So This Is What It Has Come To

4 ¼ min

For years after my wife died and I’d moved into an Asheville apartment with my youngest son, I’d rent a house for a week every summer at the North Carolina shore. My children, their spouses, and a growing platoon of grandchildren all came for a special time, a gathering of the clan. Although circumstances have precluded such a trip these last four years, we plan to resume our annual excursions in the summer of 2021.

Then came the last-minute thought of doing this trip in early November of this year. Nearly all my grandchildren either homeschool or are toddlers, and one of my sons assured us this was a fine time to be at the coast. We had begun making arrangements for the get-together when my daughter pulled out. She had to travel 10 hours from Pennsylvania, and because of school commitments, her husband and 15-year-old son couldn’t get away.

Distance was not the problem.

Katharine is a stouthearted young woman who has singlehandedly hauled her tribe from Scranton to Milwaukee, but this time she said no. “I don’t want to be that far from home in the middle of this presidential election,” she said. “I won’t have Mike or Michael with me, I’ll have all the other kids, and I’m afraid of what might happen to us.”

A wise choice, perhaps, and one the rest of us may follow as well.

Think hard about what my daughter’s decision says about the state of our country. When we cancel vacations for fear of being unable to return home on account of violence and rioting due to a presidential election, we are rapidly becoming little more than a banana republic.

How did Americans descend to such an abysmal point?

We hear from pundits on the left and the right that we are now more divided from one another than any other time since the Civil War. That may well be the case.

But let’s face facts.

Today’s street battles and threats of a civil war come not from Republicans, conservatives, or moderate Democrats, but from fanatics and fools on the far left, aided and abetted by some in the media, our government, and our corporations. Several of our state and local governments have allowed these bullies and thugs to run wild in the streets of certain cities this summer, breaking laws and rioting with impunity, often being punished with mere slaps on the wrist.

Likely funded by corporate donations and possibly by foreigners – who else among us could afford to travel from place to place, stay in hotels, and bring along rental vans loaded with signs, brickbats, and Molotov cocktails? – these nihilists brazenly display contempt for our police, our Constitution, and our way of life. Lacing their mindless chants and verbal assaults with variations of the “F-bomb,” they call for the razing of the nation that gives them the right to protest in the first place.

But these aren’t protests. Not any more. Nor are they simply riots.

These are threats.

These people have basically declared voters must elect their candidate or they’ll burn the system to the ground.

And these lunatic threats come from a tiny minority of our citizens. Read Hannah Bleau’s article about protesters in Portland, a city that has witnessed over 100 days of riots, and note how small the numbers of those in the street are.

It’s them I blame for the mess we’re in.

They and their allies have killed whatever remained of public civility.

They have done their utmost to rip apart our country and apparently will continue to do so.

As a result, this weekend I intend to write an email to my children that has nothing to do with the beach. Instead, I will make the following recommendations:

Begin stocking up on foodstuffs, paper products, and water now. You’ll lose nothing by collecting these items, but may find them in short supply come mid-November.

Put together a basic medical kit of over-the-counter painkillers, bandages, and the like. Buy a supply of vitamins for yourselves and your children.

Draw some cash out of the bank.

Have working weapons and ammunition to feed those weapons on hand. Know how to safely and effectively use your firearms.

Fill your vehicles with gasoline before November 3.

Sit down together before Election Day and come up with a plan as to how you will defend and feed yourselves if all hell breaks loose in this country.

On Election Day itself, vote in person for the candidates you have researched and found to be in favor of upholding civility and order.

Again, I never thought we’d come to such a point where an election in this wonderful country could act as a tinderbox to a bonfire. I hope I am dead wrong in my apprehension. I hope the election will take place peacefully, that we will accept the results if they are legitimate, and go on about our business. I gladly welcome looking like a fool if the election comes off as tranquil, fair, and just.

Will Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other groups associated with anarchism and Marxism help make it so?

I’m not holding my breath.


Image Credit: 

Flickr-Mike Shaheen, CC BY 2.0

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.

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Thx Jeff...I agree 100%...VERY SAD! While I do hold out hope for America as we know it I'm growing more certain that activity at the ballot box alone will not cut this cancer from our society...and I'm NOT talking about minorities!! I'm referring to the radical leftists - BLM, ANTIFA & Democrat Party - who are by definition "domestic terrorists" and will have to be dealt with as such. In case nobody realizes...terrorists don't care about election results unless it gives them their grievance de'jour. What I have found to be some of the best "life advice" I've ever received is...prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I also like, lock and load and keep your powder dry...but that's just me.


I think you're missing to place blame on the large segment of our society who have been rewarded for their laziness by years of hand-outs, and the outright criminals in the inner cities.


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Greg W
Thanks Jeff for sharing such a personal and tender story. Yes, our country is in crisis. I lived in downtown Portland until moving to the suburbs a decade ago. I noticed that protesters, early Antifa, were allowed to wear full face coverings starting in 2005. It was a novelty yet bordered on rioting because private property was damaged . Public policy makers, elected office holders, could have enforced regulations that prohibited masking. I agree that the numbers are small yet many others live vicariously in these 60's style riots. They are empowered by politicians that won't do their duty to provide security and maintain peace. Should the rioters come to our neighborhoods where we are driven by His word to protect our families, they will get their just deserts. Broadcasting through whatever the medium may be provides red meat to all on both sides of the issues. Emotions are running high. And advertisers are capturing these opportunities. The messier the better. Reality. I believe America will survive this imbroglio and emerge stronger. Vote.


This is a result of decades of a bad and ignorant public education system, aligned with parents and weak-kneed companies and governments that believe to learn is dangerous. About forty years ago, I asked an acquaintance of mine - a reporter for a city newspaper - how come the state's criminal code wasn't taught in, at least, high schools. His answer was on spot - the government doesn't want you to know - which tells all anyone what is needed to know about local government and its citizenry relationship.