In what may be the most obvious statement of the year, the United States is not united anymore. The year 2020 has shown that even the most basic things like health care during a pandemic and order on American streets will be used and manipulated for political advantage by the left. We have reached a point where it appears there is literally nothing on which the globalist left and ordinary Americans can agree. In many places where the left controls legal levers of power, those tools are used not only to shield leftist rioters inflicting violence and destruction on the community, but to bring the full weight of the law against those resisting the mob. The openly political weaponization of legal processes at every level is a strong indicator that the American experiment has entered the terminal stage.
Whether it's blocking highways, looting businesses, destroying public property or attacking police, a remarkable feature of news reporting on these events is the low number of arrests, if any, considering there are often hundreds or thousands of participants openly violating the law and frequently making videos of themselves doing so. There appears to be no fear of arrest or prosecution. In the event a rioter is arrested, he is released on bond or no charges are filed – so the rioter is quickly back on the streets to inflict mayhem.
While there have been several recent examples across the U.S. of citizens being prosecuted for defending themselves against a mob, the case of St. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey is a case study in what appears to many Americans as brazen weaponization of the criminal justice system to enable and encourage leftist rioters. In June, the Democratic St. Louis circuit attorney released all rioters arrested the previous two nights in violent protests in her city. A few weeks later, a crowd of rioters broke down the gate of a private community and entered, shouting death threats at residents. The McCloskeys retrieved their lawfully owned firearms and came outside their home in a demonstration that they were prepared to defend their home and property. This week the circuit attorney announced her intent to file charges against the couple for unlawful use of a weapon. This in spite of the fact Missouri Gov. Mike Parson vowed to pardon the couple if they were charged and convicted.
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In a similar situation in Michigan, Eric and Jillian Wuestenberg were followed to their car by an angry group demanding an apology for being "bumped" into, and screaming threats to physically assault them. When they tried to leave, their vehicle was physically blocked from driving away. Forced into a confrontation and prevented from leaving, the couple unholstered their lawfully owned firearms and demanded the group stay away from them. Like the McCloskeys, the Wuestenbergs face felonies for displaying their weapons in a confrontation they didn't initiate nor want any part of. In both cases, those initiating the confrontations and videoing themselves making violent threats are portrayed by Democratic prosecutors as victims.
Examples of motorists being charged by local Democratic prosecuting authorities for escaping mobs intentionally blocking traffic are too numerous to list here. But the pattern is repeated: Those violating the law and initiating confrontations are portrayed by leftists in the legal system and the media as "peaceful protesters" or innocent victims of the targets of their harassment.
As authorities in Portland have allowed that city to descend into chaos, Washington officials have dispatched federal law enforcement to protect federal buildings, courthouses and federal workers inside those structures from violent mobs. As with the individual cases mentioned above, Democratic officials describe the criminals arrested on federal charges as innocent people being "kidnapped" by anonymous "stormtroopers". As with the McCloskeys and the Wuestenbergs, video of the events greatly differs from how they are portrayed by the left.
The common denominator is liberals giving effective legal immunity for leftist mobs, no matter how heinous their crimes.
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The legal system, which was designed to be politically neutral, has devolved into simply another front in partisan politics. Democrats have spent President Trump's entire first term issuing subpoenas, investigating, demanding documents and dragging the administration through a silly impeachment process. Trump ally Roger Stone was prosecuted and convicted for lying in an investigation where investigators knew the subject of their investigation was not true. Stone only avoided prison as a result of the president exercising his authority to commute his sentence.
The left's abuse of the law has touched most Americans during the coronavirus panic, either through state or local business shutdowns, mask mandates or school closures. The obvious partisan nature of coronavirus restrictions is most apparent, though, when officials specifically exempt protesters. This after Democrats demonized ordinary Americans for demonstrating to end the shutdowns, then joined leftist protesters in violating their own emergency orders against gathering in large crowds.
Leftist violence has shown society to be remarkably fragile. Our civilization depends on people observing norms and respecting authority. When violent Marxist mobs are given a green light, or even encouraged, to ignore those norms, and legal authorities signal to the mobs they can operate without fear of prosecution and will even assist them by legally harassing anyone defending themselves, the result is the chaos and violence we now have across America.
When citizens' treatment in a court of law depends on how useful they are in advancing a political agenda, it is a red flag that a foundational element of our civilization is crumbling. Once a building block has been smashed, it is impossible to reassemble. The next question is: What we are going to build with the gravel?