06.01.2020 0

Is this the end of America?

By Robert Romano

One need look no further than the dichotomy between those peacefully protesting against the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd and those who are exploiting it by burning and pillaging cities across America to realize that this is a battle for the heart and soul of America.

On one side stands with the civil society, that will hear charges in a court of law being brought against Derek Chauvin, the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s throat, suffocating him to death, and on the other, pure chaos and anarchy that seeks to impose itself on the rest of us.

Is this the end of America?

One can stand against police violence against American citizens and in favor of civil rights, without embracing a call to burn it all. A society of laws, not of men, will see to it that Chauvin is held accountable for his actions, but a society of men cannot, for in the brutality of the state of nature, there will be more dead and the faceless killers will never see justice.

Sadly, right now, anarchy is winning, as many turn to rioting to get their point across. Lost in the noise and flames, however, is the ability to uphold our national ideals we all seek.

Now President Donald Trump is intervening and has announced that Antifa, a group behind some of the rioting, will be designated a domestic terrorist organization.

Attorney General William Barr has taken that directive and announced that Justice Department will be taking targeted action against the group: “To identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with our state and local partners, federal law enforcement is using our existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF). The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

Barr added, “Federal law enforcement actions will be directed at apprehending and charging the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law.”

According to FBI.gov, “The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, or JTTFs, are our nation’s front line of defense against terrorism, both international and domestic. They are groups of highly trained, locally based, passionately committed investigators, analysts, linguists, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. When it comes to investigating terrorism, they do it all: chase down leads, gather evidence, make arrests, provide security for special events, collect and share intelligence, and respond to threats and incidents at a moment’s notice.”

In addition, state and local governments have a responsibility to utilize the National Guard, Barr said: “It is the responsibility of state and local leaders to ensure that adequate law enforcement resources, including the National Guard where necessary, are deployed on the streets to reestablish law and order.  We saw this finally happen in Minneapolis last night, and it worked.”

The President should also consider addressing the nation to bring unity around a national call to action against rioting. The message must be to parents, who need to be keeping their kids away from the radicals fomenting violence, and to note that we have laws to be upheld that hold to account officers like Chavin who abuse their power. He should cite examples of officers who have been held accountable in the recent past that did not result in the nation burning, emphasizing that no one is above the law.

The truth is that the civil society always rests on the razor’s edge, and its end is always marked by political and mob violence. Liberty cannot be protected but under law, and our national future depends on it. The question every American must ask themselves is if they want to live in a society governed by grudges — or by the law. On that count, there is no middle ground.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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