Tom Cotton: If We Don’t Restore Order, the “Carnage Will Spread”

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Sen. Tom Cotton isn’t welcome anymore in the op-ed section of The New York Times, but there are still publishers ready and willing to let their readers hear from a Republican who doesn’t feel the need to pretend that riots and looting have a legitimate social justice purpose. Such an outlet is the Fox News website, which published Cotton’s latest entreaty to America: Stop this violence and chaos…or it will spread to every corner of the country.

Writing the piece after a particularly blood-soaked few days in Portland, Kenosha, Minneapolis, and elsewhere, the Arkansas senator said that politicians pandering to the violent mob are doing neither their constituents nor the country any favors.

“Another American city is smoldering because weak politicians failed in their most basic duty: protecting the lives and property of their citizens. Without strong action to restore order and deter criminals, the carnage will spread,” Cotton wrote.

“America’s streets have exploded into battlegrounds yet again,” Cotton wrote later in the piece. “The carnage will continue until mayors and governors get tough and allow the police to do their job. A return to normalcy won’t come through weakness and passivity, but only by a decisive and overwhelming show of force that convinces these anarchists they can’t blackmail and burn America into submission.”

With that said, Cotton recalled how his similar words in the Times got him “canceled” and actually got the paper’s op-ed editor fired.

“My op-ed sparked a newsroom revolt at the New York Times,” he recalled. “Liberal critics dismissed as dangerous or even fascistic my suggestion that a strong show of force could deter chaos. These critics confidently noted that the riots in New York City, St. Louis and elsewhere burned out after several days – partly because local leaders finally allowed law enforcement to do its job, partly because there was nothing left to loot or ransack. See? they crowed, the problem took care of itself.

“But of course, they were wrong,” he noted. “The chaos and destruction spread to different towns like a wildfire.”

What we’re seeing right now is, in many ways, the real-world equivalent of the university protests and sit-ins we’ve seen over the last five years. Sadly, our Democratic leaders learned nothing from those examples. University deans who gave in to the tantrums found themselves overwhelmed by more of the same. This is exactly what’s happening in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Chicago, to name but a few examples. These riots will only step when law enforcement is unshackled and allowed to stop them.

If we give in to their demands and placate them, we will only strengthen these lawless anarchists.