The growing groundswell of resentment

Fred Reed, whom we’ve met in these pages many times before, puts his finger on the pulse of much of the nation in his latest column.  I think he’s very accurate in his summation.  Here’s an excerpt.

The furor over the Confederate flag, think I, has little to do with the Confederate flag, which is a pretext, an uninvolved bystander. Rather it is about a seething anger in the United States that we must not mention. It is the anger of people who see everything they are and believe under attack by people they aren’t and do not want to be—their heritage, their religion, their values and way of life all mocked and even made criminal.

The talking heads inside Washington’s beltway, in editorial suites in New York, do not know of this anger. They do not talk to people in Joe’s Bar in Chicago or in barbecue joints in Wheeling. They are cloistered, smug, sure of themselves. And they are asking for it.

We are dealing with things visceral, not rational. Confusing the two is dangerous. Hatreds can boil over as syllogisms cannot.

. . .

What is the anger about? Most visibly, but far from uniquely, race: the illegals, the Knock-Out game, and Washington’s protection of both. The racial hostility that pervades the country today is largely the doing of the talking heads and its perverse social policies. The rancor is unlike anything I have seen.

. . .

It wasn’t this way, but it is now. It is getting worse. But there is far more than race.  We now are compelled to live in a national sexual-freak show. Day after day after day the media are full of trans-this and trans-that, of homosexual marriages, all thrust in our faces, a parade of prancing peculiarities demanding and demanding and demanding. People who dare not say so are sick of it.

. . .

And crime is out of control, protected by a President and Attorney General with whom we, so many Americans,  have nothing in common, who dislike us,  and who want to disarm us and flood our country with illegal and incompatible aliens.

. . .

Then there is the de-Christianizing of the country. Religion, both historically and currently, is a potent thing. Play with it at your risk.

. . .

Stoking the flames under the pressure cooker is the unending, ever-tightening control of every aspect of life by Washington. People inside the city’s beltway, a venue I know well, do not understand what they are playing with. They are sure that they know best, and they are going to make us toe the line.

. . .

What if one day we don’t?

There’s much more at the link.  Highly recommended reading.

I think Fred is on to something very important.  I’ve seen similar reactions from many people I know and like – a growing determination to do as they see fit with their lives and their children’s lives, to simply ignore Washington DC’s dictates and spit in their eye if they try to insist.  I know individuals who’ve said to me openly that they’re ready to start shooting if any Federal government bureaucrat tries to intrude any further into their lives.  Admittedly, these are people who’ve had to deal with such intrusions on a far larger scale than most of us (farmers, small business owners, etc.), but their anger and frustration are palpable.  The thought that a business can be punished because its owners insist on running it in accordance with their religious principles is anathema to them.  They’ve reached a point of refusing to go along with Big Brother any longer.

This is the basic difference between statists and libertarians.  Statists believe that government is the answer.  Just pass more laws, more regulations, more administrative measures, and you can sort out society.  Libertarians regard government as the problem.  They want to minimize its invasiveness, regulate only what’s absolutely necessary, and let people make up their own minds about the rest.  Statists believe that what is not explicitly permitted, is forbidden.  Libertarians believe that what is not explicitly forbidden, is permitted (which is how our constitution is written, if you take a careful look at it).  I find myself far more in the libertarian camp than the statist.

What if Fred’s right?  What if a growing groundswell of popular opinion and emotion is saying, “So far, but no further!”?  Frankly, I don’t know that we have any alternative if we’re to stop the Washington mafia from forcing yet more unacceptable measures down our throats.  Even more than debate over the Confederate battle flag or gay marriage, I suspect the current push for immigration reform (which might be better described as “surrender to illegal aliens”) may be a turning-point for many.  I’m a legal immigrant myself, but when I see our infrastructure overwhelmed by illegals, their crimes multiplying like weeds, their pressure on our society disrupting normal everyday existence . . . I say “Enough!”  A lot of people do.  I think this may be the “trigger issue” that finally galvanizes people into action.



  1. I know several folks here in AK (and not a few in MO) who've already cried, "Enough!"

    Some have expressed in private conversation that they will no longer follow any federal laws. One guy even told me that he goes out of his way to "passively break" as many as he can.

    The anger is palpable, and fairly close to the surface. Fred is spot on.

  2. For decades I have had people of the Statist persuasion mock the idea that the Second Amendment is there to keep the State in check. "What are you going to do? Fight tanks with rifles?" they say.

    I have had no luck in making them look hard and long at the history of warfare; which teaches us that artillery and tanks and so forth are wonderful toys, but if you are dealing with really angry people with halfway decent projectile arms (bows will do) you have a serious problem.

    I fear we are about to have an object lesson play out in our country.

    In the first place, the Army is not going to just follow orders. The military is divided, and the really good combat commanders, who have the respect of their troops, are the more conservative. So the number of actual tanks likely to show up to put down a rebellion is open to question.

    The Liberal Establishment has done a lot to create an secondary armed force; over-armed regulators and militarized cops. The good people in this enforces will (if they have any smarts) bow out. The bad ones are probably happy enough to kick in doors, but on the evidence they aren't really all that good with the equipment. Faced with citizens who shoot for a hobby and hunt as an almost religious right of passage, they are in deep trouble.

    It won't end well.

  3. These three things have some relation. If it is proper for the government to force a partial ban of non-governmental speech for one set of crimes, it is proper to force one for others.

    Remember that one gay or gay sympathetic spree killer or attempted spree killer? Obviously the poisonous ideology of gay pride forced someone with no predisposition and no other issues to become a murderer. Retailers need to stop selling symbols of Gay Pride, and municipalities must no longer issue permits for marches.

    As for illegals, we are spoiled for choice of crimes. Anyone with the least bit of effort can find a story about a horrific crime that was, relatively, not pushed by the media and was enabled by terrible immigration policies. I'd note again that the Mexican flag carries a symbol of the Aztec Triple Alliance, which may have exceeded the Confederate States of America in murderous evil. American government has displayed or encouraged or permitted the display of the Mexican flag, and it is no more a stretch to blame that for whatever than it is to blame Roof's choices on Southern state governments for displaying symbols of the Democratic Party.

    Bob the Fool

  4. Describing ordinary people as a freak-show just because they're different is a bit excessive, no? Breaking the Christian stranglehold on the nation's acceptable practices might be a sticking point for Christians, but I can't say I disagree with stripping you of the power to dictate how others live their lives. Last I checked, America wasn't founded on religion, but on freedom from an oppressive institution which the people had no say in. Last I checked, the church was not a government of the people, for the people, or by the people, so I'm pretty sure you don't get to tell people what they can and can't do.

    All that said, the banning of the Confederate Battle Flag is a little… stupid. If anything the flag should be protected, and disrespecting it (such as trying to associate it with shootings etc) should be punishable. I'm also of the opinion that the average citizen should be armed and trained, so much so that I'd advocate a state-funded (if necessary) training program and proficiency testing for all those wishing to carry firearms, and encourage everyone to do so.

    Government needs to butt out of people's lives, over there, and over here too. There's talk that the "snooper's charter" will ban WhatsApp because it uses encrypted communication.

    Hopefully your troubles won't erupt into civil war.

  5. "When groups begin competing for dwindling resources, things will get ugly." is the line that stood out for me.

    People can be patient as long as they can foster the illusion that their piece is getting bigger, that we might be able to grow our way out. Even when it is an illusion, it is an escape from the iron hand of the zero-sum-game.

    Destroy the myth of the ever-increasing-pie and most people who were willing to defer to professional victims will no longer step back.

  6. The whole sexual choice issues doesn't faze me a bit; perhaps it's the libertarian in me–the smallest minority and all that. The imposition of marriage for all may rankle some, but since the government got into the business of licensing (and thus restricting) marriage, then this is a necessary correction. I hope it leads to the end of marriage licenses altogether, although I don't see the government giving up even that small amount of authority.

    Maybe I'm not in the proper position to see it, but the current theme of "Christian persecution" seems overwrought; instead, what is happening may be worse from a religious perspective: Christianity is becoming irrelevant in American governance. The 1st Amendment right of Freedom of religion has an unspoken counterpart–Freedom FROM Religion. There's a county clerk in Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, because it conflicts with his religious values. Well, too damn bad! He's a representative of the state, and his values don't trump the law. If it's a true conflict, he should quit.

    I'm appalled that private businesses are being forced to do business, essentially, with everyone. I'm going to have to go to a restaurant without shirt and shoes and force them to serve me, or else. It may take more (*sigh*) court decisions to stop that crap.

    And while we're on it, it's time to stop this garbage about how the SCOTUS decision was unconstitutional because it goes against what various legislatures and voters wanted. That is part of THEIR JOB, as the third branch of government. Sometimes they go against what the Legislative and Executive branches have enacted. Would you argue that "Brown vs Board of Education" was wrong because the Jim Crow states were against it? Notice they are only called "activist judges" when they decide against your position; otherwise, they are stalwart defenders of the Constitution. Executive Actions by the President? Absolutely unconstitutional, no question. But decisions that have worked their way up through the various state, federal, and appellate courts until they reach the highest court in the land? CONSTITUTIONAL.


  7. I've been reading some of the writings F.J. Stimson, a law professor from the late 19th, early 20th century. I just found a book he developed as notes for his classes at Harvard on the constitutions from Magna Carta to the State constitutions (in 1908). His, and many others from that period, is a refreshing but would today be considered radical view of our "Experiment".

    This, to me,
    is the most wonderful political occurrence in modern history; that
    the people, having (for eleven years from 1776 to 1787) for the first
    time in the history of the world gained all the reins of power, should,
    voluntarily and of their own high intelligence and patriotism, have
    put certain things beyond the power of their own Congress, of their
    own Legislatures, of the very government they were about to create.
    Theirs was the high experiment, to found a nation that should forever
    be without Imperial power; wherein the Bill of Rights, the cardinal
    principles, should be kept from the hands of sovereignty itself,
    and all the powers of autocratic nations, of continental empires
    and kingdoms, should be given neither to Congress nor to Presi-
    dent, but sleep in the lap of the people until they woke to further

    It does seem we may be approaching the time when the people are rousing for "further need". More concerning any rousing may have a religious nature to it. Most people don't know that the various sects of Christianity came to religious freedom, i.e., religion separate from the economic, political and social spheres, via bloody conflict. BTW, the separation of the spheres is modernity.

  8. "I can't say I disagree with stripping {people} of the power to dictate how others live their lives. … I'm pretty sure you don't get to tell people what they can and can't do."

    Nor would I disagree myself, but the problem is that that power is now being unilaterally commandeered by those who want to punish others (and not even all others, but a very specific subgroup; note that there has never been a lawsuit against a Muslim- or Buddhist-owned business) simply for not agreeing with, or wanting to participate in, how they live their lives.

    What is the lawsuit against the Sweet Cakes bakery and the gag order on the Kleins publicly defending their beliefs if it's not a law-backed attempt to "tell people what they can and can't do"?

  9. Replying to Bob the Fool:

    " I'd note again that the Mexican flag carries a symbol of the Aztec Triple Alliance, which may have exceeded the Confederate States of America in murderous evil."

    Your name says it all. Do you actually know – have you ever known – any Southern families with Confederate heritage? How can you back up that "murderous evil" statement? When I hear pontification like that from anyone, I lose interest in any other point he/she might try to make. Why would I believe you know anything about anything else, if you can get that one so far wrong?


  10. Replying to Antibubba:

    "And while we're on it, it's time to stop this garbage about how the SCOTUS decision was unconstitutional because it goes against what various legislatures and voters wanted."

    The decision of SCOTUS was extra-constitutional. The Constitution limits the powers of the federal gov and SCOTUS; the fact that both have taken for themselves authority over issues beyond those limits does not make such actions and/or pronouncements legal. Governments take more power for themselves because they CAN, not because it's the right thing to do.

    This overstepping of bounds is leading us in a direction I don't think we're really going to like. I'm very much afraid things are going to get much uglier, and likely quite bloody; it still doesn't have to be that way, but historically that's usually how these things get sorted out.


  11. From the comments here, it seems like religion is the sticking point here, and not the intrusiveness and significant winnowing of personal liberty which recent court decisions have foisted on us. Gay marriage affects a small population at best, but the legal requirement to accommodate it is a gun pointed at the head of everyone. You can't dictate moral equivalence, no matter how big the barrel of the gun being pointed at the head of the folks in question…
    And yet we're stuck with dealing with a damn symbolic piece of colorful cloth and bakeries and panem et circenses, and not the vital role government has played in making life miserable for most of us, which is the larger picture.

    Maybe because I'm a practicing Catholic, I am never surprised that the US government hates my religious views and rigid moral framework. In other news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. Where I am shocked is at how many of the people who I would expect to be smart enough to complain about now getting subjugated are getting hung up on symbolic encroachments, and not on the big picture. We no longer have representative government, and most of us are too cynical to do more than complain about it, which creates the kicked dog mentality. There is nothing more dangerous than a kicked dog. You forget about it, right up until, after years of neglect and ignoring it, one day it bites your balls off when you're otherwise occupied.

  12. Dylan Roof is a murderer. The full on War against the Confedrate Flag helped by Boehner , Haley, the SJW and Obama had nothing to do with the murders.
    However Roof was alienated and he took out his impotence and rage against a perceived enemy , black Christians who almost convinced him otherwise.

    Christian County clerk in Kentucky is refusing marriage license. The SJW's crossed her line and she is refusing to obey. Roof already crossed the line. Blacks feel they have been unfairly targeted and are taking revenge in knock out games and shooting cops. The liberal agenda is pushing wars against suburbia, gun owners Christians and will they be surprised when it breaks out? Many people are feeling they are pushed to the wall and have nothing to lose. They won't die quietly.

    ISIS recruiting plays on the feelings of alienation and offer glory . Not surprised if more get seduced They are angry and just need to be pointed at enemy. This is very dangerous times.

    It is never a good idea to push people to the wall or cross their line. It is like those that are pushing think people will forever submit. They won't and it will not be pretty and even aimed right.

    Every single person has validity a, right to pride, yet they are being demeaned regularly. Not a godd idea

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