Why Waco Still Matters
From this article, posted at Bill St. Clair:
So long as public opinion regarding such incidents as Waco remains as pro-state as it is, we have a long ways to go toward recapturing the spirit of the American Revolution in this country. The very way that Waco has been remembered indicates the uphill battle. For the last fifteen years, Americans have been in denial of the type of government they live under.
Since 1993, liberals have wanted to believe the Waco atrocity was the fault of the Branch Davidians, and not the fault of the government. Perhaps some official made a minor error, but none of the main blame should fall on government, not on the Clinton administration and not on the very idea of state power. No, the liberals of 1993 thought of government as an institution inseparable from the good society, an institution charged with doing all these great things – collecting taxes to pay for necessary "services," combating inequality, preserving the planet, ensuring economic fairness and defending human rights the world over. The left did not want to see the dark side of the regime they loved. And so, once the Branch Davidians – a true minority (incidentally, about half of them were people of color, as the left never noticed) – were viciously invaded and attacked, dozens of their members slaughtered by the government, most liberals refused to think the worst of their beloved warm-and-fuzzy Clintonian state.
The government of the 1990s was supposed to be the "good government" that liberals never cease to remind us we can have, once again, as soon as the White House is ridden of the Bush family. But George W. Bush didn’t conduct the massacre at Waco. And even if Bill Clinton’s wife blessedly loses the election, Barack Obama gives no guarantee that he will respect the fundamental rights of Americans any better than his predecessors. Certainly, McCain will not temper the police state any more than Bush has after Clinton. More Wacos are always possible in the current political climate.
And so in a sense, the liberals were right that blame didn’t belong squarely with Clinton, just as today’s conservatives are narrowly correct when they defend Bush against selective condemnation. But the modern right too seems not to understand the implications of Waco, or else it would be impossible for it to have taken the positions it has over the police state, including local police, these last fifteen (and actually fifty or more) years. Like yesterday’s liberals, today’s conservatives are just as naïve toward, or at least accepting of, the ugly underbelly of the government they’re proud to live under.
Read the whole thing, please.
Then remember your Niemoller.
UPDATE 20 APRIL 08: Please also review the material assembled by attorney David Hardy of the Arms & the Law blog.