I’m going to be frank with you, and I want you to know why.
The thing is, we spend so much time pussy-footing around dangerous thoughts and ideas these days because we feel we can’t discuss them openly. Cancel Culture has taken its toll; the list of former celebrities only ever grows. Attrition is less among politicians, but pundits and journalists vanish almost daily, because they say something that society refuses to accept — there’s invisible lines, and they cross them, and that’s just something that cannot be borne.
Without judging this phenomenon, I want to acknowledge it and explain in terms accessible even to the meanest understanding why it does not dissuade me from being brutally open and honest about this topic.
It’s simple: Nobody reads these articles anyway; there’s maybe twenty of you — and I love you all, by the way. Apparently you’ll stick with me no matter how much of an idiot I am. The rest of the world… not so much. So what readership can I possibly lose? How could anyone Cancel me?! Let’s face it: If I were to come out in favor of the KKK and White Power and violent nationalism and all those things, my following would only increase — because that would be extreme, and people are insatiably attracted to extreme views. They flock to them if only to condemn them.
In general, I’m not extreme. I’m opposed to the KKK and have no earthly idea what justification there could possibly be for any objective merit test based on skin color except, possibly, whether or not you can wear bright pink. (Answer: Of course you can, and it’s always hideous.) My most extreme position, politically, is that I think it’s a shame our elected representatives can’t come together and do their jobs because of partisan infighting.
Most extreme until now, that is.
Several of my friends on the far right (and not a few on the far left) have been making discontented noises about the election, which they feel they were cheated out of. Some few, I’m told, have been marching around armed, and there has been gunfire exchanged between fringe protest groups. This alone doesn’t actually bother me; to my mind, it’s like aggressive drivers causing highway accidents: Self-solving problem. What bugs me is the idea that these people may not be well trained, and thus are likely to hit someone they’re not aiming at. Proper gun control starts with discipline — and the Weaver stance.
I’m a supporter of the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms. Since it’s a fundamental right, if we restrict it to “only while hunting” or “only indoors, in private”, we’re infringing on civil liberties as much as we would be if we were to similarly restrict free speech. In principle, political rallies involving armed participants is perfectly reasonable. (In practice, I’ll grant there might occasionally be some legitimate concerns about public safety. That’s up to municipal authorities, the way it should be.)
I’d also grant the principle that, as any government rules only by consent of the governed, there may indeed come a day in this country where revolt would be appropriate. For revolution to be ineffective would be horrific, and effective revolt may well require arms. The original intent of the Second Amendment was, quite clearly, to maintain an armed populace as insurance against would-be dictators.
For an example that I’m sure will be unpopular and unconvincing (but which might make you think) just look at illegal immigration: If nobody really wanted to employ eleven million people who don’t have Social Security numbers, they wouldn’t be coming here to get rich. But it turns out people DO want to employ them — because they love the idea of enthusiastic hard workers they don’t need to pay taxes on or pay minimum wage. They have friends who will shelter them, people who are happy to house and feed them — all for a price, but knowingly, and in open defiance of the law. There are massive areas in major cities where ICE doesn’t dare to raid because an armed populace opposes them.
The same can be said about drugs, prostitution, smuggling — all activities that, quite evidently, are extremely popular among consumers, but that for whatever reason we’ve got laws against.
Strikes me that, in a lot of these cases, it’s the law that’s the tyrant. Sufficiently armed gangs act as a deterrent against tyranny. Perfect illustration of the Second Amendment at work.
Well, when I say “perfect”… heh. The proper solution, of course, is NOT shooting cops, but instead getting rid of laws against things people are going to do anyway. It’s not the policeman’s fault when the public favors ineffective laws; it’s not even that politician who hasn’t got the courage to Just Say No to all the idiots that vote for them. Unfortunately, we don’t have a mechanism for voting out the electorate… but I digress.
So. Speaking of idiots and the people they vote for… back to the election we go.
Of course politics is corrupt; of course the election was manipulated. 2016 was manipulated too, as was 2012, 2008, 2004… Every election in my lifetime was rigged in one way or another. There’s fairly well-documented evidence to the effect that Reagan beat Carter only because certain factions conspired to keep the Iran hostage crisis going until after the election. Our presidential elections have been rigged ever since the first one. Once upon a time they were forced to vote the graveyards and stuff ballot boxes; today, all that needs to happen is a well-timed series of press releases, because America is peopled by a bunch of lame-brained idiots who sneer at original thought, at cultural criticism, at being unique for any reason aside from that it’s stylish; people who vote and contribute but never take personal part in politics, who march but never discuss, who militate but never consider, who follow without question — and who revere mediocrity.
So while I agree this election has been a massive sham, believe me when I say this is not the time for civil disobedience, much less demonstrations or God help us armed revolt, because it’s ourselves we need to defeat — our own ignorance — and that’s not how that’s done.
When the time comes, I’ll meet you on the barricades, but that time is not today. I’m not marching for the right to not wear a mask. I’m not marching to avoid a vaccine. (I’m certainly not afraid the government might track me with a microchip; I use social media, after all. If they can’t track me with that they’re not trying.) And I’m damned sure not marching on behalf of the likes of Donald Trump; he can hire his own marchers for all I care. He’s rich and I’m not, and to hell with him.
All this talk of rebellion is silly. Worse, it’s irresponsible; it’s just a matter of time before some loner who’s spent the past year in his parent’s basement uses it as an excuse to go out and randomly shoot up the place.
So pipe down, Proud Boys; you lost, and it’s time to face it. Same goes for Antifa and BLM, the Bernie Bros and all the rest of us. The election’s over and there’s no sense whining about it now. Suck it up, snowflakes. Maybe next time.
But probably not.
This is normally where I ask for donations. This time around — you know what? Screw it. What I want from you is legitimate engagement on the issues. Honest discussion is 50% listening; and when did you last listen — honestly, and with an open mind — to a position you didn’t like?
Not that I’d turn down your money. But I’d prefer your thoughts.