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Stumbling Into War

Oregon avoids armed civil conflict - for now.

By Petrarch  |  July 7, 2019

One of the better explanations of conservatism vs liberalism is the example of a wall in a field.  The liberal says, "That wall is in my way, tear it down now."  The conservative says, "Somebody put that wall up which took effort.  There is probably a reason why they did that.  At the very least you need to find out what that reason was, carefully consider if it still applies, get general agreement that it does not, and only then will we let you tear down that wall."

Put another way: While political action of all kinds tends to invoke the Law of Unintended Consequences, leftist actions are far more prone to this, precisely because leftists by their nature are much more willing to change things willy-nilly.  They run around knocking out support pillars throughout our society to make more space.  Not only are they shocked when the roof eventually falls in, they appear incapable of connecting the bad result to their previous actions.  Forests both virtual and real have been felled giving examples; it doesn't seem to do any good.

Fresh examples only get worse.  From Oregon comes news that's truly disturbing even by the standards of today:

Massive logging trucks circled the streets around the capitol, flying American flags in their truck beds and blasting horns, as hundreds of right-wing protesters rallied in support of Oregon’s fugitive GOP senators, whose week-long walkout appears to have killed the state’s ambitious cap-and-trade climate legislation...

Oregon Democrats won a supermajority in the 2018 midterms, so the GOP no longer has the votes to block legislation. But the state’s constitution requires a quorum to conduct business. In the 30-seat state senate that means that if more than 10 of the state’s 30 senators don’t show up for work, nothing moves. Eleven GOP senators have fled the state...

Before leaving Salem, one GOP state senator, Brian Boquist, responded with incendiary rhetoric. On the floor of the chamber, he first threatened the state senate president, Peter Courtney, saying: “If you send the State Police to get me, Hell’s coming to visit you personally.” He later menaced state troopers themselves: “Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” he said on camera. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon.”

The Democrats responded as we have come to expect from their "Our way or the highway" ethos:

“That’s a direct threat against the lives of state police,” says Burdick, who serves a district in Portland. “All of this rhetoric — all of this right-wing, terrorist rhetoric is figuring into this conversation. It’s very, very scary.”

Any threats of the use of deadly force against anyone are indeed scary, as they should be, particularly against duly organized law-enforcement officials.  It's fair to remember that the first threat of deadly force came from Democrat Gov. Kate Brown who deployed state troopers to forcibly drag Republicans back to the capitol to form the necessary quorum.  The law allows her to do that, but American liberty allows the legislators to leave the state entirely and remain outside the jurisdiction of Oregon officials, which is what they did.

No violence in fact ensued: the "right-wing protests" were peaceful, a Democrat senator or two caved, the cap-and-trade bill was killed, and the Republicans all came home.  The crisis was averted - for now.

A Democracy?  Or A Republic?

Enraged Oregonian Democrats "suggested the Republicans were opposed not just to the climate bill but to democracy itself."  Guess what?  They're right!

It is an objective fact that a large majority of Oregon voters did indeed pull the lever for far-left Democrats who want to sacrifice the entire state economy on a green altar.  Democratic principles dictate that Democrat politicians have a legitimate mandate to enact these specific policies as a reflection of their constituents' will.

But Oregon, like America as a whole, is not a democracy.  Nor are they supposed to be: our Founders considered a straight democracy to be the worst and most unstable of governmental forms.

They rightly feared democracy because it's possible for effective propaganda and well-spoken demagogues to railroad a majority of voters, otherwise involved with their real lives, to endorse stupid and destructive policy.  The whole architecture of our system of governance is based on dividing power, delaying actions, forcing compromise, and keeping things as they are unless there is compelling need to change: in short, our system is set up to maximize conservatism.

There's good reason for this: the Americans of our Founder's day, and all Americans since - yes, including legally naturalized Americans - signed up to the social compact of American governance as it was.  We are not tied to a flag, an anthem, a politician or political party, or even necessarily to a geographic spot: "America" is a written system of governance laid down in the Constitution, as has been developed and tweaked through electoral consensus over the centuries.

In a democracy, 50% -plus-one is all you need to make any change you like.  Our Founders rightly saw that as a recipe for civil war.  That's precisely what the controlling eco-freak leftists in Oregon are trying to kick off, whether they know it or not.

Do they have 50%-plus-one?  Indeed they do, but according to the US Constitution, having a numerical majority does not give them the authority to destroy the livelihood and longstanding way of life of the other 50%-minus-one - or even of 20%, 10%, or 5%.

Consider: America contains around 13% black people.  It would therefore be mathematically possible, and democratically legitimate, for the 87% of not-black-people to vote them all back into slavery, right?

Of course not!  Because it's not about the math, and it's not even about the votes: we are subject to the higher authority of the Constitution and the principles of American liberty which underpin it, which make it plain that slavery is flat out wrong regardless of how it would fare in a vote.  The same applies to restrictions on speech and religion, various aspects of our justice system, and all kinds of things we generally refer to as our American rights.

In effect, our anti-democratic Constitution is a list of matters which are exempt from democratic voting.  "Inalienable rights" - including those un-enumerated ones "reserved to the people" - cannot be taken away by majority vote, but that's precisely what Democrats keep trying to do.

If, God forbid, a re-slavery bill were ever passed, any sane person would expect black citizens to resist it with deadly armed force no matter how badly they had lost the vote.  And rightly so!  Certain desires are inherent to human nature, one of the strongest being a desire for personal freedom, which is why our Founders wrote the Second Amendment to make sure personal defense of freedom would always be an option.

Another is the desire to protect one's own property, which is why the Constitution forbids the government to confiscate private property without compensation.  Unfortunately, our governmental authorities have become much too imaginative at finding ways around this restriction.  The Oregon climate bill, like Mr. Obama's infamous anti-coal initiatives, wouldn't have actually outlawed logging, mining, farming, and so on.  Instead of a prohibition, the new regulations would simply would have made these activities too costly to continue.  No "taking" in law, but a serious taking in fact.

That's why the Republican legislators were right to block this democratically legitimate, but illegitimately un-American assault on their constituents' Oregonian liberties, using any means necessary.

We're glad it ended peacefully with this odious bill being knocked down - for now.  What about tomorrow?

The Drums of War

All across the fruited plain, Democrats are hammering through laws that directly offend six thousand years of recorded human history.  Another historically-famous source of violence going back even before the Trojan War is when men see their women and children threatened.  What does the Left think is going to happen when they try to use the force of government to ramrod mentally ill biological males into the girls' restrooms at public schools and stores?

What did the Left think was going to happen when they started trumpeting debauched "drag queen story hours" at public libraries frequented by small children?  Actually, they know perfectly well: in Spokane, SWAT teams were present to defend the debauchery from "mom-led protests."

We've managed to fight over abortion - which is, to be specific, the brutal murder of innocent babies - while only occasionally falling into violence.  This speaks to the morality of the pro-life crowd, but also to some level of restraint on the pro-aborticide team.  Joe Biden once understood this: for decades until just now, he's supported the right to choose to murder your offspring, but he's also defended the principle that general tax dollars should not be used to pay for it, a provision known as the Hyde amendment.

No more!  It is no longer enough that some Americans be legally permitted to engage in what other Americans view as vile evil and murderous genocide; if any Democrat going forward is elected President, all Americans will have to pay for abortions regardless of their personal views.

For most of America's history, there's been some issue or other that fell into the category of rousing fighting wrath in one group or another.  In the early years, the South engaged in chattel slavery which the North rightly condemned as evil but was willing to ignore as long at it wasn't rubbed in their faces.

Only when the South conned the Supreme Court into enforcing slavery nationwide did we enter on the inevitable path to war.  And that war was fought over just one moral issue - a very important and consequential issue, to be sure, but only one.  How many such hot-button moral issues are Democrats hammering today?

How can we carry on when the Left is undertaking a full-court press on multiple fronts of mortal offense against traditional American culture, religious beliefs, ways of life, and livelihoods?  Do they understand where this sort of cultural aggression always leads, across all of human history?  Do they want a war?

The Democrats didn't get a war this time in Oregon, but they didn't get their way either.  If unarmed urban dwellers continue to force their will on armed rural folk, and enough American choose to support them, then despite the best efforts of reasonable and sane people on both sides, a war is what they will inevitably get.  Anybody that's studied history knows that.

There comes a point, in America most of all, when people would rather die on their feet than live on their knees.  Alas, it seems that Democrats would rather make up new historical lessons than learn from the ones we already have.