Why Are Liberals So Violent?
History has demonstrated that death and destruction prevail whenever bloody means are used to justify revolutionary ends
“I’m going to find the congressman’s kids and kill them.”
These words weren’t written in a novel from some evil villain, hell-bent on destroying a politician’s life. They weren’t said in a movie where the FBI or CIA track down some domestic terrorist.
They were said by a man named Laurence Wayne Key, from Florida. His targets were the children of Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican.
The motive? Purely political: Key continued, calling Mast’s office, “If you’re going to separate kids at the border, I’m going to kill his kids. Don’t try to find me because you won’t.”
It’s an ironic twist of fate that he would be worried about the children of illegal aliens, since he volunteered at a local Planned Parenthood for much of his time. Of course, maybe that explains everything. To Key, killing children is no different from killing a fly.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was assaulted by his next-door neighbor, not for the way he trimmed his hedges, but for his conservatism. A half dozen of Paul’s ribs were fractured in the sneak attack.
This week, Rep. Maxine Walters (D-Calif.) called for leftists to get in the faces of Trump administration officials. She claimed she did not urge them to do violence, but does anybody doubt she in fact was?
Can anyone forget the ugly and twisted look on the face of the liberal University of Missouri professor calling for some “muscle” to get rid of someone — who happened to be a student journalist — with whom she disagreed? On a public campus?
Such is the modern liberal Democratic Party, where violence trumps dialogue, where calls for the heads of politicians are more than just words; they’re actual threats.
You could write a book on the violence of liberalism, going back centuries. The French Revolution of the 1780s, which saw the overthrow of the near millennium-old monarchy, quickly turned from a noble cause, inspired by the success of the American Revolution, to a violent slaughter.
The appropriately named Reign of Terror saw the deaths of nearly 17,000 people in one year. Anyone remotely suspected of being a loyalist, or even not actively supporting the revolution, was sentenced to death: beheading, hanging, drowning, any means to silence the nonrevolutionary cause.
Catholic nuns and priests, seen by the revolutionaries as nothing more than the religious elite and arm of the French crown, were murdered. Some of them fled, especially to the newly formed United States of America, which looked at the bloodshed with horror from such a recent ally.
Revolutionary leader Maximillian Robespierre saw nothing wrong with it: “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice,” he said. The terror he defended and led ultimately cost him his own life.
Fast-forward, and the Reign of Terror continued in other left-leaning countries. The Soviet Union, the supposed beacon of communism and workers’ rights, where the dictatorship of the proletariat was to rule over the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, was directly responsible for millions of deaths.
All for “counterrevolutionary” activities, which included anything from criticizing the state to worshipping an unsanctioned god (which was them all; in an atheistic society, there is no god except the state).
Joseph Stalin, the paranoid madman, personally saw to the Great Purge, killing his own officials and about a million others deemed undesirable. Though the worst was behind them, the policies of the Soviet Union more or less continued until its dissolution in 1991.
Millions, sometimes for the most mundane reasons, or no reason at all, were tried in a kangaroo court and shipped off to gulags, places where no human was to live, for slave labor. If you didn’t meet your quota for the day, you had a cut in your already-depleted rations, which, ultimately, made you lose your quota again, which saw a further depletion.
The so-called workers’ paradise hardly seemed that way for its inhabitants. Socialist countries around the world — Cuba, Venezuela, China, the Iron Curtain states, you name it — have this same procedure: arrest, jail, execute anyone who dares to criticize the communist state or ideology.
And we know all about Hitler, the National Socialist, who institutionalized violence against anyone who earned his ire to an art form, at least in Nazi Germany. But hey, nothing like that can happen here, right?
Well, blame it on the president himself, the rise of anti-intellectualism, the “me generation” and obsession with victimization, but the terror certainly can happen here. Antifa, the band of hooligans, justify their own vandalism, their own assault on persons and rights, for their “anti-fascist” ideology.
Wherever they were, so too were riots. Graffiti at the University of California, Berkeley appeared everywhere: “Kill Trump” was one of the more prominent slogans displayed on buildings across the campus.
A history lesson for any members of Antifa reading this: If your protests end up looking more like Kristallnacht in 1938, then you aren’t “anti-fascists” at all.
Let’s face it, most liberals are perpetually dyspeptic, perpetually unhappy that the world is not following their edits. Deep down, they know collectivism is a failed ideology, which makes them even more angry.
As Bill Buckley wrote in his “Up From Liberalism,” “Some minds are not trained to think logically under any circumstances. Cross a liberal on duty, and he becomes a man of hurtling irrationality.” Liberals’ own sense of moral inferiority also certainly animates their sense of “hurtling irrationality.”
Let’s list other instances of American “tolerant” liberalism through the decades. There’s Lee Harvey Oswald, the failed Soviet asylum seeker and murderer of President John Kennedy. There’s eco-terrorists like the Unabomber along with the antiwar Weathermen, responsible for bombings, including the U.S. Capitol in February 1971.
There’s James Hodgkinson, who on a beautiful June day attempted to murder multiple Republican legislators, nearly killing Steve Scalise. Hodgkinson had been a crazed supporter of Vermont socialist and unsuccessful Democratic presidential seeker Bernie Sanders (Is there any other kind?), so it was no secret what his motives were.
There’s Floyd Lee Corkins, who in 2012, taking his cue from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” designation, broke into the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Family Research Council, guns blazing. Only the quick actions of a brave security guard prevented massive bloodshed and death.
Both individual and state-sponsored terrorism, murder and violence are nothing new, but there’s something to be said when an ideology places the collective over the individual. To place the group before the individual is to deny the humanity of the person, where the means of achieving a “utopia” is justified. Violence, murder, slave labor — all is right in the collectivists’ minds.
And anything is justified to assume new powers. Even and sometimes especially violence.
Craig Shirley is a New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian. He has written four books on President Ronald Reagan, along with his latest book, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” about the early career of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and is the Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College in Illinois, the 40th president’s alma mater. He also wrote the critically acclaimed “December 1941.” Scott Mauer is a research assistant for Craig Shirley.