In the early eighties, at the nadir of the American right to keep and bear arms, and the peak of the urban crime wave that only started to break 20 years ago, it was very easy to identify with [subway "vigilante" Bernard] Goetz; robbed over and over, first by street thugs, and then by thugs with law degrees or working for newspapers, Goetz’ situation reflected a lot of peoples’ fears – and his response sparked a lot of imaginations.His takeaway. "Americans were never intended to be helpless in the face of evil."
It may be uncaused correlation, a complete coincidence, that on the day Bernard Goetz shot his muggers, exactly eight states had “shall issue” laws, requiring states to prove one should not have a permit to carry a firearm; by 1990, it was 15; by the 10th anniversary of his trial, 20; today, 42 of the fifty states have either “Shall Issue” or “Constitutional Carry”.
Was Bernard Goetz the cause celebre that led, slowly and circuitously, to the state we’re in today, with Real Americans in the ascendant?
I like to think they’re related. Prove me wrong.
David French, at National Review, extends. He starts with a recitation of conservative or libertarian complaints against Technocratic Government.
Americans aren’t fearful. They’re angry. The entire alphabet soup of federal agencies has not only failed the American people, they’ve often turned against the very citizens and Constitution they’re required to serve. The IRS attacks the conservative movement. The VA leaves veterans to die. The EPA lawlessly expands its power until it regulates and restricts vast sectors of the American economy. HHS attacks religious liberty. The Department of Education wages war on due process and free speech. The list could go on and on.But Americans will not be helpless in the face of evil.
Indeed, rising anger against political correctness is itself evidence of American fearlessness. At its very core, political correctness endeavors to alter reality — to transform perception through selective deception. Yet it turns out that Americans crave the truth. We want to understand the true dimension of the jihadist threat. We want to understand the roots of poverty and the behaviors that drive Americans into bankruptcy and hopelessness. We want more, not less, information about the impact of mass immigration on our nation’s economy and culture.I'll have more about those Trump Democrats another day. Teaser: the wizards of smart haven't been able to reach them the way the senator and the entertainer have. Despite thinking about doing so, a lot. Complex adaptive systems ...
There are, of course, times when public fear is a significant factor in public affairs. Stock market crashes, surprise attacks, economic disruption — all of these things can cause fear. And politicians often intentionally try to whip up fear to advance their own interests. But any politician — such as Chris Christie, who declared that Americans were “scared to death” of ISIS — who tries to argue that America is in the grips of fear now is misdiagnosing the public mood.
Obama should know better. Indeed, arguably the two angriest candidates in America today — Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — are drawing support from his own side. Sanders, the grumpy socialist, is appealing directly to many of the same progressives who mobilized to elect Obama. But what about Trump? His most dedicated supporters are often alienated Democrats.
But the Bernard Goetz moment might be the first in an extended evolution.
Anger can be a virtue — even Jesus got angry — and in this moment of American history, properly channeled anger might be the very thing that restores American strength abroad and begins to correct injustice and rampant abuses of power here at home. Indeed, without anger, we may not have the fortitude to change. To those crying out for “sunnier,” more pleasant politicians, ask yourself if these people have the strength of will to confront entrenched, malignant ideologues in the IRS, DOJ, EPA, BLM, VA, and every other leftist enclave in American government. Ask yourselves if they’re prepared to confront ISIS, Iran, and Russia.Emergence is like that.
The American people aren’t fearful. They’re angry, and that anger may well be the very thing that motivates the change America needs.