Politics & Policy

Will the Second Civil War Turn Violent?

Police in riot gear stand by in Berkeley, Calif., April 27, 2017. (Reuters photo: Stephen Lam)
The Left's politics of rioting

In a recent column, I made the case that Americans are fighting the Second Civil War. The deep chasm that has opened up between the Left – not liberals, the Left – and the rest of the country is so wide, and so unbridgeable, that there is no other way to describe what is happening. But I noted that, at least thus far, unlike the First Civil War, this war is not violent.

Unfortunately, there is now reason to believe that violence is coming. In fact, it’s already here. But as of now, it’s coming only from one direction.

Left-wing thugs engage in violence and threats of violence with utter impunity. They shut down speakers at colleges; block highways, bridges, and airport terminals; take over college buildings and offices; occupy state capitols; and terrorize individuals at their homes.

In order to understand why more violence might be coming, it is essential to understand that left-wing mobs are almost never stopped, arrested, or punished. Colleges do nothing to stop them, and civil authorities do nothing to stop them on campuses or anywhere else. Police are reduced to spectators as they watch left-wing gangs loot stores, smash business and car windows, and even take over state capitols (as in Madison, Wisc.).

It’s beginning to dawn on many Americans that some mayors, police chiefs, and college presidents have no interest in stopping this violence. Left-wing officials sympathize with the lawbreakers; and the police, who rarely sympathize with thugs of any ideology, are ordered to do nothing by emasculated police chiefs. Consequently, given the abdication by all these authorities of their role to protect the public, some members of the public will inevitably decide that they will protect themselves and others.

This ability of the Left to get away with violence is one of the gravest threats to American society in its modern history. Since the Civil War, I can think of only two comparable eruptions of mob violence that authorities allowed. One was when white mobs lynched blacks. The other was the rioting by blacks, such as the Los Angeles riots 25 years ago, and the recent riots in Ferguson and Baltimore.

Today, authorities in what we once proudly proclaimed the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” are intimidated to the point of paralysis.

And exactly what do they fear? Not violence – they have made peace with left-wing violence. What they fear is the left-wing media. If Black Lives Matter is forcefully prevented from blocking tens of thousands of cars from entering or leaving San Francisco, the police and local authorities will be labeled “racist” by black leaders, a smear that will then be echoed by the New York Times and rest of the left-wing media.

Likewise, if a college president requests enough police onto a college campus to ensure that a Heather Mac Donald, a Charles Murray, or an Ann Coulter can deliver a lecture, some of the student-gangsters engaged in violence might be injured – and that college president will then be pilloried by the mainstream media.

Furthermore, left-wing violence doesn’t succeed only where it takes place: It also succeeds where nothing happens. The Left can now shut down places and events just by threatening violence. This is what happened last week in Portland, Ore. One leftist called in a threat to the annual 82nd Avenue of the Roses parade, saying that the Republican-party contingent marching in the parade would be beaten up. The business leaders organizing the parade canceled the whole event for the first time in its ten-year history. Had they had any reason to believe that, in left-wing Portland, the police would have adequately protected the marchers, one assumes (hopes?) that they would not have canceled the parade.

An e-mail sent to parade organizers perfectly summed up the Left’s dominance of America through violence: “You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely.”

Left-wing violence doesn’t succeed only where it takes place.

Meanwhile, the press lies about alleged “white supremacists” in the Trump administration and about an alleged massive surge in anti-Semitism – in order to do what the Left has done since Lenin: blame others while it alone organizes violence.

So, here’s a prediction: If college presidents, mayors, and police chiefs won’t stop left-wing mobs, other Americans will. I hope this doesn’t happen, because electing conservative Republicans and not donating money to colleges would be more effective. But it is almost inevitable.

Then the left-wing media – the mainstream media – will enter hysteria mode with reports that “right-wing fascists” are violently attacking America.

And that’s when mayors and college presidents will finally order in the police.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com. © 2017 Creators.com

 

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager’s latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com. © 2018 Creators.com.

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