Bow the Knee

What's so horrifying about cops and mayors bowing before angry mobs?

What seems like a lifetime ago, a somewhat talented NFL quarterback named Colin Kaepernick started a national furore by kneeling instead of saluting during our National Anthem while it was played at the professional football games where he was paid many millions of dollars to lob a ball around a field.

Large numbers of ordinary Americans, and certainly the vast majority of football fans, were offended at the disrespect he, and the athletes whom he persuaded to join him, showed to our national symbols.  Our elite opinion makers, a small minority numerically but the overwhelming majority if you measure the loudness of their national voices, declared his actions justified and a righteous response to the wickedness of American racism, colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and every other evil since Adam and perhaps even before that.

Unlike most culture-war lightning rods with a single identifiable target, this particular contretemps rumbled on for years on end, wreaking havoc in unexpected places.  Mr. Kaepernick lost his job, for the unspoken but obvious reason that, talented quarterback or not, he was offending paying customers.  He was then hired for even more money by Nike, which was subjected in turn to, apparently, a boycott by one side and enthusiastic support-buying by the other; it's reported that the sales increase outweighed the boycott.

Every year, the kneeling controversy continued to pop back up, as this athlete or that would kneel "against racism."  The offended would point to those who fought and died for our country; the supporters pointed out that, after all, kneeling is a sign of respect.  Don't we kneel when we pray, at least traditionally?

Then came the increasing mental derangement so common in the year 2020, in which we find elected officials and entire police forces following Kaepernick's example on an even broader stage, kneeling ostensibly to show respect for "Black Lives" but in reality showing submission before multicolored throngs of thugs and looters.

Our Gentle Readers will not be surprised that we found Kaepernick's behavior scandalous and the actions of today's kneelers to be - well, words like reprehensible, odious, and treasonous come to mind, but somehow fail to capture the full depths of depravity of these $#@%^&ing @#$^%&*s who...

(Deep breath.)

Right, you get the point.  But why exactly do we find it so enraging?  At first glance, this seems illogical - as someone famous once said, "At this point, what difference does it make?"  Lefties gonna left, haters gonna hate, thugs gonna destroy, and so on.

We find some insight from an unexpected source: British gadfly Piers Morgan, whose far-off, out-of-focus, tea-drenched point of view can sometimes reveal startling perspectives.  Mr. Morgan, as befits his status as a member of the media, called for President Trump to kneel on live TV in the Oval Office:

In one stunning moment, Trump could heal so many wounds, unify so much of the country, and quite probably get himself re-elected.

Because it would show he finally gets it, and actually cares.

Symbolism Over Substance

If there's one thing that characterizes America of 2020, it's an obsession with meaningless symbolism over concrete facts.

It's been abundantly proved that cloth masks accomplish exactly nothing against viruses millions of times smaller than the weave, any more than a chain-link fence will stop a swarm of black flies.  Yet we're all expected to wear them even though, not merely useless, they cause positive harm by giving some people headaches and reducing oxygen in the blood when you re-breathe air you've just exhaled.

Too bad - forcing everyone to wear masks make some loud, pushy people feel better, so everyone else must submit or else!  As we've learned from various videos, yelling at people who aren't wearing masks makes some people feel even better than just wearing them themselves.

By the same token, gathering to peacefully protest against unConstitutional diktats that our economy shut down is an act of violence tantamount to murder because it might spread disease.  But cram thousands of people into streets filled with mayhem and arson while spreading virus far and wide through vigorous yelling, and suddenly their supposed desire to "smash racism" outweighs any possible concerns about coronavirus.

In reality, neither is true: there was no spike in cases after the lockdown protests, nor do we expect one after the recent riots, because government reaction to the coronavirus pandemic has become, for all intents and purposes, a lie.  But both made the left feel good: opposing people they hate doing something they can falsely cast as against science, and supporting people who vote for them because racism!

What does it mean to kneel, and why do we find it so noxious?  Well, to understand where Mr. Morgan is coming from, let's walk a mile in his handcrafted Italian shoes and think about it from his perspective - when do Brits kneel?

That's right: in front of the Queen, who is by definition higher than they are in every possible way - not just wealth and power, but birth, breeding, culture, etc.  She is the living exemplar of everything that no other person can ever be, except for her own descendants.

That is precisely what America fought a revolutionary war to escape.

The whole point of America is that no American need ever bow the knee to any mortal man, anywhere, for any reason whatsoever.  As one brave all-American cop told a riotous mob last week, there's only one living entity any American should bow the knee to, and that's God.

Would we feel better if Mr. Trump bowed the knee to, say, Congress?  No, we'd feel betrayed.

How about to his voters in one of his stadium-full rallies?  No, that would be just as offensive.

Dare we inquire as to the proper attitude should Mr. Trump have knelt before the Queen when he met her?  (News flash: He didn't.)  We like dear old Liz perfectly well as a decent and honorable human being, but Americans do not kneel.

And, as the President of the United States, for him to kneel would be symbolic of America on its knees.  That is reprehensible, odious, treasonous...

(Deep breath.)

For a President to kneel in church is appropriate because it's the house of Almighty God before Whom all men must eventually kneel - ref Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10, all of which were familiar to all our Founders and often cited by them.  And, perhaps, a President might kneel reverently before the grave of a fallen American soldier, because that soldier died to save others as did God in the person of Jesus, and is now presumably with God.

Kneeling to anyone or anything else has no place in the mind of an American leader.

For Piers Morgan, that's fine: he's not an American, he's a Brit.  He has every legitimate right and reason to kneel before his Sovereign Majesty, Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, et cetera, et cetera.  That's as it should be - on that side of the pond.

But to see Americans kneeling in submission to other human beings is the starkest possible visual reminder of what is increasingly clearly the case: we aren't in America anymore, at least not one that our forefathers would recognize in any way, shape or form.

The Road Not Taken

We're coming to another of those historical inflection points, where choices made over the next few weeks will determine the course of history for a long time to come.  We have seen two reactions to the riots: cops kneeling to rioters, and armed citizens in flyover country gathering to protect their communities from looters with personal responsibility and deadly force as required.

Itsmac, the Media Accountability Collective, tells us "Coeur D'Alene, Idaho stands up...antifa stands down!"

If you ventured to downtown Coeur d'Alene, Idaho last night you would think you had entered a Militia family reunion. No one has an accurate count of how many heavily armed citizens came out to support peaceful protesters and protect local businesses and citizens against shipped in ANTIFA members but it was certainly HUNDREDS, perhaps over a THOUSAND.

Someone remarked that they'd never seen so many AR-15's all at once.

Antifa members were cowed, just as we'd expect.  There's a picture of an armed citizen brandishing a crowbar he'd "persuaded" an antifa member to give up before leaving town.

Don't tell me you're peaceful and bring a crowbar to a protest... not in our town... Was happy to remove it from their possession as we escorted him to his vehicle [and just to clarify the guy in the beard handed me the crow bar when I requested it, His name is Sam and he did get that guy to leave] Brett Surplus, Coeur d'Alene resident

Armed citizens of Idaho repulsed an invasion, just as the Lexington minutemen repulsed the British who'd come to grab their guns.  Precisely because they were so heavily armed and well prepared, they did so without any casualties whatsoever, and a good time was had by all except perhaps for the antifa hooligan whose crowbar was confiscated - now he'll have to go to the bother of looting another one at his next riot.

As it turns out, citizens protecting their homes needn't even be visibly armed if there are enough of them and they have a fearsome reputation.  The Washington Standard published "Biker Gang Drives ANTIFA Out Of Town" which described a biker tweet responding to a Facebook plea for help from a small town:

The tweet reads: "ANTIFA has threatened the town of Placerville, CA. They said if anyone stands in their way there will be consequences." So Hell's Angels and the Mongols biker gangs have accepted the challenge!

This being California, the bikeies couldn't carry firearms openly, but when the word got out that biker gangs stood with the town, antifa decided not to show up.

Shades of Seven Saumrai!, Shane, the Lone Ranger, and a host of sagas of strong men who come through for citizens in time of trouble.

Alas, that's much harder to do in Democrat-ordained victim disarmament zones where many officials side with antifa.  By way of nauseating example, the New York Post quotes the Mayor of Seattle as describing antifa as "patriotic."

Some citizens who defended their property against looters are under criminal investigation by the police, while many Democrat-abused jurisdictions are releasing rioters as fast as police can arrest them.

Not all government employees who work under Democrats have accepted the message.  The New York Post tells us that the Seattle police chief has apologized to her officers for the pusillanimity of their leadership.  In a video address published on the department's YouTube page, Chief Carmen Best said the city favored antifa over taxpaying citizens.

"You fought for days to protect [the precinct]. I asked you to stand on that line. Day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened and in some cases hurt," Best told the force.

"Then to have a change of course nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community."  [emphasis added]

"Ultimately the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure," she added. "I'm angry about how this all came about."

She's smart enough about the politics of the situation to speak of "severe public pressure" instead of "mob rule" or "threat of riot," but that's what she's talking about.  Encouraging mob rule seems to be high-level Democrat policy on both coasts: members of Joe Biden's campaign staff have contributed to a rioter's bail fund.

The choice has become unmistakably plain.  We have Democrat elected officials meekly surrendering police stations in Minneapolis, where the station burned, and in Seattle, where antifa has set up an "autonomous zone" where armed gangs extort protection money, police are forbidden to tread, and Mayor Jenny Durkan anticipates a "summer of love."  The occupation is vigorously supported by both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

So which will it be?  Will armed Americans citizens continue their tradition of kneeling only to God, or will we give up our guns and kneel to Democrats today and warlords tomorrow?

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Democrats are even arguing that the Constitution gives them the right to permit riots without federal interference unless Democrat mayors and governors ask for help. This must be a penumbra, because I can't find it in the text. Meanwhile, Democrat mayors and governors are free to allow mobs to violate the law and the Bill of Rights. For Democrats, the Constitution is an a la carte menu.

Who's in charge of all these institutionally racist police departments, city governments and local courts? Democrats have run Minneapolis, Seattle, Louisville, Baltimore and Houston since the 1960's. The last Republican mayor of Chicago left office in 1933. Why is this Trump's fault?

June 13, 2020 12:51 PM

I agree everthing you write except comments on masks. It is not the size of virus but the size of the water prticles caught by masks ; mask significantly decreases (not prevents) the chance of virus spread.

June 13, 2020 4:08 PM

@Douglas Proudfoot Mr. Trump's hair is orange. That makes anything he does bad. When he said that the cops should take back the occupied police station in Seattle, the mayor of Seattle told him that the people who grabbed it were "patriotic" and that she expected a "summer of love."

They're su upset with Mr. Trump that they're against anything he's for no matter what.

June 13, 2020 4:32 PM

@Timur Sumer

The Japanese wondered about that and set up an experiment. Their video shows that viruses are tiny enough be carried in extremely small liquid drops which float in still air for hours. They recommend fans blowing down so the particles will impact the floor. You won't breathe them, you'll pick them up when you take our shoes off and touch your face before waashing your hands.

OOH, most of the articles I've run across argue that no one can demonstrate that the virus has ever been transmitted outdoors where gusts of wind don't let it hang in the air. Even Gov. Cuomo admitted that the virus transmits mostly at home or in other close-quarter locations such as nursing homes.

June 13, 2020 6:31 PM

The bikers seem to want to take back the Seattle police station

On July 4th, Independence Day, a coalition of patriot groups and all who want to join are going to retake the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone for America. Antifa members are illegally occupying public property and terrorizing small businesses in the neighborhood. American patriots have agreed to come together again, remove the barricades illegally obstructing traffic, and free the people in the zone.

We are not going to hurt anybody, break the law, etc. We are simply going to tear down the illegal barriers on public property, clean up the mess these communist kids made, and return the police station over to Seattle Police Department control.

*The staging area will be Seward Park. The parking lot can handle roughly 10,000 bikes easily.

June 13, 2020 6:50 PM

She may have apologized - too little too late - but the very fact that Seattle has a "her" for a police chief is part of the problem.

July 21, 2020 9:32 PM
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