Kimberly Gardner's politically motivated charges against the gun-toting McCloskeys — came to prominence at 2020's Republican Convention — Sun Tzu-ish or not?

© 2020 Peter Free


25 August 2020





I take no sides in what follows.


What I have written is intended to prompt powerful office holders, especially prosecutors, to think about their duty to both Law and American culture.


The two strands intertwine, as any experienced person in such a job will privately grant. Either before or after having borne painful lessons.



There are three characters in what follows


These are:



the reportedly "controversial" St. Louis Circuit Attorney (essentially a district attorney) Kimberly M. Gardner — the first "black" person to hold that Office




"white" Patricia and Mark McCloskey . . .



. . . whom Gardner charged with firearms felonies, during a Black Lives Matter protest march.



What continues to evolve — represents a classic exercise in The Art of War


If you are young and ambitious, it might be fruitful to pay attention.



Remember Mark and Patricia McCloskey?


They're the "white" couple that came out of their "mansion":



toting an "assault" rifle


and a companion peashooter pistol


to "defend" their home


against Black Lives Matter marchers


who had


(arguably illegally)


entered the McCloskeys' gated "community" of




rich white folk.



You can see video of that incident, here


SBS News, Couple aims firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters, YouTube (29 June 2020)



In the above video . . .


. . . the metaphorically gasoline-impregnated stage was potentially set to receive a lighted match.


On cue, flaunting arguably situational intemperateness and possible bias, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberley M. Gardner — who is "black" — decided to make a national issue out of the McCloskeys' weapons-toting grandstanding.



DA Gardner lit and threw her match


In bringing serious felony charges against the McCloskeys, Attorney Gardner predictably handed them a prominent place at the subsequently occurring Republican Party Convention.


And OMG, did those two "white" McCloskey lawyers take opportunistic advantage of that intentionally provocative strategy on Gardner's part.



Sun Tzu's war escalated . . .


. . . to a place and toward potential consequences that I suspect Ms. Gardner did not think her gasoline-lighting would go.


Strategic mistake or not?



For instance, just last night


The McCloskeys hammered a countering spike of philosophical payback up the Honorable Kimberley M. Gardner's sacrificially offered behind:



PBS Newshour, Mark and Patricia McCloskey defend right to firearms — 2020 RNC Night 1, YouTube (24 August 2020)



True, under some circumstances . . .


. . . this gasoline fire might evolve to Gardner and BLM's strategic benefit.


It might demonstrate the morally loathsome nature of White Supremacy and its supporters.


On the other hand . . .



Under more likely alternative circumstances . . .


Gardner's felony-charging ploy may just as easily turn into a racial justice setback of gargantuan proportion.


Those would be circumstances in which reasonable and non-racist Americans take issue with Gardner's arguable overreach in using the application of Law to diminish one's right to home defense.


The stakes are now impressively high for the entirety of American culture.



At this point, I repeat that I doubt . . .


. . . that Ms. Gardner recognized the breadth and depth of what her match-toss was going to ignite.



Looking ahead is usually wise


An arguably more seasoned prosecuting attorney would have recognized that visibly politicizing one's office — so as to take obvious sides in a boiling-over national dispute — is, almost certainly, going to diminish the respect that one's Office is accorded.


Furthermore, an arguably biased felony filing will predictably martyrize the very Adam Henrys that one is trying to "reeducate".


That is so, even under circumstances in which the filed charges parallel similarly unjust charges filed against downtrodden "black" folk.



Thus, strategically escalated payback . . .


. . . is exactly what happened to DA Gardner last night.


If she and BLM are ready for this backlash, then kudos to them.


If not, an impressively large strategic mistake has been made.



Did you see the nationally televised "Ass Ram" take place?


The sofa-seated McCloskey team provided the Republican Trump Cult with the convention's easily most effective call to BLM and Biden-suppressing action.


Provided, in the main, if you are:



a "white libertarian fascist"




you are afraid of Black Folk




you do love Guns




slavery was a good thing


(to keep those scary people in place)




Democrats are all "Marxist" bolsheviks


(and probably Maoists, as well)


who definitely favor


disorder, looting and the Plundering of the Elevated Klasses —


just because


(you must know this, dont'cha?)


all Democrats have been spawned in Hell




the exclusive supervision of the Devil himself.



Enter the anti-Sun-Tzu portion of Gardner's felony ploy


What sells the McCloskeys' intellectually ridiculous speech is Gardner's previous obvious discrimination in criminally charging them, so as to make a purely political point.


Any objectively minded American ("black, white" or anything else) can see this.


Even when those same Americans simultaneously also recognize — at some level in their unconscious and often little-used brains — that similarly biased filings against "black" folk happen every day.


What is at issue here is emotion, not intellect.


Forget that, and you have already lost the war.



Worse — afterward, came the McCloskeys' Machiavellian master stroke


Taking full advantage of the national stage opportunity that Attorney Gardner had inadvertently offered her, Patricia McCloskey threw in the equivalent of an atomic bomb.


We now have a radioactive gasoline fire.


Patricia told the national Republican audience that it is the Democratic Party's intent to dismember single-family zoned "suburbs" into "low quality apartments".


See the video, here — at 02:12 minutes.


We can all guess what that means:



The "projects" are going to return bigtime.


It will be like East Germany's gray concrete block housing.


But with "blacks" and maybe Mexicans, Africans and Guatemalans inside.




Where's a rich white person to go?


Where is Noah's race-separating ark, when we need it?


OMG, this is just awful.


America is ending for sure.



Yes, really.


The McCloskeys' statement was exactly that blatant.



On the one hand . . .


I found Patricia McCloskey's "suburbs" accusation so incredibly preposterous — and egregiously wrongly attributed — that I laughed aloud.



But, even with Patricia's racist idiocy preliminarily admitted . . .


What Mrs. McCloskey said was Orwellian genius.


At least, as to its likely effectiveness in convincing the Republican Trump Cult that Biden Horribleness looms on the horizon.


Keep in mind that the entire Republican Convention has been premised on its Ignoramus-luring claim that Democrats are all — every darn one of them — devious, Beelzebubian Marxists and Socialists.


Thus, proving again, that Republicans are, generally speaking, some of the most cleverly manipulative people on the planet.


If you know what Marxism and Socialism actually are (in their many strains) — then you recognize that the center-right Democratic Party is so far from both those streams, that it is not even on the same continent with them.


However, in Republican Propaganda's defense, whoever said that Americans know enough about anything to discern even the smallest kernels of Truth?


We are almost exclusively a nation about stupendous vacuity, continent-spanning exaggerations, and magnificently swoon-prompting lies.


Indeed, the bigger the lie or misdirection, the more effective it is in herding us around by our sheepy noses.


(Trump's a Rooskie Puppet, didj'ya know?)


Point to Patricia.



In the end . . .


I gave the McCloskeys an A+ for the political effectiveness of their appeal.


The Republican Klan — and a whole bunch of even reasonable people — are gonna eat it up. Every American thinks that he and she have the right to defend his and her homes against "The Mob".


Conveniently — in Republican Speak — the word "mob" conjures up maniacal "black" faces — and maybe wimpy, fireworks-throwing "white" anti-fascists.




Recall in this, that the McCloskeys did nothing manifestly wrong or noticeably un-American, during their mansion-defense.


Provocatively unnecessary, yes. Stupid even. But only very questionably unlawful, given the destructive history of similar protests in other places.


In spite of the understandableness of their (arguably) poor situational judgment, the honorable Ms. Gardner made them pay for their "honest" home defense.



Was that (whisper, whisper) 'cause she's "black"?



DA Gardner's gasoline-lighting felony charges predictably handed her philosophical adversaries a very Big Stick.



The moral? — Intentional provocation is a potentially dangerous Government act


Circuit Attorney Gardner very probably did more harm than good, with her version of "sister-in-skin" posturing.


Sometimes, I am surprised at how professionally inept people can be.


They achieve enviable heights of success (like Ms. Gardner undeniably has), and then they emblazon themselves upon the national imagination as prominent examples of how not to behave.


Eventually, we will see how much damage Kimberley Gardner has done her own racially just cause.


I suspect that the harm done, is significantly greater than its apparent initial trivialness would suggest.


Considering that Attorney Gardner combined "whiteness", mobs, home defense and guns — all in the same package — via her impulsively indulged weapons charges — she really managed to stab the American heartland in its cultural gut.


I doubt that the US mid-continent is going to take Gardner's assault lying down.


And that was, completely, the highly inflammatory point that the McCloskeys were making about America's allegedly more ideal nature.


What is sad — about what is now developing, racist in its inclinations or not — is that deeper and actually valid principles are at stake. Home defense and common anticipatory sense.


This is where I suspect that Kimberly Gardner's legal provocativeness has (very predictably) gone awry.


If one is going to start a war, try to keep it confined to limited ground that one already knows and can control.


Don't be so dunderheaded and so very shortsighted — as to permit the conflict (that one initiated) to wander off into nuke-blasting status.


In my (possibly questionable) estimation, a person really has to try to be as self-destructively un-strategic, as Ms. Gardner has demonstrated herself to have been.


But then, as I pointed out recently, Democrats are exceedingly good at being ineffectually clueless.


In conclusion, I doubt that anyone will remember Kimberley Gardner's name down the pike. But, arguably, they should.


Her now-grand gamble in strategic judgment is a classic lesson in how (probably) not to Sun Tzu.


Perhaps DA Gardner is more prescient than I am, but I do not think that she — or anyone else — can control the outcome of the fire that she so impulsively lighted in June.


Remember that maintaining generally successful control — and achieving at least marginally predictable outcomes — are the whole point to Sun Tzu-effective warring.


Don't start something that very foreseeably might lose you the whole shebang.