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A Conservative Perspective

Hartgen: Who’s the BLM, Anyway?

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On his recent talk show, Bill Maher, who’s not exactly a Trumpster, chided the other talking heads who were defending Black Lives Matter for the “justice” agenda it presents and saying the BLM movement was just benign protestors.

Yea, right, Maher said. Aren’t you guys watching the news? The shootings, rioting, burning of cities, looting, the attacks on police, the mayhem? Who’s doing that?

Well, the yammering liberals may not be watching, but the American people are, for sure. That’s why these voters have tuned out the liberal rants; they’ve already decided how they’re voting, and it won’t be the Biden-Harris Identity Politics ticket which cannot see any linkage between these groups and their crimes. Even a liberal like Bill Maher can see that.

Every night, there are scenes of looting, rioting, you name it, from this or that city where “justice” is being demanded. More. more. more. Give us more money. You owe us for events and conditions long ago. Now you owe us reparations too.

These demands are often accompanied by loud screaming, yelling, slogans, and of course, media attention. It’s a trend going back at least a half century: street marches, protests which then turn violent, angry minority groups and their befuddled, Goody-Two-Shoes liberal comrades. Yet, every time the common-sense citizen sees these incidents on the news, the deeper the gulf widens across American tribes.

Folks tune out the news but the impressions of what they’ve seen remain. Last week, a local writer described BLM as a “righteous cause.”(TN, 9/9).

Say what? Guess she missed the fact that the killers, rioters, criminals, looters, arsonists were mostly in the very groups who say life isn’t fair and they blame Trump, the police, and of course, “white privilege.” And then, they’re joined by assorted venal male and female punks, many of whom grew up in privileged homes, got degrees from good schools, but who seethe with anger and angst. (NY Post, 9/9) Over what? Most seem unable or willing to get real jobs.

These groups wish the worst for law enforcement. (“We hope you fxxxxxx die” 9/13) they yell at a Los Angeles hospital where two wounded officers were being treated.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where we are. Identity politics, diversity worship (except about conservatives), and minority affirmative action for every sub-set of American demographics has divided and subdivided what used to be a melting pot of American culture into warring tribes.

Native-Americans, feminists, gays, gender reveals, you name it, and of course Blacks, with a capital “B” now required by the Associated Press. (Can you imagine the minority outrage if whites were suddenly called “Whites?”

“That’s why you’re dying one by one, you stupid f—-s,” a man can be heard saying outside the hospital.”Y’all gonna die one by one. It ain’t gonna stop.”

Compromise, to these folks, means conservatives should give up their worn-out Norman Rockwell picture of America and become more “collaborative,” meaning they should be more liberal, or all liberal. No room here for dissent.

If you say you’re not a racist and don’t hate women or gays or whomever, that just proves that you really are what you say you’re not. Got that? You’re just the quiet elderly couple at a sidewalk café in Pittsburgh being harassed by screaming BLM protestors for not swearing allegiance to social justice. Raise your fists, comrades.

But, as Maher says, the American people are watching, listening, making decisions. The causes divide us further.

It’s been like this for decades, egged on by a virulent press and angry liberals and minorities whose mantra is to say anything to “get conservatives,” from Nixon to the Bushes and now to Trump. Just as Saul Alinsky instructed the Clintons to do. One Idaho liberal columnist even recently said Bill Clinton was a moral individual. (Idaho Press, 9/13). Yea, right. Trashing conservatives is just all-day sport.

These examples could be multiplied thousands of times over. If you say law enforcement generally does a good job, you’re a cop copout who favors brutality. If you mention institutions like church, faith, civic groups, small-town neighborliness, you’re expressing white “class-ism.” If you’re a professor and say anything like this at most universities now, you’re soon out of a job, or being hung out to dry by the campus speech censors.

Political correctness is everywhere. If you’re an elected official or a police officer, you’ll soon have protestors trying to run you off, shut you down, call you a bigot. It’s no wonder millions of citizens routinely lie to pollsters and why many are changing careers to get away from the “crazies.” They don’t want engage in daily harassment.

But come election day, in the privacy (so far) of the voting process, they will speak up. Trump carried Twin Falls County 3½ to 1 in the 2016 election. He’ll do better than that this November. There’s a likely 5 to 10 percent hidden Trump bias all across the land.

People know the BLM is a “cultural poison sweeping the country.” (WSJ 9/14) It’s no “righteous cause.” No, dear conservative readers, it’s not you who has lost your moral compass.

Stephen Hartgen, Twin Falls, is a retired five-term Republican member of the Idaho House of Representatives, where he served as chairman of the Commerce & Human Resources Committee. Previously, he was editor and publisher of The Times-News (1982-2005). He is the author of the new book “Tradition & Progress: Southern Idaho’s Growth Since 1990.” He can be reached at


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