By Shaun Kenney October 15, 2021
McAuliffe just couldn’t waste a crisis in Charlottesville 2017. It cost the lives of two Virginia State Police officers.
Enough with the hypocrisy of Defend The Police Democrats — yes?
First things first, congratulations to Spotsylvania County for asking Lesgo Brandon to speak before the Spotsylvania County School Board this Monday.
For those who are not in on the joke, the trend of telling Joe Biden to perform an anatomically impossible act at sporting events has picked up steam in a manner that cannot be censored by either social or legacy media.
Sportscasters are doing their best to cloak the FJB sentiment — to the point of insisting a crowd was chanting “Let’s Go Brandon!” after NASCAR’s Brandon Brown won his first Xfinity Series.
Why Democrats Are Total Brandoning Hypocrites (And We All Need To Take A Step Back)
Of course, today’s pearl-clutching comes in the wake of a Trump rally in Henrico County where a flag that was present at the J6 Rally in front of the White House — not at the J6 riot that ensued afterwards — was in attendance. Still smarting from McAuliffe’s gaffe during the second debate about parents not having a role in their children’s education, Democrats are attempting to seize upon the event by blaming a guy who wasn’t even there.
That’s right — they’re blaming Glenn Youngkin.
Yet just in case you are wondering where Democrats stand on storming government buildings, this happened TODAY:
Not the first time they’ve done this sort of thing, by the way.
Everyone remember when pro-abortion Democrats stormed the US Capitol during the Kavanaugh hearings? Maybe not — we don’t talk about that sort of thing anymore. But it happens with alarming regularity in local government, state government (remember Austin in 2013?) and yes — even peaceful transferences of power in the judiciary at the federal level.
Yet we don’t talk about the S24 insurrection, do we?
120 arrests were made. Not one single apology was issued by NARAL, Planned Parenthood or NOW. Nor were any of these organizations singled out as domestic terrorists despite the fact they kill as many Americans in one day as Al-Qaeda killed on 9/11.
I raise all of this not to make apologies for the January 6th riots. The distinction between the rally in front on the White House and the riot that ensued afterwards is arguably thin. Yet what I do raise is the following question:
Have the Democrats given any thought as to whether Republicans are simply imitating their bad behavior? After all, it wasn’t Republicans who burned cities for five long months during the summer of 2020. Nor was it Republicans who gathered in Washington in November 2020 threatening violence. Nor is it Republicans who storm state capitols or flush local governments with the SEIU playbook on how to exert pressure in concert with local media.
Of course, these political spectacles imagined in cubicles have direct and real consequences paid out by Virginia’s law enforcement community.
We saw it in Richmond and Charlottesville — and in 2017, we measured it in lives and broken families.
In Virginia, McAuliffe is to blame for that.
McAuliffe Doesn’t Actually Care About Violence; Merely What He Gains By Violence
Two things have always bothered me about Charlottesville 2017.
First, that the political left never mentions that three people died that day. Yes, we all know the name of Heather Heyer.
But you never see the left or the media mention Jay Cullen and Berke Bates.
They don’t mention Cullen or Bates because they were Virginia State Police officers who died in the line of duty.
That leads me to the second thing that has bothered me ever since.
It is whispered among the men and women in blue, but as in most things, you have to find someone who actually gives a damn to read about it.
You Know Why These Two VSP Troopers Died?
Simple — McAuliffe wanted his photo op:
For a press conference, folks.
This from the same Terry McAuliffe backed by leftists who seek to Defund The Police while intentionally placing them in the way of harm.
For a press conference.
Tell me how any reasonable observer doesn’t come to the direct conclusion that Terry McAuliffe — in pursuit of a photo opportunity — didn’t put those men’s lives on the line in a helicopter with maintenance issues so profound the company involved was finally dismissed in 2020.
Defund the police — eh?
The widows of the two slain VSP officers are suing the Commonwealth of Virginia for $50 million thanks to Terry McAuliffe’s rush to treat every crisis as a press opportunity — and another leftist bar tab stapled to the backs of Virginia taxpayers.
No Law Enforcement Officer Should Be Asked To Risk Their Lives In The Execution of Our Laws
What bothers me about all of this — J6, S24, C’ville ‘17 or today — is that too many people seem willing to take law into their own hands as if every issue were exceptional and an existential crisis.
Of course, you have to love the hypocrisy of Democrats who simultaneously seek to defund the police while bemoaning our heroes with US Capitol Police — who then turn around and spit on them whenever the mood suits them.
That’s why you pick up the tab and say thank you when you see LEOs at the restaurant, folks.
Yet it also strikes me that Republicans — when we cheer the riots of January 6th — are putting ourselves at odds with two concepts.
First and foremost, that LEOs are in service to the law — our laws. Like politicians and lawyers, not all LEOs are good. Yet the vast majority go into the profession out of a duty to serve their communities and protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is a boring job, but precisely because we do not take laws into our own hands, this fragile little thing we civilization requires the enforcement of good laws.
Second and perhaps more sublime? Good citizens do not require laws — bad citizens will never be constrained by them.
“Laws are made to instruct the good, and in the hope that there may be no need of them; also to control the bad, whose hardness of heart will not be hindered from crime.”
— Plato, The Laws (Book IX)
I would submit that the reason why we live with so many laws isn’t because we have so many lawyers, but rather because we simply don’t know how to live with one another anymore — or better still, we can’t live and let live. Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff seems like the basis of any good society, but we can’t even do that anymore.
So here is my parting thought on all of this.
They can rename our holidays — but only if we let them.
“I forbade worthless things being given to them, such as bits of broken bowls, pieces of glass, and old straps, although they were as much pleased to get them as if they were the finest jewels in the world. Even bits of the broken hoops of wine casks they accepted, and gave in return what they had, like fools, and it seemed wrong to me. I forbade it, and gave a thousand good and pretty things that I had to win their love and to induce them to become Christians, and to love and serve their Highnesses and the whole Castilian nation, and help to get for us things they have in abundance, which are necessary to us.”
— Christopher Columbus, Letter to the Sovereigns (1493)
Allow me to make the case.
Christopher Columbus was a great man. Not a good man who did some bad things but was on the balance good, not an evil colonialist who pillaged and plundered the riches of a foreign peoples. Columbus was not only a good man who aspired to holiness in a broken world, but deplored the excesses of both worlds both New and Old.
Now before folks come in with their buts and ands, let’s remind one another that the 15th century Castilian world that Columbus brought to the New World was by no means a Shangri-la. Nor was the New World some sort of egalitarian paradise whose only experience of violence came at the hands of the conquistadors. In fact, the New World was a world where the propitiation of the gods required something far more violent and cruel than anything encountered in the Christian West:
In fact, in 1487 to celebrate a great victory over their enemies, the Aztecs slaughtered 84,000 people during the course of four days:
“[The Aztecs were] a culture obsessed with death: they believed that human sacrifice was the highest form of karmic healing. When the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan was consecrated in 1487 the Aztecs recorded that 84,000 people were slaughtered in four days. Self-sacrifice was common and individuals would pierce their ears, tongues and genitals to nourish the floors of temples with their blood. Unsurprisingly, there is evidence that Mexico was already suffering from a demographic crisis before the Spanish arrived.”
No world needed a Christ more.
The Liberation of Two Continents From Human Sacrifice
“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in clear form.”
— Albert Einstein, Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen defending Bertand Russell’s appointment (1940)
One of my more favorite observations is that in most societies, you can have liberty or equality — but you cannot have both. One can only see the valleys and peaks from the lowest or highest points, but an equality becomes a featureless plain.
No small wonder why we destroy the statues of our heroes. No small wonder why we are unworthy of such heroes when we fail to defend them.
Columbus did not put a stop to the violence of the Aztecs and Incas, though he certainly set the stage to end the regime of human sacrifice. Other Spanish conquistadores would have the privilege of doing so, replacing the sclerotic and pagan emperors of old with the Spanish encomienda — the only known system that enslaved and then liberated an entire people without the need for revolutionary violence. Indeed, the Spanish government itself was pressured by late Jesuit scholastics such as Luis de Molina to do precisely this.
The political left likes to remind others that the arc of history bends towards justice, as if progress itself were a god to be propitiated by the blood and sacrifice of fellow revolutionaries.
For some reason, this courtesy is never extended to the Christian West under any form — whether it is the Spanish conquistadores, the defense of Christendom against Moors and Turks during the Crusades, the crowning achievements of the Enlightenment, the spread of the demokratia or the defense of human freedom during three world wars — First, Second and Cold.
The Racism Of The Elizabethan “Black Legend”
So why is it that progressives seem to genuinely hate Christopher Columbus? Why is it that they repeat all of the so-called savagery of Spanish imperialism while evading the role of what Virginius Dabney so aptly referred to as “that cargo of witchburners” dumped upon the shores of Plymouth Rock in 1620?
The roots of this progressive hate has much more to do with Puritanical racism against the Spanish — and a healthy dose of anti-Catholicism — than they would care to admit publicly.
New England hostility towards the Cavalier spirit has enjoyed a good 400-year run; its virility demonstrated in the rhetoric of woke progressives against the sensibilities of conservatives and traditionalists alike.
At core is the worst sort of tyranny — those who simply know better.
Virginians have been treated to this Puritanical sentiment recently when Terry McAuliffe said the quiet part out loud regarding whether parents ought to have a say in the education of their children.
The Elizabethans were no different. Not because Elizabeth I had any actual animosity towards Catholics during her reign. At least, not until they tried to kill her, send Jesuit assassins, and nearly landed a Spanish-Flemish army on the coast of southern England in an attempt to overthrow the Tudor dynasty.
Instead, the Elizabethans took up both pen and sword and pushed back the Spanish along every front. Columbus among them wasn’t just evil — he was also a suspected Jew. Spanish conquistadores in league with Jesuits raped and plundered the New World in sharp contrast to the Anglo-Saxon Anglicans who sought to build Jerusalem on the shores of the North Atlantic.
Yet it did not matter that Columbus et al. brought Christianity to the New World. Nor did it matter that the old religions of the Aztec Empire and Incan Empire with their propitiation of the gods through human sacrifice would lie dormant for 350 years until the rise of new secular gods.
All that mattered was that a political narrative could fit a political agenda.
What Columbus Day Means To Catholic Immigrants and Why It Is Important Moving Forward
Of course, that political narrative of America as a uniquely Protestant nation continues to feed our present day perspectives — to a point.
One almost strains themselves to point out that religious freedom flourished in a Protestant America in a way that it could never thrive in Catholic countries.
Yet the Catholic Church — and Catholic immigrants — flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries precisely because the American system allowed total freedom to build hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, their own associations such as the Knights of Columbus, their own labor unions, aid agencies, charitable institutions and finally their own gravesites.
By one I mean me.
Yet the debate still raged. Can Catholics be good Catholics and good Americans if our loyalties — according to the Black Legend — remained to Rome and not Washington?
McAuliffe may not think parents have much to say regarding the education of their children, but parents might have a thing or two to say about McAuliffe.
Funny thing about polling is that they are all snapshots of the past. Let something happen, give the environment enough time to acclimate to the new thing, survey a sample of the general population and then publish the results a few days later — a 7-10 day process if you do it right.
One can get quick answers or accurate answers — but not both.
With McAuliffe’s gaffe now demonstrable for all to see, somehow no one bothered to poll the state interposing itself between parents and their children as a bad idea. The result at present? Four points between the RCP averages and the Emerson data:
McAuliffe leads with women 51% to 45%, while Youngkin leads with men 50% to 46%. McAuliffe also leads among Black voters (72% to 25%), while Youngkin leads among White voters (53% to 45%) and Hispanic voters (55% to 45%).
Want to know the last Republican governor who got 25% of the black vote?
Remember back in June when TRS readers learned that the best move forward would be to imitate Jim Gilmore’s strategy for victory?
[I]f we’re looking for a model governor who actually reached out to black communities and build the coalition Youngkin is reaching for 20 years before its time?
Then you are looking for Governor Jim Gilmore.
. . . .
Gilmore followed through with a robust support of HBCUs and a robust fight within his own party about keeping his promise to end the universally hated car tax where Virginia Republicans ultimately came up short — a promise still unfulfilled, but certainly remembered by taxpayers disproportionately hurt by the highly regressive tax burden every six months.
At present, the former ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is still a potent and remembered force for many Virginia Republicans — and can still deliver a stemwinder of a speech.
For Virginians looking for a path forward in a tight political environment, Gilmore’s conservative optimism linked with grassroots populism was far ahead of its time — a known quality among those who respected his work on behalf of minority communities as equals and peers.
To wit, former Governor Doug Wilder has been relentless in his criticism that McAuliffe simply hasn’t done enough to pay attention to minority voters — period.
Youngkin may not have committed to a full repeal of the car tax — a more tricky move than one might think given the way it is linked to local government — but he did counter with a full repeal of the hated grocery tax. Pennies to be sure, but a moral imperative if there ever was one.
The Political Class vs. The Rest Of Us
The inestimable Jim Bacon sees it as well over at Bacon’s Rebellion — or rather, the revolt against the so-called (and aptly named) political class:
When I use the term “political class,” I am thinking not only of elected officials and senior government officials in policy-making decisions but the panoply of people working for trade associations, advocacy groups, lobbying firms, campaign consultancies and others whose make their livelihoods getting people elected, influencing public opinion, and shaping laws and regulations.
. . . .
To the extent that the political class extracts wealth from society through what economists refer to as rent seeking, it is similar to the old landowning aristocracies of Europe whose nobles performed no useful economic function. Admittedly, it is a different kind of aristocracy. Status is not conferred by birth. Status and power are largely earned — although, to be sure, family connections and wealth give some budding redistributors a head start over others.
. . . .
In Virginia today, Democrats and their factotums and allies comprise the ruling class. They are raising taxes, re-engineering the energy economy under the guise of combating climate change, using the institutions of K-12 and higher education to pit racial “oppressors” against their “victims,” and cleansing the culture of traditional icons and memorials. I sometimes call them “rulers” because many of the changes they are imposing on the country have not come about as a result of the legislative process. To an increasing degree, change is driven by regulatory action, lawsuits, and mob rule.
Bacon makes an excellent point by expanding ruling to political, one that Donald Trump touched on in the revolt of the deplorables in 2016 against the cubicle dwelling elites represented by the Clintonistas whose reductionist arguments grated against a working class who saw their jobs shipped overseas only to be told that the values that made America great were disposable in the new tomorrow.
The new frontier is entirely ideological, sharp and a Hobbesian war of all against all.
Yet if the new politics is to be defined as the institutions vs. the institutionalized, one doesn’t have to peek too far around the corner — Vaclav Havel comes to mind — to see how this is ultimately going to end.
Ideas Have Consequences
Of course, this new coalition Bacon detects reminds one of the perhaps not so old libertarian-populist coalition that Ted Cruz attempted to forge in 2016 before he was steamrolled by Trump-style — and by extension, Bannon-style — American nationalism, which was much more of a traditionalist project if it could be discerned to have a core at all.
Neither of these approaches are anything close to the old Reaganism consisting of pro-life, pro-2A, limited government and defense hawk conservatives that we have traditionally defined as the conservative movement in America — much less the disciples of Jack Kemp or acolytes of Newt Gingrich.
In fact, some aspects of both of these coalitions were opposed by the old libertarian-conservative fusionism of Reagan, Goldwater and Buckley — the “dead consensus” criticized by the likes of Sohrab Ahmari that has evolved into the now-classic French-Ahmari debates.
Yet here’s the key.
Trump didn’t have to define what he believed to the American public. All we knew and understood was that there was a coalition of the ascendant that simply knew better than the rest of us — because they flatly told us so.
So working class America put a middle finger right into the air and told Hillary to pound sand. Trump’s ideological core — to some degree much like Reagan’s — was excavated only after the fact and during his second term.
By the way, did we mention that Biden’s approval ratings are at 38% and that the congressional generic ballot is R+3? Which means we might be in D+2 territory in Virginia — either way, the opposite of good news for McAuliffe.
Of course, four weeks is an eternity in politics. With government shutdowns looming and dirty campaigning everywhere — I’m sure it will be entertaining so long as Biden remains in the low-to-mid 40s.
Much closer than the Democrats would prefer.
Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.