"I have had a lot of people ask me what I think of the events that took place yesterday at the capitol. My response is going to be a long one. If you don't care what my thoughts are, I understand, if you do, then I would ask you to read my whole post, not just the parts you may or may not agree with. Believe it or not, I don't particularly like politics, and yesterday provides one more example of why.
Ultimately, I did not get involved in politics to promote a particular party or a particular candidate, but rather to promote a view of how government should, and should not, interact in our lives. A critical part of that view is the attempt to convince people that while government has a place in society, it isn't society itself.
Another critical component is the understanding that while individuals tend to solve problems by genuine cooperation and compromise, government "solves" problems through force and coercion. Individuals ask you to do things, government tells you to do things. When people have become convinced that government is the primary way we address problems or adjudicated differences, force tends to follow, whether it be through the law, or through the individual actions of people convinced of this way of thinking.
For months, we have watched as politicians, the media, academia, and other political and cultural institutions have either been silent or given approval to rioting, destruction of private property and the harming of innocent people under the auspices of achieving “justice”. Some of those same politicians, reporters and professors are now shocked when another group of people have decided that their concerns over injustice warrant a similar response.
You cannot act in such a way that diminishes people’s faith in processes and institutions and then act surprised when people turn on those processes and institutions. If you claim that the system is irrevocably rigged, racist, sexist, bigoted, you do not get to then turn around and appeal to those processes and institutions for the peaceful adjudication of problems. And yet that is exactly what many in positions of influence have done. Simultaneously condemning such institutions as corrupt when it suits their purpose, and then holding them up as models to be followed when they approve of the outcomes.
I don’t pretend to know or fully understand the feelings or motivations of those who violate long held principles to effect political or societal change. I do know, from having served overseas, that it seldom produces the outcomes people claim to desire.
I would no more have stormed the capitol yesterday than I would have thrown a brick through a window in Richmond or Seattle. But I will not feign surprise when one group of people adopts the tactics of another group when they perceive them to be effective.
What angers me the most, is that the actions of those who engage in such tactics, reinforces that a large component of the population have decided that violence is the best way to adjudicate problems. This will inevitably lead to both sides engaging in greater political tribalism and cults of personality. The end result being more government control and intervention at the expense of individual liberty and freedom.
Many of our citizens, regardless of party, appear to have decided that control of the government, in order to force other people to do what they want, is the primary goal of political engagement. If this is true, then no matter which side wins, my whole reason for engaging in the political process loses.
To those on the left, I encourage them to consider the consequences of convincing millions of otherwise peaceful people that force and coercion, whether instituted by a rioter or by a government, is an appropriate way to achieve justice, peace, and prosperity.
To those on the right, if we truly believe in the values we espouse, then we had better get our act together on the cultural front. Had we not conceded the debate in education, the arts, entertainment, and other areas of life, so critical to making an argument for what we believe, do you really think we would be in the position we now find ourselves? Although we know election fraud exists, If we really believe that election fraud is the ONLY way to explain the latest results, I would argue that we are deluding ourselves. The difficult work of building and maintaining a free society includes the ballot box, but it begins in the home and our communities.
I fully recognize that this response is likely to anger many on both sides of the debate. The reason I offer it is because I believe it to be true. My responsibility as a Christian, as a citizen and as a representative should always be to fight for the truth, as opposed to that which may be politically convenient for the moment. I will continue to do so and accept the corresponding consequences.