Ben Domenech: America's cultural civil war was simmering underneath the surface. Now it is boiling

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This is the week America woke up to a moment of clarity: we are in the midst of a great cultural civil war.

The country was largely unified when we all saw the terrible video of George Floyd’s tragic death – unified in anger and frustration, in wanting justice and punishment for a cop who, whatever his motivation, went too far and murdered a citizen for the crime of passing a counterfeit bill. Ever since then, we’ve been coming apart.

The cultural civil war that has been simmering underneath the surface is now boiling. Consider that as much as the protests can largely be described as peaceful, they have now led to more than a dozen deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and theft. Consider the image of Senator Tim Kaine, the former Vice Presidential nominee of his party, kneeling on the ground like he’s a hostage, as if only the penitent white man will pass. Consider the footage from the Minneapolis mayor being shouted down for refusing to defund the police.

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It sets up a clash for the fall between the politics of revolutionary racial radicalism and defunding the police on the one hand, and law and order on the other. As Charles Murray noted recently, “The ‘abolish the police’ movement is the final piece needed to replicate the mentality of the New Left in the late 1960s–positions so crazy that only people completely out of touch with reality can advocate them with a straight face.” But farcical Maoism is still Maoist, and the struggle session doesn’t become less so just because it’s conducted by lunatics.

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The images of woke white protesters brought to their knees across the country, apologizing to the mob for sins they did not commit, is jarring and disturbing. At the heights of elite power – in the corporate board rooms that have decided to blast us with emails touting their payment of indulgences to cement their status as “allies”, and at institutions like The New York Times – leftist campus antagonism has now been made powerful and tangible as it entered the real world.

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