My friend Al Benson has recently authored a series of short but critical essays chronicling what has happened and is happening in the Old Dominion State after the radicalized “woke” social justice warriors—flush with campaign cash from George Soros and Michael Bloomberg—now have taken control of that state’s government. Several columns have addressed the incremental attempts by the new Democratically-dominated Virginia House of Deputies and Senate to place onerous restrictions on gun ownership—attempts which produced a major opposition rally of more than 22,000 citizens against those actions on January 20.
One of his columns, “The French Revolution Comes To The Old Dominion” (February 2, 2020), compares what is happening there to the French Revolution and the revolutionaries who instigated it. Opposition to their designs and actions was swept away by violence and the guillotine. “By the time the Illuminists got through with their reign of terror in France, the country was ready for a Napoleon and it got one…. [Governor] Red Ralph Northam and his socialist cohorts in Richmond want to give the Old Dominion an encore.”
Despite the groundswell of rejection, the Virginia legislature is proceeding with an agenda which not only encompasses the first steps in what may prove to be comprehensive gun control, but also a panoply of progressivist measures that range from releasing violent criminals from prison (just as New York state has done, with very bad consequences), to essentially abortion on demand, to placing restrictions on free speech (or, euphemistically, “banning hate speech,” as they call it). And there is more assuredly which will come.
If this sounds like something imported from California, you would be correct. As Benson details, not only Bloomberg and Soros, but California leftist hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer has pumped millions into Virginia politics, even as far back as 2017 (“Red Ralph? Then There Are the Gun Nuts,” January 10, 2020). Steyer, of course, is running for president, a long-shot in the upcoming Democratic primaries. An elitist, archetypical Deep State corporate capitalist insider, Steyer has been using his hedge fund lucre to propagate his vision of a utopian socialist America—and the Old Dominion State is just his latest target.
But among other targets—traditionally “red” states and constituencies—Virginia is not alone. Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and, yes, North Carolina all figure in this effort by Leftist billionaires at employing millions of dollars (ill-gotten or otherwise) to sway an unobservant and pliant electorate. Such is, to paraphrase the brilliant essayist Henry Adams a later-day scion of the Adams family, “the degradation of democratic dogma,” the final absurdity of “democracy” reduced to its ultimate lowest common denominator. Or, as Southern Regionalist writer Donald Davidson described it: “Democracy, a fuddled wench/Is bought from tousled bed to bed./Bass voices in white vests defile/The echoes of great voices dead.” (Davidson, “The Tall Men”)
Consider North Carolina: Already initiatives are underway to do in the Tar Heel State what is occurring in neighboring Virginia. Benson recounts (“The Sleeping Giant Is Waking Up In North Carolina,” January 13, 2020) that gun-rights activists have begun to recognize this and organize in some counties and municipalities.
Also, in recent months, several progressivist counties in the state (i.e., Mecklenburg, Wake, Buncombe, Orange, Durham, and Forsyth) have declared themselves to be “sanctuary counties” when it comes to ICE enforcement, and several Democratic sheriffs (notably in Wake and Mecklenburg counties) refuse to recognize Federal illegal immigration detainers.
And just within the past week Judicial Watch documented that “the Guilford and Mecklenburg county boards of elections are in violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)”: both counties—both of which are liberal bastions—have far more registered voters than voting-age citizens:
As of January 4, Mecklenburg County had 736,168 voter registrations while Guilford had 358,960. The problem is that the Census Bureau estimates that Mecklenburg County only has about 693,740 voting-age citizens while Guilford County only has about 371,190. In other words, Mecklenburg County has more registered voters than they have voting-age citizens and Guilford County has an improbably high voter registration rate of 97 percent.
North Carolina’s General Assembly currently has a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate, but repeated activist court decisions regarding voter ID and redistricting, not just on the congressional level but also for state legislative seats, in all likelihood put that in jeopardy in the November 2020 elections. (See, Ray Nothstine, “Judicial activism strikes again over voter ID law, NC Capitol Connection, January 2020, vol. 12, no. 1).
The import of all this clearly is that the frenzied left continues its unceasing and vigorous efforts to use and mold “democracy” and the democratic system in ways that, in effect, destroy it…or demonstrate what in its American manifestation it has in reality become. For the full, desired “democracy” of our social justice warriors is incompatible with true liberty, and as Russell Kirk writes in The Conservative Mind, leads to dictatorship.
Al Benson’s description, “The French Revolution Comes To The Old Dominion”--and to the rest of America--is entirely apposite.
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.