The extreme dangers of mob mentality have been on display lately. We merely need look downtown to see what happens when a peaceful assembly gets taken over. Many philosophers and brilliant thinkers have spent copious amounts of time learning and discussing the effects of mob rule in human nature. The founders spent diligent time debating the dangerous enticement of mobs. They knew that mobs were a by-product of democracy which is why they decided on a republican form of government, but, centuries later, how do we as conservatives keep free of the mob mentality?
Lately, there has been evidence of the mob mentality entering the Republican Party.
For example, Republicans should be anti-mask…always. The boycotting of stores that require you to wear masks was in the Republican dialogue. But aren’t we the party that believes in personal businesses having their own rights to do as they please? Perhaps the store owners just want to stay open? Why do we abandon the premise that a store owner should be able to mandate masks (or even parkas) upon entry? Why are we so quick to judge another person who chooses to wear a mask who also says they are a Republican? Even in light of Governor Polis’s mask mandate, our rhetoric should be FOR individual freedom, not the intelligence of people who want to wear masks. We have become so enflamed by the unconstitutionality of mask mandates that by mocking anyone wearing a mask, we have crossed the line of individual choice into a mob echo chamber.
People are so enflamed by passion that well-reasoned discourse cannot be accepted or debated. Trump has been a clarion call for this rhetoric and debate within the party. Even when writing this next sentence, I feel the need to qualify it with the fact that President Trump has had many great political victories and he will be a much better option than Biden. But there have been many examples of Trump’s policy that have been the farthest thing from constitutionally conservative. But since the left has their cancel culture, the right has now deemed it appropriate to cancel any conservatives who don’t support ALL of Trump’s actions. Just because the main stream media constantly attacks President Trump does not mean that we should defend every action or policy decision he makes just to provide support. No one wins with mob on mob mentality, and our founders knew that.
The founders in their wisdom knew that factions, or mobs, were a danger because passion trumps reason; the latter being the more noble and virtuous part of the soul. Passion isn’t a danger as long as it is tempered by reason and lately, both sides of the political aisle have shown an inability to temper that passion for reason. It is human nature to be drawn towards mobs as noted in Federalist #55 when it was said, “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would have been a mob.” But I submit that Republicans, in our logical hearts, believe and know these dangers and that is why we support a Constitutional Republic. But we have to make sure we are not so outraged by the “outrage culture” that we become the very opposite.
There is much to be concerned about, our country is in need of saving, and outrage sometimes seems the easier solution, but it truly isn’t. We need to disinvite this mob from our party. It has no place on the invite list. Reason is our friend, even if it isn’t used on the other side of the aisle or argument. Let’s practice reasoning through the problem, using logic and viewing the debate from all principled perspectives. Let’s remember our belief in the importance of the rights of individuals and when we see a Republican wearing a mask or supporting the individual use of a mask, not to shame them because we disagree or because we feel it’s all a media ploy, but applaud them for self-affirming their individual rights. We need to rise above the passions and emotional thinking that the founding fathers created a system AGAINST and instead rise to a level above, where reason and logic and cool tempers can prevail. Our party, our country and our future depends on the impassioned mob being disinvited and reason being ever present.