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Where’s John Brown When We Need Him?

In the aftermath of the battle to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court Democrats have exhibited, what Monica Showalter described in a must-read article for The American Thinker as, “Something creepy and horrible - a desire to use force and muscle to get their ways, a desire to be ‘more ruthless,’ a longing to attack Republicans physically, and a creepy inability to move on from defeats and get on with the business of winning voters over.”

This is WarThe Democrats’ threats to become “more ruthless” isn’t new and puts us in mind of pre-Civil War America and one of the heroes of that era: John Brown.

Most Americans, if they think of John Brown at all, think of him as the leader of the abolitionist raid on the Harper’s Ferry federal arsenal in what is now West Virginia.

The raid, intended to spark a slave rebellion, was an utter failure and was quickly put down by Robert E. Lee and a company of United States Marines assisted by local citizens. Brown, unrepentant to the end, was executed for “treason” against the Commonwealth of Virginia, a crime that doesn’t even exist today.

But before John Brown committed “treason” against the slaveholding Commonwealth of Virginia he was hailed as the protector of Free-Soil settlers in Kansas, who were being harried and murdered by pro-slavery Democrats.

In the years leading up to the Civil War Bleeding Kansas was the epicenter of a violent Democrat-led guerilla campaign to intimidate settlers who were opposed to slavery, and to murder them if they refused to be intimidated.

One of the most infamous of these Democrat-led guerilla raids was the Sacking of Lawrence, Kansas on May 21, 1856.  Pro-Slavery guerrillas, led by Douglas County’s Democrat Sheriff Samuel J. Jones, attacked and ransacked Lawrence, a town which had been founded by anti-slavery settlers from Massachusetts who were hoping to make Kansas a "free state.”

In an action that has stark parallels with today’s Democrat-led attacks to silence conservatives and drive them from the public square, the Democrat raiders halted production of the free-state newspapers the Kansas Free State and the Herald of Freedom (with the former ceasing publication altogether and the latter taking months to once again start up). The pro-slavery men also destroyed the Free State Hotel and Free-Soil leader Charles L. Robinson's house.

In the aftermath of the raid by the pro-slavery Democrats against the Free-Soil settlers John Brown became disillusioned with the turn the other cheek pacifism of the Eastern leaders of the abolitionist movement: "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!" said Brown.

Brown quickly organized a counterforce that responded to the sacking of Lawrence by killing five supporters of slavery in the so-called Pottawatomie massacre. Brown’s weapon of choice in that raid was the Model 1832 artillery sword, a close-up weapon for the execution of pro-slavery Democrats carried out in the spirit of Old Testament wrath Brown so perfectly engendered.

In early June 1856, only ten days after Pottawatomie, John Brown’s force defeated pro-slavery forces led by Captain Henry Clay Pate at the so-called Battle of Black Jack, where he also captured a number of weapons.

Later, in a daring 1858 guerilla raid Brown conducted into Vernon County, Missouri, he and a band of twenty men liberated slaves from several farms at gun point. The raid cemented Brown’s reputation as the bloodiest and most daring soldier in the war against the South’s “peculiar institution.”*

Brown’s Biblical level of outraged was fueled by both the violence of the pro-slavery Democrats and what he saw as a weak and cowardly response by the antislavery partisans and the Free State settlers, whom he described as "cowards, or worse."

The point of this digression through these obscure pre-Civil War battles is that until John Brown chose to fight and return the violence the Democrats were using to intimidate peaceful Free-Soil settlers, the initiative in Bleeding Kansas, and in the battle against slavery more generally, was all with the violent pro-slavery Democrats. After John Brown took the fight to the Democrats in Kansas and Missouri the initiative shifted to the anti-slavery forces.

Today, conservatives and other peaceful “normal” Americans find themselves in much the same position as Free-Soil settlers found themselves in Kansas in the years 1856 to 1858: Our homes and businesses are under attack, we are harried in public, we are violently attacked by politically motivated killers, our media and communications are destroyed, and government officials seem powerless to defend us or in some cases are even leading the attacks.

Today, as the violence against Republican elected officials and their supporters escalates it seems all our leaders are prepared to do is to once again counsel turning the other cheek, making me wonder, as John Brown did, where’s the leader who will fight back?

*Thanks to Terrible Swift Sword, by Ellis Turner, http://www.academia.edu/4697777/Terrible_Swift_Sword_Edged_Weapons_of_John_Browns_War_on_Slavery

George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

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