When the riots first started, I discussed the importance of who they were targeting -- namely, their fellow liberal urbanite Democrats. The rioters were not heading off to the suburbs, rural areas, small towns, or red states -- where their conservative, non-urban Republican enemies live. It is a fragmenting of the Democrat electoral coalition, which portends defeat in the general election just as it did in 2016. (GOP elites had plenty of internecine warfare back then, but not among the actual voters, who overwhelmingly backed Trump over all the other Republicans.)
As the rioters have continued to terrorize their fellow Democrats over the summer, and now especially after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it finally clicked for me what they're doing. It's not aimless destruction in an urban area that coincidentally catches their fellow Dems in a friendly fire -- they're deliberately targeting squishy Democrat supporters just like the whip does in a legislature.
They're the enforcers of party discipline, making sure everyone on the team attends the proper meetings, performs the proper rituals, shows up to vote, votes the proper way, and does second-order enforcement on their own -- dragging others out to vote, badgering those acquaintances into voting the proper way, putting the proper signs in their windows, donating their life savings and 40 hours a week of their time, and so on and so forth.
In a system where the patrons and their clients are in a symbiotic relationship, the patrons offer positive patronage in exchange for the collective support of the client base -- buildings, roads, water, electricity, security, etc. But when the elites devolve into parasitism, they only offer negative patronage -- all stick, no carrot. Drop everything you're doing and devote your life to helping our campaign win, or we'll burn down your neighborhood next, your city next.
Is there a rational basis to the whip's desperation? Of course -- lots of the urban working and middle class did not show up to vote in 2016, out of apathy and disenchantment with the neolib Dems, when Trump offered a break with the rotting status quo. And a large-enough minority actually voted for Trump outright -- that's how he flipped all those blue states. There's no more blood for the GOP to squeeze out of the rural and suburban stone.
Rather, it was counties with at least 100,000 residents that were decisive, ones that hadn't voted red for decades. Erie, PA; Dayton, OH; Saginaw, MI; and many others. These Rust Belt states are the ones seeing major rioting, in addition to safe blue states. The one region that is being entirely spared is the suburban Sun Belt -- some of the major counties there flipped from GOP to Democrat for the first time in decades, the mirror-image of Rust Belters for Trump. Orange County, CA; suburban Houston, TX; and suburban Atlanta, GA. No way are the Democrat party's paramilitary whips going to attack the brand new defectors from the other party -- they need to be welcomed and integrated first, before they get the stick like old-timer members.
This time around, the DNC is not taking any chances with squishy Rust Belt urbanites. The yuppies are already gung-ho, and are therefore being spared punishment. But the working class and lower-middle class in the non-yuppie neighborhoods? They might just stay home like last time, and a handful may even vote for Trump. The party thought they had the election in the bag last time, and didn't bother cracking the whip ahead of the election. But now that it's likely Trump will win, they're leaving nothing to chance and are pulling out all the stops to motivate the squishes.
That's why they've amped up the rhetoric about this being "the election of our lifetimes" etc. They're obviously not talking to Republicans, nor are they just preaching to the choir of fellow hardcore Democrat partisans -- they're letting the squishes know that this is not just any old game that they can sit out if they feel like it. It requires 100% turnout, and 100% Democrat votes from those turning out. They're not offering anything positive in exchange, it's still negative -- but just chastising words, with the destruction and terrorizing left up to their paramilitary arm of Antifa, BLM, etc.
When they only looked to lose the presidential election again, that was bad enough. But now they're going to have an even smaller minority presence on the Supreme Court, so that's only going to make the elites crack the whip harder on their reluctant and apathetic client base. The only potential mitigating factor now is that summer weather is over, and testosterone levels are going to fall from their seasonal peak. That still leaves plenty of fuel for the fire, though.
There's simply no other way to interpret this. "We'll burn down every city if our guy doesn't win" -- that cannot be a threat to Republicans or Trump voters, who don't live there. Oh, no, please, don't burn down a libtard city, please, no, don't. Republican voters don't care about urbanites, whether of the working or yuppie classes, whether white or non-white. It's a separate galaxy, one they wouldn't mind seeing go out of existence.
Republican politicians manifestly do not care either, else they would've at least attempted to quell the riots. But how do riots in urban areas prevent the GOP from executing the agenda for their elite sponsors like the National Association of Manufacturers, the Pentagon and other military bases, Big Oil and Coal, and the agriculture cartel? Today's riots are not even targeting an oil pipeline like a few years ago.
Rather, these unhinged Democrat pronouncements are meant as a notice of conscription to the less-than-gung-ho urbanites. You're going to drop everything and join the crusade for our party in the election, or else -- and we're going to burn down a few neighborhoods in a few cities up front, just to prove that the threats are not empty. Don't make us burn down even more -- donate money to our elites now, put the signs on your lawns now, rope 50 acquaintances into mail voting now. We're monitoring your enthusiasm levels, and if we don't see progress in your behavior, we'll unleash the hordes on your neighborhood next.
But as far as I can tell around this Rust Belt metro area, the punishment will not work. I only see BLM and related signs in the rich neighborhoods and on wealthy people's cars, not in working-class areas or on the bumpers of beater cars. The response of the squishes will be similar to 2016 -- mostly apathy that translates into not voting at all, and a handful of angry defectors to Trump, who has pivoted from a general "law and order" theme to one narrowly aimed at these urbanite victims of Democrat party punishment. "Vote for us -- our party discipline doesn't involve burning down the communities of slacker members."
On top of the realignment in the broad agenda that the Democrats need in order to become the new dominant party in a post-Reaganite era, they will also have to start offering positive patronage again. In the deranged conservative's mind, the Democrats are the party of promising "free shit" and letting their voters run amok. In reality, the Democrats insist on tight-fisted non-promises of any goodies, and deploy an elite of enforcers to relentlessly destroy the livelihoods of all lowly voters who aren't 100% on board with each electoral crusade.
No army becomes a dominant force that way, through the privation and humiliation of its conscripts. Expanding armies are held together and driven forward by camaraderie (or really "asabiya," for the Peter Turchin readers).
As for how the party can reverse this trend, it'll take divine intervention -- by the finance gods, who control the party. Simply de-financialize the sub-groups within the party who are responsible for their polarizing behavior that alienates the critical mass of defectors from the Trump base necessary to form a new dominant electoral coalition. De-financialize those who are hell-bent on demolishing solidarity and camaraderie. De-financialize all political aspirants (including think-tankers, NGOs, and the rest of them) who are not going to promise some free shit for once.
And given the abysmal trust that the voting public has in the Democrat party, the finance gods will have to make some kind of down payment first, to prove they're trustworthy. Again, a down payment to the voting public, not to the polarizing partisan retards who have driven the party itself into oblivion.
That's really the only leverage that any member of the Democrat elite coalition can wield against the others. They don't have military force, they don't control food, or the production and distribution of things, or natural resources. But if the finance elites can snap their fingers and make it so Antifa and BLM cannot have a bank account or receive payments, that will go a long way toward weeding out the vindictive enforcers. If a successor to Biden doesn't make some kind of "free shit" part of their platform, no campaign contributions from Wall Street -- maybe outright de-financialization of their campaign.
The media / entertainment elites are the least able or willing to make the changes. They've been stoking the riots worse than any other sector of society. And even if they wanted to weigh in against Antifa and BLM, all they could do is give them bad reputations through their coverage. Oh no, rioters will get a bad reputation! That won't motivate them. But closing them off from all financial services would.
Nor is the IT cartel of Silicon Valley going to lead the way toward realignment. They've been working hand-in-glove with their media / entertainment partners in stoking the resentment and vindictiveness toward apathetic or wayward urbanites. Plus, what could they do even if they wanted to stop them? Ban the rioters from all social media platforms? OK, so they'll communicate through some other way. Coordinate with the media to stain their reputations? The rioters don't care what the internet thinks about them -- only if they're getting their threats through to the squishy urbanites in the neighborhoods they're terrorizing.
The only way to really hit them where it hurts is through the finance sector. If this problem were within the GOP coalition, their elites could send in the police or military to use armed force against their party-destroyers. But Democrats don't have that. Their strongest form of leverage is their monopoly on the creation and flow of money.
It may take this electoral cycle and the next -- and perhaps the next after that -- for the money men to get it. But they have too much invested in the outcome to just let pure vindictiveness among their enforcers drive their party into extinction.