One year later, I can’t believe how many conservatives still struggle to condemn the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. What happened that day was not only a crime: it was a sin against nature.
Not all of my comrades see it that way. Sarcastic references to the “temple of our democracy” abound. It’s just a building, they say. Well, yes. But life happens in “just buildings.” If someone burned down the house you grew up in, you’d be heartbroken. Sure you would. Even if you don’t own it anymore, it would still hurt like hell.
Our buildings and statues, our flags and songs and all the other regalia—these things are more valuable than politics. At least, they should be. But if the party line is worth more to us than our homeland, our national family, then we’re no better than Antifa. We’re just thugs with too many opinions.
Given that we’d spent all of 2020 cursing Black Lives Matter for vandalizing statues of Lincoln and Jefferson, I thought we knew all this already. Apparently not. Apparently we need to remind ourselves of what Tocqueville said: Those who hold our country’s symbols in contempt hold us in contempt as well.
Teddy Roosevelt gave a pretty good definition of patriotism when he said, “I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children. That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children.”
The folks rioted last January 6, and those who defend them now, are skinning the land. They’re leaving our children a country with more hatred, bitterness, and fear. They’re poor creatures. And I sincerely wish they could love America the way she deserves to be loved—not only for the country’s sake, but for their own.
[These are exerpts from my latest newsletter. You can read the rest on Substack.]