Lauren Kaylor | James A. West Intern
A festering wound of mass mob violence infects the United States in the summer of 2020.
After the death of George Floyd on May 25, thousands pressed into anarchic brigades of chaos, unleashing destruction and devastation on thousands of American citizens and their property. Many innocent people have been attacked and scores of businesses destroyed and looted. Innocent people have been shot, elderly business owners beaten with beams, businesses built with life savings burned to the ground, not to mention entire neighborhoods completely rendered uninhabitable. These atrocities have been committed in the name of “protest.”
A young woman in Chicago, summing up the effects of both the recklessness and calculated destruction in U.S. cities, explained on Twitter:
“I’m so hurt. I’m barely surviving and not only did y’all burn my job (Walgreens) down but the grocery store in my neighborhood was looted for what. Now my mom can’t get her prescription or food. How was this ‘for us’? #ChicagoRiots” @gigirobynson
A spirit of chaos, violence, and defilement has overwhelmed a militant insurgence across the United States, from Seattle to Miami.
On Thursday, July 2, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) took to the Senate floor to pass a resolution condemning the ongoing mob violence that has infested our nation’s cities and most recently, destroyed multiple historical statues of historically integral American figures.
After Lee proposed the resolution, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) attempted to amend the resolution by inserting a condemnation of President Trump and also referred to Senator Lee’s resolution as “supremacist.”
Senator Lee responded to this charge by explaining: “This isn’t even a bill; it’s just a statement that says, ‘Mob violence is bad.’ That democrats can’t say ‘mob violence is bad’ without simultaneously condemning the president of the United States?…People are being shot, businesses are being looted, innocent Americans are being attacked and threatened.”
Senator Menendez objected and accused Senator Lee of violating Rule XIX, the rule that no senator in debate shall directly or indirectly, by any form of words, impute another senator, any conduct or motive, unworthy or unbecoming of a senator. This rule exists to maintain civility among the deliberative body that the Senate was built to be.
The accusation was befuddling because whether or not Senator Lee violated Rule XIX was far beside the point. They were engaged in a Senate floor debate about mob violence, an issue of critical importance to our nation’s wellbeing. Senator Menendez accused Lee’s resolution of being “supremacist,” but Lee did not appeal to petty accusations to stifle the debate.
In an attempt to combat Senator Lee’s debate, Senator Menendez invoked the same tactic that the average leftist uses to invalidate their opponents’ contributions. Using Senate rules as ammunition, Menendez accused Lee of violating Rule XIX in a delusional attempt to invalidate Lee’s legitimate assertion for a balanced resolution by labeling him as a supremacist, and refusing to pass senatorial condemnation of mob violence sans a jab at President Trump.
If you have ever tried to voice a conservative thought to “the mob,” then you personally know the same effacement, judgment, labeling, and/or harassment that happened to Senator Lee on July 2. Leftists ubiquitously use this tactic in spades—at parties, at work, online, and in my non-unique experience, especially in academia. I attest to this as a recent graduate of a small liberal arts university in the Midwest. If you do not agree with the mob, you will be cancelled. The reason for cancelation does not have to be legitimate in order to be canceled, and I would estimate that 99 percent of the time, the snuffing out of conservative contributions is not legitimate. The reason that our important institutions are now imperviously left wing is not because there is a lack of conservative viewpoints; it is because views deviating from the mob are spat upon. This is threatening and human psychology does not incentivize gentle dissenters to aggravate a bull.
Strangely, however, what Senator Lee proposed was not even a conservative principle—it was just that mob violence is something to be looked down upon. Is it misguided to conclude that the mob shames even non-political resolutions? Is it erroneous to conclude that the mob has an aversion to civility? Of course it is not. The mob is inherently uncivil, nondemocratic, and non-deliberative. I contend that it was both disappointing and jarring to see Senator Menendez employ the same immature tactic that angry leftist college students use to cancel speakers and bully conservative classmates, but rather on the U.S. Senate floor.
Senator Lee’s resolution did not include any language that exempted President Trump from wrongdoing. Lee capped off his speech: “As evidenced by the fact that as my proposed modification would have provided, it would have said, ‘Our elected officials should not incite violence or legitimize those who engage in hate fueled acts.’ Last time I checked, the president of the United States was and is an elected official. This would apply to him. My counter in no way insulated, not him, not any elected officials, not any of us from this resolution, which simply condemns mob violence.”
The leftists of 2020 will not endorse a butterfly if it does not also criticize President Trump, whether the critique of the President is fair and legitimate or not. Last Thursday, a U.S. senator pandered to the mob—or perhaps joined it—by immaturely detracting from condemnation of anarchy and violence that has upended life in America.