They are coming. Yes, for you too.
The attempt of America’s ruling class to convict 455 persons of “armed insurrection”—i.e. of waging war against the United States, a species of treason—for protesting insufficient scrutiny of the 2020 election on January 6 in the Capitol, while at the same time it excuses and even cheers the burning and looting of courthouses, police stations, and downtowns all over America, is not the exercise of a “double standard.”
The people in and out of government who do this are not corrupt. Instead, acting as part of the regime—the oligarchy—they are replacing the American republic and waging war to crush its remains.
The sooner Americans realize that we are being governed by people at war with our Constitution and contemptuous of ourselves, the sooner those people may be treated as the enemies they are.
Today’s Justice Department, acting as part and parcel of the oligarchy that calls itself “our democracy” has pushed partisanship to the point of war by one regime in favor of another. Inevitably, this has created the horrid reality of political prisoners among us—people who are being punished for supporting the republic against the oligarchy. When regimes war on each other, whose side you are on becomes the practical definition of justice.
The Bill of Rights has long since applied to the states. Erasing the distinction between what had been public and private, between the powers of those in political office and those of corporations, institutions, etc., is oligarchy’s essence.
Arguably, the imposition of very cruel penalties on persons out of step with people and institutions that are part of the ruling oligarchy is contemporary America’s most prominent feature. These include deletion of careers and livelihoods, public imputations of racism, etc. They amount to something like outlawry.
And for what, specifically? Loud and clear is the ruling narrative: “our democracy” is under armed assault by hordes of white supremacists who lurk throughout society, ready to unleash another, deadlier version of January 6. But the reality is that “trespassing is still only trespassing.”
To keep this reality in context, one might recall Arlo Guthrie’s hilarious 1967 song “Alice’s Restaurant,” the saga of a hippie arrested for dumping trash, whom the legal system throws in with “all kinds of mean nasty ugly looking people…Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father rapers!…nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me!…And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest Father raper of them all…he said, ‘What were you arrested for, kid?’ And I said, ‘Littering.’ And they all moved away from me.”
Humor and irony, however, are powerless against the logic of warring regimes. The oligarchs are not fooling around. Appealing to the Constitution can only increase their determination to bury its remnants under the administrative powers it creates or enhances. This is a regime alien and inimical to ours.
That is good as well as bad news. The good aspect of it is that we who swear to uphold the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic owe no allegiance whatever to the oligarchy that now runs this country. Nor can we persuade them about right and wrong. If we are to avoid becoming the oligarchy’s mere subjects we can and must treat them as the enemies they are: deny their legitimacy, and rebuild the republic amongst those of us who love it.
All fine and well, I suppose. On the other hand: when The Power marches forth its men at arms, as it most assuredly will, under orders to deny us our God-given right to “depart from (them) in peace,” wishing upon our antagonists no farewell more onerous or threatening than that “posterity (may) forget that you were our countrymen”…well, what then? Can there possibly be a man among us so dewey-eyed and hopeful that he still cherishes the delusion that we will be permitted to “rebuild the republic amongst those of us who love it” by people who have so doggedly worked to destroy it utterly, and erase all trace of its existence?
“Rebuild the republic”? How? Where? Most importantly, to what end? Our forefathers built the original version fully alive to the sacrifice the project would require of them. They expected the cost of the former Republic’s construction to be quite dear—a cost tallied in blood, personal ruin, and death—and paid that bill without flinching nonetheless. Are we, their inheritors, really so foolish as to hope that we might somehow be spared the exaction of a similar price? Is there any reason to think that construction costs have dropped over the long years, rather than rising steeply as time passed?
The maintenance and upkeep which was our sacred duty was neglected, gradually causing the House of Liberty to fall into a state of near-ruin. The inevitable process of disintegration, however, was not entirely a natural one. It was endlessly helped along by the very ones from whom some of us now seem to expect bland forebearance as we go about the business of undoing the damage they intentionally wrought. Sorry, not bloody likely. Nations, most of them anyway, are brought forth not in peace, good will, and charity, but in violence and bloodshed.
Codevilla’s perception is as crystal clear as ever, and his closing prescription isn’t necessarily invalidated by the last-lap failure to look the problem squarely in the face. But still. The question for which the world awaits an answer, at this point, isn’t really about the advisability or practicality of this or that specific course of action. No, the question that truly matters today is the eternal one confronted by our most honorable Founders: whether or not their rightful heirs will flinch.