The Logic of Revolution Unfolds In Virginia
By George Rasley
In our October 2018 article “Revolutionary Logic” we told CHQ readers about Prof. Angelo Codevilla’s essay “Our Revolution’s Logic” and commended to our readers Codevilla’s conclusion that revolutions turn upon the logic of mutual hate that drives them, and in our present case the consequences are already driving us away from the Constitution and the ordinary civility that have long been the foundations upon which constitutional liberty rested.
Wrote Prof. Codevilla:
The American republic’s essence had been self-restraint toward fellow citizens deemed equals. The Constitution of 1787 had been its paradigm. Under its words and by its laws, Americans had enjoyed safety and predictability for themselves and their way of life. But Progressives’ subordination of the Constitution, laws, and institutions to their own purposes and for their own primacy ended all that. The rest of America’s increasing realization that only fire can fight fire has followed naturally.
What Prof. Codevilla observed as a general principle in contemporary American politics is now unfolding with great specificity in Virginia.
Progressives, having captured control of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the first time, are wasting no time in subordinating the Constitution and legislative power of the State to their own purposes, especially regarding the right to keep and bear arms.
No sooner had Democrats won the majority in the Virginia legislature than their presumptive state Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, introduced SB 16, a bill that makes currently legal AR15s, AK47s, many semi-automatic shotguns, and even some handguns, illegal to possess and also bans magazines that hold more than an arbitrary 10 round limit.
Saslaw’s legislation would make criminals out of thousands of law-abiding Virginia gun owners and has sparked a predicable turn in the revolutionary spiral posited by Prof. Codevilla.
As of this writing 84 counties and local jurisdictions in Virginia have declared themselves to be “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” The local government meetings to vote on the sanctuary resolutions, usually somnolent affairs with few spectators, have seen jaw-dropping turnouts, with Rockingham County’s meeting hosting over 3,000 citizen participants, Frederick County hosting at least 1,000 and many of the resolutions passing unanimously.
In the now-Second Amendment sanctuary of Culpeper County, Sheriff Scott Jenkins vowed to deputize thousands of gun owners during the Board of Supervisors meeting that unanimously declared his county to be a Second Amendment Constitutional County. “I plan to properly screen and deputize thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms,” he said.
The defiance of local authorities quickly prompted a tighter turn in the progressive revolutionary spiral, with Far Left Democrat Governor Ralph Northam threatening, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.”
Northam did not offer specifics on what the potential consequences could be, but arresting or removing resisting county officials has not been taken off the table.
UPDATE: Democrat Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-4) suggests Gov. Ralph Northam (D) can activate the National Guard and use it to force Second Amendment sanctuary counties to honor gun control.
(We note for the record the Governor has not imposed “consequences” on localities that illegally provide “sanctuary” to illegal aliens, but that’s for another column.)
However, in support of Northam’s plans, those wishing to infringe upon their neighbors’ Second Amendment rights have begun to turn the rhetorical screw further into the revolutionary spiral.
For example, Darlene Schneck, writing to the News Leader, a Gannet newspaper serving Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, Virginia, said:
This worship of guns is ridiculous. We regulate car use and no one is coming for your car unless you break the law. Commonsense gun laws exist to keep us all safe. The reason we have so much gun violence is because of the easy access to the obscene number of guns in this country. It is our national shame.
For their revolution to succeed, it is necessary for those wishing to infringe upon the Second Amendment to dehumanize their opponents and to assert their moral superiority.
As Prof. Codevilla explained:
The logic that drives each turn of our revolutionary spiral is Progressive Americans’ inherently insatiable desire to exercise their superiority over those they deem inferior. With Newtonian necessity, each such exercise causes a corresponding and opposite reaction. The logic’s force comes not from the substance of the Progressives’ demands. If that were the case, acquiescing to or compromising with them could cut it short. Rather, it comes from that which moves, changes, and multiplies their demands without end. That is the Progressives’ affirmation of superior worth, to be pursued by exercising dominance: superior identity affirmed via the inferior’s humiliation. It is an inherently endless pursuit.
The logic is rooted in disdain, but not so much of any of the supposed inferiors’ features or habits. If it were, the deplored could change their status by improving. But the Progressives deplore the “deplorables” not to improve them, but to feel good about themselves. Hating people for what they are and because it feels good to hate them, is hate in its unalloyed form.
Thus, Ms. Schneck’s use of the words ridiculous, obscene and shame render her opponents, not just their ideas, as not just unworthy, but irredeemable objects to be hated.
Can there be a compromise, as Americans of mutual good will have been able to craft in the past?
We doubt it, because the principles at stake are not amenable to compromise.
As our friend Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League put it in a recent email:
Who are WE to negotiate away the right of future generations to own AR-15s, or their equivalent, and magazines of whatever capacity they want?
Who are WE to give away the right of future generations to protect themselves from criminals or from a government that’s gone tyrannical, just so we can selfishly have our guns and magazines now?
And who is stupid enough to think that the gun controllers won’t be back, over and over again, to get those guns and magazines out of our hands anyway in the near future?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust a government that doesn’t trust me to have guns.
Why, exactly, do they want to disarm us? I can tell you that it isn’t for public safety. Violent crime has been dropping for years, while gun ownership has been soaring.
No, it’s not about making us safe. It’s about making government safe to do things in the future that an armed populace would never tolerate.
If Prof. Codevilla is right, that the US Constitution and ordinary civility—are small stuff to our Progressive opponents, and it is hard to argue that he is not, we think the logical answer to the question “And then what?” may be found in our article, “Where’s John Brown When We Need Him?”
Today, conservatives and other peaceful “normal” Americans find themselves in much the same position as Free-Soil settlers found themselves in Kansas in the years 1856 to 1858: Our homes and businesses are under attack, we are harried in public, we are violently attacked by politically motivated killers, our media and communications are destroyed, and government officials seem powerless to defend us or in some cases are even leading the attacks.
Today, as the violence against Republican elected officials and their supporters escalates it seems all our leaders are prepared to do is to once again counsel turning the other cheek, making me wonder, as John Brown did, where’s the leader who will fight back?
The leaders who will fight back are already being forged in Virginia, but it remains to be seen just what that fight will look like. A few years ago the image of thousands of armed citizens surrounding a courthouse to protect a county sheriff about to be arrested by the Virginia State Police would have been unthinkable, now, if Prof. Codevilla’s concept of the logic of revolutions prevails, it could be the lead segment in a TV newscast from Culpeper County, Virginia.
George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Published with Permission of conservativehq.com