Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 32 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Politics and Violence Go Hand in Hand

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp

Heads on pikes.
Heads on pikes.
(Image by Wikipedia (, Author: Author Not Given)
  Details   Source   DMCA

"[W]e currently have an inferno of political violence to which the president of the United States adds fuel," Jennifer Rubin thunders from her bully pulpit at the Washington Post. "[I]t is time for bipartisan voices, local and state leaders, police and other first responders, civic and religious leaders, and all responsible media outlets to try to quench the flames of violence."

Rubin is no lone voice in the wilderness. As America's latest long hot summer drags into autumn, politicians and pundits are getting louder and more shrill in their denunciations of political violence.

Considering the sources, those denunciations smack of hypocrisy.

In another Post column published the very same day as her rant against political violence, Rubin tells us US Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) should be "revered and thanked for her courage and service to the country." Duckworth lost her legs co-piloting a helicopter during the US occupation of Iraq. That is, engaging in unambiguously political violence on behalf of the US government.

Rubin denounces political violence out of one side of her mouth while lionizing it out of the other.

Politics as we know it today is entirely based on violence and the threat of violence.

That's most obvious in the case of war, in which governments settle their political conflicts by sending forth their armed servants in large numbers to murder one another (and anyone else with the bad luck to get in the way), but don't be fooled: Every government edict, at home and abroad, is backed by the credible threat of violence.

According to the Declaration of Independence, government exists to protect our rights. It may only legitimately use force to do so, and to bring to justice those who violate those rights.

If government accomplished that mission and went no further, it might be an acceptable, even worthwhile institution. But it doesn't accomplish that mission very well, and it inevitably turns the inch it's given into miles.

Why? Because the problem with power, as Lord Acton noted, is that it corrupts. Governments, and those who run and rely on them, always turn from the task of protecting our rights to increasing their power.

At the far, not always visible, end of every government demand -- a speed limit, a tax code, a drug prohibition, what have you -- stand men and women with guns, waiting to cage or kill you for non-compliance or defiance.

As for democracy, as currently practiced it's merely a contest to see who gives armed enforcers their marching orders. America's two "major" political parties don't want to end political violence; they merely want control of those they deem its "legitimate" combatants.

The present conflagration -- marches in the streets, clashes between protesters and police, cities on fire -- shouldn't surprise us.

Sometimes the state's victims fight back. And then the state pours on even more force, because that's its nature. It's a cycle that can only be broken by abolishing the state itself. Which means that only anarchists enjoy moral standing to denounce political violence.

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

2020: I'm So Sick of Superlatives

America Doesn't Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend