Gutknecht: Understanding the rage

The elites have no idea how angry millions of Americans are. We are not as stupid as they think.

(Townhall) – In the aftermath of the riots in the spring of 1992, the Los Angeles Times ran a five-part series under the banner, Understanding the Riots. The acquittal of policemen accused in the beating of Rodney King sparked one of the worst riots in American history. When order was finally restored 63 people were dead. Part three in that series was subtitled Witness to Rage, an attempt to rationalize the rioting.

Don’t expect anything like that following the recent events at the U.S. Capitol.

Even though no buildings burned and the most shocking confrontation resulted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed female protester, there will be no attempt to understand the anger that led her to attempt to force her way into the Capitol. We also should not expect any serious investigation of the possible infiltration by professional Antifa agitators.

This is not to excuse some of the behavior that occurred or to accuse the hopelessly corrupt media of their glaring double standard. Anyone reading this column already knows the media is corrupt and that there is a difference between a peaceful protest and riotously storming the Bastille.

What happened was scary. Especially for the protected class inside the beltway. Republicans aren’t supposed to behave like that. We pick up our trash; we don’t talk it. We respect police officers and support the rule of law. It was like a flock of sheep baring its teeth, confronting and turning on the dogs.

Could it be that even sheep will become aggressive if they are pushed far enough?

The elites have no idea how angry millions of Americans are. We are not as stupid as they think. The smug media has its narrative about us and the election, and they are sticking to it. We should ignore our lying eyes, just shut up and accept their version of the facts. Anyone who questions them will be demeaned and silenced.

So the anger grows. It festers below the surface. Finally, like a volcano, the rage explodes.

Speaker Pelosi can’t help herself. She pours gasoline on the fire, threatening to impeach President Trump in his last week in office. Foolishly thinking that when Trump is gone, we will forget the insults, the abuse and simply go away. That we will abandon support for the policies that were working so well. They think they can go back to playing footsie with the Communist Chinese, open our borders to unlimited illegals and abandon any pretense of fiscal responsibility. That we will accept her turning MAGA into a four-letter word that should never again be used in polite company.

Dream on sweet pea.

In reality, she and the entire establishment are scared spitless. It’s all bluster. They fear Trump. They’re terrified by the 75 million who voted for him. Their act is wearing thin. In their hearts, they know or suspect that Trump actually won. They can only pretend that we are going away. In reality, an angry army will be camped just over the ridge watching their every move. The swamp is now surrounded. Worse, they know that in many respects Trump now represents a much greater political threat with the ability to launch salvos from outside the beltway.

Not since Abraham Lincoln was smuggled into Washington has anyone assumed the presidency of a more divided and angry nation than Joe Biden. He brings with him a satchel full of scandals and an agenda of mumbled promises. His pledge to be the great healer rings hollow. His recent dishonest comments concerning Trump’s advocacy of violence at the Capitol only proves the point. In reality, he will be the president, not of the United States, but of a handful of corrupt counties. Even many of his supporters see him as weak.

Adding to the Democrat fears will be the razor-thin majorities they will have in both chambers. Failure to move aggressively will alienate their socialist base. Quickly reversing course on the America First agenda will doom chances for an extended economic recovery. Moving any legislation will be difficult. Moving too far to the left will be suicidal.

The anger millions feel will not subside until there is a full accounting. Since that appears unlikely, remember that righteous, directed anger is far more effective than submissive acceptance of smug authoritarianism.


Gil Gutknecht

Gil Gutknecht is a former Republican congressman from Minnesota.