The last couple of years have really seen a remarkable about-face from the hippies and those who espouse the recycled hippie ideals in the modern left. Used to be, we all (with the exception of a few quacks) accepted that violence and intimidation weren’t legitimate methods of achieving political change. Even if we agreed with the change that was sought, we had to condemn anyone who resorted to death and destruction to achieve those means.
The American Left no longer even pretends to believe in this message. Allow me to illustrate with three recent, high profile examples. The first of these, of course, is Baltimore. I personally am broadly supportive of the need for police reform, as I’ve stated here repeatedly. However, I’m less supportive of innocent people having their homes and businesses burned and destroyed. The way this would have been talked about 20 years ago, we would have condemned the violence and waited for order to be restored before discussing reform. However, dozens of prominent and respected liberal commentators actually expressed public support for rioting and looting while it was ongoing.
The second was the California High School’s decision – widely hailed by the left and upheld by the 9th Circuit – to ban American Flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. The threat of violence, you see, justified the school’s decision. Never mind the idea that the school should have been prepared to actually manage violence and discipline anyone who was motivated to use violence and/or intimidation against someone who was offended at the display of the flag of the country in which he or she lived. No, see, what we really have to focus on is the fact that if something might incite people to violence, we put a stop to that, not punish the violent.