LINCOLN’S WARNING ON A MOB MENTALITY
Abraham Lincoln warned us: Mob rule begets mob rule.
On Wednesday, as Congress convened to certify an Electoral College vote of the 2020 presidential election, a mass of people broke into the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
They climbed the building, smashed windows, entered offices, and even entered the House and Senate chambers. . . .
Watch IFA President Dave Kubal give an eyewitness report of his experience at the Capitol, with strategic prayer points. Click HERE.
The Senate pic.twitter.com/ooJZ6qNATe
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) January 6, 2021
. . . . But it wasn’t just window-smashing and photo ops. The intrusion also turned deadly.
A woman was shot and killed.
Former staffers all have positive vibes for Capitol Police, but they were woefully unprepared today, and reinforcements that should have already been in place took hours to arrive. https://t.co/8GvTMllVSD
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) January 7, 2021
The right to peacefully assemble and protest is an essential one guaranteed by the Constitution. Breaking into and vandalizing federal property—for whatever cause—is not.
Regardless of the original message of the protests, those who orchestrated the break-in to federal property deserve condemnation. It’s a violation of the rule of law, not to mention a federal crime. . . .
Let me be very clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it's disorder. It borders on sedition, and it must end. Now.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 6, 2021
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
. . . Let’s not forget that Washington, D.C.—as with many other cities across the country—had already been beset last year by mobs and waves of violent riots. When rioters lit fires, smashed windows, toppled statues, and physically and verbally assaulted political opponents in the name of Black Lives Matter this summer, the result was that a street was named for the movement in front of the White House.
— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) June 5, 2020
. . . Around the country, large swaths of cities were set ablaze as police departments became overwhelmed, and politicians did little to stop it.
A lawless “autonomous” zone was created in the middle of downtown Seattle, which led to widespread property damage and several deaths. . . .
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) August 28, 2020
Portland, Oregon, had the highest spike of violent crime in the entire country—impressive given the nearly unprecedented national surge in violent crime. . . .
When Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., dared to suggest in an op-ed in the pages of The New York Times that overwhelmed police departments should have the ability to request aid from the military, the Times newsroom rebelled, and he was called an authoritarian.
Yet, Cotton aptly called the lawless riots what they were: mob rule.
Mob rule, whether conducted by members of Black Lives Matter or people wearing MAGA hats, is a threat to law and order. Not only that, it’s a threat to liberty, too. It violates the very essence of the Constitution, of the belief that the people ultimately rule.
And as Abraham Lincoln warned in his famed 1838 Lyceum Address, mob law when left unchecked begets more mob law. When portions of the population think that violence is the path to victory, where the rules of the system don’t have to be followed, it is only natural for others to think that mob law is the law. . . .
Good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed. . . .
The American Revolution, which ultimately ended in war and the overthrow of British rule, was for the most part an orderly affair. Even within a system that did not provide representative government, the Founders appealed to law and negotiation first, second, and third before resorting to violence. . . .
We shouldn’t forget that the storming of the Bastille, as grave as the depredations of the French monarchy had sometimes been, led to mass violence and tyranny, not ordered liberty. . . .
Lincoln’s warning in 1838 was ignored, and a generation of Americans paid a terrible price in blood for it. Let us learn from the past instead of tearing it down.
Regardless of the corruption of our institutions, the better path forward is to support the rule of law, reform old institutions or build new ones, and plan for the long term of sustaining this federal republic that we would surely like to keep.
(Excerpt from The Daily Signal. Article by Jarrett Stepman. Photo Credit: Getty Images.)
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