Mob Rule...Is It Coming to the US?
by Mark Armstrong
France has just surrendered, again. University students poured into the streets of Paris in protest, angry about the French government’s plan to institute a law which would allow entry level employees to be terminated within the first couple of years if the arrangement wasn’t working out. The plan was designed to create an atmosphere that might ease the untenable 20% unemployment rate among the very age group that took to the streets in protest. In France, employment means a 35-hour workweek, at least four week’s annual vacation, and the boss simply cannot terminate an employee without risking an expensive and time consuming legal battle. As you’ve no doubt witnessed, “peaceful” demonstrations, estimated to number over a million turned ugly as thugs reportedly took advantage of the crowded streets and outnumbered police to torch cars and vandalize businesses.
The protests continued until, what a surprise, the French government backed down. The French President Chirac reportedly ordered his Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to withdraw the proposed employment law in a show of weakness that is seen as the end of effective governing on the part of current leadership. According to the UK Times, “It renders him (Chirac) a lame duck for the rest of his second term and seriously damages Mr. de Villepin’s chances of succeeding him…” But that’s not the end of the story by any means. Bolstered by the success of the intimidating demonstrations, even more have been planned to push the government to cave in on additional perceived inequities. With the French welfare state strained to its limits and the leadership in retreat, France may be in a lot of trouble. But they’re not the only ones.
Here at home we’ve just witnessed something we couldn’t have imagined if we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes. Hundreds of thousands, millions in the aggregate, clogged the downtown streets of American cities demanding rights for illegal aliens. In this case their rights are construed to include freedom from apprehension or deportation, access to schools, free heath care and the usual array of state and federal benefits. And don’t forget about the right to vote! That little factor may well determine how the politicians, more interested in their own political fortunes than the good of the nation, behave as the illegal immigration debate plays out.
It is undeniable proof of just how big a problem our lack of U.S. border security has become. Surely this spectacle must have the president and his cabinet, and lots of other elected officials on the edge of their seats. While there were no reports of the kind of wild rampaging seen in Paris, crowds of that magnitude congesting city centers carry with them an intimidation factor and an implicit threat. There is no way the police could deal with the situation if crowds in those numbers were to turn violent. None of the discussion up to this point even deals with the potential for Middle Eastern terrorists to enter the U.S. by the same method used by eleven or twelve million Latinos who are already here.
Will the United States go the way of France and wave the white flag? If so, is that where the matter will end, or will the downtown streets of American cities routinely fill with angry throngs who threaten and demand the right du jour? Capitulation in the face of intimidation is not working out so well for the French government. Not only has the leadership been humiliated, the demonstrations are scheduled to continue! Is there any lesson to be learned by the United States? If our leaders acquiesce to the demands of mobs, when will the next demonstration be called, and what will be their next demand? We’ll have to wait and see how Washington ends up handling the nightmare that has been created by refusing to deal with the border issue over so many decades.
If the mass demonstrations are seen to have succeeded in this instance, we’d better get used to it. We’ll have a lot of demonstrations and the implied threat of anarchy to contend with on an ongoing basis. On the other hand, if the vast mobs don’t get what they want when Congress re-convenes in a couple of weeks they may return downtown to “express themselves.”
So far the police have shut down traffic and barricaded the streets in cooperation. Can you imagine the outcry if they’d responded with tear gas or fire hoses? Right here in the United States our post 9-11 society has just evolved to include the threat of anarchy.
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