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Home/Rod Dreher/An America Afraid Of Its Left

An America Afraid Of Its Left

NYC man on the street outside boarded up store windows says if Trump wins, riots will likely break out (CBS 2)

Though I would be doing the same thing if I were a business owner, it still infuriates me:

Businesses across America are boarding up their windows ahead of potential chaos following tomorrow’s election as special police units prepare to tackle looters and rioters and foreign governments warn people not to visit the US for fear of civil unrest.

In cities all over the country on Monday, retailers, offices and art galleries were putting plywood on their windows to protect their inventory ahead of tomorrow night’s election and the mayhem it might spark, no matter which candidate wins.

You know what? Nobody fears pro-Trump riots. They fear antifa, they fear Black Lives Matter, they fear the Left — the same people who have been rioting all year, and for which our media have been carrying water. If the Trump voters are disappointed tomorrow, they’re not going to burn down their communities, smash windows and grab loot, and generally behave like a hoodlum.

Even if Biden wins, I would not be surprised if we saw rioting in some cities, simply because that’s what the militant left does. There were no MAGA riots this year, or any year.

Cities boarded up for fear of rioting. The President of the United States having to barricade himself in the White House. This is what the Left has done to our country in 2020. And you watch: if this happens, The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the lot will all be blaming Trump.

UPDATE:  [deleted]

UPDATE.2: The Left, openly strategizing to paralyze Washington DC, and target Trump supporters:



UPDATE.3:
But not strictly confined to the Left. A reader writes:

I am writing this on the cusp of tomorrow’s election and I realized that in some ways I am truly fearful of what is to come. I think having a family multiples that fear. Not the fear that I need to hunker down in some bunker, not that kind of crazy, but the fear of that need to just be prepared mentally. Your book, Live Not By Lies, really did that for me.

Today I had a conversation with a guy who was angry at me because I was not voting for Trump (I am not voting for Biden either). Like you I am hesitant about the whole thing. This guy is a big Doug Wilson (Pastor at Moscow Id; that guy). Doug is a bit of a bully in my opinion and not the good kind. He tends to think once he is right, he is right despite differences. Wilson has been going on for the last few days about John Piper and Piper responded to Douglas which of course it goes back and forth etc. All of that to say the guy I talked to started with the comment, “Why don’t you enlighten me about the problems with Trump.” I know by now, years in politics and in higher education, that when someone starts with a comment like that they are ready for a reason to get in a fuss over something that is truly not of eternal value i.e. the Gospel is eternal not tomorrow’s vote kind of eternal value.

It got me thinking just about the degree of authoritarian bullying that we have moved towards up to this election. I live in San Antonio TX. We have Trump trucks running up and down roads everywhere. And yeah, I honestly believe they are trying to intimidate like they did on I-35 highway in Texas as the bus was traveling from San Antonio to Austin: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/31/biden-harris-bus-texas-trump-supporters-highway

They drive up on you and I have my kids in the car and they will just do outrageous stuff sometimes to show off or whatever.

But it really made me think of this totalitarian drive in people that we are seeing now in the United States, that pushes them to the extremes by means of even bullying people to vote one way or another. We see that from Biden supporters but it also comes from Trumpers too.

Wilson talks about all the right reason to vote for Trump with his most recent “vlog/blog” titled Something Like Dryer-Vent-Lint-for-Brains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCc7CVJeTAY

He holds the whole character that if you do not vote for Trump you are an idiot. But here is the kicker, “pastors” like Paula White and John Hagee heavily support Trump to a fault. And yet somehow Piper is the bad guy? Wilson is again a bully who thinks he is just always right. And that is how that guy was today. He was not there to have any real discussion.

I emailed you because at this time I am thankful to read and follow someone who thinks like me. It feels good to not be alone in this matter. I know I have emailed a few times, sorry. It is just that in these times I am thankful to God for men of courage. I always regretted not reaching out to others who have been an encouragement in my life, Sir Roger for example. And those are my observations.

Yeah, Doug Wilson. What a guy.

The reader gave me permission to publish this, and include his name, but I choose not to do that, to protect him. Just in case. Because that is where we are in America 2020.

UPDATE.4: From an American soldier in Iraq:

First, a quick note regarding the video of the National Guard in Chicago.  Those are absolutely NOT mounted machine guns.  What they are is standard up-armored HMMWVs that have a CROWS system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CROWS) mounted, which is common in combat arms units.  I’m very familiar with the CROWS, because I used it frequently in Afghanistan 10 years ago.  It consists of a screen and joystick inside the vehicle, linked to a mount with daylight and thermal cameras outside, plus a laser rangefinder and a large ammunition storage box, and can be configured to accept a variety of machine guns and automatic grenade launchers.  However, while the system is basically fixed on the vehicle, requiring mechanics to remove, the actual machine guns (or AGLs) are only mounted when specifically required (i.e. range, training, or combat), in part because then the truck has to be attended 24×7.
I agree that it WOULD be a huge escalation if the ARNG did mount machine guns, but that is not what happened here, and any combat arms soldier can easily see that from the video; especially now, it’s important not to panic and start spreading inflammatory BS.  Plus, according to Google Maps, the ARNG armory is less than a mile away from where that video was taken, so the Guard is likely just doing their regular mission with some extra preparation for civil disturbances (i.e. issuing out riot gear, not machine guns).
Also, to respond to the larger issue of your piece, while I agree that it’s terrible that people have to fear rioting over an election, and that businesses are boarding up their windows, I am absolutely worried sick about violence from both sides (probably more destruction of property and opportunistic looting from the “left” but voter intimidation and far right militia violence from the right).  When I came home on leave from Iraq last month, I tried to get my wife to go over some rehearsals on basic home and self defense with my guns, but she’s too busy dealing with the overstressed ER where she will be working on Election Night (from COVID and the general deplorable state of our healthcare system).
One of the most depressing and infuriating things I’ve encountered over here in Iraq is that many of the men I’ve proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with for months, defending our diplomatic facilities against rockets and drone attacks, have increasingly made it clear they care more about Trump than democracy.  Given the sorry state of the mail in general nowadays, and especially coming from over here, many people have been sending their ballots back with those traveling home to make sure they get delivered in time.  On multiple occasions, I’ve heard senior federal law enforcement officers (who I thought I could respect and trust) “joke” about discarding the ballots of anyone they don’t think is 100% voting for Trump.  While I try to keep a low profile politically (beyond saying that I’m not a fan of Trump OR Biden, which is true), when I followed up to confirm if they were serious, they didn’t hesitate.
Anyway, I’ll close by noting that we’ve had several deaths of local staff due to COVID, and I’m currently stuck in quarantine, so I’m not able to distract myself with work and am fighting the temptation to give into my OCD RSS reading.  I’ve been reading your blog for several years now and always recommended you as a thoughtful conservative (and truthfully I used to call myself socially conservative, because I loath the direction the left is going with racial and sexual identity politics over holding financial elites accountable), but if I’m honest I find myself fighting back the urge to hate anyone who could support such a vile and destructive man (when until recently I argued with my wife that that shouldn’t be a reason to stop seeing people socially), which I suppose is the true measure of his success.
I appreciate the e-mail, and have deleted the video I had embedded above, in the first update.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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