There may be better words to describe the behavior of various political leaders since riots began two weeks ago in Minneapolis and other cities. State governors and mayors who sympathize with the protestors did nothing while protests turned into vandalism, looting, and arson. One would think that civic authorities with any sense of responsibility would take action to protect their citizens. Some of them did nothing, or much too little. Prosecutors won’t prosecute, mayors empty jails, governors resist the notion of calling the National Guard, Generals resist being ordered to take action.

It has been my experience with the hateful and the violent that they are not appeased by concessions. “Give them an inch, and they will take a mile”. Failure to resist only proves that their opposition is weak. We ought to have learned something from Hitler, who began his career in precisely the way Antifa and BLM have done, with street violence and vicious, unprincipled attacks on those who he took to be his enemies. Lenin began his revolution in the same way, claiming to have majority support and taking advantage of the weak opposition to take over Russian institutions. We ought to have learned something from the US Civil War, which was arguably made much worse by the weak response of the outgoing Buchanan administration to the secession. He essentially surrendered the federal military establishment in the South to the seceding states.

The establishment of the “Capitol Heights Autonomous Zone”, in Seattle, although accompanied by much hilarity (due to the contradictory behavior and folly of the anarchists and rebels) is not a ‘block party’. It is openly a revolt and insurrection against the authority of the city, state, and federal government; and failure to take it seriously will only encourage other rebels. It ought to be handled at the city level, but the mayor might as well resign and save himself the bother of trying to protect the citizens he was elected to serve. It ought to be handled at the state level, but the Governor seems to be cheering the rebels on. Failing this, the Federal government should move swiftly, but although President Trump has expressed a proper willingness to step in, he hasn’t actually done much yet, and his Secretary of Defense definitely doesn’t want to move.

Anarchy is unstable. It always gives way to rule by the most ruthless man with the biggest club, and if the initial leaders aren’t sufficiently ruthless, they are quickly supplanted by those who are. Letting rioters and anarchists have their way is a betrayal of the peaceful and law-abiding who trust their elected leaders to serve the interests of all the people, not merely those with whom they sympathize. “Mercy to the cruel is cruelty to the innocent”.

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