When America was infested with “righteous” mobs who took the law into their own hands in the early 1800s, Lincoln left a remedy to future generations on how to defend against it: “… cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason.”
An utter disdain for mob law is encoded onto the DNA of the body politic, thanks to men like Lincoln.
No grievance is fit to be redressed by mob law, he said. When men “burn gamblers” and “hang murderers” unlawfully, the day will come when they will hang people who are neither gamblers nor murderers.
“[W]henever the vicious portion of the population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision stores, throw printing-presses into rivers, shoot editors and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure and with impunity, depend on it, this government cannot last,” he said.
Government will collapse, Lincoln warned, when good men who obey the laws become so disgusted with a government that no longer protects them, that they feel they have nothing to lose.
We’re getting there.
Today, we’ve seen the “vicious portion” of our population loot, burn buildings, and beat innocent people “at pleasure” and – shockingly – “with impunity.” They do it in plain sight, repeatedly, and are applauded by political vultures as peaceful protesters.
It’s made the legs of government a bit wobbly.
But the street mobs are small beans compared to America’s most dangerous hordes: High-level, white-collar mobs who work like maniacs to uproot the philosophical underpinnings of the American Revolution and the Judeo-Christian ethic. They are politicians, judges, rogue intel alums, media, activist organizations, celebrities, leftist billionaires, tech companies, and educators who butcher our history, defy our laws, and give moral and financial support to the thugs who loot and burn things to enforce white-collar mob law.
These dignified mobs don’t swarm streets in farmers britches while carrying nooses, torches, and pitchforks. They take the law into their own hands from seats of government, courtrooms, newsrooms, big corporations, and inside algorithms of the world’s most advanced computer systems.
These are the people who got away with Russian collusion. They got away with impeachment. They got away with exploiting the pandemic. They got away with using Chinese-inspired algorithms to suppress speech. And they’ve gotten away with a hundred other disgusting schemes to take down Trump.
They are not the majority, but they’ve hijacked the wheels of the American ship, and they’re steering it toward La-La Land at flank speed against our wills. We’re starting to feel bound, gagged, and kidnapped in our own country.
And how have we dealt with all the chaos? By appealing to the cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason of “sober courts” and “ministers of justice,” as Lincoln called them.
It’s not working.
So now they’ve stolen Trump’s election. Packs of thieves, under the command of white-collar mobs, took voting laws into their own hands. We know it. The media knows it. Democrats know it. The Supreme Court knows it! Yet, our deranged institutions are incapable of dealing with the cold, hard realities of the biggest election theft in American history.
Because otherwise sober-minded men are terrified of running into a political buzz saw. They fear the mobs. “Good” men like John Roberts have a primal fear of being tarred and feathered. These are weak-minded men with no “iron in the blood” who “shrink from strife,” as Teddy Roosevelt put it. They believe that peace is the end of all things and strife is the worst of all things.
Fighting Democrats and leftists has become outrageously more expensive than fighting Republicans. Democrats have become unscrupulous, amoral, and crass. They’re at war. If the gods of Utopia will that they deceive, cheat, intimidate, destroy lives, commit violence, and break laws – well, so be it. They are a high-level version of the “vicious portion of the population” that Lincoln talked about.
Something else primal is going on.
Journalist Walter Lippmann, in 1955, quoted philosopher William Hocking as saying that human nature is “the most plastic part of the living world – the most adaptable, the most educable,” which also means that human nature can be the most “mal-adaptable” and “mis-educable.”
The cultural heritage must be acquired, Lippmann wrote in The Public Philosophy. We’re not born with it. If a country’s heritage must be acquired, it can also be rejected. It can be acquired badly, or not acquired at all.
“The ancient world … was not destroyed because traditions were false,” Lippmann wrote. “They were submerged, neglected, lost. For the men adhering to them had become a dwindling minority who were overthrown and displaced by men who were alien to the traditions ...”
If traditions are not transmitted from generation to generation, he wrote, they will be lost or forgotten through “a dark age …”
That’s what we’re dealing with.
This crooked election and four years of mayhem are the rotten fruit of decades of insidious brainwashing. America is thronging with mobs of “mal-adapted” and “mis-educated” citizens – thanks to the media and our woke education system. Some have rejected the cultural heritage. Some have acquired it badly. Others have not acquired it at all. They’ve been systematically indoctrinated against an American heritage that many of us still hold dear and deeply.
That’s the real source of our stubborn political divisions. We don’t just disagree; we have irreconcilable differences. It feels like civil war because irreconcilable differences are the key ingredients of civil war.
Lincoln left us his “unimpassioned reason” remedy at a speech in 1838, decades before cold realities forced him to confront civil war. That’s after Confederates made up their minds to have their way. Lincoln’s mind was made up, too.
“The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am,” Lincoln said in 1861 after reason had run its course before the war. “But it may be necessary to put the foot down firmly.”
No matter what politicians say, the brazen attempt to steal Trump’s election is a watershed event that’s caused reason to run its course. It put our backs to the wall. We’re hoping – praying – that legitimate election grievances are fully heard and rightly adjudicated before Inauguration Day.
If not, and naked evidence continues to be flitted away as “baseless” and “conspiracy theories,” it will be necessary for patriots to put the foot down firmly.
Lincoln left us that, too.