The “Great Awokening” – the bizarre combination of hypersensitivity and inhuman cruelty among left-wing social justice mobs – is not a grassroots political movement, and certainly not an anti-establishment revolution. It’s performance art organized by and for America’s progressive elites. It may look angry and unpredictable and subversive, but for the elites who run America’s cultural, academic, political, media, and entertainment institutions, it’s about as threatening as a spa day.
Let me break down this farce for you.
Deep down, what do leftist elites really care about? No, not social justice or racism or economic inequality. What they really care about is their own power, privilege, and prestige.
Now, how do the George Floyd protests threaten any of that? Are reporters at the New York Times or directors in Hollywood or Silicon Valley billionaires or corporate CEOs or tenured academics or Joe Biden threatened by calls for police reform? Of course not. Everyone is for sensible police reform, on the left and the right.
Ok. What about the uglier side of the anti-police demonstrations – the rioting and looting and statue destruction and the quasi-religious demands for “anti-racist” rhetoric and atonement for “white privilege”? Again, what cost does this impose on Democratic or progressive elites? Words are cheap, after all.
Corporate PR departments can easily switch their Twitter avatars to black boxes or rainbow flags, and add “Black Lives Matter” or whatever other hashtag-of-the-day to their websites without giving up any of their power. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer can have photo-ops wearing African kente cloths and “Like” Colin Kaepernick’s Instagram posts… but the leaders of the Democratic Party are still the same septuagenarian white, millionaire insiders they have always been. Hollywood stars stuck in their mansions during the COVID quarantines have been more than willing to film themselves acting ashamed and “taking responsibility” for America’s sins, but… will they be asked to hand their next blockbuster movie or TV series over to actors of a different race, ethnicity, or gender identity? Of course not.
To progressive elites, this supposed “long hot summer” is more like a long, hot bath.
They’re demanding we erase the names of Confederate generals from our public spaces. But they’re silent on renaming elite institutions like Yale, Georgetown, and Rice Universities, whose founders were up to their ears in slavery. Why? Well, you see, because those are their institutions (not like military bases with all those guns and patriotism – ick!). Progressives control those elite institutions and confer prestige and privilege onto young progressives. To change those names would cost the woke elites the exclusive cultural cache they really care about and jealously hoard.
Socialists don’t have any problem with concentrating elite power, so long as they hang on to it. They’re fine with a mob mentality and even with mob violence, so long as it’s your power and freedom and property and job and reputation they are attacking.
The Left’s violence and hypocrisy are a threat, but – to conservatives – they are also an opportunity: an opportunity for conservatives to show the American people that they don’t have to be afraid, and can stand up to these bullies. The core truth about mobs is that they are all cowards at heart. As menacing as they seem, they only do what their victims let them get away with.
It’s up to us to tell them no. To tell these entitled frauds that the party is over, and to start taking back our streets. It’s not enough to tweet our support for the cops or vote for President Trump in the fall. We have to be as present as the mob and answer their hate for America with our love for America. Where are the demonstrations for Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant? Where are the protests against the protesters and for our police?
Most Americans are not professional agitators. Most Americans have more important things to do – raising their kids, holding down their job (or jobs), paying the bills, maybe saving for a house or college tuitions. But the freedom to do those things may well depend on keeping the mob at bay. The Left is very openly trying to unmake America; if we want to keep our republic, we’re going to have to stand up for it.
The Democrat elite has already capitulated to the mob, to the violence and the terror. It’s up to Republicans to seize this moment, speak out and defend America’s communities from lawlessness – or their voters will soon find someone else who will. And this may very well be President Trump’s seminal moment – when his call to “Make America Great Again” becomes a call to unite in our love for each other and for our America.
Jim DeMint is chairman of the Conservative Partnership Institute, author of Saving America From Socialism, and currently serves on President Trump’s Economic Recovery Taskforce. He is a former U.S. senator from South Carolina.
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