The Problem of Escalation - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Problem of Escalation
Former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines (Fox News/YouTube)

One of the biggest problems with America’s politics, economics, and culture is that the great malefactors among us, the abusers of power and corruptors of standards, bear no consequences for their bad acts.

You already know this, of course. You knew it when Hillary Clinton was caught using an unsecured server in a bathroom closet to run her email account while she was secretary of state for the obvious purpose of shielding her messages from the prying eyes of the public. Clinton didn’t just escape prosecution for that clear abuse of her office, she also went on to commission an abject fraud of a “dossier” on her 2016 presidential campaign opponent as a pretext for having the federal government spy on that opponent and then sabotage his administration with false allegations after she lost.

A saner America might well have put her in federal prison on a host of serious charges.

None of that happened. In fact, the political team on which Hillary Clinton played has ramped up its efforts to destroy Donald Trump — so much so that it’s Trump, not Clinton, who’s currently under indictment, and for a “crime” that most reputable legal analysts contend does not exist. Further, we know that the Manhattan district attorney running this kangaroo prosecution is essentially riding shotgun while a cabal of Biden-tied lawyers on loan from a fancy downtown firm drive the car.

That’s just one example of how things are going. Those examples are legion.

We’ve talked in this space a couple of times about how the Tennessee Legislature expelled a pair of performative grifters — Justin Jones and Justin Pearson — who took advantage of a riot in the state capitol to seize control of the House floor, bringing a bullhorn and spending 45 minutes exhorting “protesters” to disrupt legislative proceedings.

The expulsion was the correct thing to do. But what’s happened since shows the problem of insufficient consequences.

Jones and Pearson might have been expelled, but they’re headed right back to their seats in the House chamber. Why? Because the city councils in Memphis and Nashville voted them in as replacements for themselves. State law indicates that the local governing authority in the district represented by a state legislator can appoint a replacement for those the legislature expels. Obviously, that statute needs some tweaking if the same legislator is eligible for reseating.

This after Team Biden sent the vice president to Nashville to engage in gutter demagoguery on Jones’ and Pearson’s behalf. State legislators across the South are switching from Democrat to Republican in disgust over what their party has become under Biden; it doesn’t faze them in the least.

And now Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, is demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland investigate the Tennessee House of Representatives for “violating the civil rights” of Jones and Pearson, as though somehow it’s now a civil right to be an elected official who violates his oath of office and disrupts the very function of that office through abuse and disrespect. And of course Garland will do it.

Bizarro World is a good description of this. So is corruption preventing due consequences for bad acts.

But most importantly, what it represents is escalation, and the problem the Right is running into is fighting the multiplying abuses of the Hard Left.

The blog Ace of Spades had a terrific discussion of this concept on Tuesday, with the Tennessee imbroglio in mind. It starts by noting this tweet from Kyle Shideler, who references blackjack to explain the Left’s strategy of escalation:

Per Ace, this is exactly what’s going on:

This is a good point, and explains why the left is attacking Trump and MAGA so hard: Because Trump and MAGA counter-escalate.

The left realizes that if they escalate and the right counter-escalates, not only does this deny them the easy victories that always come from the P***y Right always backing down, but it could lead to actual open warfare. If the left keeps on escalating in rhetoric and actual violence, and the right, instead of meekly backing down and accepting losses forever, counter-escalates in rhetoric and action, that could lead to an actual civil war the left could lose.

Now, one way to avoid this escalation towards civil war is for the left to simply stop escalating all the time. But of course this is absolutely anathema to the left, including their media cheerleaders and Deep State guardian. Under no circumstances will the violent Marxist left ever be denied its “right” to escalate further and further into open violence.

That means that the right must be made to abandon its newly-adopted tactic of counter-escalation.

And that means that the Deep State must begin prosecuting Trump and anyone in MAGA for non-criminal behavior, and putting them on terrorist watch-lists for using dangerous code-words like “red-pilled” and “Chad.”

The Deep State and the left will make it clear, through persecution and state-sanctioned warfare against the right, that only the left is permitted to engage in revolutionary, inciting rhetoric, and commit actual revolutionary violence. The right will be carted off to political prisons to protect the Marxist Left’s Monopoly on Violence.

Both Ace and Shideler are certainly correct. And this is the problem that those in the coalition opposing the Hard Left’s corruption of America will increasingly run into.

No, you shouldn’t be concerned with the screaming and bad press and name-calling and gaslighting that the other side will engage in. The Bush Republican strategy of endlessly backing down for fear of those harangues brought nothing but defeat, and the voters of the center right have thrown up our hands and demanded more. It’s a key reason for Donald Trump’s rise, after all; he fights, and that’s better than the low-energy Bush/McCain/Romney/Paul Ryan strategy of appeasement and accommodation as the culture, economics, and politics of America crater ever more quickly.

But what you have to recognize is that you will not win victories cleanly. The other side will escalate.

They’ve escalated in Florida, for example. Gov. Ron DeSantis smacked Disney for having spoken out against a highly popular law banning schools from grooming kindergartners for exotic sexualities, and most people thought that that was the end of the matter. But it isn’t, and DeSantis is having to fight that company practically daily.

If you call this out, it gets worse. Ask Riley Gaines, the University of Kentucky national champion women’s swimmer who was forced to compete against a deranged man named William Thomas, who donned a woman’s bathing suit and got into the pool to represent the University of Pennsylvania swim team at the NCAA championships. Gaines swam exceptionally well but was no match for a man standing 6 foot, 4 inches and weighing over 200 pounds in a farce of a competition.

But she says that after she responded to this insult and injustice by speaking out, she was accosted by rioters at San Francisco State University who physically assaulted her and then demanded ransom before allowing her to leave the locked room that her security had to barricade her into. The university praised its students who “participated peacefully” and its athletic director denied that men have a physical advantage over women in athletic competitions.

Mark Houck can tell you a similar story. So can Jacob Chansley. So can Jack Phillips. Even Democrats aren’t immune. Look what they did to Kyrsten Sinema.

I can’t offer a magic solution to this. There is none. This is what happens to a society in decline that is split by incompatible and hostile worldviews — which is exactly what you have with Judeo-Christian biblical morality on one side and woke atheist nihilism on the other. A capitulation that leads to an America none of us recognize, complete with institutionalized cancel culture, social credit scoring, and millions of us priced out of our cars and trucks and household appliances is unacceptable.

That’s why somehow, some way the individual actors perpetrating this must face suitable consequences.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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