If you want to see grace under pressure, Lee Zeldin is your man.
Making a speech, having somebody attack you with a blade, deflecting said blade, and finishing your speech—that’s about as grace-under-pressure-ish as you can get. It’s exactly what Ernest Hemingway had in mind when he used those words, “grace under pressure,” to describe the essence of courage.
Furthermore, if you think that liberal anti-law and anti-order policies are a farce, the attack on Zeldin, a Republican member of Congress now running for governor of New York, is your proof.
As Breitbart News’ John Binder wrote of the Empire State’s turn ‘em loose policies, “New York’s no-bail law, every day, helps free an array of accused criminals.” Fact check: True. The “array of accused criminals” now includes Zeldin’s attacker.The Firing Pin, LLC / Facebook
Finally, if you want to be reminded that incitement is an important legal concept, consider that Zeldin’s opponent, incumbent Democratic governor Kathy Hochul, has actively urged her supporters to swarm Zeldin’s events. (What they do when they get there is apparently up to them.)
Yet, since the July 21 incident was an attack on a Republican, the Main Stream Media is mostly uninterested. For fun, if that’s the right word, we might consider what would have happened if the situation had been reversed: if Zeldin had been urging his supporters to target Hochul and one of them had. That didn’t happened, of course, but stay with me as we play his out:
First, most likely, the hypothetical Hochul attacker would have been shot dead by a New York State trooper — because, as we know, when elite Democrats talk about gun control, they mean for it to apply to you, not to them. (No word yet from Liberal High Command on the prospects for blade-control legislation.)
Second, the media coverage in the aftermath of “Republican attacks Democrat” would have been, shall we say, intense. In this counter-factual scenario, news of the heat wave, of Ukraine, and especially of Bidenflation, would have all been preempted. Instead, we would have had hours of CNN commentary on the “climate of violence,” while MSNBC would be diagnosing “toxic masculinity.”
And needless to say, the attack would have been tied in with the January 6 hearings. Which, of course, the MSM was going to cover like crazy no matter what, even if the earth was being attacked from outer space. Yes, amidst a War of the Worlds, the New York Times would be “fact-checking” its way into proving that it was all Donald Trump’s fault.
Okay, so now let’s return to the real world, the one in which Zeldin is thinking to himself, Hey, I was smart to get that martial arts training so that I was alert enough and strong enough to literally grab the guy’s arm and stop him from stabbing me.
In fact, Zeldin has been given an electoral gift. He didn’t ask for it, but he got it. The attack was visual proof that the pro-criminal status quo in New York is so ludicrous, so in defiance of common sense, that even New Yorkers will want to change it.
The law that has made New York so extra dangerous was enacted by Hochul’s predecessor (that would be Andrew Cuomo, Apostle of Covid), and yet Hochul has embraced it and shows no signs of wishing to change it. So, of course the assailant (do I have to say “alleged” even if the attack is on video?) was soon set free. And where will this maniac be tomorrow? At another Zeldin event? Or maybe at a 7-11. Or an elementary school.
Zeldin wants to change this idiotic law, returning to the days when judges could judge whether or not a suspect posed a risk to society. (Hardly a foolproof system, but you gotta start somewhere.)
In the meantime, the liberal status quo in New York is a political gift not only to Zeldin, but to law-and-order Republicans around the country: One state overrun by criminals is bad enough. Let’s not let that happen here.
But if Zeldin has been given a gift, I should also say that he already had a gift: the aforementioned grace under pressure.
Other political figures, too, have had such courageous grace. Indeed, if we think back a hundred years, we can recall another strong man who also happened to be a New Yorker.
On October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was about to make a campaign speech when a man shot him in the chest. Sensing that the audience might not have seen what had just happened, TR pulled back his vest to show the bloodstain on his shirt, saying, “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” The crowd cheered.
So now let’s let history.com tell the tale:
According to an eyewitness, one man was “the coolest and least excited of anyone in the frenzied mob”: Roosevelt. The man who had been propelled to the Oval Office after an assassin felled President William McKinley bellowed out, “Don’t hurt him. Bring him here. I want to see him.” Roosevelt asked the shooter, “What did you do it for?” With no answer forthcoming, he said, “Oh, what’s the use? Turn him over to the police.”
Then TR delivered his speech. When finished, he went to the hospital, where the bullet was removed from his chest. Bull moose, indeed!
Did I mention that Roosevelt was a former Republican governor of New York? Fate has put Zeldin within reach of some great company.
Oh, and one last note: It’s at least possible that the man who attacked Zeldin was heeding, in some way, Hochul’s urging of her supporters to “RSVP” to Zeldin events, which she provocatively characterized as hotbeds of “MAGA extremists.” (Exactly the sort of language needed to rile up Antifa.)
A century back, Teddy Roosevelt also had to contend with the inflammatory rhetoric of his opponents, which included the biased Main Stream Media of his day. After surviving his would-be assassin’s bullet, Roosevelt said, “It is a very natural thing that weak and vicious minds should be inflamed to acts of violence by the kind of awful mendacity and abuse that have been heaped upon me for the last three months by the papers.”
Zeldin, too, knows the feeling, further realizing that the New York criminal justice system is of no help to him or to any other New Yorker lacking a security detail. But Zeldin has proven himself ready for whatever comes at him.