The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020


History indicates that mass protests that are transformed into destructive riots ultimately burn themselves out. Like a wild fire, the rage that fuels the protest becomes exhausted, and the legitimate protesters leave. When they leave, the agitators who want nothing more than to use those protestors as "useful idiots" and human shields (to give their destructive rioting a patina of social justice) have no one to work with. The chaos abates.

That appears to be happening now (although time will tell).

But there's more that we can learn from history. First, the agitators do not evaporate into thin air. Like the roaches they are, they go back into dark places and hide, waiting for the next opportunity to sow chaos. And like roaches, they can never be exterminated, but they can be controlled, scattered and disabled.

Considering history once again, those who can still remember the late-1960s and early-1970s might recall the violent actions of extreme leftist groups like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) or the Black Panthers (BP). Those groups were to their era what Antifa and BLM are to America in this era. 

SDS and BP were leftist true believers who hated their own country with a venom that was palpable. They believed that violent confrontation was the only way to force their flawed ideology on the rest of us. They bombed, they rioted, they destroyed, they attacked police and institutions. They were funded with dark money that came from sources then unknown. Their objective was to create chaos in the hope of fomenting a "revolution" that would, of course, put them and their soul-crushing ideology in power. Worse, they were praised by some leftist members of the Democratic party and many in the media. Sound familiar? 

The message of SDS and BP a half-century ago was nearly identical to the message of Antifa and BLM today—"America is racist. Capitalism must be replaced by socialism. 'Power to the People.'" The last phrase was particularly empty. Extreme leftist groups want to be the center of power, they actually care little about "the people" and will cynically use them as a means to an end. If their actions cause the "people" to suffer (as they almost always do), so be it.

Social media and better overall technology provide modern leftist extremists with capabilities that SDS and BP never had. Tech makes them more effective (and more destructive). But it doesn't change the underlying rot that is manifested in their ideology and outwardly visible in their violent and destructive actions.

Democrats have gravitated significantly to the left over the past 50 years, and at the same time have taken over the leadership of almost every major U.S. city (e.g., there hasn't been a GOP mayor in Minneapolis since 1974). Governors of many populous states are Democrats and have had ample opportunity to help people of color with better educational and economic opportunities. They, along with the federal government, have poured trillions into policies that have been proven to do nothing but increase dependency among some segments of the minority community, and in the last two decades, encouraged those segments to view themselves as victims of a "systemically racist" society. 

The current rioting and unrest in major cities began as legitimate protest against the vicious murder of a black man by a white police officer as his colleagues looked on. But the M.O. of extreme leftist groups like Antifa and BLM (and SDS/BP before them) is to take over a legitimate, peaceful protest and transform it into vicious rioting and destruction. 

Based on the events of the last week, far too many leftist Democrat politicians (think: the mayors of Minneapolis and NYC as examples) want to treat the violent extremists gently (possibly because they are generally sympatico with them), convinced that "reducing the temperature" will somehow mollify the extremists. Those mayors have allowed police stations to burn by ordering cops to flee; they have been passive in their efforts to protect their civilian and business populations allowing property to be stolen and buildings to be destroyed, and they were late to impose meaningful curfews. They hope that Antifa and BLM will tire of their rampage and go away. In fact, it appears that many Democrat leaders hold on to a belief that was expressed by New York City journalist, Heywood Broun, who once said, “Appeasers believe that if you keep throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian.”

The genius of SDS/BP 50 years ago and Antifa, and BLM now is that they cloak their power-hungry leftist ideology with words (e.g., privilege, social justice, racism) designed to attract most progressives and more than a few Democrat politicians. Deep down, the leftist elite views the extremists as tigers to be tamed, not wild beasts to be eliminated.

Always insightful Richard Fernandez (@Wretchardthecat) provides us with the underlying political/social current with this tweet thread:

In the end, these violent extremists will come to the same end as their earlier brethren, even as they do damage now. They may think they're tigers at the moment, but big game hunters are on the way.