• The Search for Heroes

    June 13, 2020

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, 2020, Democracy, Post-Constitution America, Trump


    These are your new heroes: people who invoke the grace of Dr. King to label riots as lawful protests, looting as reparations. To be fair, most of that labeling is not by the thugs themselves, but by the media who elevate them to hero status hoping once again this will bring Trump down. Citing the freedom fighters in the streets, former labor secretary Robert Reich proclaimed “Trump’s presidency is over.”

    Not quite yet. So the MSM report on fires outside the White House with a wink; maybe they’ll burn the place down. The Trump family taking shelter in their bunker was met with articles calling the president a coward for not facing down the mob shouting “Get off my lawn!” The implied hope was there — if we can’t impeach him, maybe we can just have someone kill him. They will deny it, but the media encouraged violence. They hoped for it, they egged it on. “Destroying property which can be replaced is not violence,” NYT’s Nikole Hannah-Jones said. “I think any reasonable person would say we shouldn’t be destroying other people’s property. But these are not reasonable times.”


    Meanwhile the media met the prospect of the military’s arrival on mixed ground. The big story was not the standard “order will be restored but my God at what price?!?” but that Trump had “declared war on the American people.” Though 58 percent of voters support the deployment of the military to respond to protests, with only 30 percent opposing, the web is awash in uninformed fear mongering over martial law, posse comitatus, the Insurrection Act, and whatever else a Wikipedia search churns up.

    But underlying was a subtext: you know, maybe a military coup, maybe via martial law, would be OK. We’ve heard that actually for four years, with hopes expressed one of the ex-military men in the White House, maybe Mad Dog, John Kelly, or H.R. McMaster would hero up and assume control. If not directly, then maybe by running the country as the patriot behind the throne. Upon General Mattis’ departure, the The New York Times asked “Who will protect America now?” juxtaposing the warrior-monk with the Commander-in-Cheeto.

    The search for Trump-smiting heroes has strayed far from anyone deserving the title even as the qualification for the job remained hilariously low. Felon Michael Avenatti was a contender, anal porn star Stormy Daniels, and felon Michael Cohen, too. Along the way James Comey, John Brennan, Michael Hayden, Christopher Steele, and James Clapper were all given some hero time, and of course the run by Robert Mueller as Savior-in-Chief. There was the anonymous whistleblower and a handful of State Department drones at the impeachment hearings whose names are so long forgotten they might as well have been anonymous. Even the virus was given the chance at hero status if it would have been horrible enough to end this presidency.

    There were also the mini-heroes like Colin Kaepernick or the women’s soccer team, whose minor protests were turned into national moments by the MSM. They do keep trying for relevancy; pink haired soccer starlet Megan Rapinoe is threatening to run for some office, and joined other minor celebs in signing a petition to defund police forces. Kaepernick started a defense fund for protesters, quoting Malcolm X to warn “Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.”


    The hero-seeking media partnered them with every Democratic black candidate of any type or plain white woman who could check boxes (single mom, lesbian, HIV+, veteran, etc.) The high point of this low point was reached with AOC and her Squad, whose only real accomplishments have been relentless self-promotion and helping push Nancy Pelosi into an impeachment process that squandered the Blue Wave.

    But rioters as the new heroes? That’s who is left? No one wants bad cops, and every day America suffers for its original sin of slavery and 200 year failure to find repentance. The only answer the country seems to have come up with is to allow rioters to run amuck every few years to let the pressure reset. Pick your favorite — the TV version following Rodney King, the blast from Ferguson, or something old school from the 1970s out of Watts or the Bronx.

    In New York City we face an 8 pm everyone-off-the streets curfew, the first in 75 years (the COVID lockdown is also concurrently still in effect.) But the protests continue, with several hundred people last night closing down streets adjacent to my apartment building. Many stores in this part of America’s richest city had already been boarded up; the men putting up the plywood coming in from white working class neighborhoods in nearby Queens said to me they’re grateful for the work post-COVID, “but if I ever have to do this for my own neighborhood some mf is gonna suffer.”


    The protesters themselves were about two-thirds white, uniformly in their mid-to-late twenties. People wearing Bernie t-shirts outnumbered those still practicing social distancing by about 6:1. Everyone who would tell me where they lived said Brooklyn but if you live here you would have already guessed that. The blacks in the group appeared to be joining spontaneously from the surrounding public housing blocks and not mingling. Their chants weren’t the organized ones of the white kids, mostly “f*ck the police” accompanied by gang signs or middle fingers, just rage cleansed of politics.

    None of the black protesters would speak to me, but the white protesters wouldn’t stop. They knew media and my notebook drew them like shadows to a lamp. Asked what they wanted, everyone had their lines down — it was justice and peace — but no one really had an answer to how this demonstration would help create those things. What law could Congress pass to fix any of this? Raising awareness seemed to be the closest anyone could get.


    Some apartments in the area have hired private security, those beefy guys you usually see checking IDs at night clubs. One hotel employee said his five-star place had former SEALS at the door. Two NYPD helicopters were overhead for almost two hours, top cover Baghdad-style, watching the rooftops. People living nearby are angry and afraid, and such people will defend themselves, and that will be a terrible, terrible thing. It seems leaders on all sides are setting us against each other and we are embracing that as a new way of life. When was your last pleasant but intense political discussion with friends?

    It was hard to connect the odd collection of images and impressions from the street with a new theme among the righteous but uneducated on social media. They seem to think burning a Target is the modern equivalent of the American Revolution against the British. I listened to the Hamilton score twice now, and even read the Klassic Komics version of Federalist Papers, and can’t find anywhere the American side whined about the British being too rough. Instead, they understood a revolution meant risking their lives, their honor, and their sacred fortunes. Denied representation under an undemocratic system, they fought.

    The Founders took to the streets with none of the protections of the Bill of Rights. It was only after they won those early heroes created a Bill of Rights. It came as a package deal, because the Founders wanted to create a society where peaceful change was written into the law and so another bloody revolution was something their children would not have to undertake.

    That fundamental message was missed by the Democratic Party of Fairfax, Virginia. They tweeted (now deleted but the sentiment is widely shared) “Riots are an integral part of this country’s march towards progress.” No. Riots are not a vehicle for political change in a democracy. They are the antithesis of democratic change, change by force with no desire for compromise.

    It was only a week ago people said protests against government (specifically COVID restrictions) were wrong and dangerous, we should listen to the authorities, and were glad the cops were out there enforcing social distancing and masking. The people I saw at yesterday’s protest looked a lot like the people hissing at me in Whole Foods for not wearing a mask. They likely believe the 1A protects their protests but not those of the rednecks at the statehouse. To them every offense is a lynching, every day the apocalypse, every Tweet another final blow to democracy, every misunderstanding another example of systematic racism if not sexism, every non-white non-male non-straight American another victim.

    Once you understand how shallow and and tiresome and hypocritical such views are you will understand the 2016 election, and in about 150 very long days from now, the 2020 election. No heroes, or Russians for that matter, necessary.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      The MSM and Democrats heroizing looters may not yet be the low point. Democrats might be stirring up caged butterflies in Indonesia hoping such a ploy will engender the mother of all hurricane seasons thus forcing Trump to resign because he somehow fostered a new category way beyond 5. Trump might even be planning to lasso an asteroid so it will hit and allow him to cancel the 2020 election or that he has purposely found a way to keep aliens with the gift of global peace and harmony from landing. Making Trump the most sinister human in history who has to be removed is still the only campaign strategy of the Democrats.

      06/13/20 10:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Edward said...


      “the Founders wanted to create a society where peaceful change was written into the law and so another bloody revolution was something their children would not have to undertake.”

      Actually, I think there is a Thomas Jefferson quote where he says something to the effect that ” every generation should overthrow the government.”

      I think the protests have mostly been peaceful. Do you have hard data about the amount of looting vs. the quantity of protesting? What constitutes high amounts of looting and low amounts? I think all political unrest is messy and politics in general is messy. How do the current protests compare with other episodes of unrest at other times?

      My basic feeling is that we are going to keep seeing episodes of unrest, because the two political parties, in service to money, are denying agency to a restive public. They may find a way to neutralize or co-opt these demonstrations, but sooner of later another protest will erupt, because the public is still unsatisfied. We are at the point where bread and circuses will not cut it.

      06/13/20 8:55 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      I’d like to think the bread and circus ruse might be losing its allure but the internet has enlarged the coliseum seating capacity which now can accommodate night performances and even bad weather (domes). If the coliseum goes dark Americans are pretty adept at tailgate parties in the vast surrounding parking lot. They’ll use their phones, video games, and other assorted distractions to stay amused and pliant.

      06/14/20 4:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Edward said...


      I guess the Trump Presidential Reality T.V. Show could be called a circus. In truth, though, for all too many there is no bread, so what I wrote was perhaps a bit off; I think the lack of bread is in part fueling the unrest, especially for the millenials, buried in debt and out of work.

      I found an article today that reviews America’s history of riots:


      06/14/20 9:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...


      This is an interesting discussion. IMO I think what’s actually being talked about are two different groups of people.

      On the one hand are the folks actually out in the streets: the protesters, rioters and looters. The looters are obviously nothing more than opportunistic criminals, despite any attempts to justify their actions. But the protesters and rioters are out there because they’re truly angry, though they may not know what they’re angry about or what exactly they want done about it. (FWIW, as far as I can tell all the current anger seems to stem from a mix of George Floyd, COVID, the ongoing demonization of Trump and years of economic and other inequality. But YMMV.)

      On the other hand we have those looking on and trying to profit from it: the MSM and what passes for our political leadership these days. To me these folks are far more reprehensible than the looters. If the MSM were still trying to be actual journalists, they’d be reporting on and analyzing what’s happening as objectively as possible, instead of pushing their respective agendas while trying to generate mouse clicks. And if our political leadership were actual leaders, they’d be trying to harness all that anger to effect positive, peaceful change instead of stirring the pot (as exemplified by the idiotic tweet by the Democratic Party in Fairfax, VA.) No wonder people are so angry.

      06/15/20 9:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...


      Having largely taken the past 6-7 years off from following national and international events, having left the Two-Party Dictatorship behind, and exercising my vote by not doing so, I’m disgusted and alarmed at the attempted and on going efforts to overthrow the current President. The actions of others are evident and over-whelming as to be seen as criminal. Take note Mr. Obama, as you are a domestic enemy and will be held accountable. It is you, Mr. Obama, whom I asked to speak to you around 8 years ago, but you did not reply – did not stop by to chat with this average citizen. You, Mr. Obama, know little of decency or the Constitution or of Peace. I ask again for you to stop by Nevada and chat, discuss, and argue with this average American-American.

      06/16/20 2:00 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Eric- he’s still too busy to meet with you. As a newly minted plutocrat he barely has time to coordinate the plans for a $500 million Chicago ziggurat to be erected in his name. Why doesn’t the BLM movement demand that Obama turn over that $500 million in the form of a direct payment to the poor?

      06/17/20 9:38 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Joe- as a double POP (Person of Pallor and Person of Privilege) my input is highly suspect to the BLM group. I firmly believe that only self emancipation works. Lincoln’s thrill of becoming the great “Emancipator” was a type of white privilege few want to discuss.

      06/17/20 11:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...


      @John Poole: For sure. Instead of the likes of an MLK, Mandela or Gandhi, our current political “leadership” consists of slimeballs like Saint Barack, who is trying to use the current situation to play kingmaker. Sad.

      06/18/20 2:28 PM | Comment Link

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