For the past week, all of us have seen chaos engulf our beloved country. The violence and the destruction have been so overwhelming, so shocking, and awful and vivid on the screen, that it's been hard to think clearly about what's going on.

Most of us haven't been able to step back far enough to ask even the obvious questions. The most obvious, of course, is what is this really about? What do the mobs want?


Well, thugs looting the Apple Store can't answer that question. They have no idea. They just want free iPads. But what about Apple itself and the rest of corporate America, which is enthusiastically supporting the rioters? What about members of Congress, the media figures, the celebrities, the tech titans, all of whom are cheering this on. What do they want out of it?

Well, they haven't said. That's the central mystery.

Now suddenly, it is obvious. It should have been obvious on the first day. This is about Donald Trump. Of course, it is. We just couldn't see it.

For normal people, Donald Trump is the president. You may like him, you may not like him, but either way, there will be another president at some point, and we will move on as we always have.


But for Donald Trump's enemies, there is nothing else. Everything is about Trump. Everything.

Donald Trump defines their friendships, their careers, their marriages. Donald Trump affects how they raise their children. Trump occupies the very center of their lives. As long as Donald Trump remains in the White House. They feel powerless and diminished and panicked. So they cannot be happy.

In everything they do, their overriding goal is to remove Donald Trump from office. And that's exactly what they're trying to do now. That's what these riots are about. The most privileged in our society are using the most desperate in our society to seize power from everyone else.

Got that? That's the nub of it. The most privileged are using the most desperate to seize power from the rest of us. They are not seeking racial justice. If they were seeking racial justice, they wouldn't be denouncing their fellow Americans for their race, which they are. It has nothing to do with it.

What they are seeking is total control of the country. And it goes without saying that none of this has anything to do with George Floyd. Shame on those who pretended that it did -- those who fell for the lie and those who knew better but played along because they are cowards. There are many of those. You know who they are, and someday we will look back on all of them with contempt.

Meanwhile, the many people promoting this chaos remain clear-eyed. They are not lying to themselves. They never do. They know exactly what's going on, and they know what they hope to achieve by it. With every night of rioting, they grow bolder. Now, they are openly defending violence on television.

Bakari Sellers, CNN political commentator: People worry about the protesters and the looters. And it is just people who are frustrated.

Don Lemon, CNN anchor: They are frustrated, and they are angry, and they are out there. And they're upset. You shouldn't be taking televisions, but I can't tell people how to react to this.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.: I'm proud of the protests, and I think it is part of the tradition of New York. The violence is bad, reprehensible, and it should be condemned, but it is not the overwhelming picture in New York.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times: Destroying property which can be replaced is not violence.

Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor Too many see the protests as the problem. Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.

You're crushed by this. You can't believe what's happening to your country. But for the people you just saw, the real problem is that the rioting in some rare places is being stopped by police, and their aim is to fix that. They would like to eliminate all law enforcement for good.

In everything they do, their overriding goal is to remove Donald Trump from office. And that's exactly what they're trying to do now. That's what these riots are about. The most privileged in our society are using the most desperate in our society to seize power from everyone else.

On Thursday, Democrats in Dallas took down the statue of a Texas Ranger from the terminal at Love Field that has stood in the airport for more than 50 years. The Texas Rangers are cops, and cops must be removed, even when they're made of bronze.

Meanwhile, the Lego toy company has ceased marketing sets that contain plastic police officers. Apparently, they're too dangerous for our children. And so on -- so much of this is going on right now.

If it all seems like yet another episode of the silly and fleeting hysteria that sometimes grips our culture out of nowhere, usually in lulls in the news cycle, you should know that it's not that. This is entirely real. It is being pushed by serious people, and they are deadly serious about it.

On Wednesday night, for example, Brian Fallon, who was the press secretary of the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in the last election cycle tweeted, "Defund the police." Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib agrees. Expect more members of Congress to agree soon.

In some places, they're not talking, they're acting. Steve Fletcher represents the Third Ward in Minneapolis. He's on the City Council there. By this week, his city had been completely scorched by riots. At least 66 businesses were utterly destroyed by fire, 300 more had been vandalized or looted.

Fletcher didn't even mention that. Instead, he attacked the city's police department for trying to contain the violence: "Several of us on the Council are working on finding out what it would take to disband the Minneapolis Police Department.".

How would Americans feel if they actually defunded the police? Well, terrified mostly. That's how we would feel. Things would fall apart instantly.

You'd think people in the city would be shocked by that. But at least on the City Council, everyone else nodded their approval. In the Ninth Ward, Councilwoman Alondra Cano tweeted this on Wednesday: "The Minneapolis Police Department is not reformable. Change is coming." According to City Councilman Fletcher, all nine members of the City Council are now considered getting rid of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Hard to believe, but it's not just there. In the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti looks out across the worst rioting in the nation's second-largest city in a generation, in almost 30 years. His conclusion? We need far fewer police. It could have been better if they hadn't been there.

Garcetti has announced he is going to cut funding for law enforcement.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: I want you to know we will not be increasing our police budget. How can we at this moment?

Our city through our city administrative officer identified $250 million in cuts, so we could invest in jobs, in health, in education, and in healing And that those dollars need to be focused on our black community here in Los Angeles, as well as communities of color and women and people who have been left behind for too long.

And will this involve cuts? Yes. Of course. To every department, including the police department.

More from Opinion

When Democrats across the country start saying the same thing at the same time, you can be certain there's a reason for it. And in this case, they clearly mean it.

According to the president of the L.A. Police Commission, city officials may cut $150 million from the LAPD. That would be more than 10 percent of the entire police budget, in the wake of rioting.

In New York, 48 separate Democratic candidates -- and they were including in that the Manhattan district attorney -- signed a letter demanding a $1 billion cut to the budget of the NYPD. Why are they doing this? There are reasons, not the ones they tell you. They tell you it's about racism. They tell you that cops are racist and must be reined in.

Most Americans don't agree with that. That's not the experience they have. In fact, police departments are one of the most trusted institutions in the country.

According to Gallup polling last year, 53 percent of Americans said they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the police. That was far more confidence than they had in almost any other institution -- banks, religious leaders, the health care system, television, news, public schools, corporate America, newspapers -- name one. All of those were stuck below 40 percent. How many Americans trusted Congress? Eleven percent.

And in fact, most African Americans still support the police. A 2016 Pew poll found that 55 percent of African-Americans had confidence in the police within their own communities. In other words, cops they actually knew and dealt with. They have confidence.

A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 2011 found that among those who called the police for help, more than 90 percent of African-Americans felt the police behaved properly.

So, what would happen if we got rid of the police? Of all law enforcement? How would Americans feel if they actually defunded the police?

Well, terrified mostly. That's how we would feel. Things would fall apart instantly. It would take hours. Don't believe it? Spend an afternoon in a place with no law enforcement and see what you think. Talk to anyone who was in Baghdad at the height of the Iraq War. Ask anyone who stayed in New Orleans for Katrina. Their memories will be fresh. They'll never forget what they saw.

Here's the key. Eliminating the police does not mean eliminating authority. There is always authority. There are no vacuums in nature. The only question is whether or not the authority is legitimate -- whether or not the authority is accountable. Whether or not you can do anything if the authority abuses its power.

In the absence of law enforcement, the answer is no. It means thugs are in charge. The most violent people have the most power. They can do whatever they want to you. That's the reality. Everyone obeys the violent people, or they get hurt. The mob literally rules.


That probably sounds like a nightmare to you, because it is. But the people pushing this idea don't see it as scary because they don't fear the mob, because they control the mob. That's the key. And they see violence as an instrument of their political power.

With mobs in the streets that they control, they will finally get what they want -- Donald Trump out of office and a hammerlock on the country. That's what's happening.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on June 4, 2020.