What would Ronald Reagan say about how Americans should react to the riots of the summer of 2020 and to the November election's innumerable instances of outright voter fraud?
We have the answer to that question, thankfully, thanks to one of his best speeches ever.
there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace — and you can have it in the next second: surrender
Although the quote about peace is (hardly wrongly) taken in the context (indeed, in its intended context) of the Cold War, people do not realize that the sentiment about surrender and apologizing and submitting does not apply only to a foreign adversary — the communists of the Soviet Union — it also applies to domestic issues (and even within one's family — although when dealing with a wife, wise husbands might do well to learn the phrase "you're right, dear").
Indeed, the oath of officeholders is to
support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic
In that perspective, we should remember one of Abraham Lincoln's earliest speeches, his 1838 warning against domestic foes. (Strangely, I thought as a teen visiting Walt Disney World in the 1970s, why would that speech be the one that the Imagineers — obviously, long before the Disney Studios became "woke" — chose for their Audio-Animatronic Lincoln in the Hall of Presidents?)
At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Brought forward 180 years, Honest Abe's message becomes, do not seek peace
with members of the Democrat Party on basic issues of policy, domestic
or otherwise, or regarding their swindle in elections, or concerning the
suicide of your Grand Old Party or the suicide of (y)our republic and
of (y)our (common) nation.
Needless to say, conservatives who surrender, who submit, and who apologize — from John McCain to Mitt Romney through John Roberts — are lionized in the press.
Members of the Supreme Court
as well as officials from various local stateside Republican Parties,
from Wisconsin to Georgia, have surrendered and submitted, for
ostensibly good reasons, in their minds — to prevent further riots. And
apparently because of, yes, precedent.
Conservative leaders have sought out "peace" with the Democrat Party and with its "dreamers", its drama queens, and its mobs, rioters, and arsonists, and have engaged in virtue signalling, i.e., have striven to appear gentlemanly. Gentlemanly in the eyes of the Democrats, who have not an ounce of reciprocal courtesy to offer to Republicans.
Indeed, the very fact that the Left commits voter fraud and uses "worse than savage mobs" as a bludgeon to get their way is the very proof of their lack of reciprocal civility that they demand from Republicans. More to the point, it is not the path along which a republic can continue to follow if it wishes to survive rather than committing suicide.
In the Lyceum address, Lincoln goes on to say that
I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts [the courts in the real sense; not the cowardly courts in the Progressive era almost two centuries later]; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country, from New England to Louisiana
Nay: suicide — of one's party, of one's republic, on one's nation — is not gentlemanly.
To return to Reagan's speech, the one thing I would have added would be the following:
Read the rest of Lincoln's 1838 speech
(remember, Honest Abe was only 28 at the time, which says something for
not finishing school and educating oneself at home) — especially, as
you remember the riots of 2020, the following part:
But you are, perhaps, ready to ask, "What has this to do with the perpetuation of our political institutions?" I answer, it has much to do with it. Its direct consequences are, comparatively speaking, but a small evil; and much of its danger consists, in the proneness of our minds, to regard its direct, as its only consequences. Abstractly considered, the hanging of the gamblers at Vicksburg, was of but little consequence.
… But the example in either case, was fearful. —When men take it in their heads to day, to hang gamblers, or burn murderers, they should recollect, that, in the confusion usually attending such transactions, they will be as likely to hang or burn some one who is neither a gambler nor a murderer as one who is; and that, acting upon the example they set, the mob of to-morrow, may, and probably will, hang or burn some of them by the very same mistake. And not only so; the innocent, those who have ever set their faces against violations of law in every shape, alike with the guilty, fall victims to the ravages of mob law; and thus it goes on, step by step, till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded.
But all this even, is not the full extent of the evil. —By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained. —Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation.
While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose.
Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed —I mean the attachment of the People. Whenever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision-stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last.
By such things, the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it; and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak, to make their friendship effectual. At such a time and under such circumstances, men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity, strike the blow, and overturn that fair fabric, which for the last half century, has been the fondest hope, of the lovers of freedom, throughout the world.
I know the American People are much attached to their Government; —I know they would suffer much for its sake; —I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.