- - Thursday, October 29, 2020

This election’s only certainty is that America’s left will riot over its outcome. This is no leap of faith, because they riot over everything; it is how they express themselves. After Nov. 3, they will riot to celebrate the results, or they will riot to contest the results, or they will riot over any variation in between.

There is a saying that to a hammer every problem is a nail. To America’s left, every issue demands a riot. This summer, America has been subjected to riots throughout its largest cities. Ostensibly, they were about George Floyd’s death, then they were about Black Lives Matter, and then they were about social justice. 

How rioting, looting, burning, destroying, vandalizing and attacking have anything to do with justice is beyond comprehension to any but the left. These acts are about violence; they have no deeper content. Violence is no longer the left’s means, violence has become the left’s end. 

When the left transformed November 1999’s WTO meeting into the Battle of Seattle, their violence was viewed as an aberration. Two decades later, violence is the expectation: a rapidly reached conclusion on the left’s continuum from civil disobedience to violence to riots — often  without the intervening steps. They have taken an anti-Hippocratic Oath: First do harm. Expect them to act on it following next Tuesday’s election.

Of course, they oppose the capitalist system, especially America’s. For them, Republicans in general embody that system; however, no one embodies it like President Trump does. Additionally, Mr. Trump has had the temerity to target the left’s violence in his reelection campaign. This confluence means a Trump defeat is sure to set off the left in riotous celebration. 

The left will also use such riots to enforce their views on an incoming Biden administration. They will claim that adopting their positions led Joe Biden to victory, and they will demand that the new administration’s policies satisfactorily reflect their priorities. 

Having succeeded in getting Mr. Biden to remake himself — from establishmentarian to decidedly left — they will turn their attention to remaking America through his administration. Their priorities will range from staffing the new administration to the Green New Deal, higher taxes and new spending initiatives. Violence will be the left’s less than subtle reminder that they are watching and that there will be a price to be paid for ignoring them.  

Should Mr. Trump win, the left will riot in rejection of the outcome. The escalation of this summer’s riots is evidence that the left has reached the end of their acceptance of legal formalities. A Trump victory will push them even deeper into the deep end.

Defeat will be even more painful this time, too. Four years ago, they never doubted Mr. Trump would lose and therefore had given no thought to the conservative policies he would pursue as president. Now they know his policies all too well. As a result, unlike in 2016 when they backed Bernie Sanders all the way to the Democratic convention, this time the left sublimated their desires and embraced Mr. Biden early. 

For four years, the only way the left could cope with Mr. Trump’s victory was to deny it had legitimately happened. Should it happen again, they will simply seek to deny it: Period. Gone will be their patience with the formalities of impeachment and midterm elections. They will resort to what they see as working (or as at least self-satisfying): violence. 

For two decades, America’s left increasingly has been enthralled with, and resorted to, violence. Over the last four years this has rapidly escalated, going from incivility to civil unrest. In 2020, America has seen the left jump deliberately and directly to premeditated violence. The docility of innumerable liberal governments has only added further impetus to the left’s violent impulses.

America should therefore brace itself for the left’s post-election riots. Whether celebratory or retaliatory, only the left will be able to distinguish. Regardless of their guise, the establishment media and liberals will condone them — implicitly or explicitly.

By having indulged this, America will have inadvertently encouraged this. When everything looks like a nail to a hammer, the last thing you want to do is act like a nail. When you do, you should expect to get hammered. America’s left has therefore happily hammered away in 2020 and the nation has resignedly taken it. Expect the hammer to fall again and again after next Tuesday, regardless of the outcome. 

• J.T. Young served in the Office of Management and Budget and at the Treasury Department.

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