If you remember the late 1970s—I do, if only barely—America was in decline, suffering from “stagflation” (that rare combination of recession and inflation), and still mindful of its recent withdrawal from South Vietnam, in disgrace. New York City was a disaster zone of crime, murder and graffiti, Jimmy Carter was president, and people couldn’t stop thinking about Watergate. But Ronald Reagan and the conservative revolution were waiting in the wings, and the nation would soon be reminded that American exceptionalism is what made this country great.
[F]reedom without responsibility results in life that is “nasty, brutish and short.”
During the twilight years of that era’s “Great Society liberalism,” there was a joke often repeated at parties: the definition of a conservative was a liberal who was mugged last night.
Well, amid the current wave of liberal idiocy—where we are somehow supposed to somehow simultaneously defund or abolish the police and reduce the number of black people getting killed—the same phenomenon is occurring. Liberals are discovering that when you dismiss law and order you get anarchy, violence and death. Now, more than ever, the words of English philosopher Thomas Hobbes ring true when he wrote in his magnum opus, Leviathan, that freedom without responsibility results in life that is “nasty, brutish and short.”
Take the case of Mark and Patricia McCloskey. The couple have become the embodiment of all that is currently wrong with America—a perfect example of just how fragile the roots of human civilization are when the mob comes to disturb the soil of democracy. The treatment of the McCloskeys demonstrates how this country has been turned on its head; how the “city on a hill” has transformed into a shooting gallery in Chicago.
NASTY, BRUTISH AND SHORT
The mob came for the McCloskeys in their gated St. Louis community on June 28th. They were reportedly on their way to St. Louis Mayor Lydia Krewson’s house, just up the street, to demand her resignation after reading the names and addresses of activists demanding “police reform” during a virtual news conference.
“[They said] that they were going to kill us. They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house.”
Ironically—and 2020 is a year replete with both idiocy and irony, it seems—the McCloskey Law Center is currently representing a black man who says he was physically abused by a police officer in 2019, according to the Associated Press. I guess the mob didn’t hear about that—or probably didn’t care—because this is really not about black lives or white lives mattering. It’s about whether radical leftists can control the levers of power and redefine our culture as Marxist and post-Judeo Christian.
The McCloskeys probably never planned to become national folk heroes—and they probably never would have been, were it not for the miracle of social media that broadcasted their altercation with a mob of angry “demonstrators” worldwide. The couple greeted the thugs with an AR-15 and a handgun, demanding they leave their property. They never fired their guns, or even aimed at any of the protesters—but they were making it clear they were willing to defend themselves. As Patricia McCloskey told Fox News that the mob was not on the porch begging for social justice. “[They said] that they were going to kill us. They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house.”
Yet, local police did not tell the mob to disperse or stop threatening the couple. Instead, the police appeared at the couples’ door days later—to confiscate the rifle. They tracked down the handgun held by Patricia and impounded that too.
The McCloskeys are now facing potential legal action, and have been subject to continuous abuse by the liberal media that apparently thinks the pair should have nodded politely at the hoodlums outside their front door and waited for their house to become engulfed in flames.
And that’s not all. The miserable excuse for a circuit attorney in St. Louis, Kimberly Gardner, is after the couple. Instead of expressing her shock that two upstanding residents of St. Louis could be subject to harassment and potential attack by a restless and unpredictable mob, Gardner has condemned the McCloskeys for daring to defend themselves. The condemnation came after she released all of the city’s rioters from prison, a statement that further pronounced she was:
“…alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated. My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and we will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”
Can we all see what’s wrong with this picture? The entire event is so un-American, so reeking of Soviet-style justice that it is difficult to believe that it has occurred in a city that was once idealized in the MGM classic “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The right to defend your life and your property from someone who threatens either has been a hallmark of American justice since the formation of this country. The villains in this story are not supposed to be the ones defending their house—they are the ones trying to burn it down.
PROSECUTED (PERSECUTED) FOR HOLDING THEIR GROUND
If the McCloskeys have outlasted the five minutes of fame we are all guaranteed in this world of social media and 24/7 news, it is because their experience has galvanized both supporters and opponents of freedom in America.
Why did the McCloskeys have their Second Amendment rights denied? They legally owned their firearms and did not illegally use them—so why did the police seize them? Clearly, St. Louis’ law enforcement was acting on behalf of a power-hungry district attorney, who, in her own right, seems to be more concerned with advocating for Black Lives Matter than the community she is sworn to protect.
Where are all the gun-loving Republicans who should be rallying to the defense of Mark and Patricia? Very few of the pusillanimous herd have entered the fray, save 12 legislators who wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr objecting to the firearms confiscation. (Ever-consistent, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted that he believes the couple had their civil rights violated with the firearms seizures).
This morning I have asked the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation into the St Louis Circuit Attorneys Office. Targeting law abiding citizens who exercise constitutionally protected rights for investigation & prosecution is an abuse of power https://t.co/lg9GbisWgd
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 16, 2020
Why has so much of what Mark McCloskey called “the traditional media” been so angry at the couple? Mark appeared on CNN blowhard Chris Cuomo’s evening rant on Wednesday only to be raked over the coals as the face of “white resistance” to Black Lives Matter. (Of course, Cuomo accusing McCloskey of harboring strange, violent impulses is ludicrous coming from a man who had gone berserk on others in public—the last known incident occurring when a cyclist challenged Cuomo for violating his quarantine as a coronavirus patient).
“You know, the traditional media is right behind the mob.”
“You know, the traditional media is right behind the mob,” McCloskey told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. “We are not allowed to use that word anymore—the large crowd of angry people—and are supporting these entities which are from my understanding Marxist and oppose everything that I stand for and I hold dear.”
During this appearance, Mark McCloskey revealed that his attorney had advised him “not to be on the show tonight because the rumor is that we are going to be indicted shortly.” McCloskey criticized Gardner for “wanting to prosecute” him and releasing 35 of the rioters who “torched and looted downtown St. Louis,” noting that, “I didn’t shoot anybody, I just held my ground, protected my house and I’m sitting here on television tonight instead of dead or putting out the smoldering embers of my home.”
Has America gone mad? Well, not yet—but it’s arriving there very quickly, and society has certainly been turned on its head. Rioters go unpunished. Assistance from police go unheeded. Second Amendment rights are trampled. Protecting your home makes you the criminal.
This has all transpired at such a terrifying pace that saner minds are wondering just why we are being told to jettison the values, ideals and principles that not only created America but continued to characterize its growth as a country and its benevolent dominance of world affairs for the past 75 years. We may have arrived 36 years late, but we are surely living in George Orwell’s 1984: a time when love is hate and peace is war.
But thanks to two lawyers from St. Louis, it might not be too late to wake up from this nightmare.