Jan. 6, 2021, may have been a dark day for America, but it was merely symptomatic of something far worse. That day, a mob entered the Capitol Building, vandalized federal property, and terrified government workers and officials. Four people died. Many were injured. Condemnation was immediate and unanimous. No one defended the mob.
That was the easy part—or at least it should have been. Mobs should be easy to condemn. All mobs. The commonalities among mobs far outweigh any differences. Whether the mob identifies with the left or the right, cites religious or economic motivation, or asserts specific or general grievances, it will quickly converge on a scapegoat. Societies willing to tolerate even a modicum of mob violence will eventually abandon the scapegoat to appease the mob, then collapse beneath the weight of a movement that can’t be appeased.
In America today, all mobs that identify with the left and some that identify with the right are already antisemitic; many are vocally anti-American. The same is true for the organizations whose demonstrations inevitably turn into riots. If you’re part of a mob, if you’re part of a “mostly peaceful” demonstration giving cover to a mob, if you’re an apologist excusing a “sympathetic” mob, if you see some mobs as “your mobs” and others as “their mobs,” you’re a threat to society.
In a healthy society, such blanket condemnations of mob violence should be trivial. Yet far too many Americans—including much of our political and media leadership and most of the left—differentiate among mobs. They’ve now spent days spreading the pernicious lie that last week’s events at the Capitol Building represented something new. Nonsense.
Intermittent mob violence has been part of American life since the summer of 2013. President Barack Obama set the tone when he expressed far greater sympathy than condemnation for the mobs assembled after Trayvon Martin’s death. Since then, we’ve seen convulsions, conflagrations, and occupations in Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte, Atlanta, Charlottesville, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Kenosha, and elsewhere.
Violent mobs around the country have targeted police, vandalized businesses, attacked citizens, and destroyed lives. Mobs have charged the Supreme Court and the White House. Mobs have descended upon members of Congress in the lobbies, hallways, and elevators of their office buildings. Mobs have laid siege to federal buildings and courthouses, toppled statues and monuments, and burned Bibles. Mobs torched Washington’s historic St. John’s Episcopal Church. It was hardly alone. Churches and synagogues have been prime mob targets precisely because they’re churches and synagogues.
Progressive political and media leaders did worse than downplay most of these mobs. They vilified President Donald Trump when he issued blanket condemnations equating violent mobs they like with those they don’t.
The self-important, self-righteous political and media personnel pretending that last week’s mob broke new ground are symptomatic of a fatal cultural disease. America’s leadership class is unwilling to treat mobs as mobs. If they detect a grievance they consider sympathetic, they offer appeasement rather than condemnation. That approach is beyond repulsive. It’s a sign of a nation on the brink of suicide.
Worse, the singling out of last week’s mob has already justified unprecedented actions:
Democrats who spent the summer shrugging off mob violence have launched attempts to remove Trump and interfere with the military chain of command. Tech and social media giants have made rapid, bold, systematic moves against Trump and his supporters—steps they’ve steadfastly refused to take against recognized terrorist organizations. Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei now has greater access to American social media than does Trump.
Many of the facts surrounding the events at the Capitol are still unknown. The responses, however, bear all the hallmarks of a false-flag operation used to justify repression, the seizure of power, and the criminalization of politics. They’re antithetical to the deep introspection needed for our nation to halt its rapid downward spiral.
That we’re spiraling downward is undeniable. Over the past nine months, the American republic has collapsed into emergency rule by executive fiat while violent mobs have run wild through our cities extorting protection money. Last month, over 40 states asked the Supreme Court to adjudicate a burning question that splits the country: Which of our leading political factions is undermining the electoral legitimacy central to the American republic, and which is trying to defend it?
The nine Justices charged as the ultimate arbiters of peaceful conflict resolution said, in effect, “take your fight elsewhere.” It’s hard to think of a more dangerous abdication. When nonviolent resolution mechanisms are unavailable, conflict becomes violent. When elections and courts lack integrity, mobs and warlords take their place.
Welcome to 2021. Jan. 6 may have been a dark day, but America is about to get far, far darker. The “dark winter” Joe Biden promised is upon us.
Bruce Abramson, Ph.D. J.D., is a principal at B2 Strategic, senior fellow and director at ACEK Fund and the author of “American Restoration: Winning America’s Second Civil War.”
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the current supreme leader of Iran’s name. It is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.