Cowardly Rioters

In the past two years we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of disruption, civil unrest, rioting, and violence carried out by an increasingly unhinged left. This rapid increase first began primarily in the form of riots incited by BLM and other black radical leftist groups. With such riots often being glowingly portrayed and justified by the leftist establishment and media as simply legitimate anti-police backlash. During the crescendo toward the heated presidential election of 2016, this leftist rioting and violence only continued to increase. And it began to include calculated efforts—in conjunction with the Democrat Party and George Soros—to disrupt and incite violence at Donald Trump campaign events. Partly in an effort to disrupt or shut down those events, but mainly in an effort to falsely accuse and portray Trump and his supporters as the ones who were inciting mass violence. As is common with the left, they will often openly call for, or covertly support and fund behind the scenes, disorder and violence against anyone they oppose—to include physical assaults, vandalism, rioting, bombings, and even assassinations—while at the same time trying to portray the right or opposition as the truly violent ones. And such tactics were clearly the case and on display during the 2016 presidential election.

Since the recent election of Donald Trump and his official inauguration this past week, the leftist disruption, rioting, and violence has only continued to increase. On inauguration day, rioters and “rent-a-mobs” took to the streets in Washington DC—as well as several other major cities throughout the US—in violent and destructive riots attempting to disrupt the ceremonies and festivities. Of course from the left’s perspective, as well as in the eyes of a largely sympathetic and complicit media, such disturbances were nothing more than legitimate “protests”, a natural backlash stemming from the justified anger and frustration created by the “illegitimate” election of Donald Trump. Essentially, these “not my president” mobs are being validated by the leftist establishment, which then signals to the rioters that they are somehow entitled to the right to wreak havoc just because they are displeased with the results of an election. I am not even going to focus on the point that, by acting like spoiled, destructive crybabies, these rioters are confirming and reminding many Americans why they elected Trump in the first place. But I digress.

This behavior is nothing new. Leftism has always been the way of the deindividuated mob, wielded to sow disruption and disorder, civil unrest, and violence. As such, violent mob disruptions and riots have always been among the left’s favorite tactics—whether in opposition to anything they disagree with, or simply as a means to foment general chaos and disorder. Truth be told, the left is notorious for their use of political violence, whether it’s advocating for violence in general, calling for bombings and assassinations, celebrating violent terrorists and criminals as heroes—cop killers, bombers, murderers, etc, or ultimately failing to strongly condemn the violence carried out by its supporters. So leftism and violence are inherently intertwined, and the left generally justifies such violence through self-righteous moral superiority—anyone opposed to them are so intolerant and evil that violence against them is more than justified. And primarily, the left relies on the power and violence of the mob.

Small scale examples of leftist mob tactics include the use of disruptive and often violent behavior as a means to silence or shut down a political event or speaker they disagree with—like a Milo Yiannopoulos speech on a college campus for example. And large scale examples include the use of violent riots as a means to create widespread chaos—through vandalism, looting, blocking streets and highways, assaults, and generally destroying large swaths of a city. Furthermore, a large aspect to leftist mob and riot strategy is to first instigate disruption, unrest, and often violence, and then try to play the poor helpless victim when there is an inevitable backlash against them—usually as a result of law enforcement action.

On the rare occasion when leftist mob violence or rioting is actually called out by the establishment or media, it is usually either downplayed or rationalized in some way. Violent riots are often downplayed by referring to them simply as protests or demonstrations, as constitutionally protected displays of lawful, peaceful assembly. Any violence or destruction attributed to them is then blamed solely on a few bad apples, isolated agitators who don’t speak for the entire protest—a double standard which would of course never apply to the right. Violent riots are also usually rationalized as being somehow legitimate expressions of justified anger against those who dare oppose the morally superior agenda of the left. So as a result, due to a rationalized lack of condemnation as well as the perceived righteousness of their cause, many leftists thereby feel entitled and vindicated to violently run amok whenever it suits them. Self-righteousness is a powerful motivator when the end justifies the means.

So today, these leftist anti-Trump rioters—an unholy amalgam of petulant hipsters and spoiled college kids, disgruntled malcontents with a victim complex, opportunistic agitators looking for an excuse to destroy, militant feminists, anarchists, opportunistic thugs looking for an excuse to loot, and paid Soros “rent-a-mob” goons—view themselves as social justice warriors and heroic revolutionaries. Noble leaders of the vanguard and resistance. Some of the rioters, along with their online SJW “keyboard warrior” supporters, are even referring to these riots as the new revolution. They are either claiming these riots are the start of their revolution, or they are calling for the actual revolution to begin. Many of these leftist rioters are also calling Trump a despotic fascist—never mind the fact that most of them couldn’t even accurately define the term. Many too believe that we are living in some kind of “militarized police state”—an assertion that has become widely popular among the left over the last several years in light of the recent anti-police riots. Such claims are beyond laughable, but nonetheless many of these leftist rioters genuinely believe that they are bravely standing up to some sort of fascist oppression. The irony of course is that the regressive left and the system they advocate and represent—with their love for all things big government, groupthink, and coercion and control—is actually far more representative of the so-called police state they claim to be against. Though this point clearly escapes them.

Still, I have a very simple message for these wannabe Che Guevaras: a so-called revolution without any real personal risk or sacrifice involved, at the end of the day, is nothing more than a pathetic hissy fit and childish temper tantrum. And violence against those who are defenseless or deliberately measured and restrained requires very little courage, and is actually quite cowardly. Or to put it another way, it’s easy to act brave and courageous when you know you will not face any significant threats or consequences as a result; and it’s easy to riot and act violent against those who are restrained in their retaliatory violence against you. Simply put, it’s easy to be a dissenter when you know full well such actions really do not carry severe penalties.

For how much are these leftist dissenters and rioters really risking and sacrificing with their disruptive and violent behavior? How much are they ultimately willing to risk and sacrifice?

As it stands, in our current society, the risks and penalties for such rioting are extremely minor—relatively speaking from a historical perspective. The power and anonymity of the deindividuated mob statistically means that one is not likely to be caught or identified when partaking in destructive or violent riotous behavior. Thus the safety in numbers of the mob allows individual rioters the freedom and courage to blend in and run rampant with a sense of brazen impunity, while destroying and vandalizing property, setting fires, and assaulting lone bystanders. For the courage to assault people comes easy when you outnumber and are able to swarm your victims. The deindividuated mob also allows the rioters the false courage to confront and even assault the police—with rocks, glass, bodily fluids, debris, fireworks, etc—who respond to try and control and quell the situation. With riots, most of the time law enforcement is more concerned with simply restoring order than actually making mass arrests of the violent rioters. And the rioters know this. They know that their behavior is likely to go unpunished, and they use this to their advantage. In the event a rioter or looter is caught or arrested for their behavior, they know that, at worst, they may spend a night or two in jail and then face some minor criminal charges which, in all likelihood, will later be dismissed. Consequently, many leftists view their night in a jail as a badge of honor for their cause—hardly a sacrifice. More than likely, only a few rioters or looters will ever face any severe criminal charges for their behavior, and only if they have actually committed a serious offense. When law enforcement responds to restore order, the rioters also know that they may face pepper spray, tear gas, tasers, water hoses, and possibly even batons and rubber bullets. But all of those weapons are designed to be less than lethal and are not likely to cause permanent injury. So yes, the rioters know that there is a chance they may face physical pain or minor injury as a result of law enforcement. But they also know that law enforcement is legally and procedurally limited, measured, and restrained in their response—not to mention subject to popular opinion and scrutiny. Therefore they know that they will never have to face the true brutality of unmitigated violence at the hands of those capable of using it.

Yet many of these rioters still want to bait law enforcement into a physical or violent confrontation—but not too violent. Because, once again, they can then try to use such a confrontation to their advantage by claiming to be the helpless victims as video of them being slammed or beaten by the police is replayed constantly on the news and social media. Furthermore, by eliciting a violent confrontation or response by law enforcement, the leftists can then use such an incident as proof to try and validate their false assertions of fascism.

In reality, the use of unrestrained violence or deadly force against rioters is extremely rare. Only in extreme cases, when officers are faced with someone using deadly force against them, are rioters ever likely to see or face lethal force at the hands of law enforcement. As was the case in the Dallas incident for example. But such cases are clearly the isolated exception and not the rule.

Yet these leftist rioters still call Trump “fascist”. And they call the law enforcement response to their rioting “fascism” and proof of our “militarized police state”. They then scream and shout that they are standing up and fighting back against fascist oppression, all the while knowing that the risk for doing so is minimal.

Because these rioters are treated with kid gloves when compared to the response of an actual “fascist” or “militarized police state”—and deep down they know this. The very fact that rioters here are even allowed to assemble in the streets at all should tell them something. For in a real oppressive or authoritarian state, the state response to such dissent, protesting, or rioting would be far less measured and restrained—to put it very mildly. In truly oppressive states, dissenters are likely to face decades in prison or gulags doing hard labor at best, and potential torture or execution at worst. Some individuals may simply disappear and become “unpersons”. Entire groups of people deemed a threat to security and order are often preemptively wiped out in authoritarian states. And any large-scale protests or riots are generally met with brutal, unrestrained force at the hands of law enforcement or the military—weapons hot, shoot to kill. Protesters are thus likely to be indiscriminately gunned down in the street. Because that is the unmasked face of true oppression and authoritarianism, and that is what real atrocity, violence, and state suppression looks like. Look at what happens to dissenters in China, North Korea, Cuba, or ISIS controlled territory. Look at Tiananmen Square or the Green Revolution in Iran. Dissent, protest, and rioting is never tolerated under the boot of genuine authoritarian oppression, so to defy it requires immeasurable courage and sacrifice. And that is the difference between true courageous dissent and the so-called leftist revolutionaries here who sacrifice and risk nothing. Because the rioters and looters here are counting on the fact that nothing will befall them, their false courage utterly depends on it. Which makes their actions nothing but that of spoiled brats.

In the end, a real revolution involves great personal risk, up to and including death. It requires truly courageous men who are willing to risk and sacrifice everything for their cause. For as the final line of the Declaration of Independence reads: “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” And with those words, every man who signed that document knew the grave risks that they were taking, committing high treason against the crown, and that they would hang if not successful. Those men risked everything, as did every common soldier on the battlefield. That is genuine courage of ones convictions. Furthermore, there are countless other examples of real revolutions or uprisings in history—far too many to list and stemming from all sides of the political scale—which involved tremendous bravery, pain, suffering, sacrifice, and death in the name of one’s principles. So while I may hate the man and what he stood for and the atrocities he committed, I can still respect the fact that leftists like Che Guevara at least had the fortitude to risk everything in the fight for their beliefs.

Truthfully, what are these current leftist rioters really risking? A night or two in jail. Some minor criminal charges that are likely to be dropped or possibly result in probation. A monetary fine. Some minor bumps and bruises from getting roughed up a little by law enforcement. Nothing severe, and nothing of significant or extreme lasting consequence. Relatively and historically speaking, there’s no real risk or sacrifice attached to their behavior. Not when compared to a deadly revolution or resistance against a truly oppressive state.

Again, it’s quite easy to be courageous when you are not facing any severe consequences or threats to life and limb. It’s easy to swarm assault or sucker punch lone bystanders when you have the safety in numbers of the mob. It’s easy to smash the windows of a Starbucks or set cars on fire when you are betting on the odds of not being caught. It’s easy to taunt and confront law enforcement when you know their response against you will be restrained and limited. It’s really easy to play make-believe revolutionary when you know that nothing bad will actually happen to you and at the end of the day you can still go home and sleep in your cozy bed. Because fighting authoritarian oppression is super easy when you’re not actually fighting authoritarian oppression.

It’s easy to taunt and tease the vicious dog confined behind the fence, or to tap on the glass of the lion exhibit, because you know the beast is contained. No courage is required. Ultimately, it’s very easy to be brave when you do not have to balance the equation of violence.

And how many of these leftist snowflakes are really willing to balance that deadly equation of violence. How many are willing to fight those fully prepared to fight back. How many are willing to cross the line of no return and ante up when real risk and sacrifice is involved. When blood is involved. I will wager, very few. Leftist violence counts on the fact that their victims will not retaliate in kind. And that ultimately makes them cowards. It makes them nothing more than fantasy, role-playing revolutionaries, and their riots nothing more than large-scale bratty temper tantrums. In fact, some recent stories are indicating that some of the DC rioters who were caught and charged are now crying over the fact that they may actually face prison time. Thereby proving their true unwillingness to sacrifice for their cause, and thereby proving their ultimate cowardice.

And while I staunchly condemn violence in the strongest of terms—especially against the innocent or the defenseless—I can at least extend a small degree of respect to those rare few who have the courage of their convictions to stand and fight and potentially risk everything. Even if I adamantly disagree with their cause. I do this because I acknowledge the small degree of respect and dignity which historically exists between mortal enemies and martial combatants. And before someone mistakenly assumes I am just another “keyboard warrior”, just know that I have experienced violence and have seen enough death to last a lifetime. I have stood on the line, and I have sacrificed, and I have been willing to risk everything. The majority of these leftist rioters today have no idea what real courage or sacrifice looks like, what real service to others looks like.

In the end, that makes them nothing but cowards. Because their petulant actions—no matter how loud or publicized or grandiose they may seem—are devoid of risk and sacrifice. And they know it, it encourages them. Thus their boldness stems only from the power of the deindividuated mob and its safety in numbers, not from raw, visceral courage. They are shielded and protected by the mob, and the mob ultimately dilutes what little risk does exist for their behavior. Their riots and “revolution” are therefore nothing more than the tantrums and tirades of spoiled, cowardly children.

Courage does not exist without risk. They wave banners stating “this is war”, but are they really prepared to challenge the lion when he is not confined to his cage.

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

© 2017 By AB Frank, All Rights Reserved

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