The January 6 Congressional Committee hearings are embroiled in controversy.
It was expected. The hearings will resolve little more than harden the two sides in their respective positions. Unfortunately, they are full of the political theater that has come to dominate American society.
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Many people rightly complain that the January 6 Committee is a one-sided show. If the Democrat majority were half-serious, they would be investigating instead the far more deadly and damaging riots that shook the country in the 2020 summer of un-love. There is no comparison between the two protests. The hundred days of violence in Portland are ignored, while the January 6 events are termed an insurrection.
The violence of the latter was still unacceptable, regardless of the scale involved. No one can deny this. If violence is up for discussion, then the BLM/Antifa riots of the summer of 2020 will be long remembered by millions of Americans as the breaking point when they stopped trusting that Democrats in government would fulfill their sworn duty to protect the lives and property of the citizenry.
Since the House majority chooses to ignore the more serious and focus on the lesser, there is no conversation. The misguided hearings proceed, full of sound and fury, wasting everyone’s time.
However, some lessons can be learned from the January 6 affair (for want of a better term) and hopefully, at least this once, conservatives will take them to heart.
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Different Rule Books
The first lesson is that left and right use different rule books in their political action. Go outside those rule books and expect to pay the consequences. Political action should be a level playing field. However, it’s not. People are treated differently. It is not fair. It is not right. But that is how the system operates.
What are the rules of the left? The Marxist system is one of political opportunism. In the measure that something approaches the left’s goals, the political end justifies the means, even if it be illegal, criminal, immoral or false. For Marxists, something is righteous if it advances the social revolution. And the more it furthers the cause, the more righteous it is.
Thus, the left plays by these rules. It establishes a class struggle narrative of oppressors and oppressed. In the name of its narrative’s suffering victims, it looks with sympathy on rioting and the vandalism and destruction that results from “opposing oppression.” Society, its authorities and police are held to be oppressors that must be forced to submit to all demands.
The left constructs a clear yet sufficiently vague message justifying its actions. The media can be counted on to sympathize with its narrative, even to the point of absurdity. Those who break the law can expect leniency and impunity from a weak-willed or colluding legal system. The terror of the riots intimidates the decisive center, and, as a result, the revolution advances.
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Applying the Rules in 2020
The left implemented these rules flawlessly in the George Floyd riots and their wake. Its clear yet vague message of systemic racism found in Critical Race Theory (CRT) covered a multitude of crimes. The media played their role to perfection by reporting favorably on the “mostly peaceful” riots that burned across America. Liberal public officials minimized arrests and convictions while rioters terrorized peaceful suburban neighbors with their model guillotines.
All these things were allowed in the leftist playbook because they fomented social revolution. Consequently, since they faithfully followed the leftist narrative, no committee will investigate this well-coordinated wave of attacks that swept the nation.
The Right Is Not Allowed to Use the Left’s Playbook
The second lesson for conservatives is that the left will never allow the right to use its playbook. Indeed, the January 6 Committee is an instrument to prosecute anyone who tried using it without authorization.
During the January 6 affair, conservative activists consciously or unconsciously tried to use the leftist playbook. Perhaps they hoped to capitalize on the shock and awe tactics that worked so well for the left. However, they soon found out that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.
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Superficially, the two riots are similar. They both involved people who see themselves as victims, have a message and follow a narrative. However, the January 6 Committee is making sure the similarities end there.
With brutal efficiency, the left has pounced on the right for using its playbook. Leftist advocates will even contradict and break their own rules to punish those who use them.
The wrongheaded attempt to play by leftist rules on January 6 backfired. Liberals who have been working hard to defund police now hold up law enforcement officers as poor victims of enraged conservative violence. The liberal media so tolerant toward the summer of 2020 protesters trounced the January 2021 ones overwhelmingly. Public officials, usually indulgent toward leftist lawbreakers, tracked down and booked anyone at the affair whose actions could be perceived as breaking the law. Thus, the left quickly turned a narrative of oppressed and victimized people (the forgotten conservative voters) into a resentful and angry mob of white supremacists.
In addition, a confusing narrative made the affair seem to be a personal attachment to a candidate and not a broad principled theme like the left’s flawed CRT. The poster boy for January 6 at the Capitol was a deranged shaman. He sent an anti-law and order message to decisive center Americans that the barbarians were at the gates.
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The left has taken a bulldog hold upon the affair, branded it with its interpretation, and is now determined not to let conservatives forget it—ever.
Playing by the Right Rule Book
The final lesson from the January 6 affair is that the right must follow its own rule book to be successful. Conservatives lose when they compromise their principles, desert moral positions and surrender to the politically correct opposition.
The right’s perspective can never be politically opportunistic or relativistic like that of the left. There are permanent principles of order that will never change, regardless of the situation. Criminal, false and violent acts are wrong and cannot be used as agents of change. That is why conservative events have long been peaceful and legal, even when gathering vast numbers of people. The right must never provide a pretext for the left to hammer its supporters with the full weight of the law.
The conservative narrative cannot be based on class struggle but on the common good of all Americans, regardless of who they are. The object of its action is not to divide but to unite around all that is good, true and beautiful. Conservative efforts must be uncompromising on morals, courteous in expression and bold in action. Above all, conservatives must not be afraid to trust in God and implore His help. Without Him, there will be no victory.