Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
What does #Resistance really mean? It means the overthrow of our government.
In this century, Democrats rejected the outcomes of two presidential elections won by Republicans. After Bush won, they settled for accusing him of being a thief, an idiot, a liar, a draft dodger and a mass murderer. They fantasized about his assassination and there was talk of impeachment. But elected officials gritted their teeth and tried to get things done.
This time around it’s “radically” different.
The official position, from the Senate to the streets, is “Resistance.” Leftist media outlets are feeding the faithful a fantasy that President Trump will be brought down. There is fevered speculation about the 25th Amendment, a coup or impeachment due to whatever scandal has been manufactured last.
This fantasy is part clickbait. Leftist media outlets are feeding the worst impulses of their readers. But there is a bigger and more disturbing radical endgame.
The left can be roughly divided into moderates and radicals. The distinction doesn’t refer to outcome; both want very similar totalitarian societies with very little personal freedom and a great deal of government control. Instead it’s about the tactics that they use to get to that totalitarian system.
The “moderates” believe in working from within the system to transform the country into a leftist tyranny. The “radicals” believe that the system is so bad that it cannot even be employed for progressive ends. Instead it needs to be discredited and overthrown by radicalizing a revolutionary base.
Radicals radicalize moderates by discrediting the system they want to be a part of. Where moderates seek to impose a false consensus from within the system, radicals attack the system through violent protests and terrorism. Their goal is to set off a chain of confrontations that make it impossible to maintain civil society and polarize the backlash and chaos into consolidating the left for total war.
That is what “Resistance” actually means.
A similar program implemented in Europe, with a covert alliance between Communists and Nazis, led to the deaths of millions, the destruction of much of Europe and the temporary triumph of the left.
The radical left’s efforts in America caused death and destruction but, despite the sympathy of many liberals for terrorist groups such as the Weathermen and the Black Panthers, failed to escalate because the majority of Democrats and even liberals did not accept the premise that our system was illegitimate.
That began to change this century.
64% of Democrats insisted that President Bush had not been legitimately elected. 49% declared that he was not a legitimate president. 22% vowed never to accept him no matter what he might do.
After 9⁄11, over half of Democrats believed that Bush had known about or been involved in the attacks.
Anywhere from two-thirds to a quarter of the Democrats rejected the results of a presidential election, rejected the president and suspected him of conspiring to murder thousands of Americans.
The left was winning. Much of its natural “moderate” base viewed our government as illegitimate.
The left has declared that President Trump’s victory is illegitimate. The response is “Resistance.” That covers violent anti-government protesters, states declaring that they are no longer bound to follow Federal immigration law and Senators obstructing for the sake of obstruction.
It’s easy to get lost in the partisan turmoil of the moment, but it’s important to understand the implications. If two presidential elections were illegitimate, then our entire system of elections might be illegitimate. And indeed the left made exactly that case with its attack on the Electoral College.
The left pressed Dems to oppose President Trump for the sake of opposition. The goal wasn’t just spite. It was to break the government. When the left forced Senate Dems to filibuster President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, the filibuster became the first casualty of the fight. The goal of the radicals was to make bipartisan legislative activity impossible. Senate Democrats adopted the position of the radical left that their mission was wrecking institutions to deny them to Republicans rather than governing.
Once that was done, the radical left could unveil arguments such as, “The United States Senate is a Failed Institution”. Much like our system of elections and every other part of our government.
The radical left’s goal is to convince its natural base that our system of government is illegitimate. It knows that this can’t be limited to the theoretical level of ideology. Instead it must radicalize by demonstrating it. It does not seriously believe that President Trump will be removed from office by the 25th Amendment or any other aspect of the system. Instead it is feeding these fantasies so that when they fall through those on the left who believed in them will be further radicalized by their failure.
And Democrats have become complicit in the radical left’s program to bring down the government.
They have normalized the radical leftist position that our system is illegitimate. They have moved into the second phase of the left’s program of demonstrating that illegitimacy through confrontation. The final phase is to overthrow the system through actions ranging from protests to terrorism.
This is Cloward-Piven institutional sabotage on a whole other scale. The goal is to collapse our entire system of government. And the Democrats have climbed on board with it using President Trump as a pretext. But regardless of which Republican had won, the end result would have been the same.
The left makes its opposition to the Constitution, the election process and the rule of law into a crisis. And then it uses that crisis to demand a new system. It has pursued this approach successfully in local areas and in narrower causes. This is not the first time that it has embarked on such a project on the national level. But this is the first time that it has the full support of a major national political party.
And that is the true crisis that we face.
The left’s endgame is a totalitarian state. Its “moderates” pursue one by peaceful means only so long as they are allowed to hijack the system. When an election fails to go their way, the radicals brandish it as proof that the system has failed and that violent revolution is the only answer.
But what was once the obscure behavior of a deranged political fringe has become the mainstream politics of the Democrats. The Resistance theme shows that the radicals have won. The Democrats haven’t just fallen to the left. They have fallen to the radical left which believes in overthrowing our system of government through conflict and confrontation rather than covertly engineering change.
The Democrats have become a terrorist party. And their commitment to a radical revolution has plunged our political system into chaos. The left is now exactly where it wanted to be.
And a civil war has begun.