I Offer a Partial Defense of Righteous Anger (posted 7/11/22)

Usually I’m in the “poking fun at leftist foolishness” business.   

You might expect me to comment on things like the cue cards that Biden got last week, with helpful advice like, “YOU take YOUR seat,” or “The fork is the one with the pointy things on it.”

Or I might suggest that Hillary Clinton has taken a page from the playbook of Rhode Island Dem senator Tiara Mack, and decided to stand on her head in a bikini and twerk… and that the resulting eclipse caused migrating birds to land in confusion, and drove primitive tribes-people into frightened sacrifices to appease the sun god. 

But this Monday morning finds me in a darker mood.  I was reading an account of the scummy creeps who showed up to harass Justice Kavanaugh at a restaurant, when I saw a notice that James Caan had died. 

Wrong though I know it is, I had a Job-like complaint session with God about the fairness of His universe. 

How are James Caan, Norm MacDonald, John Prine, Tom Petty and my dad all dead, but Bernie Sanders, Imhotep Pelosi, Joe Biden and Whoopie Goldberg still alive?

I mean sure, Caan had a long life, dying at 82.

But Nancy Pelosi celebrated her 82nd birthday when Persian King Darius was stirring up trouble in the Middle-East in 505 BC.  And Noam Chomsky took her to his senior prom when she was only a sophomore. 

And they’re both still walking around, like a plague of Schiff-spewing locusts!    

I was getting up a real, self-righteous head of steam – How are we going to withstand 30 more months of this cursed Biden?  How have You not smote the entire rabble perpetrating the January 6th  show-trial and the ghouls attacking pregnancy resource centers with madness, or blindness, or at least some sort of very painful skin condition? – when He played the omniscience card:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”

Ok.  I get it.  I’m as fallen and corruptible as anyone else, and anger is the devil’s cocaine (hat tip to Andrew Klavan). 

And I know that it’s not good for me to repeatedly get as angry as I’ve been getting lately, as I watch the increasingly bullying and violent behavior of many on the left that is seemingly going unchecked.

But when our elite leftists actively encourage thuggish behavior from their supporters, I think our society is moving in a dangerous direction.  One of the few core jobs of any legitimate government is to keep the peace — through a military to deter external enemies, police to catch and punish criminals, and national guard troops to maintain order.

Sadly, the leaders of our political opponents are undermining those legitimate functions.  Their violent, hateful minions went on an 8-month rampage of riots, destruction and looting in 2020, and their PR flaks called riots “peaceful protests,” and their leadership refused to allow police or national guard troops to do their jobs. 

They pushed a “defund the police” movement that devastated the innocent people in the cities they control.  They routinely released career criminals without punishment, creating an unprecedented crime wave.  They illegally opened our national borders to a human tidal wave of poor and desperate people, intermixed with predators and drug dealers, exacerbating a deadly opioid epidemic and immiserating many American communities. 

When a SCOTUS judgment doesn’t go their way, they tacitly approve of leftist freaks trying to murder judges, and explicitly support mobs of a-holes doxing and harassing justices, in their homes, and in public.

And while all of that has been going on, they’re doing everything they can to disarm law-abiding citizens, so that they’ll be completely powerless in the face of this unfolding national disaster! 

This involves politics, but it goes beyond politics.  It’s more elemental than politics.  It strikes at the heart of what it is to be a free man or woman.  When a government abdicates its most fundamental duties, women and men are going to resort to the most basic retaliatory arrows in their behavioral quiver.

For example, when a bunch of arrogant educrats got caught teaching trans ideology, race-hatred and pan-sexual weirdness to a bunch of school children, those kids’ dads were angry – but their moms showed up at school board meetings with claws out, and ready to do some arse-whipping. 

A lot of pale, sweaty leftist school board members yelped for the police and retreated from school cafeteria and auditoria all over this country with their tails between their legs.  And a bunch of soccer moms turned into mama bears; women who’d been voting for Dem idiots their whole lives elected thousands of non-leftist school board members from sea to shining sea. 

And they sent ex-VA gov Terry McAuliffe back to the used car lot or payday lender boiler-room where he belongs.

A bunch of women also got carry permits, and used cute little pistols to put decorative holes in a bunch of toxic-male Biden voters who expected a powerless victim, but found a gunpowder-assisted gender re-assignment instead.  God bless those women!

But as a male, the death of James Caan took me back to an American lodestone meditation on manhood: The Godfather. 

One of Caan’s most famous scenes occurs when he, as Santino Corleone, discovers that his sister has been beaten by her new husband, Carlo.  He flies out of the house in a rage, eventually catching the creep on a city street and administering an epic whipping. 

One highlight of the scene was the moment when Carlo tries to hold on to a wrought-iron fence to keep Sonny from dragging him away, and Sonny bites Carlo’s fingers until he has to let go. Another was Sonny grabbing a metal garbage-can lid and bashing Carlo’s head with it. 

At the end, after he’s kicked Carlo into the street beside a spouting fire hydrant, an out-of-breath Sonny says, “If you touch… my sister again… I’ll kill ya.” 

On one level, every well-raised male knows that this is not how you’re supposed to behave… until it is. 

The proper course of action is to take it to the government, in the form of the cops.  But if that’s not an option – because you’re a mafioso in Sonny’s case, or because you live in a blue city in 2022 under a leftist DA like Boudin or Gascon – you might grab a garbage can lid and a few friends and go looking for Carlo.    

In fact, the movie opens with a great scene that establishes that central theme: a law-abiding Italian immigrant undertaker comes to Brando’s Godfather to ask him for justice.  His daughter was beaten by two American boys, but when he took them to court, the corrupt system let them off without any penalty. 

So he goes back to an earlier social system: the tribal loyalties and rough justice of Sicily.  He pledges fealty to the Don, and the Don reciprocates.  Though the Godfather refuses to have the boys killed, he does give the man his justice, sending a couple of his soldiers to beat them as badly as they beat the girl.

Again, this is not the way things are supposed to work in a civilized democracy.   But I’m afraid that it’s the kind of whirlwind the Dems are going to be reaping if they keep on their current path.

Consider Kenosha Wisconsin, in 2020.  When the peaceful social justice rioters and felons began to torch and destroy that town, the Dems who ran that state and city could have deployed cops and national guard troops to stop them, either before the rioting started, or certainly after the first night of rioting. 

At the end of that first, fiery night, a lot of good citizens in Kenosha saw that their government was not going to do its job.  They didn’t have a godfather, but they did have a network of law-abiding, tax-paying, business-owning friends and neighbors – call them “la cheesehead nostra.” 

They asked for any willing citizens to come and help stand guard over their businesses the next night.  One of the people who responded was Kyle Rittenhouse.   Thankfully, when the thugs came back the next night, the final tally was, “Convicted felons and sex offenders 0, Rittenhouse 3.” 

Of course the national left then went nuts, demonizing Rittenhouse and sacralizing his vicious attackers. 

(My all-time favorite rebuttal line described the fate of Joseph Rosenbaum, the previously convicted pedophile who chased Rittenhouse into a corner, grabbed for his rifle, and was rightly shot in the head:  “He died as he had lived: trying to touch an unwilling minor.”)

But the trial turned into a laugher, with Rittenhouse acquitted and the prosecutors looking like the dopes they are.  The moral for the left that had happily let the riots fester and grow should be clear:

Do you want millions of Rittenhouses righteously shooting your criminal supporters?

Because THIS is how you get millions of Rittenhouses righteously shooting your criminal supporters!

Okay, I know this is getting long, but I’ve been thinking of one more of my favorite movie scenes ever.  This one is from the epic western Lonesome Dove, and involves the great Robert Duvall (as Augustus McRae) and Tommy Lee Jones (Woodrow Call). 

As Duvall and Jones are in a country store, some government troops ride into town, and one bully among them exercises an old-west form of eminent domain: he demands that Jones’ unacknowledged bastard son (Rick Schroder) give up a horse.  When the kid refuses, the bully starts whipping him and yelling.

Just then Jones comes out of the store with an armful of goods, sees the whipping down the street, and his blood is instantly up.  He drops what he’s holding, races down the street on his horse, knocks the other man down, then jumps down and grabs a branding iron and starts bashing the guy with it.

Schroder says, “He’s killing him,” as Jones throws the man headfirst into an anvil, and raises the iron over his head for the killing blow.

But Duval lassos him from horseback, and drags him away.  It takes several seconds for Duval to bring Jones back to his senses.  The soldiers take the half-dead bully away, and Jones gets back on his horse, noticing the crowd of civilians all watching him.

And then he delivers one of the greatest – and most understated — lines in film history: “I hate rude behavior in a man.  I won’t tolerate it.”

If you haven’t seen that scene before, please watch it.  In fact, please join me in a summer resolution: by no later than Labor Day, I’m going to watch both Godfathers (if you say that there’s a third one, you’re dead to me!) and Lonesome Dove again!  

Join me, and maybe I can have CO arrange a live podcast to discuss these great films.

As you can tell from this rambling column, I’m ambivalent on this issue.  There is such a thing as righteous anger, and it can be a force for good in society, especially when powerful people in and out of government thwart good peoples’ cries for justice.

But at the same time, it should sober us to reflect that almost all angry people think that their anger is righteous. 

It’s almost beyond my understanding, but I think that most of the pro-abortion goons who are harassing Supreme Court justices and torching facilities that offer support to pregnant women – which you would not have a problem with, if you were truly pro-CHOICE! – believe that THEIR anger is also righteous.

They are, of course, wrong.  And I’m afraid that if they continue to attack those who disagree with them, they are going to receive some responses which they won’t like, but which I hope will be educational for them.  

So yes, I wasn’t around when God laid the foundations of the earth, and I’m not certain where “turn the other cheek” ends and “do justice and righteousness” begins. 

But I’ve been searching my soul about this, and I don’t think I’m wrong:  we could use millions of men and women in this country who, when confronted with a mob of aggressive, spoiled, petulant narcissists, would jump up and oppose them.

And I know where I’d like to be the next time a bunch of leftist bullies gets a tip and shows up to drive a good Supreme Court justice out of a public place.

Out in front of that restaurant, with a garbage can lid in one hand, and a branding iron in the other.

Because we should hate rude behavior in people, and we should not tolerate it! 

Augustus McRae/Woodrow Call 2024!

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