All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Are we still a democracy?
Hey, wait a minute. We were never a true democracy, but rather a representative republic.
Okay. Are we still a Representative Republic? Or a Representative Democracy? Or any form of government dedicated to the will of the people?
At the time of this writing, we have a group of armed men who have staged a takeover of a wildlife refuge in my state. They have guns and have told us all that they are willing to use them. What they have done is illegal and intimidating. You can throw in other words if you like – treason and sedition come to my mind.
But wait a minute. They are just like Rosa Parks. They are just peacefully standing up for their rights.
They are not Rosa Parks. What did Mrs. Parks do? Let’s review the history. She refused to relinquish her appointed place on the bus for a more privileged person, setting off a boycott of a service that catered to the underprivileged community that needed that service, a peaceful protest to gain basic human rights of equality under the law. The NAACP was able to galvanize a movement behind her small act because she was a hard-working, stellar member of the community who had done nothing wrong. She was following the unjust law of the day and still she was victimized. I don’t know that I would have had the courage.
The Malheur occupiers are squatters and invaders, nothing more. In their states’ rights view, I wish the Oregon National Guard would go in and arrest them as invaders. Can they do that?
Oh, come on. They are just protesting federal overreach. This is a just cause. Besides, nobody has been hurt.
Well, thank goodness! The fact that nobody has been hurt is due to restraint by law enforcement. These guys have made goodbye videos to their families. What does that tell you about their intentions? They have made threats to the sheriff and have brought an arsenal that they intend to use.
It’s a lose-lose for law enforcement, really. If they do what they should do and enforce the law, the militia groups will shout, “See? We told you the Feds are tyrannical.” If they don’t go in and do what they should do, the militias feel powerful and will do this again and again and again. I vote for the former.
Hey, over here. You know the real reason that law enforcement hasn’t gone in because they are white, right? If this was Ferguson, they would have been there in armored vehicles, guns blazing, tear gas flying.
Well, there’s probably some truth to that, but this is a different situation, and a similar situation to others that have ended badly in the past. Do you know about the militia movement in America? Or are you like me, who has a superficial knowledge that they are out there, but not really what they represent, nor what they are planning on doing with all of their training? And yes, they have been training. Just to give you a quick reminder, Timothy McVeigh, one of our own, the worst domestic terrorist in my time, was a part of this movement.
The Oklahoma Federal Building bombing killed 168 Americans (who live under the same flag that these people have appropriated as theirs), including 19 children, and injured another 600. Seven hundred sixty-eight civilian victims, including children. I remember at the time of the bombing we as a country looked outward. Surely this was a Muslim extremist, a terrorist like the ones who tried to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993 and had previously hijacked and brought down airplanes full of innocents. Who else would want to cause such destruction? Who else would give America such a punch to the gut? When it was discovered that it was one of our own, a military veteran, no less, there was a collective gasp. What the hell was happening to our country?
Timothy McVeigh was just a small part of a larger movement to destroy our country from within, to take shots at the federal government, the backbone that keeps us all together. He lashed out in a planned attack, terrorizing a nation and killing and maiming civilians whose only “crime” was to be employed by the federal government. His motive? He hoped to instigate widespread revolt against the federal government for the Waco Siege and Ruby Ridge. Like the terrorists in the Middle East, his victims were civilians.
The movement is still there, and still ready to strike. They have appropriated the Constitution. They have appropriated the flag. They think this gives them the right to terrorize the rest of us who also hold the Constitution and the flag as our own. This is why law enforcement is proceeding with caution. You can’t reason with these people. After Bundy’s father staged his own standoff with the federal government over his refusal to pay grazing fees on public lands, two followers of the militia movement were galvanized, not to march peacefully or walk to work, but to shoot two law enforcement officials who were eating pizza.
I ask you, what type of people have this much resentment toward law enforcement? Hmm…. lawbreakers?
But getting back to my original question, are we still a democracy? One of the militia groups is called the Three Percent, based on the premise that only 3 percent of colonists took up arms against the British in the Revolutionary War. (Still wondering about their motives?) If you have three percent of the people making decisions for the other 97 percent, is that a democracy? I think you know the answer.
Welcome to our own version of the Taliban.