You Want Revolution? Really?

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In any society, however benign, subversives exist, intent on overthrowing the government. They may label themselves Anarchists or Communists or some other political brand, but they really are just malcontents.

They are not only disruptive but destructive. They want to tear down the existing institutions but have no realistic proposals to replace them.

These activists often resort to violence and other extreme behavior in their vehement protests against any form of authority.

I suspect some of these dangerous losers have infiltrated Bernie Sanders’ movement. The shameful episode at the Democratic convention in Nevada has their fingerprints all over it.

And I am convinced other malcontents are using that deluded Donald Trump to try and hijack the Republican Party.

Pundits blame defects in American society – such obvious defects as extreme income inequality and a dysfunctional Congress – for the groundswell of protest manifest in the current campaign season.

And they’re right. But they don’t seem to see beyond that.

Enemies of the state – not would-be reformers but would-be revolutionaries – are taking advantage of the widespread malaise to undermine the political system.

Obviously, existing institutions are failing America. Obviously reform is overdue. But in a democracy, change must be the result of consensus, not force.

And, yes, reform can be frustratingly slow. Yes, it’s often exasperating and exhausting.

But that’s democracy – love it or leave it. As Winston Churchill famously observed, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

I would ask those Americans who find the siren call of “revolution” so alluring to take a deep breath before they leap off that cliff.

The existing systems, however imperfect, developed organically over generations, reflecting the way people are. These institutions were not imposed by some supreme dictator who thought he knew how people should be.

Before Americans discard existing systems in disgust, they should reflect on the likely consequences. They should read about past revolutions and the horrors they inflicted on innocent human beings.

In the French Revolution heads actually rolled, and if you’ve seen “Doctor Zhivago,” you have some idea of the impact the Bolshevik Revolution had on middle class families.

Even in the American War of Independence, colonists who did not join the revolution suffered miserably. Their homes were often torched, and many fled across the Canadian border.

If they really think about it, most Americans would surely agree that “revolution” is a last resort, only to be contemplated in a period of genuine tyranny. And – while economic and social injustice abounds – real tyranny exists in today’s America only in the fevered imaginations of malcontents.

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