The city of Portland has been in the news quite often recently. Mayors, Governors, and Presidents keep squabbling over who is going to keep the peace in this city and how exactly they’ll do that. The local government claims that the federal government is “attacking” peaceful protestors. The President says that the local government has allowed anarchy to reign and that federal law enforcement agents are simply protecting federal property and enforcing federal law. Somewhere in the mix of all this, a group of veterans decided to become “shields” to protect the peaceful protestors from abuse at the hands of the federal government. “We have not forgotten our oaths” this group of veterans said. They claimed they had to protect the protestors’ first amendment rights from continuing to be violated by the federal agents. These veterans were applauded by some, they were held up as examples of “true defenders of freedom”. And while their intentions were pure, what was the cause these veterans were suddenly fighting for? Was it pure? Was it just?
For 50 straight days, protestors in Portland and federal law enforcement agents have literally battled it out at the federal courthouse. This was not a figurative battle, but a literal battle where both sides had permanent injuries. The protestors point out that one protestor was hit in the face with a tear gas canister and had permanent disfigurement, while another protestor was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet and permanently blinded. This is on top of federal agents using pepper spray and tear gas to disburse the crowd every night. The federal agents point out that at least 3 federal agents were permanently blinded by the protestors’ use of lasers, while dozens more were burned or otherwise injured from the protestors shooting high explosive fireworks directly at the federal agents. If law enforcement agents are being injured, the protestors can no longer be considered peaceful. So what exactly were these veterans protecting?
Every night the Department of Homeland Security releases a detailed briefing of what happened in Portland the night before. These minute-by-minute account detail exactly what protestors were doing and what the response by federal agents was. At no point were protestors attacked for exercising their 1st amendment rights. No protestors were tear gassed because they were chanting too loud or banging peace drums in the presence of federal agents. The only time federal agents responded was when persons or groups of people conducted unlawful activities. The second the crowd breaks the law, they cease to be “protestors exercising their first amendment rights” and actually become criminals attacking the government. Their crimes range from simple defacing public property, to arson, to assault and attempted murder.
This group of veterans was not standing up for the the 1st Amendment. Instead, they were standing up for anarchy. This group of veterans was probably very well intentioned and probably believed that they were protecting the Constitution. But the reality is that they were used as political pawns to further an agenda contrary to what they thought they were fighting for. During the communist revolution in Russia, Lennon called these people “useful idiots”. The groups of people who have been attacking the federal courthouse are groups affiliated with Antifa and BLM, both organizations founded on Marxists ideologies. Any veteran who is true to their oath would know that Marxism in any form is the antithesis to the constitution. It is the duty of every veteran to stand by the oath they took when they raised their right hand and put their life on the line for this country, but it’s important to ensure that they’re actually standing up for the constitution and not being duped into fighting for Marxism.