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The War on Us

 

 

 

Back in the Eighties, when the Time-Life series on the Civil War was coming out, there was a dramatic ad with a Civil War soldier pointing a musket at the reader.  The ad said:  “If the battle of Gettysburg were fought today, you would be the enemy.”  Increasingly  many Americans, most, but not all, conservative and/or religious, are being treated as enemies to be subdued by their own government.  Angelo M. Codevilla in a brilliant post at the Library of Liberty and Law faces the issue squarely:

Increasingly, the US government’s many police forces (often state and local ones as well) operate militarily and are trained to treat ordinary citizens as enemies. At the same time, the people from whom the government personnel take their cues routinely describe those who differ from them socially and politically as illegitimate, criminal, even terrorists. Though these developments have separate roots, the post-9/11 state of no-win war against anonymous enemies has given them momentum. The longer it goes on, the more they converge and set in motion a spiral of civil strife all too well known in history, a spiral ever more difficult to stop short of civil war. Even now ordinary Americans are liable to being disadvantaged, hurt or even killed by their government as never before.

Government’s violent treatment of citizens has become generalized and unremarkable. Consider.

This month in Washington DC, Federal police riddled with bullets a woman suffering from post-partum depression who, had she been allowed to live, might have been convicted of reckless driving, at most. She had careened too close to the White House and Capitol, but had harmed no one and her car had stopped. In the same month, California sheriffs’ deputies killed a 13 year-old boy who was carrying a plastic toy rifle. It is not illegal to carry a rifle, never mind a toy one. America did not blink. A half century ago, Alabama sheriff Bull Connor’s use of a mere cattle prod to move marchers from blocking a street had caused a national crisis.

In a casual conversation, a friendly employee of the US Forest Service bemoaned to me that he was on his way to a US Army base, where he and colleagues would practice military tactics against persons who resist regulations. A forester, he had hoped to be Smokey the Bear. Instead, he said, “we are now the Department of Provocation.” In fact every US government agency, and most state and local ones now police their ever burgeoning regulations with military equipment, tactics, and above all with the assumption that they are dealing with people who should not be dealt with any other way.

Modern militarized government stems from the Progressive idea that society must mobilize as for war to achieve “the greater good.” Hence we have “wars” on everything from hunger and drugs and ignorance and global warming. Reality follows rhetoric. Since the health of “the environment” is a matter of life and death, the Environmental Protection Agency must deal with “enemies of the planet” with armored cars, machine guns, and home invasions. Apparently, even the Department of Education has SWAT teams.

The general population is increasingly inured to violence. The latest “Grand Theft” video game, for example, involves torturing a prisoner. Fun. That is only one step beyond the popular TV show “24” in which the audience cheered the hero’s torture of terrorist suspects. Contrast this with Dragnet, the most popular TV cops drama of the 1950s, whose Sergeant Joe Friday knocked on doors and said “yes ma’m, no ma’m.”

But governments, including ours, do not and cannot oppress citizens equally.

Persons who possess the greatest power have the larger opportunity to direct blame and distrust, even mayhem, onto those they like least. Since the mid- 1990s, authoritative voices from Democratic President Bill Clinton to Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, echoed by the media have intoned a familiar litany: America is beset by racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious obscurantism, by domestic abuse, greed, and gun owners. These ills are not so different from those found in backward parts of the world where we fight “extremism” in order to fight terrorism. Indeed these ills argue for fighting extremism, indeed for nation-building in America as well as abroad. Who in America embodies extremism? Who is inherently responsible for social ills, including terrorism? Who will have to be re-constructed? No surprise: the ruling class’ political opponents: the conservative side of American life.

Go here to read the troubling rest.  A police state is incompatible with a free state and that is what is being constructed before our eyes.  If this is not halted, and halted soon, I think this country may face dark days indeed in the years to come, as political battles are no longer fought only with words.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

14 Comments

  1. Once again, American Samaritans only step in when the man has been robbed, beaten, and left for dead. It is far too late to stop this trend, enshrined in Article I Section 10 of the US Constitution.

  2. It is human nature to fear and loathe those whom you have harmed. Ergo the war against us.

    Despair is a sin. Don’t do it.

  3. I can think of nothing less likely.

    As Slavoj Zizek observes, “The commonly accepted motto is that the Left, if it is to regain political effectiveness, should thoroughly reinvent itself, finally abandoning the so-called “Jacobin paradigm.” In our post-modern era of “emerging properties,” chaotic interaction of multiple subjectivities, of free interaction instead of centralized hierarchy, of a multitude of opinions instead of one Truth, the Jacobin dictatorship is fundamentally “not for our taste”… Can one imagine anything more foreign to our universe of the freedom of opinions, of market competition, of nomadic pluralist interaction, &c., than Robespierre’s politics of Truth (with a capital T, of course), whose proclaimed goal is “to return the destiny of liberty into the hands of the Truth”?” No “politics of Virtue” for today’s Left

    Today’s sensitive liberals want 1789 without 1793; that is, a decaffeinated revolution. It is only dinosaurs on the Hard Left, like Alain Badiou, who still argue that, if one wants A, then you should not shirk from its consequences, but gather the courage to say B – the terror needed to really defend and assert A. Saint-Just asked: “What do they want, who want neither Virtue nor Terror?” His answer is well known:”They want corruption.” That is today’s Left to a T (the T left over from truth)

  4. Michael, you tell me I must seek out the opinions of a Serb intellectual and believe him and not my own eyes about what is going on and has been going on in my own country, in some aspects for more than fifty years and in some respects for about a dozen years. Thanks for your input.

  5. I take solace in the fact that Jesus look Pontius Pilate straight in the eye and said, “My Kingdom is NOT of this world.” I fear the day (far more than this police state) when He will return and we all will have to look on Him whom we have pierced, and He will judge the living and the dead – every single one of us. Domine Deus, miserere nobis and totius mundi!

    What is happening is this country because of godless liberal progressive Democrats is terrible, but in a perverse sort of way this is God’s justice. He dealt severely with the Northern Kingdom Israel and the Southern Kingdom Judah for their apostasy. He does not change. We have sown the whirlwind and have asked that He remove His protecting hand. Being a true Gentleman, He will oblige us just as He did in the first Civil War.

  6. “What do they want, who want neither Virtue nor Terror?” His [Saint-Just] answer is well known:”They want corruption.” That is today’s Left to a T

    Of course they want corruption. That’s because corruption is how you prepare a people for enslavement to a Despot, as Franklin acknowledged at the time the Convention adopted the Constitution for Ratification:

    I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well adminstred for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

  7. The un-named woman above was Miriam Carey. As described by Emmett Tyrrell Jr in an article titled A Disgraceful Killling she was a young black single mother with a college degree who was suffering from severe post partum depression with psychosis. Not a danger to anyone according to health officials. Because she was driving erratically, armed federal police surrounded her car and shot to kill. She had nothing in her vehicle that was dangerous, only her 1 year old son in the back seat and luckily he was not harmed.
    The police could have incapacitated her by shooting out her car’s tires or some other means. Amazingly Congress gave the participating officers who shot to death an unarmed woman a standing ovation. Few news stories on this senseless killing. No public outcry about police violence. No Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.
    Sad.

  8. I have been telling people that Christians and conservatives are being maligned like the Jews were before the killing started–and just like the vast majority of the world at the time Hitler came to power refused to believe what was actually happening–those with whom I address this subject also refuse to see what is happening. I will be surprised at nothing.

  9. We live in Bizarro World when people will wear Trayvon Martin hoodies, and their parents let them (I just passed by such a family at the mall), but those same people wouldn’t wear a “Remember Miriam Carey” shirt, and probably wouldn’t know who she is. I guess it’s okay to be shot & killed by aggressive police, but not killed in self-defense. I totally understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Weep for your children.”

  10. In 2009, we were told there was a need to watch out for domestic terrorists and that these included people who are pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, religiously motivated, and returning veterans. You know, people like us. The federal government is growing far too powerful and we are in grave danger of losing our freedom, perhaps our lives. Beginning with the so-called War on Drugs, police departments have become increasingly militarized. SWAT teams seem to be mainstreamed into police work. Poor Miriam Carey appears to have had a nervous breakdown at the wrong time and in the wrong place. May she rest in peace and may God help this country.

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