Friends and Enemies

In an August 18 column for, titled “Alt-Right’s Despicability Doesn’t Make ‘Antifa’ the Good Guys,” Jonah Goldberg attempts to “square the circle” in the debate over the warring factions in the recent Charlottesville, Virginia, riots.

Because the leftwing media are so anxious to paint conservatives and Republicans with the most obnoxious labels they can think of… e.g., racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, etc… it didn’t take a lot of convincing to get them to wrap their arms around the violent thugs of Antifa, who appear all but indistinguishable from the Red Guards of Chairman Mao’s 1966 Cultural Revolution.

Leftwing demonstrators never show up at pro-abortion or pro-women’s rights rallies armed with lengths of chain, brass knuckles, baseball bats, and clubs with long spikes driven through them, dressed all in black ninja-like costumes and with red and black kerchiefs covering their faces.  But those appear to be the weapons and the costumes of choice for the leftist Antifa thugs who vandalize college campuses across the country while assaulting conservative speakers and denying them their First Amendment rights.

Goldberg reminds us of the violent clashes that occurred between Nazis and communists in the streets of Germany during the 1930s.  He writes, “The Communist International abandoned its position that socialist and progressive groups that were disloyal to Moscow were “fascist” and instead encouraged communists everywhere to build “popular fronts” against the common enemy of Nazism.

Goldberg points out that the alliances of convenience with liberals, progressives, and other social democrats were a great victory for the communists because they reinforced the myth that communists weren’t so bad after all.  They were only members of the leftist coalition that opposed Hitler and his particular brand of bigotry and fascism.  They were acceptable as allies.

What was not widely understood or acknowledged was that, whenever communists succeeded in gaining power anywhere in the world, the first people they killed, jailed, or exiled were their former allies on the political left, as they did in Eastern Europe, Cuba, and elsewhere.

Goldberg explains that, “If you haven’t figured it out yet, this seemingly ancient history is relevant today because of the depressingly idiotic argument about whether it’s OK to equate “antifa”… anti-fascist left-wing radicals… with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rabble that recently descended on Charlottesville, Virginia.

Here Goldberg leaves us in limbo.  Is he implying that it is “depressingly idiotic” to condemn Antifa as being just as violent and hateful as the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis?  Or is he suggesting just the opposite?  How many episodes of violence have we seen in recent years that were the result of aggressive actions by the KKK, neo-Nazis, or white supremacists?  They may hold morally repugnant views on race and/or religion, but incidents of violence are few and far between, if they exist at all.

However, episodes of violence on the part of Antifa radicals are numerous.  So, which is the morally superior position?  Is it better to be non-violent while holding morally repugnant views, or is it okay to regularly engage in violent protests while holding equally repugnant views?

Goldberg seems to imply that, to claim moral relevancy between the violent hate-filled forces of Antifa and the neo-Nazis and white supremacists is “depressingly idiotic.”  But is it?  If it is morally superior to elevate hate-filled radical leftists who show up at peaceful protests dressed all in black and armed to the teeth with log chains, baseball bats, and brass knuckles, looking for a violent confrontation, it makes no difference whether the targeted protest is organized by the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis, or if it is organized by the Salvation Army or the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Goldberg also appears to disagree with President Trump on the question of the makeup of the opposing sides in Charlottesville.  He writes, “The president wants to claim that there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides of the protest and that the anti-fascist radicals are equally blameworthy.”  The odds are that Trump is absolutely correct, even though he and I may be the only two people who feel that way.

Who were the people who were there to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue?  Yes, a few were Klansmen, some were neo-Nazis, and some were white supremacists.  But it is almost a dead certainty that, within that group of protestors, there were some “very fine people,” members of old southern families who revere the southern culture and who honor the memory of their ancestors who fought and died in the Civil War.  In other words, mainstream Americans who might be our next-door neighbors.

On the other hand, many of those who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Red Guards of Antifa were equally fine people, many of them people who were there for no other reason than to show their silent disagreement with those who opposed the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue.  They did not arrive at the demonstration with baseball bats or brass knuckles, intent upon physically assaulting those surrounding the statue, but many of their fellow counter-protesters did.

Sadly, many inside and outside the drive-by media have failed to adequately assess the composition of the opposing sides at the Charlottesville riots.  When Trump declared in his Saturday remarks that there were some “very fine people” on both sides in Charlottesville, he was stating the absolute truth.  What is sad is that liberals, progressives, and the mainstream media have convinced some very fine people, including Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed in the melee, that every one of those protesting the removal of the Lee statue were either Klansmen, neo-Nazis, or white supremacists.  Ms. Bro paid a high enough price when she lost her daughter.  By having her daughter’s death unnecessarily politicized by leftist misinformation, she has been twice victimized.

Controversy, especially violent controversy, often creates strange bedfellows.  For example, when the radicals of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, announced plans to picket the funeral of a local serviceman at a Lutheran church in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, the Lutheran pastor managed to inform a local motorcycle club (biker gang?).  Dressed in their “leathers,” the bikers lined the route of the funeral procession and the bereaved family was spared the indignity of having their son’s funeral turned into a political sideshow.

And what will happen when the Muslim share of the U.S. population reaches ten percent, or more, and radical Islamists begin to make more aggressive demands that we alter our American culture to accommodate their murderous culture?  What will be the reaction of the American people if, on a regular basis, we are forced to endure Islamist atrocities such as the three deadly attacks that occurred in Spain and Finland on Friday, August 18?  How will we react when we learn that a young mother pushing a baby carriage in a mall in Indianapolis is stabbed to death by a radical Islamist?  When atrocities of that nature become the “new reality” in the United States, as they have in most countries of Europe, how will we react?

When our law enforcement agencies stand aside, afraid to act because they fear the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center more than they fear We the People, will we stop to administer a litmus test before we cheer on those who take up our side of the battle?  Will we stop to ask the person next to us, are you a Democrat or a Republican?  Are you pro-life or pro-choice?  Are you in favor of same-sex marriage, or do you support only traditional male-female unions?  Did you love Barack Obama, or did you think he was a complete fool?

As hate-filled as those on the political left might be, I seriously doubt that even they would give a hoot about the politics of the person next to them in the coming battle against radical Islam, a person who is willing to risk his/her life in the battle to defeat the greatest evil the world has ever known.

Goldberg concludes by saying, “The antifa crowd has a very similar agenda with regard to traditional American liberalism.  These goons and thugs oppose free speech, celebrate violence, despise dissent and have little use for anything else in the American political tradition.  But many liberals, particularly in the media, are victims of the same kind of confusion that vexed so much of American liberalism in the 20th century.  Because antifa suddenly has the (alt-)right enemies, they must be the good guys.  They’re not.

“And that’s why this debate is so toxically stupid.  Fine.  Antifa isn’t as bad as the KKK.  Who cares?  Since when is being less bad than the Klan a major moral accomplishment?

“In these tribal times, the impulse to support anyone who shares your enemies is powerful.  But it is a morally stunted reflex.  This is America.  You’re free to denounce totalitarians wherever you find them, even if they might hate the right people.”

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.





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Another Dishonest Conversation

In the wake of the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and subsequent statements of condemnation by President Trump, we hear impassioned calls for an “honest conversation” about race in America from those on the political left.

We’ve heard such demands before, most significantly in the days and weeks after the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida, in February 2012; the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014; and the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore, Maryland, in April 2015.  But did we get honest conversation?  No, we got violence in the streets, neighborhoods burning, and Black Lives Matter.  We also got mindless slogans such as “Hands up!  Don’t shoot!” and “What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want ’em?  Now!”  There was very little conversation about race, or who is responsible for bringing us to our current level of social discord.

But what are the chances that we will finally have an “honest conversation” about race?  Absolutely none!  And why is that?  The principal reason is that one of our two major political parties, the Democrat Party, could not exist if we were ever to have an “honest conversation” about race.  So, if liberals and Democrats want an honest conversation about race, let’s have one.  I’ll go first.

It is Democrats who gave us slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries; it is Democrats who fought a bloody civil war to protect the institution of slavery; it is Democrats who opposed ratification of the 13th 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, outlawing slavery and giving the former slaves citizenship and the right to vote; it is Democrats who gave us Black Codes and the Jim Crow laws; and it is Democrats who denied aid to families with dependent children so long as an able-bodied male was living in the household, a policy that has literally destroyed the family unit concept within much of the black community.

The Civil War is often referred to as the War between Democrats and Republicans.  My great-grandfather, Johann Detrich Hollrah was a Republican and a farmer in east-central Missouri.  Along with most other German immigrants in Missouri he was passionately opposed to slavery.  And when armed rebellion broke out and his local militia unit was pressed into Union service, he was elected captain of M Company, 27th Missouri Enrolled Militia.

A great many good men, both Union and Confederate, died in that war.  History tells us that some 620,000 men lost their lives and a great many more were wounded.  And while the vast majority of those killed and wounded were called to fight against their will, we cannot escape the fact that all of that Republican blood was spilled in the cause of abolition, while the confederate blood was shed protecting the institution of slavery.  Would today’s Democrats want these facts to be part of the “honest conversation” they clamor for?  Probably not.

Then, in 1866, after being defeated in the war to end slavery, Democrats created a paramilitary auxiliary called the Ku Klux Klan.  The Klan’s purpose was to keep the freed slaves in line and to intimidate them into voting for Democratic candidates.  Over the next 85 years the KKK waged an unrelenting war of terror against blacks and white Republicans.  Tuskegee Institute archives indicate that, between the years 1882 and 1951, some 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites, nearly all Republicans, were lynched (murdered) by the KKK.  Is this sad chapter in U.S. history being taught in Black History classes?  Would Democrats want these statistics to be part of an “honest conversation” about race?  Not likely.

Along with the violence and the intimidation of the KKK, Democrats in southern legislatures enacted Jim Crow laws and the Black Codes, dictating where and for whom blacks could work, where they could live, where they could eat and sleep, which restrooms and drinking fountains they could use, and where they could sit in movie theaters and on trains and busses.

Democrats would never want a full discussion of the Black Codes and the Jim Crow laws because black children just might figure out for themselves that those humiliations are not part of ancient history.  Their grandparents who are still alive today could tell them about their personal experiences.  But are black children taught the truth of that era in Black History classes?  No, the Democrat-controlled teachers unions will never allow that to happen.  They might say they want an “honest conversation” about race, but that would represent a bit too much honesty.

The Rev. Wayne Perryman is a friend of mine.  He is a black pastor in the inner city of Seattle where he does wonderful work with black kids, attempting to steer them away from lives of crime and the drug culture.  Wayne was also a lifelong Democratic activist.  But then, some of his kids asked him to explain the difference between Democrats and Republicans.  That question sent Wayne to the public library; it also changed his life forever.

When Wayne discovered the role that the Democrat Party had played in the oppression of black people he decided to take action.  He filed suit in the United States District Court for Western Washington on December 10, 2004, demanding a public apology from the Democratic National Committee for more than two centuries of oppression of black people.  The court heard the case but denied the petition on July 22, 2005.  Wayne appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco which upheld the decision of the lower court.  He subsequently filed the case with the U.S. Supreme Court but the high court refused to grant certiorari.

Although the Democratic National Committee was represented by a team of the most expensive lawyers in Washington, they failed to deny any of the assertions contained in Rev. Perryman’s case.  When asked if he filed the lawsuit to punish the Democratic Party, he replied, “Absolutely not.  Most Democrats are unaware of their party’s racist past.  I am convinced that if the truth were known, most modern-day Democrats would demand an apology to distance themselves from the past.  (Party Chairman) Howard Dean is spending a considerable amount of money to keep the truth from being known.”

He went on to say, “I didn’t file this case to hurt Democrats.  I filed it on behalf of the millions of blacks whose voices were silenced by premature death, deaths that were caused by slavery and the era of Terror during Reconstruction and Jim Crow.  Perhaps a victory in the form of an apology will let these tired souls rest in peace and put an end to finding someone to blame for racism in America.”

In a January 9, 2006 letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, and the top leaders of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Rev. Perryman described the extensive research he conducted in preparing his case against the Democrat Party.

He researched the Congressional Record from 1860 to the present, he studied the writing of renowned history professors (both black and white), and he studied Democratic Party platforms from the early 1800s to 1954.  In addition, he reviewed the research of those who produced the books: Without Sanctuary, 100 Years of Lynchings, and added to his library the History Channel’s series on The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow and Reconstruction: The Second Civil War.

Describing his agonizing reaction to his research, he wrote: “The graphic depictions of whites fighting over the private parts of black men (penises, fingers, ears, etc.) after hanging them and igniting them with kerosene, is forever embedded in my mind.  I can still hear the cries of the victims’ wives and children pleading and begging for the lives of their loved ones while Democratic national and local elected officials joined the crowd and cheered.

He also referred to the lynching of a black woman named Mary Turner.  On May 17, 1918, in Valdosta, Georgia, a black woman named Mary Turner announced that she would see to it that the white men who had lynched her husband would be prosecuted.  Turner was nine months pregnant at the time.  She was dragged from her home, tortured, and hanged.  And while she was still alive, hanging from the rope, they cut open her womb.  Her unborn child spilled out onto the ground where they crushed the baby’s skull with the heel of a boot.  Mary Turner laid blame at the feet of those who lynched her husband and she paid for it with her life and her child’s life.

Black people in America have been twice enslaved: once when they were brought from the African continent in the stinking holds of slave ships, and again in the mid-20th century when Democrats decided that, since they could no longer control the lives of blacks through Jim Crow laws and the Black Codes, they could purchase their allegiance with a multitude of social welfare programs.  The first form of slavery was cruel, inhumane, and violent; the latter form of slavery has been far less violent, but equally cruel and inhumane.

It is true, as liberals and Democrats insist, that black people in America are “victims,” but not in the sense that liberals and Democrats would have us believe.  Black Americans are victims of the high expectations offered, but not fulfilled, by white Democrats.  Pride, dignity, and self-respect are not easily come by and the larger population, primarily white people, are totally willing to assist blacks in gaining those qualities.  But that task cannot be accomplished so long as black people continue to squander their political power and influence in exchange for crumbs from the Democratic table.

Okay, Democrats, I’ve had my say.  I’ve started an “honest conversation” about race.  Now it’s your turn.  The ball’s in your court.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

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Crazy Little Korean?

I was concerned the other day about the implications of the North Koreans testing an ICBM.  I have a friend who knows quite a lot about nuclear energy and such, so I asked him what he thought about Kim Jong-un beating the drums of war.  He explained how Kim could win.  But first, we ought to get real about the threat.

A close friend of mine was in South Korea for a year as a technical military Korean language expert for the American army and is a very perceptive observer of military tactics and strategies.  He made me aware of the situation at the Korean DMZ.  First off, the DMZ is in very rugged, mountainous country between the two Koreas.  Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is very near the DMZ, and is an enormous city, maybe more that 15 million people.

The leaders of  the North Koreans have been smarting for 60 years about not winning the Korean war in the 1950’s and have been able to maintain power by convincing their populace that the South Koreans and their American allies are an existential threat to their country.  This has led them to create and maintain one the largest land armies on Earth, estimated at nearly a million men on active duty and approximately 5 million active reservists. (All adult men and a good proportion of adult women have had mandatory military training.)  It is estimated that there are around 10,000 artillery pieces emplaced within range of Seoul on the North side of the DMZ.  To make a long story short, in the event of hostilities, the South Koreans in Seoul are dead meat.  A conventional invasion from the North, in which the American army would be a “speed bump,” designed to suck us into the war for retaliation, would result, all things being equal, in one of the greatest massacres in human history.   Destruction of the American army would, of course, bring us into the conflict.  So …  my friend says that the only hope of stemming the onslaught is to nuke the North Koreans as they come through the narrow passes between the two countries.  The North Koreans recognize this fact.  Our “nuclear aggression,” we can assume they would feel,  justifies a nuclear response.

How could the North Koreans hope to win a nuclear war with the United States?  For every ICBM they have, we must have 100 or a 1,000.  Their threatening us seems like gross insanity … that is until you understand what is being planned.  The North Koreans don’t have to have 100 megaton “H” bombs to defeat us.  They don’t have to have super accurate GPS guided missiles.  And they don’t have to have 100’s or 1,000’s of missiles.  Their strategy would be to annihilate our civilization with a series of electromagnetic pulses. (EMP’s)  An EMP from an exploding bomb only a few times the size of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombs detonated in space at an altitude of 50 to 100 kilometers would render almost all modern electronics useless, destroy our power grid and substations, anything using electrical power over a vast area of the US.  So much area that 5 to 10 of these bombs would paralyze virtually the entire nation.  Sure we would retaliate, but the leaders of North Korea wouldn’t give a damn … they would have survived in their secret, hardened shelters and to hell with the vaporized population … they were hard to feed anyway.  They would have reduced Seoul and its people, a large portion of the entire population of South Korea, to an ash heap, but the surviving part of their enormous army would roll down the Korean peninsula taking their objective and winning the war.

And what of the US?  People in large cities who think that America is a “democracy” and do not understand republicanism are living the high life, disdainful of the “red necks” and of “fly over country” don’t understand how vulnerable they are or why the “outback” is important to them.  They don’t really reflect that they have no means to feed, fuel and warm themselves unless the “outback” provides those essentials on an almost daily basis.

When all the electricity fails, your car won’t run, your water will stop, your heaters and AC will stop, the subway won’t run, the airlines won’t fly, the trains would be stopped, your telephone/cell phone won’t work, you can’t bathe, the toilet won’t flush, even if your car would work you wouldn’t be able to get gas, in 3 or 4 days there wouldn’t be any food or bottled water in the grocery stores.  You would have to get out of Dodge in order to live.  If you live in LA where would you run to? … the Mojave desert?  In New York … up the Hudson River or over to Long Island?  In Chicago … Indiana or Milwaukee?   In Phoenix … Sonora?  You get the picture,  if this was to happen, your only hope would be to instantly, if you could, get out into the hinterlands where there is food and water.

If the North Koreans could do this, 10’s of maybe 100’s of millions of Americans would die.  You and me!  Can they do it?  Listen to their seemingly infantile threats … they truly think that they can hurt us … I ask how?


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