aNewDomain commentary — If the prevailing mood among police really is that they see themselves as the last good people who are in charge of keeping the rest of us, the lawless, in check, ask yourself: Is it really a good idea for them to have all the guns?
I say no. What if the cops or other far-right conservatives who are always threatening to “take back America” become so frustrated that they really do try to take over? Progressives will be left unarmed, defenseless and at their mercy.
It isn’t the tasteful or politically correct thing to say, but I’ll say it anyway:
If you’re a liberal, it’s time you get a gun and learn how to use it. A firearm, preferably an automatic firearm, may turn out to be a progressive’s best friend, especially if you’re worried about a coming far right coup d’etat.
The Founding Fathers wonder why you haven’t done this already. They went to some trouble to allow you to own weapons. The Oath Keepers would, too. You know those guys: They’re that SPLC-classified hate group of mostly ex-cops and ex-military guys, the ones marching freely around Ferguson, MO right now, wearing flak jackets and carrying automatic weapons. Ferguson Police are fine with it. But are you?
Are we living in a peaceful, social democracy where all groups are well-represented? Is rebellion unthinkable?
If current trends keep up, I’d say a rebellion — a violent rebellion by far-right conservatives — starts to become a real possibility. The nation’s most successful rebellion to date was caused by far-right conservatives who felt cornered and out of options, and the Civil War was America’s bloodiest war by far.
Don’t be like Republicans who lost the Spanish Civil War due to a lack of guns back in the 1930s — or any other of the many groups throughout history who lost struggles just for the lack of firepower.
Think ahead. Here’s how it could all play out.
“Take back America?” Them’s fighting words.
Ultra-conservative Tea Party supporters think nothing of loudly proclaiming they want to take back America. The militia movement, which started in the 1990s, is alive, well and right there, too. Far right hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations and many Confederate sympathizers are heavily armed. So are the some 784 hate groups the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) tracks.
The only unarmed people around these days seem to be liberals. Now does that sound like a good idea?
It’s true that demographics, in the long run, disfavor the long-term success of the far-right movement in America.
Conservatives tend to be older white folks, and their children generally seem to grow up as more middle of the road. Pundits often predict that just the sheer passage of time will rub out conservative ideals and probably turn the U.S. into a social democracy a lot like what you see now in Western Europe, the Scandinavian countries in particular.
But the far right isn’t likely to give up its power lying down. In the waning years of white conservative control, it’s too easy to envision a desperate someone or a group of desperate someones trying to seize power and “take back America while there’s still time.”
To do it, they’d try to unite as many disparate far right conservative groups as possible and start a consolidation of not just power, but firepower.
It’s happened before. The Apartheid government of the National Party in South Africa held power for nearly 50 years even though the party comprised a small fraction of the country’s overall population.
Apartheid supporters had guns. And their opponents had none. And as it became more evident that white rule was on its way out, the Apartheid government in South Africa became increasingly violent. It could’ve ceded power gracefully but it wouldn’t. Instead, it aggressively hung on for another generation.
The Tea Party Revolution would shape up similarly.
Now let’s imagine how a Tea Party rebellion would transpire.
It would have to be violent. It would have to be really violent.
It would have to involve both major U.S. institutions with stockpiles of weapons: the military and the police. The rebellion would probably appear at first to be a violent reaction to terrorist activity, but only a few days later it would transmogrify into something else entirely.
Such a rebellion would likely include militia groups, too. I don’t mean the ones filled with fat old men popping hypertension tablets. They’d be good at torturing suspects, it’s true. But that won’t be needed until later.
In the beginning, the rebels would just need guns, guns like the ones the Oath Keepers are carrying in Ferguson right now.
An alliance between law enforcement and a hate group like the Oath Keepers isn’t difficult at all to conjure up. Already, police are allowing them to turn up in Ferguson during a curfew with loaded automatic weapons, and no questions asked.
Actually, that’s not quite correct. The police chief did say he is going to make sure to ask the St. Louis prosecutor’s office if all is copacetic.
The ties among far-right groups and law enforcement may be young and tender, now. But they are looking stronger all the time.
Protesters will be the first to go …
Tea Party rebels would have to make clear early on that mere protests would not deter them. The best way to do this would be to shock the majority population with a bloodbath somewhat akin to Kristallnacht, where Nazis harassed not only the Jews but let everyone else know, too, that they would stop for nothing and no one to achieve their aims. Protesters fell away quickly.
The non-violent protests of Gandhi against British rule in India only worked because the British saw themselves as good people who had no particular animus against the Indians. A Tea Party revolution would be more like the French Revolution where the hatred resulted in a bloodbath.
After the violent start of the rebellion, the rest of Americans will realize they have no institutions to fight for them, no one to turn to and no firearms of their own, what choice will they have? They, too, will fall in line, especially if it looks like the economy is about to suffer.
And then it will be your turn. And you’re the enemy.
In the post-rebellion stage, the new government would set about implementing a more perfect police state — with special camps for undesirables like liberals, the educated, the clergy and so on …
Henry Kissinger directed both those revolutions, so it’s no stretch to assume a far right conservative U.S. — maybe a Tea Party-controlled U.S. — might use just the same tactics. Such tactics were made in America, so to speak.
The new conservative government would next set about controlling the media to a greater extent than they already do. So much for the First Amendment. If you think it is compromised now, just you wait.
I suspect that the “grand plan” to remake the U.S. looks glorious to the eyes of an ultra conservative. It’s The Great Nation Returned, only it’s a misguided returning of the country to some glorious past that really never was. But no matter.
It would, in the end, fail miserably.
Of course it would.
But think of the cost.
Wanted: liberal cops!
The future horrors of a conservative coup d’etat would be far less likely if progressives were well armed and found in equal numbers to conservatives in places like police departments, the military, the FBI, the NSA and the CIA.
That alone could help ensure that we avoid a future bloodbath.
It isn’t a complete solution. Not quiet. The complete solution requires building the sort of society where avoiding a successful revolution by any one group doesn’t mean ensuring its failure but, rather, ensuring no one’s too interested in violently rebelling in the first place.
Wanted: liberal military officers!
For this reason, lefties should adamantly support the reinstatement of the military draft.
Survey after survey shows the military of the current all-volunteer army is considerably more conservative than the rest of the country.
One of the most patriotic things that a young progressive could do, right now, in 2015, is to gain admission to one of the military service academies with the intention of becoming a career military officer while at the same time staying true to progressive values.
The young progressive doesn’t need to love violence and war if they’re going to do this. He or she would enter a military academy primarily to provide a leveling influence on the military.
As for young lefties who don’t want to wear khaki for 20 years, a career in law enforcement is in order. That’s the simplest and quickest way to ensure black lives matter, after all. Those who wish to stand against racism and racists need to prepare themselves for careers in law enforcement.
This is essentially that same reason that earlier generations of Irish and Italians became policemen. And there’s wisdom in that.
An automatic weapon may be just the ticket.
As for the rest of the progressives who are too old to join a military academy or start a career in law enforcement, they should just follow my original advice: Buy a gun. Or multiple guns. Or, better yet, automatic weapons.
If you are only buying a firearm for the sole purpose of using it to oppose a potential coup d’etat by ultra-conservatives some horrible day in the future, automatic weapons are your best bet. And U.S. law permits it. Just make sure you learn how to use your new gun(s) properly — and buy a child safety lock.
If you join a progressive militia, note that the guy who wants the group to buy illegal weapons or argues for overthrowing the government is a police informant. Real progressives know that all they need is time and the ballot box.
Forewarned is forearmed. Praemonitus praemunitus.
Images in order
Sprit of ‘76.2: via Wikimedia Commons; Screenshot: courtesy OKC Tea Party, All Rights Resevered; Murder at Sharpeville 21 March 1960: by Godfrey Rubens via Wikimedia Commons; Oath Keepers in Ferguson: courtesy NBC News/Reuters, All Rights Reserved; Reunión Pinochet – Kissinger by Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile: via Wikimedia Commons; Marine Corps drill instructor yells at recruit: by Staff Sergeant J.L. Wright Jr. via Wikimedia Commons.