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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Year of Fear

The good news is Americans are not paranoid.

Their fears are real. I guess that is the bad news as well.
If there were any lesson from 2020, it is that fear can get Americans to surrender their civil liberties.

Thus fear drives American politics in 2021 because it worked in 2020.

Conservatives have real fears. As Democrats take over Washington officially, they strike fear at lightning pace in the hearts of conservatives. Faye Higbee had a nice summary of the situation.

Higbee wrote, "We are rapidly moving toward a one-party government just like [Red] China. The Big Banks and numerous corporations have reportedly decided not to allow donations to pro-Trump politicians or PACs. Certain members of Congress are reportedly thinking about designating the MAGA movement as domestic terrorists. Reminder: when you give power-hungry people total control of your legislature, this is what you get. It’s 1984 on steroids."

I agree.

But lest we be downcast and depressed, let us understand that fear drives this reaction in overdrive. Democrats know they barely stole the election. The 75 million votes for President Donald John Trump were real. They know that, through ballot harvesting, they boosted turnout from 56% in 2016 to a mind-boggling 67% in 2020. No election in 100 years came close to that figure.

Democrats also know that the first midterm in 2022 likely returns control of the House to Republicans, who will serve as a speed bump. The Senate also should flip.

They act in haste out of fear. Cutting off funds and social media will stop traditional campaigning. And shutting down any and all anti-government rallies will avoid another Tea Party or MAGA uprising.

The over-the-top reaction to President Trump's 100,000-person strong rally on the mall seems to be opportunism. But it too is fear. Washington is used to liberal rallies and protests inside the Capitol. Police arrest Code Pinkers and remove them. They took over offices in 2018 to protest Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as a justice. Capitol Police arrested 293 people. 

This time was different because it was not Antifa or BLM thugs ransacking 100 stores. A half-billion in damage in Minneapolis? Walk it off. Insurance will cover.

This time citizens came inside the Capitol. Somebody sat in Nancy Pelosi's chair!

But it was also a serious matter. It got out of hand. Capitol Police drew guns and shot and killed protester Ashli Babbitt. Five people died all in all.

This was panic.

Steven Hayward wrote of talking to a "senior career lawyer" who told him the deep state is rattled.

Hayward wrote, "Among other things, the fact that apparently some Capitol Police were friendly with the protestors who entered the building have federal bureaucrats wondering whether they can fully trust their own security personnel."

Like Hollywood, the DC area is 90% anti-Trump. Trump voters are outside the ken of most Washingtonians. That was shock No. 1.

Hayward wrote, "In other words, the capitol mob was a blow to their status, and Washingtonians believe the entire protest represents more than just anger at the election outcome: the disrespectful spirit of the day represents a real threat to their power going forward. This is one reason for the paranoia of Democrats at the moment, and they worry that more such protests are not only possible but likely. Part of the reason there is such fury on the left to run Trump out of office right away is that DC is genuinely afraid of him and his followers. Machiavelli might approve. Hence the calls to deploy national guard units in DC in large numbers for Inauguration next week."

As I said, it is not paranoia.

We the people no longer respect their authority.

Where does this lead us?

I doubt there will be a civil war. Live free or die? Don't be daft. Neither side has had much experience with death. In the 19th century, they killed livestock and game to eat. A high infant mortality rate also drove home the point that one never knows when a streetcar may hit them. We mock rednecks for their hold-my-beer attitude, but it deserves respect. They bring progress. They are guardians of the spirit of those magnificent men in their flying machines a century ago who made aviation possible. I suspect derring-do died with doubling of life expectancies worldwide in the 20th century. Instead of dying one death someday, we die a little each day in our fears.

The more likely outcome of this political dispute is the installation of a real authoritarian as our leader as we surrender our constitutional republic. The pandemic panic proves that Benjamin Franklin was quite right. You really are unworthy of freedom if you trade it for security.

We live in fear today, not freedom. But don't despair. We need someone to rally us behind our love of liberty. We will find him. Perhaps Trump's political career gets a valiant second chance.

***

Finally, I signed into Gab! First time in years. My account is @donsurber. The women in that picture are my sisters and my mother. Two are gone.

46 comments:

  1. There are a variety of possible precursors from history for what may happen next. I’ve mentioned the French Revolution a bunch of times, but there is also the Spanish Civil War, and also Chile 1973 that seem quite germane. These all concluded with the aristocrats/communists way-gone, but the aftermaths were anything but smooth…

    But let me go somewhere else, that’s been on my mind of late. Could we be heading for a complete systemic breakdown, a complete collapse of civilization?

    The whys behind civilizational collapse are something that is never clear. The Maya collapse occurred centuries before any Europeans arrived; various scenarios are soil depletion, drought, warring themselves to death. Both the Xhosa collapse (southern Africa) and the Easter Island collapse involved what I’ll call “exuberant irrationalism” (mangled classic reference in there) – both of them involved a society losing its sanity and devoting all of its scarce resources to religious panic while neglecting what needed to be done (so will wind turbines be our moai?).

    Those collapses were small and isolated. The “Big One” seems to have been the complete collapse of Bronze Age civilization around 1200 B.C. There were multiple societies involved across the Mediterranean and the Near East, and all were independent societies – but were intertwined by trade and inter-state politics. Something or somethings-in-tandem caused all of them to collapse in short order. It’s mind-bending how a civilization like that could go on splendidly for centuries – and then seize up and blow away in a very short period of time. And while there is some excellent speculation based on the archaeological and historical records… no one knows why…

    Look around the world today. If the U.S. goes down, who else could fill that void as the power that keeps the whole system running. China? Ha ha. As I’ve mentioned before, Chairman Xi is in a hurry – since he knows that China is going into a Russian-style demographic collapse along with other problems (like being a creaky old empire, just like the USSR); the Soviet Union had a brief window to win it all in the late 1970s, and they missed it… and Chairman Xi doesn’t want to miss his chance (which won’t be there in four years if he sits around doing nothing and waiting for it). Russia? Russia is dying, pretty close to literally – last time I looked, Russia now is less-populous than the island of Java in Indonesia. Russia is also a broke, corrupt petrostate that is mismanaged and misgoverned. Europe? Europe is a white sepulcher filled with dead bones; weak, burned out, demographically barren. Anyone else? No one comes to mind.

    Just a little (liquid) food for thought…

    (Don - apologies that that got a bit long, hopefully not a problem. I was ahead of even Mark Steyn on the civilizational-collapse beat, and looking around you do have to wonder if the equivalent of the Bronze Age collapse is rolling...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " If the U.S. goes down, who else could fill that void as the power that keeps the whole system running."

      Worry about who will be feeding them. For 100 years, the answer is America has. With "factory farming" powered by fossil fuels. Not any more we won't be.

      Delete
    2. If (when) the US is taken down, civilization ends, we have kept it running since WWll. There is nothing to replace America.

      Delete
  2. Don, there will be no return of Republicans. The State has assumed control. Your vote will be what they decide it will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right you are. The GOP will end up like it was when Bob Michel was House Minority leader from '81 to '93, begging for table scraps. The red states will get nothing and like it.

      Delete
    2. The Republicans are dead to me. And they will be rudely surprised when they find out that the Trump voters almost unanimously feel the same way.

      Imagine having ANYTHING to do with creeps like Liz Cheney (HELLO, NEPOTISM!) and the rattlesnake dumpster filled to its brim with her fellow demented Quislings.

      Meanwhile, as one weg put it, "I'm voting the straight Dominion ticket in the next election. Whether or not I want to."

      Delete
  3. In the West generally, and the USA particularly, we have it so good we've run out of reasons to be scared or offended.

    Also, people live in a fantasy world. They literally can't wait for the zombie apocalypse.

    It's crazy.

    But if Bidet* gets his way it may wind up more like "The Road" or "The Book of Eli" than some utopian dream. "The Postman" had a happy ending though, so there's always that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe "The Last Chase" with gasoline-powered cars outlawed. Hmmmmmm.

      Delete
    2. Jeffery uses his usual doublethink to try to hide his black racism.

      We've been kept prisoners in our homes for a year over a phony disease. We've seen our cities destroyed by Commie mobs. We're threatened with attacks in our homes. People exercising their Constitutional rights are deprived of them and, in some cases, murdered.

      I'd say that's plenty right there.

      Delete
  4. Mitch The Bitch supports Trump's impeachment.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-believes-trump-committed-impeachable-offenses-supports-democrats-impeachment-efforts-report

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I understand it was NYT that initially reported this- there us going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors over the next few days.

      Delete
    2. Technically, He has nothing to do with the actual impeachment, only the trial. They think we're the rubes, but, if they really think anybody still believes there's a 2 party system, they're the rubes.

      Delete
    3. Mitch, Mitch, ya coulda had class. Ya coulda been a contender for greatest majority leader of all time. Ya coulda been somebody in American history.

      What do ya get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville!

      Delete
    4. Everything is fluid, but the numbahs aren't on Mitch's side.

      Mollie @MZHemingway
      Congressional approval at 15% according to Gallup. 60% in another poll say impeachment is a waste of $/time. 77% wish Congress were working on Coronavirus, not impeachment. And 80% of GOP voters in battleground states say they'd be less likely to vote GOP who support impeachment.
      2:27 PM · Jan 12, 2021

      Delete
  5. I see China's problems compounding quickly. Xi can't hold it back. Hear about the various banks in china collapsing? he may not have four years... Hunter's Checks will bounce.
    Also the Republicans scared the Dems in congress Nancy barely won..We are not Dead yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got it.

      There's the One Child policy coming home to roost and the fact Shi (I don't speak or spell Commie) is faced with the fact 9% growth could not be sustained no matter how many Potemkin cities they built in Africa or Sinkiang.

      His plan seems to be to try to plunder the US until it looks like Venezuela so that it will buy the boys in the Forbidden City some time. Right now they're back where they were before Tiananmen.

      Anything we can do to stop the Commies here, stops the Commies there.

      Who knows, maybe that old Sino-American friendship before Roosevelt and Truman sold them out may bloom again?

      PS Very perspicacious. If I could, I'd give you a like.

      Delete
    2. "I see China's problems compounding quickly."

      That's why Chairman Xi is in a hurry and is moving NOW. He needs to create facts on the ground to try to at least be the last man standing.

      Delete
    3. In addition to the financial issues, China has a food shortage, not only due to the swine flu last year that led to killing off of the herds but also grain shortages.

      Delete
    4. In addition to the financial issues, China has a food shortage, not only due to the swine flu last year that led to killing off of the herds but also grain shortages.

      Delete
  6. Hope that the new authoritarian regime is not Nehemiah Scudder (Heinlein's "If This Goes On..."/"Revolt in 2100")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas. Joseph Stalin

      Delete
    2. Anyone thinking ideas are more powerful than gun, never faced a machine gun. Plagiarized.

      Delete
  7. Democrats also know that the first midterm in 2022 likely returns control of the House to Republicans, who will serve as a speed bump. The Senate also should flip.

    In what parallel universe does this occur, O Captain of the Enterprise, Surber?

    The Demos (not to mention the Whigs) can fix any election they want unless they're bodily pulled out of office.

    I doubt there will be a civil war. Live free or die? Don't be daft. Neither side has had much experience with death. In the 19th century, killed livestock and game to eat. A high infant mortality rate also drove home the point that one never knows when a streetcar may hit them.

    Then why, O why, did both sides need conscription?

    More to the point, those kids had been raised on Napoleonic lore and stories of the American Revolution. Nobody told them both sides would be armed with rifled barrels. Likewise, the ones in the beginning thought it would be over in a couple of weeks.

    As the old story goes, When Albert Sidney Johnston confronted a Confederate soldier why he was running away, the soldier replied, General, I'm running 'cause I can't fly.

    They were scared to death.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Democrats also know that the first midterm in 2022 likely returns control of the House to Republicans, who will serve as a speed bump. The Senate also should flip." Yeah, right.

    Don, like Jim Pratt earlier, I take a darker view. The Dems have shown that they can steal an election with impunity. Not even a supposedly 'conservative' Supreme Court made a squeak.

    We have again failed to heed the advice of Pastor Niemöller - except this time the order of victims is inverted.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "shot and killed protester Ashli Barrett"

    I believe her name was Ashli Babbitt.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A name to be remembered. shot dead at point blank range, by a Capitol cop with a hard-on to kill a 'Trumpster'. Watch out, most Democrats have this mentality.

      Delete
  10. "some Capitol Police were friendly with the protestors who entered the building ... federal bureaucrats wonder whether they can trust their own security personnel."

    I suspect Pelosi instructed them to let them in, to trigger a confrontation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A witch-hunt or a witch purge is a persecution of people who have been labeled opposed to a belief. Coupled with refusal of evidence when presented as opposition and rebranded as evidence of moral ignorance is the fate of those who question. It often results in a panic or mass hysteria from those in defense of such belief challenged.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why should we think that A House of Representatives controlled by the Roll Over Party will be any more effective in 2022 than it was in 2016? The party of gracious losers does not know how to wield governing power.

    Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Do we actually know who pulled the trigger on Ashley?
    White shirt cuffs and a suit jacket, what looked like a step forward at the moment and an extremely poor shoot decision make me question whether it might have been a staffer or legislator.

    ReplyDelete
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  15. I'm not much of one for conspiracy theories but does anyone else feel like they are purposely pushing Conservatives into a corner in the hopes that someone will trigger some kind of revolt? And I'm not just talking about a barber or restaurant owner wigging out over the lockdowns but an actual armed revolt that they can use as the reason to tighten the vise all the way? Just seems curious that if in fact they are supposedly panicking, why they would double down on efforts to completley isolate Conservatives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fascists WANT violence so they can go full Stalin, with the sheep’s total support.

      Delete
  16. "...Democrats also know that the first midterm in 2022 likely returns control of the House to Republicans, who will serve as a speed bump. The Senate also should flip...."

    Love ya Don but NO WAY the republicans will either chamber in 2022, or ever again. Schumer will legalize 20 million illegals and spread them into Red states, specifically in close House districts and win them all. Already happening. The Federalist has an article today on it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Why A Mind is a Terrible thing Not To Have

    The Ridiculous Use of Nazi, Fascist and Socialist in Daily Lexicon

    https://torrancestephensphd.substack.com/p/why-a-mind-is-a-terrible-thing-not

    ReplyDelete
  18. I too sat in the Speaker's chair. The speaker at the time was Sam Rayburn, and I was about 10 years old. Hopefully, the Statute of Limitations on this heinous crime has run out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Whoever sat in that chair had best checked for STD's!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This will just be another long war of attrition. The US military, the only defense of the Establishment aside from local, defunded and inept police forces, is 1.2 million servicemen worldwide. Add to that 811,000 reservists - mummies and daddies who don't want to do this. Call it 2.2 million, against an armed guerrilla force of anywhere from 10-40 million. That's a mismatch of 5 to 20 to 1.The military, with all their expensive toys, has as less chance between I5 and I 95 as they did in afghanistan....because this will be a war of attrition. No one is going commit an armed invasion washington, instead the Patriots will hit soft targets -universities and school board meetings and high schools and synagogues and infrastructure for years. The Establishment, "Amerika," bloated with hubris and bravado now charges off into another war they cannot win - this one at home, sacrificing its blood and treasure once again. I fear this is inevitable, and Amerika, the Establishment, has no way to win this one either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The establishment-patriot dichotomy is on a granular level, individual vs individual. That's why I see this outcome as inevitable and unavoidable, and seek to conduct my life in a manner that accepts that this is now inevitable to occur.

      I thank God I am no longer young.

      Delete
  21. i've been trying to get into gab for days

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep trying ontoiran, it'll work, eventually.

      Delete
  22. You couldn't be more wrong. The GOPe support the globalists. They betrayed our Country, our President, and our Party. They're not going to win back the House, the Senate, or presidency without China's permission. The GOPe always demand we support them while they refuse to support us. They're going the way of the Whigs. And our President is being destroyed as a warning to any other politician who wants to put America first.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  24. Even if the midterms aren't stolen, will it really make a difference if the GOP wins?

    ReplyDelete