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Violence, Falsehood, And The Forbidden Question

August 1, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Why are there riots and looters in Minneapolis?

In surveying the recent violence, injuries, and property damage caused by rioters in Seattle, Portland, and other cities governed by Democrats, memories come to mind of political gatherings in Washington over the years. In January 2009, for instance, when those celebrating Obama’s inauguration finally left town, the Daily Caller reported that government workers had to remove 130 tons of trash from the National Mall. The same was true during the 2011 “Occupation” march on Washington, as well as the “Women’s March” and subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
They all left tons of trash; the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and subsequent riots left significant property damage as well.
In contrast, after demonstrations in Washington by groups like the Tea Party and the March for Life, the cost of trash pickup was minimal.
Moral: Conservatives clean up after themselves. We are self-reliant. Liberals, coddling their inner socialist, rely on government.
All this comes to mind as major cities once considered to be jewels of the Pacific coast are collapsing into anarchy, destruction, and violence. There, liberals are relying on government to do nothing. Instead of cleaning up the streets in short order as common sense would suggest, municipal and state governments there are making a point of allowing the destruction and violence to continue.
Like the leftist demonstrators in Washington, they flaunt their irresponsibility. They refuse to clean up their own mess. Let someone else pick up the trash — in this case, let federal law enforcement officers repel the violent rioters.
Given the injuries suffered by over 150 law enforcement personnel in Portland alone, they should be receiving hazardous duty pay, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize for not blowing away the Antifa thugs that are trying to maim and blind them night after night.
Bottom line: These blue-state governments simply refuse to do their duty and exercise the basic responsibility of governing — keeping the peace, enforcing the law, and preserving justice and liberty.
Unfortunately, their fellow Democrats in Washington are giving them a High Five.
In congressional hearings this past week on Capitol Hill, we saw not only trash, but the refusal even to call it by its proper name. House Democrats called a hearing to hear testimony from Attorney General William Barr. Unfortunately, they suffered from “the lack of a terminating facility,” as my father put it 68 years ago. (Dad was referring to Hubert Humphrey, the then first-term senator from Minnesota, who simply could not stop talking.)
Before the hearing, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) set the pace. He flatly denied that there was any violence or rioting in Portland. Such allegations were “a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.,” he said. He had apparently intended to badger the attorney general along those lines, but his plans didn’t quite work out.

“Shut up!” They Asked.

As the hearing began, the committee’s ranking Republican, Cong. Jim Jordan of Ohio, played a graphic video depicting the violence caused by rioters in Portland. Chairman Nadler, aghast, could only complain that the video was out of order because it violated committee rules.
But he was too late. His myth was destroyed, and Democrats quickly realized that Barr was loaded for bear. He was going to scorch them, big time.
They quickly moved to Plan B. They had called Barr to “testify,” to answer “tough questions,” but they realized they were outgunned. So they simply didn’t let him speak. One Democrat after another interrupted Barr seconds after he began to respond. When Jordan told a clearly agitated Nadler that the committee should allow its witnesses to answer questions, Nadler retorted, “What do you think is irrelevant.”
Chairman Nadler was flummoxed, but he had accurately signaled the Democrat agenda for the rest of the campaign. They will concoct a narrative that repeats all of their failed allegations, confident that they will be resonated by the usual suspects in the media. When called out with facts as vivid as those that Jordan rubbed in Nadler’s face, they’ll call it “irrelevant” and call us “out of order” for bringing it up.

“What You Think Is Irrelevant!”

For many on the left, “irrelevant” is not enough. Their party line demands that opinions contrary to their own be designated as “dangerous.” Which means that they should be not only ignored, but forbidden. That’s why Barr was repeatedly shut down.
“As elected officials of the federal government, every member of this committee — regardless of your political views or your feelings about the Trump administration — should condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property,” Barr said. “So should state and local leaders who have a responsibility to keep their communities safe. To tacitly condone destruction and anarchy is to abandon the basic rule-of-law principles that should unite us even in a politically divisive time.”
Silence.
“Can’t we just say the violence against the federal courts has to stop? Could we hear something like that?” he asked.
Of course we can’t. That’s not allowed.
The “forbidden question.” That’s the term that political philosopher Eric Voegelin used to identify the response of the ideologue when confronted with reality. Chairman Nadler rejects reality as a “myth” — in its modern sense, a concoction of falsehoods — but Karl Marx made clear that the revolutionary must forbid an entire array of questions.
Or lie about them. Is that ethical? Well, for Lenin, anything that furthers the revolution is ethical. And for today’s revolutionaries, not only troubling questions should be forbidden, but also those who ask them.
As the election approaches, the “cancel culture” will only intensify. Questions about Joe Biden’s health, his embrace of Bernie Sanders’ socialist agenda, and the identity of his manipulators are forbidden. They’ll go down the Memory Hole. But Room 101 — the torture chamber in Big Brother’s Ministry of Love — will also be active. Harassment of effective critics like Tucker Carlson of Fox News will intensify, and the general public will also be targets.
Arbitrary lockdowns, censorship, and general mayhem will all serve as cover for the effort not only to forbid unwelcome questions, but to intimidate the questioners into silence.

Closer To Home

Our bishops have their own forbidden questions. Ask about the McCarrick Report, malfeasance at their NGOs, their silence on pro-abortion Catholic pols, or even the finances of the USCCB (“Please list the salaries of the highest-paid employees in each category?”) — silence.
Even when concerning questions of burning interest, they are silent. Take illegal aliens, one of their favorite topics. In Kerr County, Texas, a repeat-felon illegal alien killed three retired Army officers on July 18. Did San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller make a statement? His office did not respond to our request.
On June 23, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki led prayer a service to atone for racial injustice. Outside, the church’s bell tolled for eight minutes and 46 seconds commemorating the death of George Floyd.
But two weeks later in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Daniel Navarro intentionally crashed his pickup into the motorcycle driven by retired police officer Phillip Thiessen, killing him. Navarro complained to police that “people had made racist comments” about him because he was Mexican. He wanted to kill a white person, he said, and men who rode motorcycles were usually white.
When asked if Archbishop Listecki had made a statement about the murder, the Milwaukee chancery did not respond.
No bells tolled for Phillip Thiessen.
So: Police kill minority, news. Minorities kill police, no news.
As Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker used to say, “Doesn’t that door swing both ways?”
That’s a forbidden question.

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