It is a noteworthy fact that human beings can sense acceleration but not constant speed. Think of your experience on an airplane. During takeoff, you might grip your armrest as you feel your body pressed to the seat. But once the plane is tearing across the sky at a steady 500 mph, it’s as if everything is perfectly still. And yet, you’re moving faster than at any other point in your life.
It’s a paradox worth keeping in mind as we check in on the current condition of the anti-American revolution that took off in the summer of 2020. In late May of that year, millions of Americans came out to protest the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Isolated and dispirited by the COVID pandemic and successive lockdowns, citizens found a new sense of purpose and unity in social-justice activism. Pushed by radicals in Black Lives Matter and Antifa, and by other assorted leftists, the movement soon grew into a mass revolution to remake an irredeemably racist United States of America into a grievance paradise. The police were to be defunded, rent was to be cancelled, statues were to be toppled, and “whiteness” was to be remedied.
The revolution’s early methods were violence and intimidation. Riots consumed major American cities, with frequently deadly consequences. Armed anarchists took over swaths of land in Seattle and Portland. Both public figures and nobodies were forced to endure Maoist-like struggle sessions and confess their anti-revolutionary thoughts before being driven from polite society. The country’s elites, scared of losing their status overnight, embraced it all. A slew of re-education policies, governmental and corporate, was proposed to fight back the scourge of white privilege. The media applauded both the rioters and their aims. Liberal politicians adopted revolutionary language and imagery. Congressional Democrats donning Ghanaian kente cloths—let us never forget this moment—took to their knees in Emancipation Hall and observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of George Floyd.
And the entire upheaval was born in a lie—a sinister and easily debunked lie about the police’s general treatment of black Americans. Derek Chauvin did indeed murder George Floyd (and was convicted and sentenced appropriately). But there is simply no campaign of black genocide in American law enforcement. In 2020, that year of cataclysm and chaos, police officers shot and killed 17 unarmed black men nationwide. There are more than 40 million black people in the United States.
Those not directly involved in the revolution, many of whom were locked down in their homes with few distractions, found themselves the subjects of a kind of media mass hypnosis. A round-the-clock campaign detailing the historical and present-day evils of the United States took its toll, and public opinion swung in favor of the radical project.
It was at that point, in the late summer of 2020, that I wrote an essay entitled “Yes, This Is a Revolution.” My hope for the piece, published in the September 2020 issue of Commentary, was to help Americans recognize the far-ranging and ruinous nature of what was happening to the country and point toward what, if anything, could be done to stop it. On the latter question, I suggested that the revolution might be countered when ordinary Americans who were at first casually sympathetic to it came to understand the destruction it could wreak on their everyday lives. Once that happened, I speculated, elected officials might read the national mood and recognize revolutionary policies as a political liability. The response to my essay was overwhelmingly favorable, but detractors saw it as unwarranted catastrophism. And among those who agreed with the piece, some expressed a desire for more pragmatic and concrete steps to undo the damage taking place before our eyes.
It’s been roughly a year and half since takeoff, and the revolution has attained cruising altitude. Perhaps the relative peace since that summer makes it tempting to reframe the national convulsions of 2020 as a short-lived outgrowth of the Trump years. And perhaps the ongoing distortions of pandemic life have served to camouflage the enduring distortions of the revolution on our politics and culture.
Looking at the state of things, however, it’s clear that my characterization of events has proved sadly accurate.
But so, too, have my hopes for how the revolution would be countered.
All evidence indicates that the revolutionaries have seen steady progress on many fronts. Their impact on the country has been both gargantuan and lasting. But there is real cause for hope. Because the revolution has systematically intruded on the safety and well-being of everyday citizens, a growing movement of Americans is rejecting it. And these anti-revolutionaries have won some big battles. What’s more, several key political figures—liberals, in fact—have turned against some of the revolution’s core demands.
Yes, it’s still a revolution. But it’s now also a fight.
Soon after the summer of 2020, the mass riots ceased. The armed occupied zones of the cities in the Pacific Northwest vanished. Congressional Democrats threw off their multicolored stoles and rose to their feet. The cancellations and denunciations of those who offend revolutionary sensibilities faded from the front page. So, too, did stories about tearing down historic statues, the reshaping of institutions around identity politics, and radical demands to cancel rent payments. And, finally, calls for defunding the police quieted down. It’s easy to look at this seeming de-escalation as evidence that the revolution never quite got off the ground after all.
But look closer. The riots stopped because the rioters and armed occupiers achieved their aims, and in no time at all. The police were comprehensively defunded. By the start of 2021, New York City had stripped its police budget of almost $1 billion, with ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to do so secured on July 1, 2020, one month after the revolution began. Around the same time, Los Angeles cut $150 million from the LAPD. Philadelphia did the same, to the tune of $33 million. The list goes on. At least a dozen major American cities choked off great sums once directed toward law enforcement.
The anti-landlord sentiment behind rent cancellation, a fringe demand in 2020, partially informed President Joe Biden’s attempt to extend a moratorium on evictions this past fall—a move the president himself understood ran afoul of the Constitution.
As for historical statues, what’s left to report? They’ve already been torn down (or renamed or relocated), more than 100 so far.
We hear less and less about the banishing of heretics precisely because such cancellations have achieved a steady pace that ensures no specific instance becomes especially newsworthy. Here’s a tip. Do a Google search for “professor fired,” and you’ll get so many hits, you’ll think you typed in “kittens pics.” And the results show how busy the inquisitors have been in academia alone. A few examples chosen at random: In May, Hannah Berliner Fischthal, a 20-year adjunct instructor at St. John’s University in New York, was dismissed for reading to her class a passage that contained the N-word. What was the work from which Fischthal read? Mark Twain’s 1894 anti-slavery novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, which satirizes the evils of racism.
The details of this case highlight the standard operational pattern for prosecuting speech crimes on the post-revolutionary campus. After Fischthal read the passage, she received an email from a student who found Twain’s words “painful to hear.” Fischthal then apologized extravagantly, recommending future class discussion of the offending words. In response, more students piled on to complain. Fischthal was soon called into a meeting and suspended, pending an investigation. Two days later, she was fired.
In September, Bright Sheng, an esteemed professor at the University of Michigan, screened the 1965 version of Othello in his composition seminar. The film features Laurence Olivier in blackface, so offended students complained. The dean of the university’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance then issued a denunciation. “Professor Sheng’s actions,” the dean said, “do not align with our School’s commitment to anti-racist action, diversity, equity and inclusion.” The dean further noted that the screening had been reported to the university’s Office of Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX. Sheng, in standard Cultural Revolution fashion, issued his own apology to students. The students then deemed his apology “inflammatory,” and his course was suspended. Sheng soon stepped down, and he is not currently teaching.
Also in September, Christopher Trogan, an English instructor at Fordham University, accidentally confused the names of two black students. The students then sent Trogan an outraged email accusing him of mixing up their names because of the professor’s supposed inability to distinguish between individual black people. Trogan, naturally, apologized to the students and tried to explain that he’d identified one student by the other’s name simply because he was simultaneously reading that name on a list in front of him. He further went on to describe his lifelong effort to fight for social justice and fairness. As we see once again, it’s the apology that does you in. “We weren’t too bothered by him mispronouncing our names,” said one of the students involved. “It was more about the strange things he’d say in response.” Apparently, Trogan’s apology merely tipped students off to his “white savior complex.” The university put Trogan under investigation, and by October he was fired, never having learned the charges against him.
What we never hear about are the many more cases of those individuals who avoid cancellation because they’ve thoroughly internalized the approved words and practices that keep them out of the revolutionary dock. Show up at your diversity and inclusion seminar, ask no questions, say yes to the radicals, and signal your anti-racist outrage whenever the news cycle demands. Such protective measures have become part of our new national consciousness, and the acquiescence of the dispirited managerial class has contributed to our notional sense of calm. What looks like comity is functionally submission.
Higher up, those at the executive level have adopted the revolution wholesale, repurposing a broad range of endeavors to pursue identity-based ends. Anti-racism’s institutional penetration is practically total, with the media and entertainment industries leading the way. Racial and gender segregation in popular fare is so de rigueur that it hardly came as a surprise this past December to see streaming holiday movies categorized according to “African-American Leads,” “Latinx Leads,” “Female Leads,” and so on. This is to say nothing of the year-round options to choose movies from categories such as “Black Voices,” “LGBTQ+ Voices,” etc. In October, Netflix ran a docu-fiction series produced by and starring Colin Kaepernick in which the quarterback-turned-revolutionary painted a portrait of a racist America where millionaire athletes are the new slaves.
In theater, the revolution initially sparked a series of small explosions. Activist performers circulated manifestos, and theater heads were soon toppled for being insufficiently revolutionary. By the time the fall 2021 theater season rolled around, at least seven plays by black writers were slated to run on Broadway. As Michael Paulson reported in the New York Times, “the previous season, there was one such play, and the season before that, zero.” The point isn’t that the addition of these black-authored works are bad. The plays will stand or fall on their merits. It’s that a new dispensation has been established.
The world of sports, too, has been conquered. In July, the Cleveland Indians announced that they will henceforth be the Cleveland Guardians, lest the old name offend revolutionary sensibilities. Polls indicate that most Native Americans have no problem with the term Indian, and many see it as a point of ancestral pride. But they had little say in shaping the 2020 revolution. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the National Football League’s social-justice arm, Inspire Change, pledged to give $250 million to identarian activist causes over the course of 10 years. In 2021, we saw where the money was being spent. Hundreds of thousands went to the Vera Institute of Justice, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, and the Community Justice Exchange. All these organizations support defunding the police, and some support abolishing police, prisons, and immigration enforcement altogether. In one of the more bizarre sports moments of 2021, ESPN released a solemn documentary about the “noose incident” involving black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace the year before. This was bizarre because the noose found in Wallace’s garage had been determined by the FBI to be no noose at all. It was a makeshift garage-door handle.
Science and medicine have continued on the revolutionary path first blazed in 2020, when public-health figures announced that mass gatherings were pandemic-safe just so long as they were in support of social justice. In late December 2021, New York State’s Department of Health issued a document detailing eligibility criteria for oral antiviral medications. It reads in part, “Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.” Utah and Minnesota have put similar policies in place. And as the Washington Free Beacon reported in January, the FDA’s guidance for monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals considers “systemic health and social inequities” regarding “race and ethnicity” to be risk factors that put minorities ahead of the line.
The revolution has even reached the heavens, as the field of astronomy is also now in thrall to social justice. Cornell University offers “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos,” a course that delves into the “connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness.” And Pomona College has a mandatory course entitled “Decolonizing Physics.” Nor is this tendency confined to higher education. The NASA-sponsored Astro2020 survey, released in late 2021 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, emphasizes “specific steps that the agencies can take towards increasing diversity, equity and sustainability.”
Naturally, the field of biology, with its unsettling nature-vs.-nurture paradigm, has been targeted by the revolution. When the American biologist E.O. Wilson died in December 2021, social-justice activists wrote a spate of articles accusing the late evolution expert of racism—without a scintilla of evidence. Of course, leading institutions got in on the act. Scientific American published “The Complicated Legacy of E.O. Wilson.” In it, the author explained Wilson’s thought crime thus: “His influential text Sociobiology: The New Synthesis contributed to the false dichotomy of nature versus nurture and spawned an entire field of behavioral psychology grounded in the notion that differences among humans could be explained by genetics, inheritance and other biological mechanisms.” As was pointed out on the science blog Why Evolution Is True, “The word ‘race,’ in fact, doesn’t even appear in [the book’s] index.”
Finally, there’s corporate America, where the need to atone for centuries of free-market capitalism and productivity is palpably desperate. After Floyd was killed, American companies pledged a total of $50 billion “toward racial equity,” according to Forbes. Candid, a website that connects philanthropists and activists, estimates that $12.7 billion in grants have gone to racial-equity organizations since June of 2020. Hundreds of millions have been given to social-justice groups and programs to revamp hiring and recruiting practices. Big bucks are spent regularly on the multi-billion-dollar industry of diversity-training. As Bridget Read wrote last year in New York, “if you work in an office, virtual or otherwise, chances are high you’ve been required to take a diversity-related training course.” But now there are corporate training courses aimed at prospective minority employees, too. The idea here is to give them extra preparation for high-level jobs. Implicit in this plan, of course, is the bigoted assumption that minority candidates need extra preparation in the first place.
But it’s worse than that, because the government is involved. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal in December 2021:
Some companies may soon face penalties if they don’t have a certain number of women or people of color on their boards. California could start assessing fines to companies based in the state that don’t abide by its rules after Dec. 31. Nasdaq-listed companies will be required to publish a standardized template of board-level diversity statistics starting in 2022, and must have at least one diverse director—or explain why they haven’t—starting in 2023. Institutional investors and proxy advisers have also said they may vote against director nominees if the company’s board isn’t sufficiently diverse.
As the representative of one advisory firm told the Journal, “the progress we’re seeing is as much about investor pressure and engagement on the issue as it is legal mandates.”
What the government doesn’t mandate, woke corporatism enforces. This includes the restraints on speech imposed by social-media and tech giants. Twitter continues to ban offensive right-wingers, such as President Donald Trump or Marjorie Taylor Greene, while granting carte blanche to globally influential conspiracy theorists and bigots, such as Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Twitter and Facebook label genuine news stories—whether about Hunter Biden or the COVID lab-leak hypothesis—as misinformation and kill them off. Amazon and Apple try to wipe the right-leaning Parler app off the Web, and so on.
Major corporations also now jump to weigh in on the side of the revolution at every bit of breaking news. In March, for example, Georgia passed a benign voting-reform law deemed racist by the left. Companies including Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Delta, and Coca-Cola immediately issued statements of denunciation. Major League Baseball (sports again) announced it would no longer be holding the All-Star Game in the Peach State. When Texas passed a new strict abortion law in September, the corporate response was decidedly more muted. This was a telling development that enables us to distinguish between revolutionary causes and the plain old left. According to Pew, the pro-choice position is supported by 59 percent of the country. Corporate support would risk alienating 41 percent of the country. But, more to the point, abortion is outside the revolution’s race-centric purview.
In short, things seem calm because the institutions have already been taken over. Riots would only be superfluous now. The explosive and disorienting onset of the revolution has given way to the boring bureaucratic phase. To further abuse the flight metaphor, the revolution is now on autopilot.
During the first year of the pandemic, Americans often spoke of some “new normal” to come. But the focus on post-pandemic norms served to obscure another pressing question: What would a post-revolutionary normal look like? We now have our answer. It’s staring us in the face—at work, at school, in government, and on the screens that populate our everyday existence. It’s permeated our system of manners, dictating what can be said by whom and what must never be spoken at all. Unless you live off the grid, it’s in the sounds you hear, the images you see, the air you breathe. It’s why you—or at least someone you know—look over your shoulder and make sure to lower your voice when saying something anti-revolutionary in public.
But while the institutions have buckled to the revolution, not all private citizens have lowered their voice. Those who go along to get along have made their peace with the revolution because they find their lives pleasant enough under the new regime. A bit of virtue-signaling here and there is no great sacrifice. But what happens when the revolution comes for your children? And what if it threatens your physical safety? For many Americans, it has. And they now stand as the front line in our fight.
While revolutionaries seek to reeducate adults through occasional diversity-and-inclusion seminars, their prescription for school-age children is immersive. In counties throughout the United States, schools have incorporated critical race theory (CRT) into their curricula. There’s much confusion and obfuscation about what CRT is, but it’s very simple. CRT maintains that all the systems that undergird the functioning of the United States are racist by design and produce inequitable results for people of color. All systems—social, governmental, legal, financial, educational, medical, you name it. In practice, this means teaching white children that they are, above all else, oppressors and teaching black children that they are, first and foremost, victims.
Here’s how that’s played out in the classroom since the start of the revolution. In Springfield, Missouri, a group of middle-school kids are made to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix” based on their racial make-up. The worst oppressors among them are then forced to acknowledge and atone for their “covert white supremacy.” At a charter school in Las Vegas, seniors are made to articulate the aspects of their identity that confer privilege. Third-graders in Cupertino, California, are told that they exist in a “dominant culture,” where the “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speaker” reigns supreme. With this knowledge instilled, they’re made to write essays about the relative “power and privilege” of their identities.
CRT proponents employ a cute cover story to deflect attention from this unambiguous horror. According to the story, CRT merely teaches that racism and slavery have been integral parts of American history, and any complaints about it are expressions of racism from white parents who don’t want their kids fully educated.
It’s hard to make that story stick, however, when schools send out memos asking parents to “decenter whiteness at home and in [their] family,” as did a private primary school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. And the story loses credibility when a black child comes home from school and strikes up a conversation with his parents about his limited horizons as a permanent victim. As the outraged father of one black school-age child said in a wildly popular TikTok video: “My baby is going to know that no matter what she wants to be in life, all she has to do is work hard and she can become that…. So we need to stop CRT point-blank.”
It didn’t take long for parents of all races to figure out that their children were being indoctrinated into a repellent ideology. Since the implementation of CRT at the school level began, genuine parental resistance to it bubbled up steadily—and that resistance was continually dismissed by liberal politicians and media as manufactured publicity by scare-mongering Republicans. Even so, stories kept pouring in about outraged parents challenging the curriculum at school-board meetings, trying to recall board members, and even filing lawsuits against schools teaching CRT. In December 2020, the black mother of one of those Las Vegas seniors sued the school for creating a hostile learning environment. In June 2021, a student’s mother filed a lawsuit against the Loudoun County School Board, charging that its so-called Action Plan to Combat Systemic Racism was, in fact, “an explicit initiative to stifle speech under the guise of eliminating ‘bias.’”
These and other efforts bore fruit. Cherokee County, Georgia, banned CRT after parents rose up en masse. Parents also forced California to abandon a draft framework for math curriculum that prioritized “equity” over learning. But the biggest win in the fight against CRT came in Virginia, where Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a race that came to center on parents’ rights and radical educators. McAuliffe, reading the situation perfectly wrong, had declared in a debate against Youngkin, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Parents, as it turned out, didn’t think McAuliffe should be telling them how to be parents.
With victory comes momentum. And there’s every reason to think that concerned parents will continue to fight—and win—in their battle against the revolutionary indoctrination of their children. They are not just angry; they’re organized. New groups such as Parents Against Critical Theory, Informed Parents of California, and NJ Parental Rights have sprung up nationwide. And despite public denials, moderate Democrats understand that CRT is a losing issue. Whether they take on the revolutionaries in their midst remains to be seen.
Public pressure, however, has forced Democrats to do a public about-face on the issue that was most crucial to the revolution: defunding the police. After the onset of the revolution and the subsequent defunding of multiple police departments, something horribly predictable happened. Violent crime skyrocketed in nearly every major American city. According to an FBI report released in September, between 2019 and 2020, assaults rose 12.4 percent and murders increased by 29.4 percent, the largest increase since at least 1905, and maybe ever. Increases were even more dramatic in some states. New York’s murder rate rose by 47 percent, Illinois’s by 38 percent, and California’s by 36 percent. In the enfeebled city of Portland, Oregon, the homicide rate went up by a staggering 83 percent. And in 2021, violent crime kept on rising. According to ABC News, at least 12 major cities broke their previous yearly homicide records in 2021. Los Angeles homicides went up 13 percent since 2020. Homicides in Houston rose by 18 percent during the same period.
Politicians can spin just about anything. But they can’t tell you to feel safe when you don’t. By March of 2021, an Ipsos/USA TODAY poll found that only 18 percent of Americans supported defunding the police. What’s more, only 28 percent of black Americans supported the policy. It can be hard for a movement built around the phrase “Black Lives Matter” to justify policies that result in black lives murdered. And no group of Americans suffered more from defunding the police than African Americans. According to data from the Marshall Project, more than 85 percent of the 2020 spike in murders occurred in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
As 2021 came to a close, the defund movement was on its knees. And supporters of the policy paid the price. On the same Election Day that saw Terry McAuliffe go down in flames, multiple defunding advocates were voted out of office. In Seattle, mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell, who stated plainly, “Make no mistake about it: I’m not defunding the police,” defeated incumbent fellow Democrat Jenny Durkan, who had sought to take a razor to the police budget before a too-late change of heart. In New York City, Democrat Eric Adams, who’d sunk all pro-defund adversaries in the mayoral primary, won the general election by 72.8 percent. His campaign mantra: “The prerequisite for prosperity is public safety.” The city by then had long turned on former mayor Bill de Blasio, the man who had not only cut $1 billion from the police budget but had also disbanded the NYPD plainclothes anti-crime unit. In Buffalo, police abolitionist and socialist India Walton lost the mayoral election by double digits to pro-police Democratic incumbent Byron W. Brown, whose name wasn’t even on the ballot, owing to his defeat at her hands in the primary. And in Minneapolis, ground zero for the revolution, voters rejected the Question 2 Public Safety Initiative that would have replaced the police department entirely with a department of public safety.
Along with the defund campaign’s political defeats came the high-profile renunciations. “I think allowing this moniker, ‘Defund the police,’ to ever get out there, was not a good thing,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who had supported Question 2. Some progressive Democrats, such as New York Representatives Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocazio-Cortez, merely took to speaking about dismantling police in softer tones.
But the most stunning turnaround came from San Francisco’s Democratic mayor, London Breed. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Breed held a press conference to announce that San Francisco would be the forerunner in the defund movement, and she promptly cut $120 million from local law enforcement. By the end of 2020, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco had the highest rate of burglaries, car thefts, and arsons in the state. In 2021, burglaries rose by another 50 percent.
What does Breed have to say for herself now? “Our compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference,” she announced in December. “It is time for the reign of criminals to end…. And it comes to an end when are we more aggressive with law enforcement and less tolerant of all the bulls**t that has destroyed our city.” The tough talk came with an emergency request to the city Board of Supervisors for more police spending.
By the end of 2021, a significant number of major American cities, among them New York, Austin, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Baltimore, had boosted their investment in law enforcement.
Defund is dead.
So the greatest transgressions of the revolution are being beaten back, while its more pervasive, quotidian demands are continually reinforced through inertia. But beyond the CRT and defund fights, there are additional signs that the revolution is losing some of its cultural sway. Multiple polls show that Hispanic Americans, for example, are increasingly rejecting the Democratic Party and the revolution’s radical policies advanced for the supposed benefit of “people of color.” In a Democracy Fund Voter Study Group survey done after last November’s election, Hispanics opposed defunding or shrinking the police by at least 2 to 1. The term woke, once embraced as a kind of revolutionary catch-all, is in bad odor, with radicals running away from the label at every turn. Additionally, nonrevolutionary liberal thinkers and writers continue to gain influence, most impressively demonstrated in John McWhorter’s anti-revolution Woke Racism becoming a bestseller at the start of the winter. Keep in mind that liberals and conservatives live in separate political time zones. Liberals tend to wake up to bad news about the revolution long after conservatives have gone to bed knowing the same thing.
And despite the fact that American institutions are in the revolution’s grip, there’s even a (small, but encouraging) hint of change afoot in Big Entertainment. When Netflix faced trans-activist protests, condemnations, and employee walkouts over its airing of comedian Dave Chappelle’s latest special in September, the streaming giant stood its ground. The same company that gave us Colin Kaepernick’s football-plantation fantasy refused to budge. And it’s doing just fine. The special was a huge hit. Whether other companies will take this as a model to replicate when they’re under pressure remains to be seen. But the incident points toward our best hope for the dismantling of the revolution at the institutional level: the profit incentive. How long can major corporations afford to dish out radical content and products to a marginal consumer base while ignoring the larger American public who just wants quality?
In the time since I wrote “Yes, This Is a Revolution,” a discouraging new element has also been added to the mix. This is the growth of anti-Americanism on the right. When Donald Trump persuaded millions of voters that our presidential elections were fraudulent, he did more than unleash a one-day attack on the Capitol. He transformed a significant portion of the country from patriots into revolutionaries. As I heard one January 6 supporter claim: “There’s nothing to preserve. The system is rotten.” That’s the justification for the 2020 revolution, only from a different direction. Many of the people who were once allies in the fight against leftist radicalism have now defected to the fight against American exceptionalism. We can only hope that this changes with the vicissitudes of politics in the coming years.
America is exceptional and there is everything to preserve. As I wrote in my piece in 2020, “because the United States is fundamentally good, most Americans may, in time, become circumspect about tearing it all down.” The truth of that contention is being born out in the shrinking status of CRT and the restoration of law and order. Being told that you are destined to be only your race, never an individual, cuts against the American creed. And when the pursuit of happiness is undermined by the threat of violence, we have failed to remain a country of laws. Those circumstances could not stand. Social-justice organizations now have to justify the massive sums they’ve received from corporate America. There will be new hoops for people to jump through in the name of equity. And as the burden imposed by these programs becomes ever more onerous, Americans’ tolerance for them is likely to wear thin. The one place where citizens can freely reject the revolution is in the privacy of the voting booth. We very well might see a continuation of the trends that dislodged defund and CRT advocates in November. And perhaps as the larger aims of the revolution are dismantled, Americans will find the courage to reject its more subtle manifestations and be “less tolerant of all the bulls**t.” This means speaking one’s mind in a clear voice, standing up for the wrongfully accused, saying no to wretched schemes, and living a life guided by the moral compass of the old normal. The fight has been joined.
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