In my previous post I mentioned the fault-lines dividing the nation, and said it seemed the ground was beginning to shake. There’s no question that the West’s tectonic plates, which have been locked for a long time now, have begun to slip; the collapse of the Democratic Party, and the ascension of Donald Trump, could not have happened without real seismic movement.
As a result, there has been a convulsive reaction on the Left: riots, mass demonstrations, an annulment/secession movement in California, boycotting of Senate confirmation hearings, and incendiary denunciations by every organ of the Cathedral. There has also been, to borrow from the Left’s own glossary, a general intensification of “othering”, at a level bordering on outright dehumanization. Those not enthusiastically supportive of the activist Left are no longer “conservatives”, or even “tea-baggers”; they are now Nazis — and, the label having been applied, it’s broadly considered justifiable, if not downright fashionable, to assault them. (Even the New York Times considers the question worth debating. If that’s what they say in public, one can imagine what their private sentiments might be.)
Last night, riots broke out on the Berkeley campus in response to an speaking engagement by Milo Yiannopolous. Certainly the ground is shaking a bit. The question we should ask, though, is whether these are foreshocks — the early tremors of an impending catastrophe — or aftershocks. To pursue the seismological metaphor, might it be that the plates having slipped, the shaking will gradually abate as the landscape settles into its new configuration? Or are we, as some are suggesting, on the brink of far greater shocks, possibly including civil war?
Best of all, of course, would be peaceful disaggregation — but so deeply interpenetrated are the opposing sides as to make that almost impossible. California may secede (with my blessing!), and so might Texas, and there are some geographic generalities that may offer other possibilities, but for the most part a split is going to be very hard to arrange. If it really does come down to war, think Rwanda. (And the Left will lose, badly.)
I don’t expect that to happen, though I do expect real violence to erupt here and there. Certain cities might not be safe places to be, without a lot of warning, and sooner than you think.
If you imagine the chief features of the modern left-wing activist, “impulse control” is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. This means that they tend to behave badly in public, even when times are good — and for the American Left in early 2017, times are not good. It seems likely, then, that in the coming weeks and months, we will see more and more vandalism, disturbances of the peace, obstruction of public thoroughfares, shouting and insults, “getting in people’s faces”, and general obnoxiousness, as they feel power and representation slipping away. This in turn will alienate more and more of the quiet, middle-of-the-road sorts who might once have had some sympathy for their cause. In short, the more chaos they create, the more people will come to realize the primary importance of order. Order is one of those things, like air or water, that you don’t really appreciate until it’s in short supply — but when that supply is threatened, restoration becomes Job One.
So, the divorce we’d all love to see isn’t going to happen, I’m afraid, and so the sullen left, I’m sorry to say, will continue to be with us for the foreseeable future, and will continue to be a degrading, corrosive force. They will never sleep, and will pounce on any weakness, and there will be some very ugly outbreaks. But in their spasm of anger they are now going to present themselves so badly to the American people that they will lose a great deal of sympathy, and with it a great deal of power, for some time to come.
That’s how it seems to me tonight, anyway. (I might have a different opinion by morning.) Am I right? We’ll see.