts are criminal, and they do not wish to be responsible for the theft, arson, assault, murder, or terroristic actions of their own or their fellow rioters.
We often read about the oppressed. Gandhi led them, so did Martin Luther King. Who leads the crowd in Minnesota? Should you happen to be so naive as to believe what the news reports, no one, is the answer. The busses, bricks, water, and face masks were provided as well as out of town, out of state, paid agitators. Someone is leading. Who and to what purpose?
A subject no longer thought necessary in schools and relegated to unimportant. Why, because if you understand what happened in the past, what you are giving up. What you represent is someone who can use your actions for their means, to strip you of your freedom.
Read history, Lenin coined the phrase, and Hitler plagiarized the idea of, “Useful idiots” getting the mob to take risks, commit the crimes, and run the riots from a safe distance and from behind the curtain, claiming the desire for justice, for the people. Mao thought using mass hordes an excellent concept also, and in less than a century between Germany, the USSR, and Red China, they murdered around 100,000,000 citizens after they gave away their rights to safeguard themselves from the mobs. (Read history, Hitler, Lenin, and Mao all turned on the useful gang of thugs.)
There is no case to persuade the criminal to be reasonable. Afterward is too late he or she committed the crime and cannot undo their deeds. As a citizen, I lack a compelling reason to convince the legal protestor using and acting within the laws our founders set up to protect society from the government.
The Declaration of Independence makes a bold statement and in doing so said the signers of the document were willing to take on the strongest military in the world to end injustice and obtain self-rule. “. . . whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. . .”
Peaceful protests failed to provide for equal treatment under the existing law, and the people chose to go to war for their rights. The leaders signed their work and delivered their resolution to the King of England and Parliament. Our founding fathers threatened with hanging did not hide in an anonymous crowd. Instead, they organized a military and prepared for armed conflict.
Understand what was at risk. In Boston, the city got seized by British forces; anything the military did was deemed legal to cause compliance with English rule and used no existing law to quell the illegal use of force. In a short time, historically speaking, four score and seven years after forming our government, half of the states took up the words of the Declaration and went to battle again. The costliest fight in our history and the Civil War ended the most egregious wrong, conceptionally counter to the Declaration’s statement,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Compare to a single rogue officer or four officers who abused their authority, under investigation, arrested, and sent to trial with the same protections from prosecution as anyone else accused of a heinous crime imaginable.
What started in Minnesota as a righteous, indignation in the community, quickly and expertly escalated into riots influenced by outside forces herding “useful idiots.”
Myself, I find no way to reason with terrorists or a mob. I can encourage lawful protest, and enough education, legal protestors can deduce for themselves not to become a member of the mob.
A quote by Teddy Roosevelt sums up the reality of much of what is wrong and how we are easily transformed into a pawn in politics without realizing it.
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble,you wouldn’t sit for a month.”