In 2018, U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) made headlines when he casually referred to “nukes” as a reasonable way to arbitrate a dispute with millions of Americans who might resist enforcement of a federal ban on the private ownership of semiautomatic rifles. “It’s not the 18th century,” he snarked, dismissing the notion that armed citizens were in any position to oppose his agenda. President Joe Biden, the “uniter,” needed less than six months in the White House before he was telling reporters that resistance to tyranny is a chimera among gun owners because “if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”
Biden and Swalwell, and plenty of other politicians, speak like Roman emperors these days, as if they were destined to bring fire and sword, to rule or ruin. They falsely pledge fidelity to a Constitution they consider well beneath their loftier ambitions. Bigger and more powerful government has led inevitably to more interference in the lives of the people, who see their freedom and living standards slipping away. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the country is “off on the wrong track,” according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos survey. Events in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the Western world reveal a universal contempt held by “progressive” politicians for the people they claim to serve.
The left wing of Western polities has embraced authoritarianism as its ethos. Concern for personal liberty and society’s fabric are now condemned as hateful and seditious and likely the product of sinister foreign agents. Liberal ideas about free and open debate and honest disagreement are rejected, replaced by the clenched fist of the state. The CIA’s “Deep Dive” program has been collecting information on U.S. citizens for years. The Department of Homeland Security has arrogated the right to determine which ideas are acceptable and which are to be considered a “terrorism threat.” But patriotic dissent is an appeal for reason and peaceful coexistence. That’s why leftists hate free speech and the free-thinking that drives it. “If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter,” George Washington told his army officers in 1783, then “dumb & silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.”
The left reviles private ownership of firearms as well, and for similar reasons. Just as free speech shines a light on the machinations of would-be tyrants and their useful idiots in media, academia, entertainment, and corporate boardrooms, the ideal of an armed citizenry – the militia – is that it might serve as a counterpoise to state violence. The Declaration of Independence, the philosophical antecedent of our Constitution, states that we are each “endowed … with certain unalienable Rights,” and that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive” to our liberties, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” Opposing tyranny is not only wise; it is just. The preferred way to accomplish this end is through the ballot box, but that may not be enough. Like the government of King George, our federal behemoth is a Byzantine monster comprised of an alphabet soup of agencies and trains of bureaucrats “sent hither … to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.”
“Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him,” wrote Sun Tzu. Arrogant and small minds drunk with power – the images of power, all their fighter jets and ICBMs – presume foolish opponents fighting along static lines, adhering to the enemy’s rules and producing nothing but dead heroes and martyrs. Ignored are the many examples, running right up to the present day, of partisan fighters successfully resisting great armies. The mightiest forces have been beaten or checked by deftly employed guerrilla tactics and an ever-watchful eye on the grandest prize.