Threats Don’t Go Well in a Small Town

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Shaun Kenney | The Republican Standard

Once again, Democrats can behave like Democrats… provided Republicans don’t behave like Democrats. Why is that? What are they missing?

Just in case you haven’t seen the music video yet, Jason Aldean’s anthem is screaming to the top of the country music charts and subsequently has been banned by CMT as “too controversial” — after the political left expressed their indignation.

Try that in a small town? White supremacy.
Try that in the hood? Just keepin’ it real…

There really isn’t a kind or delicate way of putting the problem.

One half of this country believes that violence and coercion in service to progress is acceptable; the other half of the country is tired of Lucy and the Football.

In short, folks are tired of being decent in the face of the rude and vulgar — and they are starting to draw some very clear lines.


The Problem Isn’t Both/And, It’s Action/Reaction

Imagine for a moment if Tea Party activists shut down three dozen major cities over a period of six weeks, caused billions of dollars in property damages, killed 25 people, hurt and harmed hundreds more, resulted in the arrest of 14,000 people and saw over 2,000 law enforcement personnel injured.

We wouldn’t call that a “peaceful protest” — we would call that a revolution.

Consider what has happened after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Since May 2020, there have been over 300 attacks on Catholic parishes; 59 in 2023 alone after the Catholic Church itself was targeted as a source of domestic terrorism by none other than the FBI. The pro-life movement faced 22 times as many violent attacks than abortion groups in 2022 and 70% of the caseload for the FBI.

22 to 1.

Consider January 6th when protesters interrupted the peaceful transference of power. The sheer hypocrisy of the political left when compared to how they behaved during the Kavanaugh hearings in 2018 where leftists stormed Senate office buildings and attempted to stop the Senate Judiciary Hearings?

Or imagine for a moment if President Trump engaged in a program pushed by the White House to call out his political opponents and silence them in the public square.

Anyone remember this?

It’s not Republicans doing this.

Democrats are doing this.

Want To Know Who Truly Governs? Identify Whom You Are Not Allowed to Criticize…

Yet over the last 20 years, it seems as if Republicans have conceded on a great deal:

  • the definition of marriage,
  • definitions on life,
  • definitions on gender and sexuality,
  • the slow then fast erosion of social and cultural standards,
  • violence in film and media,
  • the prevalence of abortion culture,
  • the sexualization of minors,
  • Critical Race Theory,
  • diversity training and DEI apparatchiks,
  • the corporatization of everything,
  • the Internet of Everything,
  • editing the classics of literature in order to conform to the spirit of the age in true Orwellian newspeak,
  • words you cannot use,
  • opinions you may not express,
  • the return of segregated spaces as safe spaces,
  • the fetishization of socialism,
  • the rewriting of history,
  • the iconoclasm against our monuments,
  • the grunging of America both in our workplaces and public spaces,
  • the lack of respect for the elderly where euthanasia is viewed as a duty rather than with horror.

I’ve missed a few things, I’m sure.

Democrats may point to Dobbs as a defeat, but apart from this milestone — and with the alarming rise of chemical abortion in its wake, one finds it difficult to see how the balkanization of a human rights question is a victory in and of itself — where precisely are the Democrats losing?

Preserving the March Through the Institutions Through Violence and Coercion?
The left controls five of the seven major institutions — media, entertainment, education, academia, and the bureaucracy. As a matter of policy, Obamacare is a thing now. Social Security isn’t going anywhere. Faith institutions are bending; the military and first responders remain institutionally right-leaning (but for how much longer?)

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The cities have carried the day against the country. Pride gets a whole month. America is talking about race relations in a way that once was only whispered on college campuses — and Americans of every ethnicity and background continue to do well in America despite the narrative.

So total is the Democratic victory at this rate that progressives find themselves combatting — not conservatives — but their own liberal institutions as harbingers of structural racism.

Which might beg the following question: Why is the political left so apt to lean into violence to preserve their gains?

Lest we fall into the trap of whataboutism and point to instances of right wing violence, let’s remember the statistics here.


The UK Guardian attempted to cage the problem as left-wing progress vs. right-win reaction, but the reactionaries here aren’t on the right. In fact, the numbers suggest that the predilection towards violent action in pursuit of the political remains a feature — and not a bug — of the political left, and overwhelmingly so:

One out of six US Americans? Which — if one were to transpose that number directly on the political left? That’s one out of three who are willing to opt for violence in order to “ensure members of Congress do the right thing” and “protect voting rights” — which one must admit is an extremely broad mandate.

Here’s a number that should shock you.

11.6% of Americans — let’s say, 22.6% of Demcorats? — are willing to consider violent action should Donald Trump become president of the United States again in 2024.

To restore Trump to the presidency? 6.9% of Americans are willing to enforce the popular will should it come to that.

This should raise the inevitable question as to whether the problem of violence in politics a right-wing problem at all? Or more accurately, is it a problem where the political left is willing to use extra-democratic means (i.e. violence) to preserve their 50-year march through the institutions?

Setting the New Rules for Political Engagement?
Just last week, National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez frowned upon the message of trying that in a small town:

There’s something remarkably and alarmingly cynical to responding to poison with more poison — which is what Aldean is doing.

. . .

Again, Aldean is right that we have our challenges. I’ve watched more robberies in stores in the past year than in my entire life. But one of the other things I’ve seen is the obvious sadness and hopelessness that people feel.

. . .

The day after Donald Trump was elected president, women at the women’s abortion march on Fifth Avenue had handwritten signs that read “#sad.” They couldn’t even be more creative than that, so forlorn were their hearts. Another day years later, a woman protested an event I was moderating. She swore at a Catholic nun who simply thanked her for being there and listening to what we had to say. She swore at me, too, and the emptiness in her eyes, I would hope, would beg Jason Aldean to write something that would bring some joy to her life. Otherwise, she is probably left with the impression that anyone who is of a more conservative point of view hates her. I don’t hate her. My Sister of Life friend doesn’t hate her. We want her to know that her life has value. Part of the reason abortion is so prevalent in America is that people don’t know what a gift their own lives are. That’s why we don’t need songs about pulling out guns to take care of problems that come from a deficit of love.

For writing this, Lopez was hammered with nothing less than vitriol and hate via Twitter (now X).

Not in drips, but in a torrent of mockery and contempt that had the detectible presence of being piled on by bots, fake accounts, and useful idiots.

From the right.

One of the complaints against conservatives over the last 20 years from either the populist or nationalist set is that despite the conservative pretense to big ideas and the noble, conservatism lost the culture war to the progressive left and their liberal allies on all the things listed above. To a fine point, they argue that if conservatism cannot stem the tide, then nationalism can — and will.

Thus we tore down anti-communist conservative fusionists such as Ronald Reagan from his pedestal and replace him with newer monuments — to Trump. Free minds, free markets, and a free society were replaced with borders, language, and culture as the mantra of the right.

Conservatives were toppled in a 10-year campaign by populist and nationalist candidates whose sole purpose was to outflank Republicans to their right, not because they could actually enact policy that would upend Democratic gains, but rather for the sole litmus test of but they fight.

Yet the end result? The left found it easier to push their agenda. More has been conceded over the last 10 years than in the previous 40 years. Yet the nationalist movement had an ace that conservatives would never (and could never) play — that being a willingness to meet the progressives on their own terms.


Which if I could just snap off one bit of knowledge and gift it to anyone else, it is this: Violence is the failure of politics.

That’s it.

Reminds me of the old WallBuilders videos which turned the argument of political ideology on its head. The good guys weren’t on the right or the left — the good guys were those who maximized human freedom without surrendering to anarchy. The bad guys were the totalitarians — communists, fascists, authoritarians — who sought to control the human spirit. Once you see politics that way, it is hard to go back.

The same is true with the option for violence.

Once you consent to the idea that politics can be adjudicated by the argument of force rather than the force of argument? The Greeks — specifically Thucydides — called such a condition stasis or civil war. Such a condition was compared to consumption or tuberculosis, where the body politic literally began consuming itself.

Now the left may not consent to such things. They may riot in our cities, firebomb our places of worship, burn our pregnancy resource centers, and physically attack those who show up to counterprotest.

Yet there is a difference between violence and self-defense. There is a difference between a conception of violence which enforces a political ideology and a conception of self-defense in the best spirit of the Second Amendment. There is a difference between being a subject to the laws — whether that is a secular religion masked in ideology or a foreign king — and being a citizen in a free nation.

I’m not quite sure that our friends on the left understand how their equivocation and rush to excuse violence during the Summer of 2020 broke a certain understanding of America. Indeed, there seem to be two sets of rules — leftist violence is the highest form of democracy; right-wing reaction is insurrection. They impede our elected officials and call it democracy; we do likewise and it is a coup. Democrats can threaten public officials and it is merely emotion; Republicans ask why their daughters are being raped in transgendered bathrooms in public schools and they get arrested.

Try That In Your Inner City

What concerns me most is that Democrats allow themselves the methods of coercion and violence while denying the same to Republicans.

If CRT stood for Christian Reason Theory, would Democrats bend the knee?

If DEI stood for Drag Everyone Inside with the goal of holding everyone to a fair standard regardless of background, would Democrats bend the knee?

If public schools “edited out” offensive lines from books, would Democrats bend the knee?

Of course they wouldn’t. They’d fight you — physically.

…and we all know it.

Yet coercive process seems to be the exclusive province of the political left in this country. Any attempt to reform this on the right — school choice, pluralism, the Great Books — is immediately decried as Christian nationalism — the monster under the bed and a proverbial bogeyman if there ever was one.

This is the truth — indeed, the epistemic closure and lack of empathy for others — that too many Democrats refuse to want to hear about themselves. One cannot even mention it in polite society for fear of offending otherwise sensible and open-minded (to a point) Democrats.

Yet Republicans — conservatives especially — know this and for those of us who remember the conservative intellectual tradition, grow increasingly alarmed as Democrats refuse to even consider this reality. Failure to have even so much as an olive branch extended only breathes life into the nationalist reaction, that the left isn’t interested in pluralism or discussion, merely crushing dissent. Their fears? That the right might very well behave like the left.

So we are back to a truism.

Democrats can behave like Democrats, so long as Republicans do not behave like Democrats.

If that stings? Then perhaps a little bit of empathy to erode that epistemic closure is warranted. Again — imagine if the political right engaged in a Summer of 2020. What then?

Yet if that rings true? Remember that behaving like the bad guys doesn’t make you a good guy — it makes you a bad guy. That doesn’t mean the option for self-defense isn’t available, but the option for self-offense is off the table now and forever (as it was for our Founders).

Violence is the forfeiture of politics, ladies and gentlemen. That those who champion democracy opt for coercion is the very reason why the Founding Fathers hated the demos+kratia (the brute force of the mob).

We should be a lot more allergic to it than we are at present. That one half of America isn’t does not portend well.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

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