Just so there’s no mistake by either the Left or Right, I think Donald Trump is a fascist pig. There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to destroy our American freedom. But that does not mean I think his supporters are a basket of deplorables. Almost all of them are our normal, hard-working American brothers and sisters. Let’s never forget this.
Now to Trump’s reaction to the recent pipe bombs.
I don’t follow the news like I did years ago, when I was a real news hound. It got too fatiguing and repetitive. As I departed middle age, I lost my thirst for the latest. I viewed it as – yes, I prefer clichés these days – old wine in new bottles.
But the pipe bomb mailings caught my attention. And, as seems to have happened with most liberals, Donald Trump’s reaction caught my attention, too; almost as much as the pipe bombs themselves, maybe more.
Oh, how short the memories of the Left are. I could be wrong on this because I’ve stopped buying those MSM rags like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times every day. If, however, memory serves me correctly (and these days I’m not always sure), I recall a similar reaction from the Left about, you know, those bombings of entire buildings (Sterling Hall), the mail-bombings (Ted Kaczynski), those bank robberies, and those real, true murders. Yes, actual murders. By the fringe Left.
People didn’t just get packages in the mail that were screened out. They lost hands, vision, their lives, their loved ones. These were real bombs that really exploded. In a real person’s actual face. I’m not down-playing the fear, the panic, aka the terrorism, created by the recent pipe bomb mailings, but the real thing is different. It sure doesn’t deserve an explanation.
Yet liberals then, as I recall, did the same thing that Trump is doing now; maybe not to the same offensive, exhaustively passive-aggressive, apparently tone-deaf extent, but they did it. They, like Trump, didn’t condemn it outright as strongly as they tried to explain it – as an unfortunate, misguided consequence of the times. Poor, misunderstood Bernardine Dohrn. It was John Mitchell’s and Richard Nixon’s fault. If only it hadn’t been for John Erlichman and Bob Haldeman.
If there’s one thing that will get me back into following the news again – and there sure are, at my age, better things to do – it will be not just pipe bombs, which are scary enough, but it will also be the hypocrisy of the Left. (What’s on the Right is at least obvious.)
As much as I now believe Trump is, step by step, leading this nation, consciously or not, down the path toward dark authoritarian times, I do not believe for one minute that the Left is any less inclined to do the same.
It’s really simple. Fringe movements – first intimidating with their voices, then their fists, then their guns – are the necessary predecessors, and reliable predictors, of tyranny. And tyranny respects no Left or Right. Tyranny is all about imposing excessive authority. Period. It’s about controlling the many through the murder of the few – sometimes a few million.
Tyranny knows no red or blue, no fly-over or bi-coastal. It’s an equal-opportunity force of history. Hitler or Stalin, Idi Amin or Pol Pot, take your pick.
So when the Left goes all crazy about Trump’s disgusting reaction to the pipe bombs, let’s remember something.
Both the Left, back in the day, and Trump, now, are trying, in their arrogant, self-serving ways to explain the violence. But neither side holds a monopoly on virtue. Both sides would veer, after praising these bombs with faint damnation, steadily toward some form of excessive authority. And that all starts with what amounts to a justification, dressed up as an explanation, for why these intolerable acts occur.
These violent acts must never be explained or rationalized. They must be condemned. Without restraint. By everyone. These assholes must be apprehended, prosecuted, and thrown in jail until they die. End of story.
Once we pass a certain indefinable point down the road to tyranny, a road paved by pathetic excuses dressed up as explanations rather than relentless, unforgiving condemnation, whether from Left or Right, there is no going back except by force of arms. And then these pipe bombs will be the least of our concerns.
If a militant Mainstream does not find and use its too-absent voice soon – now would be a good time – instead of running for the cover of either the far-Left or far-Right, or simply sitting it out, there will be no safe place for anyone. There will be no Middle. There will be no sitting anything out anymore, not for anyone.