The Left’s Addiction to Violence - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Left’s Addiction to Violence
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Anti-Trump riot in Portland, Nov. 12, 2016 (Jack Ketcham/Creative Commons)

The headline at Fox News was blunt:

Wisconsin anti-abortion group targeted in Molotov cocktail arson attack: police

Graffiti outside Wisconsin Family Action’s office reads: ‘if abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either’

Over in Boulder, Colorado, a Catholic church, Sacred Heart of Mary Church, was vandalized by pro-abortion protestors.

Hmm. Leftists on a violent rampage, threatening Catholic churches and Supreme Court justices. Where have we seen this before? Here.

On April 20, 1871, Republican President Ulysses Grant signed the Ku Klux Klan Act. What was it and why was it needed?

As recounted in his book Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past, former Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush adviser Bruce Bartlett says this about the legislation and why it was seen by Grant as very much needed. Bartlett writes:

The reaction in the South to the Fifteenth Amendment (which gave the newly freed slaves the right to vote) was the formation of the Ku Klux Klan to suppress the black vote by force. University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease describes this nefarious organization as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.” Columbia University historian Eric Foner concurs, calling the KKK “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”

… The Klan’s power in South Carolina was so great that President Grant was forced to call out the Army to suppress its violence.”

Newsflash? Move forward from the Left’s obsession with violence as it had to do with using the Klan as the Democratic Party’s “terrorist arm” in the 19th century and the pattern of leftist violence repeatedly shows itself as issues change and time — but not the Left’s perpetual threat of violence — moves on.

Here is but a sample out of American history.

Issue: Labor violence

Here’s the headline out of Indianapolis:

The Great Dynamite Conspiracy: Murder and mayhem on Monument Circle

The story begins:

In the early morning hours of October 25, 1909, four dynamite explosions tore through Indianapolis buildings linked to a general contractor named Albert von Spreckelson. Two of the blasts occurred at construction sites where von Spreckleson had hired non-union workers: the new Carnegie Library at Mount and Ohio Streets, and the Central Union Telephone Exchange in Irvington. Explosions also damaged von Spreckelson’s planing-mill at 1200 East North Street, and his barn at 1220 East Michigan.

This kind of labor violence from the Left was repeated over and over again in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Issue: Anti-Vietnam War Violence

On August 24, 1970, a bomb went off at the University of Wisconsin’s Sterling Hall. The stated reason by the four men involved in the bombing? The university had been performing research for the U.S. military. The latter, of course, was at the time actively prosecuting the Vietnam War. A university physics researcher was killed while three others were injured.

The period of anti-Vietnam War protests saw repeated violence from leftist anti-war protestors. Like this one at the Pentagon in 1967. The U.S. Marshals Service recounts the tale this way:

Anti-Vietnam war protestors rallied to Washington on Saturday, October 21,1967, in the first national demonstration against the war. The Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam organized the protest to get national visibility for the anti-war movement. Nearby, military policemen stood at ten-foot intervals around the Pentagon. Within the circle of MP’s, 300 U.S. Deputy Marshals spent the day waiting. The Deputies were on hand to make any necessary arrests, a civilian power not normally bestowed on the military. Hidden inside the Pentagon and other government buildings were five to six thousand Army troops armed with rifles and bayonets.…

… At 5:40 p.m., a determined crowd of 35,000 headed for the Pentagon. A smaller segment at the front stormed forward, scaled the walls, and forced their way into the Pentagon. The Deputies and soldiers were taunted and assaulted with vegetables, rocks, and bottles. The troops inside the Pentagon rushed outside as the violence escalated. A full-scale riot erupted.

Over and over again leftist anti-war protestors did everything from rioting to burning down buildings, as was done in Carbondale, Illinois — the home of Southern Illinois University. The university’s school paper has recorded what else happened:

As demonstrators were dispersed, they vandalized businesses, throwing rocks at their windows, and set fire to a vacant building on Mill Street. Then a vibrant commercial district, some 78 businesses were seriously damaged that night and dozens of people were injured, though most injuries were reported as minor. Then-Mayor David Keene responded by implementing a 7:30 p.m. curfew, forbidding gatherings of more than 25 people, and banning alcohol sales, according to newspaper reports.

On and on goes this addiction to violence from the Left through the decades even as the issues change. The pattern kept on in the 21st century. Here’s a 2015 headline from Fox News:

‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests Turn Violent When Demonstrators Clash With Police

Then there was the violence attacking Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration and not to be forgotten (unless one is the January 6 Committee and the liberal media) are the over 500 violent riots across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Now comes the Molotov cocktail attack on a Wisconsin pro-life headquarters over abortion and the threats to the conservative justices on the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court itself.

So. What do we have here?

From the violence of the Ku Klux Klan — “the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party” — in the 1870s to labor violence at the turn of the 20th century to anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s and early 1970s to Occupy Wall Street violence in 2015 to this week’s violent attack over a leaked Supreme Court opinion on abortion, what we have is this:

The decades, indeed the centuries, pass. The issues come and the issues go. But what never goes away is the 100 percent certainty that the American Left is historically and repeatedly violent.

Not that you will ever read this in the New York Times.

Image: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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