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The Gathering Mob

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There is a great line in the movie “Men in Black” that perfectly suits where I fear we’re heading as a country. After Will Smith’s character learns aliens were living on Earth, he asks Tommy Lee Jones’ character, “Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.” Jones responds, “The person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.”

It’s absolutely true – the mob and its accompanying mentality is one of the most dangerous aspects of human beings. And we’re seeing the rise of the mob as an acceptable political tactic. If it isn’t squashed, and soon, we will be headed toward some dangerous times.

After the mess in Charlottesville, Va., where a woman was killed by an alleged white nationalist, the mob was emboldened and sprung into action.

First off, I have to say I reject the media narrative that the idiots in Charlottesville are anywhere near the political right. Conservatism is the belief in individual liberty and responsibility, not identifying by your melanin level. Dividing people along those lines is the domain of the left.

Also, conservatism is about a small, constitutionally limited federal government. These racist morons seek to use the federal government to carry out their racial jihad. They want an activist government as much as the left does; they just want it to their bidding, which is decidedly un-conservative.

The term “alt-right” is used by those idiots to give themselves something to cling to and to seem larger than they are, and for the media to paint their political opponents as part of these monsters’ circle. It has no basis in logic.

The proper place for these creatures is on the far-left. They, like their kindred spirits who call themselves “Antifa,” seek complete government power to impose their will. Just as with the Bolshevik vs. Menshevik, totalitarians always will break into factions and fight each other for power. That’s what Charlottesville was.

Left-wing “journalists” have been tweeting a meme comparing Allied troops in World War II to the antifa in Charlottesville in an attempt to misdirect the public, to make them think people responsible for violence across the country are somehow heroes. An appropriate comparison would be to compare them to the Soviet troops. Show up to an antifa rally with an Israeli flag and see how that goes over.

Out of it, radical leftists, as always, were emboldened and took to the streets across the country, and violence and anti-police words and actions soon followed.

What happened next in Durham, N.C., was what has become all too common in recent years, almost exclusively in “progressive” cities – the people charged with keeping order stood down.

Radicals tore down a memorial statue to Confederate soldiers, and no one made any effort to stop them.

I have no desire to save Confederate statues or memorials. I couldn’t care less about them. It’s a little weird to have memorials to people who waged war against us anyway.  

But honestly, I don’t care. Most Americans have no idea who these people are or go anywhere near where these statues are located. You have to go out of your way to be offended by something you have no idea exists. But if these places that put them up want to take them down, do it.

They’re located in former slave states, and melting a statue won’t wash away their history. Nor will it do anything for today.

Baltimore, for example, is moving quickly to rid itself of four memorials I didn’t know were Confederate memorials, and I lived there for 13 years. But what I do know is the statues aren’t murdering people at a record pace in the city; nor are they dealing drugs and responsible for the horrendous overdose death rate.

In other words, these actions are meaningless shows done exclusively to prop up liberal politicians as “doing something.”

What those politicians don’t do is anything helpful, anything that improves the quality of life for their constituents. But a population whipped up to anger can be satiated by meaningless gestures.

That brings us back to the mob.

People whipped up to anger easily can be calmed by symbolism, but leftists no longer seek calm. They want action.

As with every progressive riot, the majority of participants did not leave their houses that day looking to commit violence; they just got swept up in the moment. That’s the danger of mobs, and the people riling them up know this.

What is it about an otherwise peaceful protest that doesn’t disburse upon the first sign of violence? It’s the mob mentality. If a few people in a group start throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, and you don’t leave, you are complicit in that violence.

We can’t tolerate any of it or else things in this country could spiral out of control quickly.

The old west was known for mob justice – townspeople stirred up and unwilling to wait for the system to run its course. They’d overpower the sheriff and hang the accused to wild cheers. There is something about being swept up in the moment and being a part of the mob that allowed the participants to absolve themselves of individual responsibility. The same is true today.

What’s throwing a few bags of urine and feces at someone “on the other side?” Especially if you don’t see where it lands or no one sees you throw it?

Bags become fists, fists become bricks, bricks become…

Democrats need to stand up to these radicals. Most of this violence is done in their name, and they’re silent on it.

President Donald Trump needs to stop equivocating and condemn the concept of violence. Trying to deny the KKK and neo-Nazis were dominant in their ridiculous Tiki torch march was stupid, really stupid. It’s just like if you don’t leave when the bricks or the racist or anti-Semitic chants start flying, you’re just as guilty.

There have to be adults on all sides willing to stand up against all these monsters, no matter how they’re labeled. Nazis, Communists, Antifa, whatever – they’re not different. And they’re heading toward something that will be awful if it isn’t stopped. 

But no Democrat would stand next to President Trump to denounce all violence, and it’s unlikely President Trump would stand next to any Democrat to do the same. But they should; someone needs to. But they’re all too busy posturing and being pigheadedly stupid to do what is right.

And local authorities need to squash violence and vandalism at its first sign, not search videos they took in an attempt to arrest people after the fact.

The mob mentality not only sweeps up those in it, but it also has a tendency to sweep more people into it. It’s contagious. It’s dangerous.

If this doesn’t end soon, this won’t end well.

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