Emotions drive poor choices. It isn’t universal; I probably wouldn’t be happily married for 26 years if emotions weren’t part of the original decision-making process. But when it comes to politics, there’s a reason progressives often back policies that make no sense. They’re driven primarily by emotion instead of intellect, and the “intellectual” politicians who espouse progressive ideas often realize they won’t work but embrace the emotional aspect as the easiest path to gain and retain power.
But sometimes, emotions seep in and make conservatives select poor choices as well. The latest example is the rise in calls for Antifa to not be allowed to wear masks. On an emotional level, it makes sense since their attacks on Andy Ngo and others yielded few arrests. The masks worn by almost all Antifa members at the Portland event made it challenging to identify the dozens of attackers involved.
When hyper-leftist Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called for a ban on masks at these events, I was surprised at how many conservatives agreed. This is an emotional response. As conservatives, we want criminals brought to justice. But there’s a much better solution that does not infringe on basic rights protecting one’s ability to clothe themselves as they see fit. Why don’t we let law enforcement do their jobs? Wheeler, who also happens to be the police commissioner, has had his department take a hands-off approach to Antifa. Let police protect and serve and suddenly, we could have had justice. In fact, Ngo and the others attacked may not have been accosted in the first place.
Peaceful gatherings of protesters should never be hindered, but it’s the duty of law enforcement to act when things get out of hand. Destruction of property and physical confrontations are grounds for action as long as politicians get out of the way. Our society has become so sensitive to the potential for police overreach that we’re kept them reserved and often fearful of repercussions if they do their jobs properly.
By no means am I suggesting we need a police state situation or that law enforcement needs to be more empowered outside of what the law provides, but the actions of Antifa are often well within the mandate police have (or should have) to engage with violent protesters and protect private property. When politicians like Wheeler interfere, their solutions are lame. It does not behoove conservatives to embrace his idiotic solution just because emotionally, it makes sense at first. If we let the police do their jobs, Antifa could wear full burkas over radiation suits and they’ll still get arrested and identified if they break the law.
The problem with Antifa isn’t the masks. If anything, allowing them to feel secure in the anonymity might make them act out more, and as long as police are present and unburdened by political considerations, they can catch the thugs in their acts of terrorism.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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