Brownshirts Harassing Sen. Sinema: A Preview of Progressive Tyranny

October 21, 2021 Updated: October 24, 2021


Progressive zealots have been waging a war of intimidation and harassment against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) because of her resistance to the proposed Biden–Sanders–Pelosi $3.5 trillion spending legislation.

In addition to the infamous incident of Sinema being filmed going into a public restroom stall and being harangued while taking care of nature’s business, she has been accosted while aboard airliners, hectored in airports, abandoned by women’s organizations, vilified by seemingly every progressive politician in the country, and openly scorned by fellow Democratic senators.

Acting on the sinister threat “We are going to make her life unpleasant or uncomfortable,” a group known as Our Revolution (clearly infected with the Jacobin spirit of the French Revolution) has deployed groups to besiege the senator’s district offices in Arizona. Other left-wing activists groups have targeted her as well.

It’s difficult to overstate the significance of the persecution to which Sinema is being subjected. On an individual level, the way she’s being treated is barbaric, indecent, outrageous, disgusting, ugly, and at times criminal (implied threats are a form of assault). On a national level, if the left succeeds in creating a progressive/socialist tyranny in the United States, the brutal treatment of this one woman may one day be recognized as a milestone on that grim path.

I have great sympathy for Sinema. It’s difficult for the rest of us to imagine what it feels like to be subjected to the seething hatred that’s being vented toward her. If there’s justice in this world (real justice, not the phony “social justice” that her persecutors extol), she deserves some sort of recompense for what she has endured. Whether she ultimately caves to the bullying (and I, for one, would be unwilling to condemn her if she did), we need to see the attacks against her for what they are: not just cruel attacks against one elected official, but an attack against our constitutional order and the American way of life.

The hooligans who are hounding Sinema are disrespecting both her right of conscience and the interests of the people of Arizona who elected her to represent them. Federal finances are already acutely stressed. Due to COVID-19, the annual deficit has averaged more than $3 trillion during the past two years. After such an unprecedented flood of red ink, a prudent approach would be to delay any plans for additional spending—to let the dust settle, tally whatever appropriated COVID-19-related funds might not have been spent, see how large deficits are post-COVID 19, and then, in a year or two, see if new spending initiatives are affordable.

Sinema believes (quite rightly, in my opinion) that the Democratic leadership’s massive spending proposals are too much too soon after the recent spending splurge. She apparently also believes that the people she represents in Congress regard the Democrats’ spending proposals as too large at this time. But such concerns don’t matter to Sinema’s persecutors. They don’t care a whit about representative government or our system of federalism. Like Hitler’s brownshirts, they seek to crush all opposition to the agenda of the party elite.

Pluralism? Forget about it. Diversity of opinion? Intolerable. Compromise? Unthinkable. What the fanatics want is absolute conformity within the Democratic Party. They don’t want independent thinkers remaining loyal to their widely different constituencies. Instead, they want every Democratic member of Congress to be an unthinking automaton, robotically rubber-stamping whatever proposal the leadership concocts. We’ve seen this picture before. Recall the televised images of the Soviet Duma, the Cuban National Assembly, and the “People’s Congress” of communist China—with every blank-faced individual obediently voting the party line. That’s what the brownshirts want Congress to be like.

Sinema is a member of the most endangered species in Washington—a Democrat with enough common sense and independent thinking to recognize the recklessness of her party leadership’s unaffordable and unnecessary gargantuan spending proposal. Now, ask yourself this: What happens if the Democratic leadership succeeds at purging moderates and imposing the robotic, submissive uniformity they so intensely crave? Their obvious goal is to achieve political hegemony over all of us. Then consider this: If they’re willing to treat one of their own party members as viciously as they’re treating Sinema, do you really think that they would show more restraint in their treatment of conservatives, traditionalists, Republicans, and libertarians? Good luck with that!

The Democratic leadership in Washington has proposed dozens of plans affecting this or that area of our economy and society, but there’s one overarching goal: the centralization of power. The centralization of power is the very essence of tyranny and the very antithesis of our country’s rights-based, power-limiting Constitution. Progressives are making it increasingly clear that they’ll tolerate no opposition, squash all dissent, and ferociously impose their will. The self-love, self-righteousness, and self-importance of progressives are mirrored in their contempt and openly avowed hatred of those who disagree with their socialist vision. We already have abundant evidence of the tyrannical tactics of arrogant, undemocratic progressives, and the trend seems to be accelerating ominously.

Progressives are trying to divide our country into two classes: the increasingly aggressive, oppressive, and elitist rulers and the rest of us, the ruled. Keep your eye on what happens to Sinema, folks. That treatment and worse is what the increasingly totalitarian progressive left has in mind for all of us.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Mark Hendrickson
Mark Hendrickson is an economist who retired from the faculty of Grove City College in Pennsylvania, where he remains fellow for economic and social policy at the Institute for Faith and Freedom. He is the author of several books on topics as varied as American economic history, anonymous characters in the Bible, the wealth inequality issue, and climate change, among others.