If former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democrats win in November, there will be more riots.
Some Americans may be tempted to hope otherwise — that since President Donald Trump is the real target of the unrest, the left will calm down once Trump is gone.
The opposite is true: if the left can achieve their political goals through the use of violence, they will do so again.
It is crucial that voters teach Biden, Democrats, and the left in general that political violence leads to defeat.
I have lived through this movie before.
South Africa, where I was born, experienced unrest from 1976 to 1994. The white minority regime of apartheid — which was an actual example of systemic racism — left South Africans no real avenue for peaceful protest. So while many demonstrations were non-violent, there were also violent riots in many communities. The outlawed anti-apartheid movement even resorted to guerrilla warfare, largely bankrolled and armed by the Soviet Union.
When the Soviet Union fell, South African leaders seized the opportunity for negotiations. F.W. de Klerk freed Nelson Mandela, and the warring sides made a peaceful transition to non-racial democracy. It was considered a “miracle.”
But many South Africans took the wrong lesson. Left-wing ideologues believed it was violence that had forced the end of the apartheid regime. Partly as a result, violence is a permanent feature of South Africa today, in petty crime and in politics.
The United States is not, contrary to what Biden told the nation on Independence Day, a systemically racist country. We have our First Amendment and a proud tradition of non-violent protest.
However, that tradition has been destroyed in the past several years, not just by the Black Lives Matter movement, but also by the Occupy Wall Street protests that preceded it — and which were enthusiastically embraced by President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The Occupy movement was not peaceful. It seized private and public property and expelled police. Crime was rampant within the Occupy encampments; in some cities, “protesters” sought confrontations with police, often using vulnerable people — women, the elderly, the disabled — as human shields.
The media, which had fawned on the Occupy protests at first, looked away when they decayed into violence. Obama, borrowing Occupy’s “99% vs. 1%” rhetoric, won reelection.
The Black Lives Matter movement emerged in 2014 on the basis of a lie — that Michael Brown, who attacked a police officer, had been killed in cold blood while trying to surrender.
After the officer was not charged, rioters in Ferguson, Missouri, set a predominately black business district on fire, and unrest spread throughout the country.
In city after city, police pulled back from patrols in black neighborhoods, leaving ordinary residents far more vulnerable to violent crime.
The unrest that followed the horrific death of George Floyd revived the Black Lives Matter protests — and riots. The riots have eliminated the distinction between peaceful protest and violent insurrection.
The media, and the Democrats, have collaborated in covering up the terror of the riots because they share the goal of removing Donald Trump. Even after journalists were beaten by “protesters” at the White House, Democrats and the media persisted in calling them “peaceful.”
The lies continue in Portland. Biden issued a statement Tuesday accusing federal law enforcement of “brutally attacking peaceful protesters.” The opposite was true: the “peaceful protesters” had attacked federal property and law enforcement.
Just hours after Biden’s statement, Portland Police — the local cops — revealed that the “peaceful protesters,” who had been attacking them for months, had tried to break into a federal courthouse and set it on fire, while attacking the feds.
Pelosi calls the federal law enforcement officers “stormtroopers,” and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) called the “Gestapo.” That was an insult to the officers. But for Biden to call the anarchist rioters “peaceful protesters” was also an insult to the traditions of the civil rights movement.
It also sets a new and dangerous low bar for protest. If ambushing police with projectiles, and setting fire to federal buildings is considered “peaceful protest,” we will see more violence in future.
Moreover, if the left learns that they can riot in the streets and achieve their broad political goals, they will do it again in future.
It failed in 1968, when left-wing unrest convinced voters to elect Republican Richard Nixon as president. But a new generation of left-wing activists believes it can achieve what their elders could not. They also have support from the news media and from tech giants who decide what information Americans can find, or who is allowed to use social media.
The rioters in Portland and Chicago have no policy goals, other than creating disorder. Their primary aim is to show that they — and not the police — are in control. If Trump wins reelection in November, they will riot. But they will also riot if Biden wins, just as they rioted when Obama and Biden were in the administration.
And unlike Trump, Biden will be unwilling to condemn them or to send federal law enforcement to restore order. (He can barely run his own campaign.)
The only thing that will stop the riots is if the Democrats, who support the rioters, are defeated. It may take several such defeats, but once Democrats understand that there is a political price to pay for calling America racist and encouraging the destruction of the cities that they themselves govern, they will pull the plug.
Otherwise, if Biden wins on a “revolutionary” platform, after encouraging the “peaceful protests” that are destroying our cities, we will never — never — see the end of it.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.