In July I noted that what The Wall Street Journal had described as our “Jacobin moment” cannot be stopped by an accord between the far left and traditional conservatism, because traditionalists no longer have a seat at the table. The mobs in the street and their fellow travelers are not about to listen to them because they think traditional conservatism is illegitimate. I repeat: This is where long overdue leadership comes in and it must come from whatever elements of the liberal establishment that still have the moral authority and courage to say STOP! Then the leaders of our most authoritative institutions–corporate, foundations, universities, cultural, religious, and media–must come together, stand up to the mob, and bring order, both in the streets and elsewhere in our culture.
The kicker, however, is that this conversation must begin with an admission on the part of this establishment that their crowning accomplishment, the Great Society urban policy reforms, have been a failure–a difficult pill to swallow. But if they can’t or won’t assume this leadership responsibility, then we truly are at a Jacobin moment, not to mention a major backlash that will not be pretty. In fact, the escalating violent events resulting in shooting deaths in Portland and Kenosha over the past several days are an omen that this backlash from the far right has begun in earnest. Joe Biden can call this “Trump’s country” if he likes, but the truth is looking more like a call to arms by the so far silent majority who have seen enough of this nihilism in the streets. I agree with the suggestion that Trump should drop the provocations, ask his supporters to avoid confrontation with the mob, and switch to a call for calm, but these violent mobs are not of the right, they are from the anarchist left, largely allied with and enabled by the far left wing, including many local office holders, of the Democratic Party, “Biden’s country”.