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The Feds Take Portland? | The Pragmatic Constitutionalist

Rarely, (but it does happen), do I catch flak for that which I haven’t yet said.  Over the past several days, I’m getting both private messages and comments on unrelated threads about my silence on the recent happenings in Portland.  Specifically, “Where’s your outrage about federal police kidnapping innocent protestors from the streets of Portland?”

For starters, let’s dispense with the notion that I haven’t spoken about this.  In fact, I predicted this would happen.  Remember my “Trojan Horse” series, in which I clearly predicted that this “defund the police” movement was the precursor to a national police force ultimately being sent into our nation’s cities to bring law and order where local authorities refused to exercise their duties to protect the local populace?  I should also add . . . this was a warning, not merely a prediction.

Secondly, the manner in which this is currently unfolding is nothing even close to the specter which I originally presented.  We’re not even close to that, yet.

Thirdly, the reason I’ve kept my powder dry up to this point is because virtually nothing we’re seeing and reading in portrayals of this federal police action even remotely represents the full picture.  I am long on the record of being one to purposefully hold back on commentary about any police actions.  I jumped on the George Floyd killing much faster than usual, and I have to admit to having regretted not waiting a few more days on that event, as well.  Not because I found any justification in his death, but because all the facts — as later detailed in subsequent TPC blogs — revealed far more complex issues and statistical data that clearly do not justify the aftermath that followed, or that which continues to unfold.

Since the earliest reactions to the activities by federal police in Portland, I’ve been watching every video and reading every article I can get my hands on.  To assume I know the truth of what’s happening would be to disregard any pretense of objectivity.  We all have our knee-jerk predispositions toward such an action, but even eyewitness accounts are muddled by their own assumptions and varied agendas.  There is also much deliberate disinformation at play.  Even from sources to whom I typically give much credibility, I’ve determined they have probably spoken too soon, before all the facts are clearly known, and those voices have already come down authoritatively on both sides.  Some condemning the federal police presence, and others cheering this on as positive move by President Trump.

On principle, I object to most any federal police action where local authorities should be doing their jobs.  In the case of Portland, (and many other US cities), local authorities have not only abdicated their responsibilities to protect property, businesses, and lives, they have also seemingly condoned violence and destruction.  In this case, are federal police forces actually usurping local jurisdictions, or simply protecting federal property?  Evidence is specious at best, and outright deceptive at worst.

Contrary to accusations that I’m obsessing over masks at the expense of commentary on far more important matters, I’m simply not prepared — based on current reporting — to take an absolute stand one way or the other on what’s now taking place in Portland.

Overall, I’m disgusted by what’s been taking place in Portland, even long before George Floyd’s death.  As I pointed out at the onset of the riots in Minneapolis, local police had both the means and the moral authority to stop the destruction, but someone tied law enforcement’s hands.  Then, we saw the same thing unfold nationwide as governors, mayors, and police chiefs gave almost unfettered leeway to the lawless behavior of certain of those mixed in with the more legitimate protestors.

I’ve said it over and over again:  government has but one moral duty, and that is to protect its citizens from force and fraud.  This is not happening.  Where local authorities are demonstrably not fulfilling that obligation, they are not even allowing citizens to defend themselves.  The hapless couple in St. Louis, (obviously untrained in firearm handling), whose community’s gates were crashed and destroyed by an invading mob is now being charged with a felony for standing their ground in front of their on home — despite harming no one, or ever firing a shot.  They were even told by the mob their house was going to be burned to the ground.  By contrast, none of that lawless, destructive mob has been charged with any crime.

When authorities abdicate their responsibility to protect citizens, and even makes those citizens the criminals for so doing, does that merit federal intervention?  Is the act of protecting federal property, by federal police, an unconstitutional act?  The ACLU thinks so.  The MSM and all Democratic politicos think so.  Many libertarians even think so.  Is that the only thing those federal police in Portland are doing?  I simply don’t know . . . and I’ve seen every video and read everything I can find to make my own determination.

We now have news that Homeland Security will later this week be deploying 150 federal troops in Chicago.  Chicago’s Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has voiced her disapproval, while the city’s police department has responded quite differently, saying, “we will take any and all help.”  Where this goes, and how much further the Trump administration plans to expand this strategy remains to be seen.

The only thing of which I’m absolutely convinced is that there’s a much larger progressive, Marxist agenda at play as we watch these events unfold throughout our country, and we must be prepared for . . . anything . . . including the worst.



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