By James Buchal
In an “Open Letter,” former Republicans John Boylston and Patrick DeKlotz falsely attack Republican leaders for “failing to address hateful actions and rhetoric”. They go further and falsely accuse me as Chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party of “inviting armed mobs to Portland to ‘protect’ his rallies”. What discerning readers should deduce from this article is that these individuals are, at best, “useful idiots” parroting the grossly-false narratives of the Left.
The most dangerous false narrative of the Left is, in the words of Black Lives Matter spokesman Greg McKelvey, that “patriotism has become synonymous with bigotry”. The Left’s hysterical fearmongering generated large crowds on Sunday, June 4th to disparage Trump supporters as Nazis, bigots and white supremacists. I attended that rally and the only arguable evidence of any racists I saw were individuals carrying a sign “diversity = white genocide” who were promptly kicked out of the rally.
The rally leader called for a moment of silence for the brave heroes who had stepped forward to defend the women on the MAX train last week. The crowd itself responded with a great affirmation when asked whether these men were heroes. Though you will find few local media reports of it, speaker after speaker, including me, spoke up for what Messrs. Boylston an DeKlotz claim to want: “the decency and the courage to stand up for equality, tolerance, love, and living together peacefully.”
The Oath Keepers and Three Percenters providing security for the rally are not racist organizations. The most superficial investigation will confirm that their organizational principles, publicly stated on their websites, include the command that members may not advocate “discrimination, violence, or hatred toward any person based upon their race, nationality, creed, or color”.
Reasonable minds can differ on the need for such security, but Messrs. Boylston and DeKlotz are not responsible for ordinary Republicans subject to death threats and threats of being dragged out of Portland parades by Leftist mobs. It is utterly dishonest to raise the specter of “armed mobs” just because little old ladies manning our booths at Portland Street Fairs may feel safer having security sitting with them. Nor are Messrs. Boylston and DeKlotz responsible for the security of rally attendees outnumbered 10-1 on three sides by hostile crowds, in a context where it was not clear whether the City would protect them.
The real armed mobs, typically dressed in black and concealing their identities, are those organizing to attack the rallies of their opponents. The real hate and violence that was on display in Portland on June 4th was from the Left—which is why most of those arrested were from the Antifa crowd in Chapman Square. The real danger is not the fascism of the Right, but the fascism of the Left. There may be some Right-wing protesters who are itching for a fight with Antifa, but they are not driven an ideology of violence like Antifa is; they are just ordinary Americans who have had enough.
The Left’s attempt to redefine patriots and core supporters of conservative principles as bigots, and to disparage the Constitution itself as the product of “white privilege,” is one of the most dangerous developments in American history. It threatens the continued existence of our unique American experiment with inalienable rights and limited government.
Repeating the foul slander that “Jeremy Christian was a participant at [prior] rallies,” when in fact those present recognized he was mentally ill and disowned him as having anything to do with them, shows a purpose to advance the Leftist narrative, not conservative government. If a political narrative is to be attached to the murders, it should be one of Democratic policy failure, this time in the mental health systems in Oregon, among the worst in the Nation. Blaming patriots for the murderer’s actions is abhorrent.
And “Based Stickman” and “Based Spartan” were not rally sponsors, though the former did speak. To lament their “violent acts against people protesting their hate-filled rallies” is to be morally blind to both the nature of the rallies and the context: Leftist thugs invading someone else’s event because they don’t agree with them. Violence of this sort is a pox on society, and should not be condoned, much less celebrated, but it only serves the Leftist agenda to posit a false moral equivalence between the two sides.
In short, the Open Letter is an unreasonable and counterproductive attempt to divide the conservative community. I hope it has the opposite effect.
James Buchal is the Chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party. He has run for Attorney General and Congress as a Republican.