For the last several years I have watched in utter disgust as a steady stream of liberal groups have acted out violently in cities across our nation. Whether it was the Occupy Movement, Black Lives Matter, or most recently the anti-Trump “protesters,” there is a common thread to all these anarchist-type leftists. While some of their grievances may have merit, what might begin as organized protests soon turns to threats, rioting, vandalizing, destruction, and assaults. Common to many of these violent events are clashes with police, tear gas, arrests, and injuries. Sadly, some of these criminal leftists have even killed those we entrust our safety to — our men and women in blue.
The media is quick to cover for these radical extremists, often comparing them to protests by the tea party movement on the right, as if there is some moral equivalence. But this comparison could not be more distorted, and intentionally fraudulent, by a media that is hell-bent on uplifting the radical leftist groups and marginalizing and misrepresenting peaceful conservative protests.
I founded the Chattanooga Tea Party in early 2009, and was present at the inception of the modern tea party movement. I’ve been engaged in this worthy and impactful conservative movement every step of the way. Our group in Chattanooga, just one of thousands across our nation, began as a protest rally on April 15, 2009 with patriotic songs, prayers, inspiring speakers, and more than 2,500 local citizens. The family-friendly protest was peaceful and consisted of mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, professionals, blue-collar, white, black, hispanic, elected officials, clergy and more. As was the case in all of our rallies, we consistently left the locations we rented, as clean or cleaner than when we arrived. And not once did we have any clashes with authorities.
In the fall of that same year, more than a million tea party members and conservative groups traveled to Washington DC to protest the policies of our government. The protest was peaceful, patriotic, respectful and not one violent clash with authorities or citizens. In 2013, I had the opportunity to speak at the Audit the IRS Rally on the grounds of our Capitol in Washington DC. Many tens of thousands of tea party patriots attended and again there were no clashes, violence or destruction.
Most of us who led in the founding of the tea party movement had never participated in a grassroots political effort, particularly one that was focused on expressing the frustration and anger that had been simmering for many years. But while tea party members had little experience in leading protests, there was a common thread of love of country, respect for the law, and regard for our fellow citizens, even when we disagreed. Furthermore, our strategy was to use the power of citizen lobbying, persuasion and ultimately the ballot box, to affect change; not intimidation, violence and rioting.
To be clear, the tea party is not a perfect movement. We have had our share of struggles and some of our members have not represented us well. But those are the rare exceptions. And even in those instances, they do not include rioting, violence or worse.
But not so with many of our fellow citizens on the left side of the aisle. The record is one of consistent and regular rioting and violence over the last several years. Here are just a few examples of their detestable criminal activity, but there are literally dozens and dozens:
- Occupy Wall Street Gets Violent in Oakland (October 2011)
- Violence, Injury & Arrests of Occupy protesters at Americans For Prosperity conservative summit (November 2011)
- Sexual Assaults at Occupy protest in New York Zuccotti Park (November 2011)
- Occupy Protestor Defecates on Police Car (October 2011)
- 400 Arrested after Violent Occupy Protests (January 2012)
- Occupy Stats: murders, rapes, indecent exposure, public defecation, thefts, 6800+ arrests (May 2012)
Black Lives Matter
- Hundreds arrested in BLM Protests (August 2016)
- BLM Protest Turns Violent (October 2016)
- Black Lives Matter’s Violence Undermines its Credibility (July 2016)
- Black Lives Matter Leader: All Actions of BLM Rioters are Justified (August 2016)
- Obama Praises BLM Leader’s ‘Outstanding Work’ in Baltimore (February 2016)
- Black Lives Matter Protest Turns Violent in St. Paul (July 2016)
- Chicago Top Cop Blames Black Lives Matter for Surge in Violence (January 2017)
- Anti-Trump Rally in California Turns Violent (April 2016)
- Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response to Trump is as Logical as Any (June 2016)
- Anti-Trump Protests, Some Violent, Erupt for 3rd Night Nationwide (November 2016)
- Violent anti-Trump Protest Near Inauguration (January 2017)
- Violence Flares in Washington during Trump Inauguration (January 2017)
- Photos of the Violent Protests of Trump’s Inauguration (January 2017)
- Anti-Milo organizer: Window-smashing California protest ‘stunningly successful’ (February 2017)
While certainly there are millions of Democrats and liberals who would never protest by picking up stones, bottles or even guns to vent their anger, the truth is there are millions who would and tens of thousands who have. There is a quote that states,
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak.”
There’s a deafening silence from many Democrats/liberals as the behavior of many in their party can only be characterized as criminal. Most agree that our nation is deeply divided. But there is no doubt that the continued silence of the left when their own engage in violent acts, will only worsen the deep divide. So I call on my fellow Americans who may not identify with a conservative ideology, or even the unorthodox style of our new President, to reject the path of violence and anarchy. Protest if you feel the need, but do so in a peaceful and respectful manner. Convince your fellow Americans of the soundness of your views and values via your ideological arguments, not your violent acts. Only then can we hope “to form a more perfect union.”