"Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence." -- Pulitizer Prize winning New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones
January 6, 2021, has been revised repeatedly by Republicans to excuse it all away and we should not. But it is also an excuse with which the left and major media outlets use to deflect from any assessment of the left’s own aggressive and authoritarian tendencies.
As much as January 6, 2021, was bad and included planted and, thankfully, unexploded pipe bombs of still unknown origin, the American left has a storied history of violence. Jonah Goldberg, yesterday in the Dispatch, noted
These were the days when the militant left wasn’t dedicated merely to blowing up binary gender categories with tweeted “truth bombs,” but to blowing up buildings, and occasionally people, with real bombs. During the summer of 1970 alone, there were 20 bombings a week in California. “It’s a wonderful feeling to hit a pig,” Mark Rudd of the Weather Underground mused. “It must be a really wonderful feeling to kill a pig or blow up a building.” Jane Fonda held “F*** the Army” rallies and in 1972 let herself be used by the enemy as a propaganda tool, even posing behind the trigger of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. The Black Panthers—lionized even by many liberals—made Black Lives Matter seem like a debating society. And as bad as the BLM and Antifa riots of 2020 were—and they were very bad—they pale in comparison to many riots in our past.
In 1971, the Weather Underground bombed the United States Capitol. In 1972, the Weather Underground bombed the Pentagon. In 1975, the Weather Underground bombed the State Department. The members plotted the assassination of a California State Senator in 1978.
That was only one violent leftwing group. There were others. In the last few decades, the leftwing Earth Liberation Front (“ELF”) has engaged in numerous terrorist attacks in the United States. The group has burned down research facilities, destroyed property, and engaged in other violence.
According to a 2001 report, “Leftist extremists were responsible for three-fourths of the officially designated acts of terrorism in America in the 1980s.” They tend to be younger and better educated than right-wing extremists and they tend to live in urban areas thereby making high population centers more target-rich. (Source)
Most importantly, progressives have now internalized several propositions that make it very likely they are about to re-embrace their historic violence.
First, progressives believe they are now the majority in the United States. Progressives, bolstered by media, cultural, and academic institutions present themselves as the dominant actors, voices, and policy makers in the United States. As much as the right, in the Bush and Obama era, sought to run hardcore conservatives in moderate areas convinced they could win, now progressives are routinely rallying around progressives in moderate areas convinced their victories are inevitable.
Second, progressives view the GOP as a threat to democracy. In so doing, just as some Republicans have internalized 2020 was a stolen election, it has become dogma for Democrats that the GOP is suppressing votes. Voter suppression explains the Democrats’ losses and, again, the progressives believe they’re really dominant. As they internalize both that the GOP is suppressing the vote and that the GOP is a threat to democracy, as a wave election shapes up in 2022, we should expect the left to mobilize more aggressively to stop those they view as a threat to democracy.
Third, progressives have internalized both that we have only a decade to stop the irreversible destruction of the planet and that non-progressive forces are blocking solutions with the help of corporate interests. They truly believe we’re headed towards the end of humanity as we know it unless extreme measures are taken yesterday. They fundamentally, truly, and very literally believe the planet is at a tipping point and the United States must act immediately. But the United States will not act because of Republicans, Joe Manchin, and corporations.
Fourth, while only about a quarter of Americans are on Twitter, it is predominated by progressives who increasingly in the real world and online are more prone to self-isolate with likeminded people. It makes them less able to relate, more willing to believe their own narratives and mythologies, and less able to understand or tolerate dissent. It makes it more likely that progressives will both generate and believe online agitation against conservatives and bolster the first point — they think they are the majority. They think Twitter is real life. This is not my opinion. This is the actual data. See also this.
You may not know this, but there have already been a series of underreported attacks on rail lines across the country on lines that transport oil. A recent one happened in 2020 by leftwing activists.
When you have a group of people who believe they are the majority; their majority is being stymied by others and those others are both a threat to democracy and about to take power; and that if progressives cannot hold on to power we are all literally going to die, what do you think they will do?
The Biden Administration and the press want you to know the real threat is domestic terrorism from right-wing terrorists. In fact, most recent articles on domestic terrorism downplay leftwing terror and spotlight rightwing terror and violence. It is, to be fair, a real thing. We should not dismiss it.
Unfortunately, too many are dismissing the very real threat growing on the left. Many are undoubtedly sympathetic to it as so many of the talking heads on television lament the “anti-democratic GOP.” As the left internalizes this, loses next year, and sees their climate agenda go down in flames, we have every historic reason to believe portions of the left will turn violent.
Unlike in the past, we will also have major news organizations largely giving a pass to the violence. After all, the George Floyd protests were “fiery, but mostly peaceful” and “destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.” Throw in a potential wild card Supreme Court ruling on abortion and…well…God have mercy on us all.