Another piece from CRC senior vice president Matthew Vadum today, this time a long-form column on the sanctimonious, overwrought media backlash against Donald Trump’s “Second Amendment people”quip. The media seems to think people who support gun rights aren’t allowed to be politically active.
Here is the American Thinker article:
Political Violence: Trump’s 2nd Amendment People vs. Hillary’s ‘Activists’
According to the media echo chamber, it is Donald Trump who is leading a potentially violent mob. Until we look leftward…
by Matthew Vadum
Republican nominee Donald Trump is being lynched for allegedly encouraging violence against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump did no such thing, but left-wingers don’t care. Their rigid narrative demands that Trump be depicted as a malicious ogre who wants his opponent whacked.
This is yet another controversy invented by the mainstream media which delights in collecting the heads of those who challenge political correctness and the rotten status quo. It is also a testament to the resilience of those same sniveling supplicants to power who define deviancy down daily, making their living lying about and publicly rationalizing the behavior of evil people.
This election cycle, as in all election cycles, the violence overwhelmingly emanates from the Left, not the Right. Conservatives don’t enjoy assaulting people over politics; progressives and many liberals live for it.
And when they can’t get their hands on their real-world enemies, left-wingers kill them in other ways. It wasn’t conservatives who blazed a trail by putting out a 2006 movie called Death of a President that used special effects to depict the fictionalized assassination of George W. Bush, at the time a sitting U.S. president.
In those rare instances in which Trump supporters have used physical force against anti-Trump activists, it tends to be in a specific social context where the anti-Trump person is violating social norms. If a Trump fan takes a swing at a Trump hater who is disrupting a rally, the fan’s attempted battery cannot be justified, but the hater’s earlier attempt to violate Trump’s right to speak, and his audience’s right to peaceably assemble and listen, is also not excusable.
There is no right to silence law-abiding people or prevent them from getting involved in the democratic process. When so-called protesters try to bring about a desired political result by frightening people, this amounts to terrorism. Terrorism, broadly speaking, isn’t always about blowing up buildings, killing people, or even overthrowing a government. It can also consist of activity intended to frighten, demoralize, or neutralize an enemy — in other words, it is a species of psychological warfare.
The Department of Defense agrees. The DOD Dictionary of Military Terms defines terrorism as
The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence, often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs, to instill fear and coerce governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are usually political.
That definition seems to cover Trump-haters roughing up Trump fans. It also covers what the activist Left, especially community organizers, do every day in America. The now-defunct 400,000-member Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had close ties to, was the largest domestic terrorist organization of all time.
Clinton and her husband worked closely with the street thugs and criminals of ACORN on many projects.
Speaking at ACORN’s 2006 national convention, Mrs. Clinton looked back fondly on her memories of ACORN’s early days in Arkansas. (ACORN began in 1970 as the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now.) She noted she founded a group called Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families that dealt with many of the same issues ACORN focused on and hailed ACORN as a group of vision. “I thank you for being part of that great movement, that progressive tradition that has rolled across our country.” Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., Clinton said, “Let’s move it forward, let’s be drum majors for justice.”
The community organizers Clinton adores and politically motivated violence are inseparable.
Remember that the then-Hillary Rodham wrote her senior thesis in college on Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky who was so impressed with her he offered her a job. It may well not go too far to characterize them as good friends. The two corresponded for the rest of Alinsky’s life.
Alinsky’s writing bursts with violent imagery. In his 1946 book, Reveille for Radicals, he wrote that the radical “hits, he hurts, he is dangerous.” Radicals, he proclaimed, “are most adept at breaking the necks of conservatives.” Alinsky acknowledges that violence is inevitable in the revolutionary struggle. “The radical may resort to the sword but when he does he is not filled with hatred against those individuals whom he attacks,” he wrote. “He hates these individuals not as persons but as symbols representing ideas or interests which he believes to be inimical to the welfare of the people.” An Alinsky-style community organizer is like a mobster who tells his prey, “It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business,” before shooting him in the heart.
Alinsky didn’t reject violence — far from it — he simply believed it wasn’t always the best course of action. The nonviolent civil disobedience practiced by the civil rights movement is one means to an end, but it’s not always the best means, according to Alinsky. “The future does not argue for making a special religion of nonviolence,” he writes. “It will be remembered for what it was, the best tactic for its time and place.”
Alinsky protégé Nicholas von Hoffman didn’t even try to hide his former boss’s enthusiasm for violence. In a memoir he wrote that in public Alinsky shied away from praising violence but in private “he would say that violence has its uses.” The community organizing guru approved of, for example, “conking” picket line crossers on the head, von Hoffman admitted.
Community organizers are Hillary Clinton’s people, probably even more than they are Barack Obama’s.
But according to the media echo chamber it is Donald Trump who is leading a potentially violent mob.
Journalists and #NeverTrumpers refuse to recognize that Trump wants to defend the Second Amendment, while Clinton wants to blow its brains out and drag the corpse behind her around town. And it is Clinton, not Trump, who is aligned with the thugs of organized labor and the violent community organizers who have been bloodying candidates’ supporters this election cycle. (For more on union violence and the threat of it, read Kevin Mooney’s Labor Watch report on the many ways labor leaders have succeeded in having union-approved violence made exempt from the laws that punish the rest of us.)
Let’s look at what actually happened at the Trump rally in Wilmington, N.C. on Tuesday.
The GOP standard-bearer revved up the crowd by talking about gun rights.
“So here, I just wrote this down today. Hillary wants to raise taxes – it’s a comparison. I want to lower them. Hillary wants to expand regulations, which she does bigly. Can you believe that? I will reduce them very, very substantially, could be as much as 70 to 75 percent. Hillary wants to shut down energy production. I want to expand it. Lower electric bills, folks!” Trump said.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said, speaking truth to power, to borrow a leftist expression. “By the way, and if she gets to pick,” he said to boos, “if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.” The anti-Hillary booing continued. “Although the Second Amendment people – maybe there is, I don’t know. But, but I’ll tell you what. That will be a horrible day, if – if – Hillary gets to put her judges on.”
Most media outlets dishonestly edited out crucial context, banishing the phrase at the end, “if – if – Hillary gets to put her judges on.”
Journalists responded to this nothingburger of a standard conservative talking point as if Trump had created a new TV show called “Who Wants To Be An Assassin?”
The liars at the New York Times reported that Trump “appeared to raise the possibility that gun rights supporters could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who favor stricter gun control measures to the bench.”
Other journalists, including those who haven’t quite mastered the English language, are, unsurprisingly, lying about what he said.
In the print version of a grammatically-challenged Washington Post front-page story Wednesday (“Trump decried for gun remark,” by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Sean Sullivan), the newspaper reported that Trump critics accused him of “inciting his followers to bear arms against a sitting president.” If Trump said anything about President Obama in the relevant passage I must have missed it.
CBS2 New York’s Dana Tyler said Tuesday that Trump “seemed to infer [sic] gun owners could direct violence towards her.” (Tyler seems not to understand the difference between implying and inferring.)
On Twitter, the world’s largest party line, Ali Vitali of NBC News claimed to know exactly what Trump meant by his temporally ambiguous statement. At 5:48 p.m. on Tuesday she tweeted “Here’s where this breaks down: [statement] makes ballot box argument; Trump’s comment was if she gets elected, so after[.]”
Given Trump’s loose, conversational way of speaking, and his habit of somewhat manically jumping around from topic to topic, betting the house that Trump meant specifically that “Second Amendment people” would rise up after the election and only after the election and do Lord knows what isn’t a wager a rational person would want to make. Besides, as anyone who has been following the news recently knows, “Second Amendment people” are already acutely aware of the danger that Clinton poses to the Bill of Rights and to the right to keep and bear arms in particular. (And law-abiding gun owners aren’t generally the people committing violent crimes in this country.)
PolitiFact, amazingly enough, agrees with me on the lack in clarity in Trump’s statement: “Trump’s rather elliptical words certainly left room for interpretation.”
But in the fever swamps of the leftist mind there is only one acceptable explanation for Trump’s choice of words: the GOP candidate was urging the assassination of his opponent, a would-be president.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook huffed, “This is simple – what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”
(Mook didn’t mention that, according to the flawed thought processes that plague leftists, Clinton urged in May 2008 that Barack Obama be killed as the two fought it out in the primaries. Rational people know that Clinton didn’t do it but she did inartfully suggest Obama could yet be killed and therefore she should stay in the race. Specifically, she referenced Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination at roughly the same late stage of the primaries in June 1968 as a reason for not ending her campaign. Leftist Keith Olbermann, then at MSNBC, ranted in a commentary addressed to Clinton: “You actually used the word ‘assassination’ in a time when there is a fear, unspoken but vivid and terrible, that our again troubled land and fractured political landscape might target a black man running for president or a white man or a white woman.”)
Apoplexy and obnoxious phony indignation spread across the fruited plain like lightning.
Instead of forever hiding his head in shame for the obvious hit job on George W. Bush that ended his career years ago, disgraced former journalist Dan Rather denounced Trump for inventing this new demographic group, Second Amendment people, whose members may now take their seats in the political science hall of fame alongside soccer moms, hockey moms, national security moms, angry white males, helicopter parents, mama grizzlies, and NASCAR dads.
“No trying-to-be objective and fair journalist, no citizen who cares about the country and its future can ignore what Donald Trump said today,” Rather pontificated on Facebook because nobody watches him on tiny little AXS TV. “When he suggested that ‘The Second Amendment People’ can stop Hillary Clinton he crossed a line with dangerous potential. By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics. This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival. It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law. If any other citizen had said this about a Presidential candidate, would the Secret Service be investigating?”
Rather was restrained compared to the concern-trolling columnist Thomas L. Friedman who suffered a meltdown on the pages of the New York Times:
People are playing with fire here, and there is no bigger flamethrower than Donald Trump. Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land – unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again.
Friedman is less concerned with President Obama’s praise of the violent, racist Black Lives Matter movement which the Democratic National Committee has formally endorsed.
Nor is he concerned that Obama and Clinton have long advocated political violence in a stealthy Alinskyite way. You can’t, for example, send an official White House delegation to the funeral of would-be cop-killer Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., as Obama did, without sending Americans an unmistakable message.
You also can’t condemn the murder of police officers and then later in the same speech suggest their murderers had a valid point because, after all, cops are racists who shoot blacks as part of government-sanctioned death squads. However, the DNC did precisely that in 2015 approving a resolution praising Black Lives Matter and blaming police across America for “the unacceptable epidemic of extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men, women and children at the hands of police[.]” In an obscene spectacle, Democrats honored the mothers of would-be murderers Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown at their convention in Philadelphia. Of course Obama and Clinton make the point a little less baldly than the DNC.
Obama is expert at bouncing between rhetorical reverence for nonviolent action and a refusal to condemn violent activism, which amounts to endorsing violent activism. Obama pronounces the activist’s cause just and the rest follows. No matter how terrible the political violence perpetrated, if Obama agrees with those perpetrating it, he soothingly rationalizes the evil conduct away.
When Obama showed up at a memorial service for five Dallas police officers slain by black supremacist Micah Xavier Johnson, the media didn’t condemn Obama for lecturing Dallas cops and the murdered men’s widows about how racist Dallas law enforcement officers are.
If we’re honest, perhaps we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism’s burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination’s sting. Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this.
To reiterate, at an event intended to honor police murdered by a racist cop-hater, Obama chose to slander cops as racist, placing them on the same moral footing as their killer. “Insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals,” said the king of chutzpah.
The next day Obama upped the ante further by hosting leaders of Black Lives Matter, whose members demand the murder of cops, at the White House. Still, very few in the media could be bothered to criticize the president.
Clinton is much less adept at threading this rhetorical needle but she tries very hard. Last month she told the NAACP’s annual convention that “systemic racism” is running amok in the U.S. She condemned cop-killing, promising that “as president, I will bring the full weight of the law to bear and [make] sure those who kill police officers are brought to justice. There can be no justification, no looking the other way.”
But it’s still cops’ fault, she implied. Racist cops have made black Americans distrustful of authorities, she said, and this official police racism must end. “And perhaps the best way to honor our police is to follow the lead of police departments across the country who are striving to do better.”
“The deaths of Alton [Sterling] and Philando [Castile],” Clinton claimed, “drove home how urgently we need to make reforms to policing and criminal justice… how we cannot rest until we root out implicit bias and stop the killings of African-Americans.”
Trump isn’t buying any of this leftist cop-hating nonsense. At the Republican National Convention he said America is being overrun by “violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities.”
“I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end. Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored. The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
James Madison couldn’t have said it better.
Investigative reporter Matthew Vadum (personal website under construction) is senior vice president at America’s investigative think tank, Capital Research Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports free, fair elections and does not endorse political candidates. Vadum played a supporting role in killing President Obama’s favorite community organizing group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. He is author of the popular ACORN/Obama expose, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers. Follow him on Twitter. E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.