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Vigliotti: Trump right to send federal agents into cities | COMMENTARY

Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, in part to answer questions about President Donald Trump’s decision to send federal agents into various cities throughout the country. Those who oppose the move have compared federal law enforcement to brownshirts and Nazis, and have ridiculed conservatives for supporting federal intervention in local areas.

Yes, conservatives believe in limited, effective government structured by our constitutional system consisting of local/state, and federal authority, with the greatest possible local control (and the least possible amount of government interference with daily life at any level). That consists of situations and circumstances in which federal authority is needed or required, and supersedes local control. These include violations of constitutional rights and security.

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When local elected officials fail to protect their constituents, and when their constituents do not have any other recourse, the federal government must step in. The mayors and councilmembers of major cities, such as Portland and Seattle, for political reasons, have proven themselves flagrantly unwilling to protect the people who entrusted them with political power — and, in some cases, deliberately encouraging the source of that endangerment. Additionally, they have refused to protect federal property.

Hence, Trump’s move to emplace federal law enforcement in those cities to protect federal property and American citizens, the latter being under Operation Legend.

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This isn’t complicated.

Comparing American federal law enforcement to brownshirts, Nazis, and other paramilitary manifestations of totalitarian regimes is likewise a gross and historically indefensible position to maintain — and is both utterly irresponsible and morally wrong.

Federal agents are not being deployed to incite riots, vandalize private property, destroy businesses, intimidate political opposition, target a particular race or faith, or instigate and commit deliberate violence with sledgehammers, pipe bombs, and Molotov cocktails — but to arrest, stop, and prevent those who do: the radical leftist mobs. Tactics these mobs are using are hallmarks of totalitarian thugs now and historically — not the chain link fences erected to protect federal property, or anti-gang operations meant to stop the murdering of children.

Acknowledging this requires a measure of honesty. If those who protested coronavirus restrictions had resorted to looting, rioting, attacking federal installations, and violence, the left would be calling for the same kind of response. The difference is political, and that the president is a Republican, and that the president is Trump.

But even if Trump was not the president, there would still be politically-charged opposition. When I was in high school, I had classes in which I was the only student who defended then-President George W. Bush. Some of my fellow students ridiculed him and his supporters, calling them everything negative one could imagine, as did a number of adults I knew. More than a decade later, Bush is now held up as a model Republican by many of the same people who vilified him through the length of his tenure in office, just because Bush and Trump have had their differences.

But make no mistake: if Bush was president now, he, too, would be treated the same as Trump for a federal response.

Those who oppose federal intervention need to remember two things. First, rioting and violence were occurring long before federal agents arrived. Second, local officials have prevented the police from dealing with violence, which has only engendered more violence.

As a result, in Minneapolis for example, armed civilians must now patrol their own neighborhoods. Citizens in a civil society should never have to be forced into such a role by their own elected officials.

But Democrats at the House judiciary hearing staggeringly blamed federal intervention on behalf of American citizens on the president, declaring he was only using them for campaign purposes — as if everything violent transpiring did not exist or did not matter. It is chilling to watch certain Democrats deny, downplay, or dismiss the brutal mob action witnessed on film — and voters should remember this at the polls in November. We need our police and law enforcement agencies now more than ever — and they need us.

Interestingly enough, Trump’s move garnered success in Oregon with respect to compelling the governor to seek to uphold law and order. The governor agreed to deploy state police to protect federal property, and to work to end violence against local law enforcement in exchange for the conditional withdrawal of federal agents. Time will tell how this unfolds.

In a final note, more than 100 police departments have withdrawn from an agreement to provide security for the Democratic National Convention in August over concerns for officer safety, and the hindered ability for officers to do their jobs. Democrats are therefore considering engaging federal agents to protect their convention — which borders somewhere between hypocrisy and irony, given that they’ve condemned the use of federal agents, who they’ve called Nazis and brownshirts.

Joe Vigliotti, a contributor to The Flip Side and a Taneytown city councilman, writes from Taneytown. His column appears every other Friday. Email him through his website at www.jvigliotti.com.

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