Radicals Shooting Congressmen: This is How You Get the Spanish Civil War

By John Zmirak Published on June 14, 2017

I found myself choking up, almost sobbing Wednesday morning. The news rarely does that to me, not since the morning of September 11, when I lived in New York City. Today I couldn’t believe that our country has come to this. But it has. And it’s our task to face it. God help us and our children.

A pro-life congressman, a family man and Christian, fights for his life as I write this. Respectable voices all over social media warn us not to “politicize” the fact that a political activist shot down Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip, for his political views. Not to dwell on ugly facts, such as these:

  • The shooting formed part of a failed attempt to massacre a dozen Republican members of Congress — the very people standing in the way of the desperate hope many Democrats hold of impeaching President Trump.
  • The killer, James T. Hodgkinson, was not a mental patient, a drifter, a foreign terrorist or a drug-addled loser.
  • He was a Bernie Sanders volunteer and a supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center — just like Floyd Lee Corkins II, who in 2012 attempted to massacre the staff of the Family Research Council, after seeing the FRC listed as a hate group on the SPLC website.
  • The attack happened scant days after New York City’s elite Shakespeare in the Park mounted a production of Julius Caesar that lip-smackingly dramatized the murder of President Trump.
  • It occurred not two weeks after Kathy Griffin produced her murder porn, ISIS-style photo of herself with the head of the president.
  • As Breitbart reports, there have been 15 separate instances of celebrities calling for or justifying violence against Trump himself or Republicans in general.
  • As The Hill reports, “The office of Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) received a threatening email with the subject line ‘One down, 216 to go …,’ shortly after a shooter opened fire on GOP lawmakers who were at a congressional baseball practice, according to her office.”

But we’re not supposed to mention any of that. We should blame “guns” or “hate” or testosterone or something. When a loner crank attacks a black church, after posing with a Confederate emblem, dozens of historic war memorials must be ripped down. When an irreligious wife-beater and voyeur shoots up a strip mall that contains an abortion clinic, the whole pro-life movement is suspect.

We’re supposed to blame “guns” or “hate” or testosterone or something.

However, when a leftist or a Muslim kills those who don’t share his views, we’re supposed to blot that out of our minds. That would “politicize” a tragedy. If we mention a terrorist’s motives in a country such as Germany, the police might come and arrest us.

Cultural Terrorism Leads to Attempted Congressional Massacres

It infuriated leftists to lose the crucial election of 2016. That vote was meant to cement their control over the Supreme Court for our lifetime. To withdraw from the voters’ hands control over abortion, marriage, religious liberty, gun rights, and even free political speech. To complete the transformation of the U.S. military into a social-justice agency. (One that expels Christian officers and funds sex change operations.) To open wide the borders and continue replacing the American people with a more left-friendly electorate. And the left came achingly close … so close that some cannot stand it.

The countless calls for “resistance” and “disruption” imply that our government is now illegitimate. What do “Resistance” movements do? They commit sabotage and violence.

So many leftists turned to what political scientist Thomas Molnar called “cultural terrorism.” It’s the breaking of ordinary norms. The stoking of mindless rage. The rejection of fair play and civic-minded respect for rules. It includes appalling actions like Griffin’s ISIS photo shoot. Like the violent attacks of hooded Antifa thugs on professors at college campuses. Like the countless calls for “resistance” and “disruption,” which imply that our government is now illegitimate. But the terror could never stop there. It has an inner logic. Cultural terrorism leads to actual terrorism. The thought is the father of the deed.

If You’re the Resistance then Your Opponents Are … Nazis?

What do you do with an illegitimate government? You resist it. What do “Resistance” movements do? They commit sabotage and violence. That’s the next logical step. It’s what the French Resistance did. It is also what the Ku Klux Klan did right after the Civil War. “Resistance” cuts all ways, you see. One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. And that is why we should be so very, very reluctant to label a government illegitimate. Because that amounts to declaring a state of civil war.

We should set the bar very, very high before deciding something like that. (Here’s why.) We conservatives usually do. That is why even though we know that abortion is murder, and that Planned Parenthood is an organization of ghouls and organ thieves, we haven’t responded with violence. No right-wing celebrity is posing with Cecile Richards’ severed head. We on the right (and some on the left) are still grounded in Christian Just War theory and the classical liberal respect for the human person and civic order.

The Left Has Embraced Irrationalism and Coercion

Alas, many influential voices on the left have abandoned these ideals. Not just in patchouli-reeking cafes in Portland, but in the very halls of elite academia. Did you notice what happened to the students who bullied two professors into resigning tenure at Yale? They won a coveted award at graduation. The mob that attacked professors and visiting scholar Charles Murray at Middlebury went completely unpunished. I could go on with such incidents for another 2,000 words. Or 5,000. Whole websites like The College Fix, FIRE, and Campus Reform are devoted to recounting such grim abuses, day after day.

Read this fascinating, if difficult article by an honest liberal academic explaining how we came to this pretty pass. It’s worth reading in full, but I’ll sum it up for you in a few quick, brutal strokes:

  • Post-modernist intellectuals now dominate the humanities and social sciences at most universities.
  • Post-modernism rejects traditional standards of fairness, objectivity, open debate, free speech, and scholarly rigor.
  • It’s driven by a profound and visceral hatred of middle-class life, Christian morals, property rights, and virtually every other crucial institution and precept of the West.
  • It measures the moral and intellectual validity of every statement or action by its political impact: Does it advance the destruction of those demonized institutions? Then it is good, brave, even heroic.
  • Does it slow that destruction down? Then it is oppressive, wicked, fascist, even racist. It must be silenced, “by any means necessary.”

That is the moral code most kids are learning in college, with a shrinking set of exceptions.

White Terrorists and Extremists

There is a small, contemptible fringe of racists, anti-government anarchists, and other disaffected people we could put on the political right who do trade in such violent rhetoric. The “militia” movement of the 1990s was its high point. Timothy McVeigh was its terrorist. You can still find websites that dismiss our democracy as a “Zionist Occupational Government.” A few Alt-Right cranks still peddle such unhinged theories.

What you can’t find are Hollywood actors espousing such loathsome views, unpunished. No city or state governments will offer “sanctuary” to people who break the law for reasons like that. No elite arts companies will sponsor live productions of Julius Caesar that climax with Barack Obama getting lynched. Thank God for that, of course. I am glad that the right has not climbed down into the same sewer as the left.

Because when it does, things get even uglier. Far worse than you’d imagine. In Spain on July 13, 1936, a conservative member of the Spanish parliament, Calvo Sotelo, was murdered in cold blood by leftists. It was the last straw in a wave of escalating political violence, much of which had targeted churches. It sparked the Spanish Civil War.

We don’t want to go there. Let’s pray that we don’t.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Gary

    If your children want to study the “humanities” or “social sciences” in college, tell them to get a job instead.

    • allie B

      A true liberal arts education – an education in classics and western classical tradition- is the cure for those majoring in Gender Studies and leftist ideology. Children given a classical education are also given a kind of inoculation against indoctrination if their passions or finances require them to attend public or secular universities. There are a growing number of private, Catholic or Christian, classical colleges. There is hope, take heart.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    We were two pistol carrieing capital police officers away from a total massacre. The chutzpah, hubris & delusional pandering being promoted by political pariahs on the left suggesting this is anything other than it is is patently absurd. No this is not a Soros sponsored attack ( I think? ) & I don’t believe there was a Clinton surrogate anywhere near the baseball field this morning. But as Mr Zmirak so clearly illustrates this was not just apolitical violence . This was, not too unlike what motivates those hyper religious zealots being kicked out of Mosul . It was an act of “worship”. The gunman may well go down in history as the first “radical” disciple of this “religion” of resistance being “preached” promoted & proselytized by the indoctrinated chorus provided almost w/out interruption by the MSM. I’m not being prophetic when I call this guy the first radicalized follower of this recent “he’s not my president” type of rhetoric . I hope there won’t be a second. Probably more realistic to hope there’s not a third or a …….

    • Fishcicle

      I read a quote from Rand Paul earlier today saying that the reason for the 2nd Amendment wasn’t hunting, but to resist tyranny. I’d call that an incitement to violence. Someone who gets some twisted ideas (and has a history of domestic violence, I also read) decides that shooting politicians is resisting tyranny. But nobody’s going to blame Rand Paul, or anyone else on that side of the aisle who agrees with him. Consider that this COULD have been a false flag incident planned SPECIFICALLY to slander the left wing. I don’t think it was, but can you prove it wasn’t?

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Rand Pauls statement does not conflict w/the sentiment of my post. It substantiates it. The concept that this was possibly a “false flag’, a set up to exacerbate the hate mongering rhetoric from “extremists” if we can call them that on the left is preposterous. It certainly backfired were that to have been the case. Tyranny comes in many guises. Not the least of which is uncontrolled politically motivated violence. Tyranny is what the citizens of Venezuela are dealing with. Tyranny is easy to find in the hermit kingdom of Kim Jong – Un. One may even suggest that in some fashion the previous administration came too close for comfort to this tyrannical thing. Were Mr Pauls comments to be viewed as you suggest as “incitement to violence” then we as a nation best rewrite that historical document he was referencing.
        That gunman was a convert. A convert from some relative level of crazy to a full fledged disciple of the “gospel”, so called of unsubstantiated accusational political antagonism disguised ( poorly ) as journalism . I don’t have to disprove your speculative assertion to substantiate the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that even a near sighted child could see were he to be forced to watch 24 hours of MSM “reporting before being allowed to resume his video gaming . At least the video games make no pretense of being real ….

        • Fishcicle

          Is Fox News similarly pretentious?

      • Bryan

        The only reason that the 2nd Amendment and Mr. Paul’s statement could be construed as an incitement to violence is that we have forgotten that words have real meanings and not whatever I mean at the moment. You said “Someone who gets some twisted ideas (and has a history of domestic violence, I also read) decides that shooting politicians is resisting tyranny.” I think that would seem to be the case here. However, why did this person think the current, duly elected government officials (and their staffs) represented tyranny? In my opinion, because they’ve decided to believe the anyone who disagrees with their personal view is a tyrant. And they believe this because tyranny is no longer defined as the unlawful usurpation of power exerted on a people but as someone in authority that denies me what I want. Just because someone decides some statement means one thing to them personally, doesn’t make that a viable defense of their actions.
        It also seems that you’ve assumed that all violence is bad at all times. Maybe you don’t really mean that but it’s not clear from what you wrote.

        • Fishcicle

          A number of people thought that about the previous administration, even if few of them went to those extremes. Was the shooting of Gabby Giffords particularly different in motivation, do you think?

          • Bryan

            Wasn’t the guy schizophrenic? There’s an article at the Weekly Standard from that time that discusses the guy’s YouTube page in terms of lunacy. It’s dated Jan 8, 2011 by John McCormack. It’s unlikely that the guy in the Rep. Giffords shooting had much of a coherent, rational political philosophy at all. But if he did, according to a source in that story, the guy was “quite liberal”. I don’t think he’s going to help the incitement case.

          • Fishcicle

            If the shooter was a liberal, I wonder why he targeted a Democratic politician. That seems unlikely.

          • Bryan

            It seems you missed the part about not having a coherent, rational political philosophy and the part about being schizophrenic. It’s not likely that he cared about the left/right politics in this case. He intended to cause harm to those he considered a threat to him. But to say that he was incited violence in the same vein as Mr. Hodgkinson is not likely.

          • Fishcicle

            Why did he consider Ms Giffords a threat to him? He could have targeted virtually anybody, as mass shooters often do. Mr. Hodgkinson apparently was a liberal Democrat, but also had a history of domestic violence. I think both shooters were probably reacting to propaganda, whether either of them had a coherent political philosophy or not.

      • Grambini

        Back to the point made earlier…..God gave you eyes to see and ears to hear. Maybe you were missing when the brain was being handed out, but that is beside the point. The point is there has been idiot’s like yourself with us from the beginning of time and usually they meet their fate in denial.

        • Fishcicle

          Denial is a river with two sides.

  • Paul

    John, a well chosen sampling of the current state of things. But I’m surprised that you couldn’t believe that our country has come to this. Frankly it’s like being surprised that water is wet. The far left has been talking about violence for a very long time. Listen to videos of Jed Brandt at Brecht Forum for an example, but you probably already know all this, which is why I’m surprised you can’t believe what happened today. Violence is intrinsic to communism as evidenced in USSR and China, and let’s be clear that we’re dealing with communists even if they use other names today.

    • Fishcicle

      Mr. Trump advocated a “2nd Amendment solution” to Hillary Clinton. That wasn’t advocating violence?

      • Paul

        let’s see, on one hand we have a clumsy ad lib comment from a seat of the pants political candidate and on the other hand we have a political ideology responsible for 20-70 million murders depending on who is counting. Sorry but that wasn’t even a nice try.

        • Fishcicle

          Talking about capitalism? I believe the latest estimates say our ancestors killed about 100 million Native Americans. That seat of the pants comment had been preceded by a whole lot of right wing propaganda that I’d characterize as hateful and libelous, if not specifically advocating violence. Am I supposed to be surprised if some people act on it?

      • allie B

        Except that, the 2nd Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms, not to commit acts of violence. An educated and armed populace is necessary for the prevention of tyrannical government.

        • Fishcicle

          I’m not sure how effective an armed populace would be in preventing tyrannical government, especially since the armed forces way out-gun civilians. And my point is that I believe Mr. Trump was advocating violence against Secretary Clinton in that instance. I’ve heard plenty of propaganda from the Right that sounds violent and libelous to me. If it comes from the Left too, I’m not especially surprised. I’m curious what conservatives would have said if the shooter had targeted Democrats instead.

  • Joe

    The poor guy couldn’t hit targets with a rifle at close range = idiots.

    Progs will have to graduate to suicide vests.

    • Bryan

      Be careful what you wish for

      • Joe

        It’s coming, don’t doubt that.

  • Jason Todd

    Is it wrong that I saw an incomplete headline and expected the Spanish Inquisition?

    • Francis Reck

      Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

      • allie B

        One more word out of you, and you will get….. the comfy chair!

        • Francis Reck

          I’ve already got one!

  • ncsugrant

    It is way overdue to call out SPLC (and the ACLU and most of the environmental wacko groups) for their vile rhetoric. Only a willing partner, in the form of mainstream media, allows them to perpetuate the myth that they are honorable and do not incite violence.

  • Charles Burge

    John, I read the Helen Pluckrose article that you linked and I found it very interesting. What she probably doesn’t realize is that the poison now present in the progressive movement is the same pack of lies that Satan has been perpetrating from the very beginning. Namely, that we cannot trust the senses that God gave us. God constructed a reality for us that is reliable, he gave us sense (sight, hearing, etc) with which to interpret it, and a logical faculty to makes sense of it all. Satan challenged all of that when he deceived Eve, and he’s been using the same playbook ever since.

    • Prettylady!

      satan didn’t force Adam to disobey god. Our natural senses are still there but they are corrupted by origional sin.

      Only thought the Catholic Church and her sacraments can we have human flourishing. Look a thing he constitution, it doesn’t eve say the name of our lor, Jesus Christ or his church, the Roman Catholic Church. Unmoored from the church, this country is destined for destruction from its inception.

      It is an atheistic country, not a Christian one. Read the constitution. It is a work of human hands, god has no place.

      • Hmmm…

        Read God’s book, the Bible, and you will see his hand, ways and words throughout the Constitution. We had genuinely Godly beginnings and solid moorings. They were taken out of the schools because those afoot in our country and others cannot impose their plans with those original moorings in minds and hearts. Let’s be God-focused, who is able to speak to us directly, impress us with his thoughts and the way to go individually and as a body. Paul faced horrendous opposition and assured himself and others that “greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” Be sure he is indeed inside, right where he wants to be, and then follow the guide inside. We can influence those in our realm, all he expects of us.

  • Billy Chickens

    I’m a contributor on a conservative Catholic blog – not as Billy Chickens, but with my real name. Two weeks ago the blog owner and I were the recipients of a hate filled liberal spewing violence, hatred and evil at us. This person had started their own blog and wrote about wanting us to be killed – tortured in public and die “long, lingering, painful, humiliating, vile, (then several nasty words) deaths – in public then to burn in hell for all eternity”. That was just the tip of the iceberg. This person’s blog lasted 6 days then it was removed from the Internet. I copied all the posts so I have proof. I looked at their page source but found nothing that would lead me to the person’s identity. Just a tolerant democrat I guess.

    • Prettylady!

      Ooo, what’s your blog?

      • Billy Chickens

        Les Femmes – The Truth

    • Fishcicle

      As a liberal myself, I want to disassociate myself, and preferably all real liberals from anyone spewing that kind of hatred. I probably won’t agree with at least some of your politics, but it’s not necessary that I should (or vice versa). I think there are extremists on both sides of the aisle, though the recent shooting is the first one I’ve heard from the left for quite awhile. There used to be a lot of them in the seventies, but I think most learned that they didn’t get people anywhere very desirable. I’ve heard quite a lot of violent propaganda from the Right, though, and there may be more of what you record from the Left as well. I personally don’t think violence leads to much that is positive.

  • SophieA

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire sums up the current sad state of our country and, indeed the world.

Inspiration
Covetous? Who, Me?
Liberty McArtor
More from The Stream
Connect with Us