After at least one murder, several shootings and reported rapes, not to mention destruction of property, CHAZ has finally been chopped—or is it the other way around? Little difference. We can all take some small comfort that this nation recently formed within America’s borders is no more. Mayor Jenny Durkan at last summoned the moral clarity to declare this violent occupation in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle an “illegal assembly.” But only after protesters surrounded her home, giving her a taste of how it feels to fear for one’s safety at the hands of a mob.
But then, now comes Bill DeBlasio allowing the same embarrassingly insane anarchy to occur in New York.
The question is what price should such mayors—not to mention the liberal governors of their states—have to pay for callously letting others suffer this experience while they refuse to stop terrorists from looting and destroying lives and property within their jurisdictions.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property [by the government] without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. Liberal/Leftist governors and mayors of states like California, Washington, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York may want to ponder why such language even exists in light of the violent, destructive protests they’ve all not only allowed but encouraged.
Hopefully, they will be reminded that a fundamental duty of the offices to which they were elected is to protect the lives and property of their constituents from unjustified destruction, harm, injury, or death—or be willing to pay a just price for failing to do so. It is not acceptable to justify violent, destructive protests by asserting that anarchists are protected by First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. These rights in no way apply to any individual or group that injures citizens, destroys property, and loots businesses of those who disagree with their beliefs or just happen to be in the path of the destruction these governors and mayors have given license to.
Put simply, even liberal politicians like Mayor Durkan are well aware that laws criminalizing such anti-social mob behavior are NOT unconstitutional and that their job is to enforce those laws. Sadly, they are not doing so. Instead, we see elected officials responding to anarchy by commanding their police departments to stand down. In some jurisdictions, they are actively working to defund and even disband police forces necessary to combat this criminal behavior occurring right under their noses. Worse yet, they’ve refused the assistance of the federal government to protect American citizens from this terrorism occurring in their respective communities.
This leaves the rest of us asking what our response should be to this new reality. Should terrorists be allowed to run wild with the tacit endorsement of elected officials? Doesn’t their blessing given to these mobs make those officials complicit accessories to a revolution that is undeniably being attempted?
Let’s not be misled about what we’re witnessing here. These riots aren’t gatherings of misguided youths participating in a “summer of love,” as Seattle’s mayor described them before they threatened her personally. Their leaders, operating under the moniker of Black Lives Matter, are ideologically-driven anarchists fraudulently using the tragedy of George Floyd to foment a revolution that has little to do with either Mr. Floyd or the value of black lives.
Undeniably, the leaders of this anti-American movement are hoping the race-based anarchy they are doing everything they can to foment in communities throughout this nation will lead to the eventual overthrow of the American government—i.e. that government presently led by the duly-elected President Trump they hate. Their violent, hostile followers, in turn, have been made to believe its replacement will be a tolerant, diverse socialist utopia. But only if they first bring about the downfall of the “white patriarchal society” of “intolerant racists”—previously affectionately referred to as patriotic American citizens—who they feel are presently blocking their path toward this imagined state of global nirvana.
In another time or place, those among us who have remained sane would laugh such drivel out of the room. Not so much, today. This time around, anarchists are being allowed to operate with impunity by the very authorities and elected officials who should be stopping this seditious anarchy. That they are not can only be interpreted as a silent endorsement of the objectives and ideologies of those directing the actual rioters—i.e., their pawns.
Because this is true, the rest of us should start thinking seriously about what price these officials should pay when all is said and done. After all, their inaction and refusal to enforce the rule of law is knowingly causing good people to suffer injury and even death while allowing those terrorizing our communities to run unchecked in their quest to overthrow our society’s established order. At minimum, this should be called out for what it is: elected officials misusing the color of their office to aid and abet a seditious, and probably treasonous, revolution. This, in turn, can only be seen as a Fifth Amendment “taking” by the government on steroids … times ten.
Some of these officials may argue, and in fact have, that it is their sovereign prerogative to rule over their jurisdictions as they see fit. That argument fails miserably since a fundamental principle of all free societies (the United States presumed here to still be one!) that the right to rule of any elected sovereign must be made subject to and limited by the fulfillment of duties placed upon them by the society that put them in office. In this case, their duties to protect the lives and property of those they’ve been blessed to govern.
At minimum, their failure to fulfill such duties from which their right to govern springs should constitute grounds to forfeit whatever office they presently hold. Whether they should subsequently be prosecuted for lending assistance to those attempting to violently overthrow the government of the United States is a matter for our presently feckless Department of Justice to decide. As to any claims of official immunity, however, the guilty would do well to remember another individual who once held an official position but was nevertheless condemned as a traitor for aiding and assisting our enemies during the American Revolution—Major General Benedict Arnold.
Arnold escaped punishment for his treason by fleeing to England. Those officials encouraging and enabling today’s sedition should not be so fortunate. Perhaps those injured, robbed, and killed should be allowed to seek just compensation from the elected officials who have betrayed them. Regardless, there should be no immunity for those found guilty of aiding and abetting treason.
Mayors Frey, Garcetti, Durkan, Lightfoot and DeBlasio, are you listening?
Clifford C. Nichols, author of A Barrister’s Tales, is an attorney licensed in both California and New Mexico. Follow him on Twitter at@Cliff1Nichols, and direct any comments or questions regarding any of his writings to firstname.lastname@example.org.