The idea that what happened at the Capitol of January 6 was an “insurrection” was always a ridiculous and malevolent exaggeration. The passage of time has exposed that politically motivated lie and sent the rats scurrying for alternative explanations.
Right on cue, we find a hobbyhorse leftist taking to the pages of the Washington Post — Jeff Bezos’s onshore publicity organ for the Democratic Party — to warn us against calling the protest at the Capitol an “insurrection.” The memo to Scribes and Pharisees has gone out. It’s no longer an “insurrection.” It’s been rebaptized a “sinister” act of “vigilantism.”
I suppose I should be thankful, sort of, because this faithful lapdog of The Narrative begins by agreeing (again, sort of) with my contention that the protest at the Capitol was not an insurrection but (to quote Tucker Carlson) merely a “protest the got out of hand.”
But of course, the agreement was only rhetorical, not to say disingenuous. It was a little smoke bomb deployed to make room for a distinction made by Garry Wills that deeply impressed the Bezos Bobblehead.
“American distrust of government” [Wills noted] comes in different forms. At one end of the spectrum are insurrectionists, who “take arms against the government because it is too repressive.” At the opposite end are vigilantes, who “take arms to do the government’s work because the authorities are not repressive enough.” They become “vigilant,” Wills writes, in times when they believe “the government is too slow, indifferent, or lax.”
Translation: we do not circa 2021 have enough government in our lives. We need the state to be bigger, more intrusive, more censorious. We need more police bursting into Arby’s and handcuffing patrons for not being vaccinated. We need more social media censorship against people who dissent from The Narrative, especially if they are now or have ever been supporters of Donald Trump. Do you think that it was right that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted? Then you are part of the problem.
Inquiring minds might wonder where this chap was in the summer of 2020 when gangs of Black Lives Matter roamed city streets throughout the country, smashing up property, setting the Minneapolis police station ablaze in their “mostly peaceful” protests. Those gangs murdered or maimed scores of people and caused an estimated $2 billion damage. Were they not “vigilantes” protesting the death of career criminal (now Saint) George Floyd? Where was left-wing media then?
Ah, but the Capitol is the sacrosanct citadel of “our democracy,” as Nancy Pelosi kept babbling. It’s one thing to torch a police station or federal building, quite another to intrude about the hallowed halls of the Capitol.
But then where was our scribe and his brethren when the mob, which included Senator Karen (h/t Elon Musk), stormed the Capitol to protest the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and intimidate some still wavering senators? Where were those defenders of The Narrative then?
They were off defending The Narrative, of course. They are partisans of the self-engorging administrative state that has promulgated an all-encompassing agenda of dependency upon the American people. It’s not just the Welfare State — though it is that — it is also the Welfare State of Mind, whose motto was admirably summed up by a twentieth-century European statesman: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned against the advent of “democratic despotism,” which would extinguish liberty not by tyrannizing over men but by infantilizing them. It would do this by expanding government prerogatives and subjecting more and more areas of life to the dictates of a well-meaning, but power hungry, bureaucracy. Gelded servants of the bureaucracy like this writer for the Washington Post seem to think Tocqueville had written a how-to manual in his anatomy of democratic despotism. But then, they think the same thing about Orwell’s 1984.