Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) was challenged recently by a caller on the “Jay Thomas Show.” The caller asked Cramer to reveal the identity of the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed unarmed Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, on January 6. Cramer claimed he did not know the name of the officer, nor did he believe the public had any right to know that officer’s name because he had not been found guilty of any wrongdoing.
Such pandering to the ruling class and its railroaded investigation is embarrassing enough, as the available evidence (to say nothing of the evidence that the government refuses to release) indicates that the officer recklessly—through the broken window of a locked door—shot an unarmed woman who posed no threat to anyone.
But Cramer went further. The public has no right to know, he asserted, “because the person that [sic] shot her is a police officer shooting a criminal not complying with officers’ telling her ‘stop, don’t come through that window, we have guns drawn, don’t do it.’”
Leave aside the fact that no evidence exists for Cramer’s version of events. When did it become the standard for elected officials to sanction the killing of unarmed persons whose only “crime” was the refusal to comply with orders given by law enforcement? Is not such a “policy” the raison d’être for the entire Black Lives Matter and “defund the police” movement? Are we now to stop deifying George Floyd for resisting arrest and refusing to comply? Must we now instead recognize Derek Chauvin as a hero?
Of course, Cramer, who confessed to being “just grateful for this person, quite honestly,” would never dream of extending that gratitude to police officers who kill unarmed—or armed—blacks simply for refusing to comply with lawful orders. Cramer, like so many other Republican politicians, embraces completely the Left’s false narrative that what happened in the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was a riot, an “armed insurrection,” an existential terrorist threat to the very heart of “Our Democracy™.” Accordingly, the Capitol Police officer must be a hero.
After all, that officer helped to neutralize what was obviously a domestic terrorist attack on cowering and terrified members of Congress—whose safety and well-being is so much more important than, say, mere residents of inner-city neighborhoods who have become victims of violent crime perpetrated by BLM and Antifa. Those victims are not really victims at all, as they are complicit in the systemic racism that pervades our society and so must atone for their collective guilt. But to threaten in any way members of Congress bravely exercising their duty to put the messiness of the 2020 presidential election behind us? That is an affront to all Americans and to the very essence of democracy itself!
It is no surprise that Cramer is also one of 17 Republicans who voted to move forward with the 2,700-page, $1.2 trillion “infrastructure bill”—a bill that has much less to do with repairing our roads and bridges and much more to do with advancing leftist policies, such as recognizing “gender identity” in federal law, mandating government monitoring technology on all new vehicles, and penalizing “climate denial.” Not only have these Republicans seemingly abandoned all pretense of reining in government spending, balancing federal budgets, or curbing federal overreach (once central tenets in the platform of the Republican Party), but they appear to have capitulated entirely to furthering the Left’s agenda.
A Party Enthralled with Power
One could conclude that Republican support for the “infrastructure bill” is merely another manifestation of the cowardice and capitulation we have come to expect from many if not most elected Republicans. Republican politicians generally are silent about the Left’s destructive agenda. Criticism of the Left’s cherished policies, such as “antiracism,” illegal immigration and open borders, and decriminalizing crime, rarely comes from high-profile elected Republicans in Congress; rather it is grassroots opposition at the local and state level that is leading the fight.
That grassroots opposition, as successful as it appears to be in opposing the worst excesses of the leftist project, has found little support from the party whose electoral success depends at least to some degree on the kind of voter who cares enough to protest against the teaching of critical race theory or the “1619 Project” at the local school board. Republicans such as Cramer pay lip service to these voters long enough to be elected or reelected, then sell their souls to receive table scraps from the party that promises to make life even more difficult for those deplorables who resist the fundamental transformation of America that is the Democrats’ sole purpose and objective.
It is becoming obvious that the United States no longer has a functioning two-party system, where the political parties perform the necessary function of ameliorating different interests to form governing majorities, and where the party in the minority provides an alternative.
Republican government rests on the principle of ruling and being ruled in turn, but we now have essentially a ruling class of elites who are truly exempt from both the laws and the prosecution of those laws they impose on the rest of the citizenry. The current ruling party is essentially a government party, i.e., representing the interests of the government rather than the voters—with no true opposition from within a minority party whose interests are essentially aligned with the majority. That interest is defined as maintaining and expanding the power of the governing elite at all costs, with the minority unwilling to protest too much lest they lose their own positions and the benefits those positions bestow. As Harry Jaffa described many years ago, “One party government is a mockery of democracy, but Tweedledum and Tweedledee are one-party government in disguise.”
The Republican Party at the national level is no longer a viable alternative: it is too corrupt, too weak, and too enamored of the trappings of power. The American people need to rally behind an alternative that will represent their interests. This alternative would be nothing like the “burn it down” efforts of the NeverTrump Republicans, who wanted to found a new “party of decency” in the wake of what they viewed as the takeover of the Republican Party by the crass, mean-tweeting Trump and his supporters. Perhaps more than anyone, these NeverTrumpers are responsible for the current ascendency of the Left through their unconscionable alliance with the Democratic Party and their refusal to support their own party’s standard-bearer—either before or after an election of questionable validity.
One does not need to believe the 2020 election was “stolen” to understand that the Biden Administration is making every effort to undermine America at its very foundations. It is using the overblown “crisis” of the COVID delta variant to institute ever more restrictive mandates, attempting to ensure that Americans remain frightened enough of the possibility of contracting a disease (with a 98 percent and rising survivability rate) that they will accept any measures, no matter how draconian. Despite the constant fearmongering, mask and vaccine mandates, and threatened shutdowns, the Biden Administration has nevertheless opened the borders to hundreds of thousands of illegal and unvaccinated aliens—many infected with COVID, and then spread them secretly throughout the country.
The widespread propagation of the “1619 Project” is also intended to have a deleterious effect on the public consciousness; if children can be taught at a young enough age to hate America, opposition to the transformation into a socialist (or worse) utopia will disappear. The recent foreign policy successes of the Trump Administration are quickly being replaced with a foreign policy of weakness and capitulation, led by a senile and incompetent, to say nothing of corrupt and compromised, Biden.
A New Realignment
What America needs now is a partisan realignment very much like what happened in the 1850s, where a wholly new party rose up in opposition to the direction the country was being taken in by the party in power.
The Republican Party of the 1850s was founded in explicit opposition to a piece of congressional legislation—the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854—that proposed to make the question of slavery and its extension into the federal territories a morally neutral issue. The coalition of parties and interests that comprised the Republican Party were diverse and ranged from abolitionists, who wanted to see slavery destroyed throughout the United States at all costs, to “free soilers” who did not want the competition slavery posed to free labor to extend to the territories. The coalition that formed the Republican Party was organized in an amazingly short amount of time: the party fielded a candidate for president in the election of 1856, without the aid of electronic or social media.
What the new party offered was a commitment to the founding principles of the American regime; a recognition that republican government was legitimate only when the consent of the governed was based upon the fundamental principle of human equality as articulated in the Declaration of Independence.
The problems this country faces today are different, but a return to the founding principles is again the solution. Adherence to the principles of human equality and natural rights created a political system bringing freedom, prosperity, and happiness unparalleled in the history of the world. What is necessary now is for leaders, journalists, writers, and the others who can influence and shape public opinion to present a unified message reminding Americans why this country is the greatest ever to have existed; that the principles of the Declaration of Independence formed the basis of the government under the Constitution that exists not to perpetuate the rule of elites, but to secure the natural rights and provide for the safety and happiness of every American. And in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, “If we do this, we shall have not only saved the Union; but we shall have saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving.”
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“Lucretia” is the nom de plume of the co-host of Power Line’s “Three Whisky Happy Hour” podcast on the Ricochet audio network.
Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Paula O (CC BY 2.0).