Unrest is part of the fabric of America


There was no justification for the Trump-supporting mob to storm their way into the halls of the Capitol and no benefit to their claims of a stolen election.

Whether it is this right-wing fringe element running roughshod on our nation’s Capitol, or the Black Lives Matter “activists” looting stores and burning down blocks of urban centers, the violence, vandalism and death are unacceptable. What’s wrong is wrong, no matter who is doing it.

Like dogs in a pack, when one barks, the rest join in not always knowing what they’re barking about. Such is the case with a mob. They’re useless.

Organized protests and uprisings? Now that is a very different story, and very different from mob mentality. Unrest gave birth to our country, and to this day our liberty continues to draw life from the roots that first tapped the soil of freedom through the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

Unfortunately, the liberty offered by that foundation is not an easy thing to maintain, because what threatens to tear it apart, is ultimately necessary to keep it together.

Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison on Jan. 30, 1787, expressing support for “a little rebellion now and then” in response to an uprising and series of protests led by Daniel Shay and a group of 1,200 farmers who were angry over conditions in Massachusetts in 1786.

The federal style of government the Founding Fathers were writing into the United States Constitution, which would be approved later that year, endeavored to pursue “liberty and happiness” but it had its evils too, according to Jefferson, “the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject.”

But ultimately, he said the conflict that would be an ongoing part of America’s fabric would be worth it – “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” or “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.”

Unrest is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

“Even this evil is productive of good,” said Jefferson. “It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

The storm brewed and it challenged our democracy, but then also invigorated it.

Do you understand? Whether it was Trump, or extremists, or violence and carnage, our Constitution has been tested and it continues to work. From the occupation protests in Seattle, to the destructive demonstrations in Minneapolis, and now the riot at the U.S. Capitol and everything in between, we are still here and we are still free… and possibly stronger as a result.

– D. Thalmann