HUMAN EVENTS: Be smart. Be disciplined. Be cold.

The recent sham conviction of President Trump has galvanized the Right like perhaps nothing since… well, since all the other times President Trump has found himself in unprecedented peril, whether legally or politically. And just like those times, we are inclined to believe that the ultimate result will be that President Trump will emerge stronger after a momentary polling blip. American voters react particularly violently to unfairness, and when the Biden administration palpably lacks achievements of which most Americans would be proud, a purely negative approach to a rival candidate with actual ideas will wear out its welcome before long. As our own Jack Posobiec puts it, the verdict will eventually be “priced in” by voters.

However, there is one sure way in which the Right can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and that is to turn this undoubtedly solemn occasion into a chance merely to freak out about the future. Not only are the American people profoundly sick of ideological freakouts (having borne 8 years of them from the other side), but to get angry without channeling that anger into workable action is simply one more example of the Right’s tendency to write “strongly worded letters” in response to Leftist excess. Whether wisely or not, the Left has truly taken the gloves off. The seriousness of the moment behooves a calculated, cold-blooded, and strategic response; one aimed not just at winning this battle, but at winning the war for America.

Firstly, let’s be clear about the state of play. You see, there is a reason we referred to the Biden administration as lacking “achievements of which most Americans would be proud.” And that is that the Biden administration (and the Left more generally) has achievements, they just happen to only be achievements from the perspective of the left-wing activist class.

Let’s review those achievements quickly: “Defund the police” succeeded sufficiently to unleash a wave of unchecked crime in deep blue cities. New York City in particular has suffered from this because of the endless waves of “refugees” which the Biden administration imported, and who are now stretching NYC’s resources to the breaking point.

On that same note, Biden has effectively destroyed the notion of immigration law by ending countless cases and granting de facto amnesty to the illegal immigrants involved. He has also attempted something not seen since Andrew Jackson and all but openly defied the Supreme Court by pushing through student loan forgiveness after being slapped down once by the justices once before. This is the same president who now wants us to believe that the “rule of law” matters when it’s applied to his political opponents.

At the cultural level, the transgender cause has been forced down Americans’ throats and even its worst excesses are now treated as background noise. Most notably, Biden’s Title IX revisions have turned a law which was once about the defense of biological women into a weapon for trans activists. Practically every culturally elite spaces now treats the use of pronouns as simple etiquette, and children are increasingly turned against their parents and surreptitiously put on hormones, with (so far) only local consequences. Those who object, meanwhile, are put on watchlists by the FBI.

And speaking of forcing things down people’s throats, the Biden administration is now attempting to use the same playbook on Israel by putting forward a ceasefire proposal (which they have described with blatant deceit as an Israeli proposal) which has thrown the Netanyahu government into crisis, even as Hamas has signaled their willingness to abide by it. The proposal in question effectively hamstrings the Israelis and prevents their finishing of the war to destroy Hamas, and thus to save not merely themselves, but countless future generations of Israelis and Palestinians from the murderous, antisemitic, and delusional behavior of this terrorist cult. The reason they are doing this is as obvious as it is cynical: simply to wrap the war up before the Democratic convention can be besieged by pro-Hamas protesters and transform into a repeat of the infamous 1968 convention. Whether it works is anyone’s guess.

We could go on – we haven’t even touched on the fact that the Supreme Court may be about to ratify the administration’s attempts to shut down social media accounts they dislike -- but you get the picture. From a purely policy perspective, the landscape looks like a rout for the Right, and it is. Putting Trump in jail, if Judge Juan Merchan dares to go that far, would simply be the cherry on top of what is meant to be years of merciless humiliation.

Now, rather than prematurely writing an obituary for the American Republic, let’s take a step back and consider something: despite this public policy rout, the Left is anything but complacent or smug. Rather, they’re terrified. Just look at Maxine Waters’ recent appearance on MSNBC, where she claimed that supporters of President Trump are “domestic terrorists” preparing for a new civil war.

If they’ve won everything, then what gives? What’s with the panic? Well, the truth is that if the Left have turned the institutions to their cause, the actual people they govern are plainly not convinced. This includes even people who normally vote for the Left. In other words, the Left is terrified because they know that without popular support, all these public policy victories are brittle. A Republican administration could reverse pretty much all of them with the stroke of a pen. And if that administration is swept into power by a commanding margin, then it will be much harder to get future Democrat elites (who want to win elections) to throw as much weight behind catering to the Left, who will be rightly seen as electoral poison.

Which brings us to another weakness of the seemingly ascendant Left: it’s not 2016 anymore. Wokeness is no longer an unknown quantity which liberal elites can comfortably adopt in the smug certainty that they’ll always be seen as “on the right side of history.” Rather, they know, from the painful history of movements like #MeToo and 2020’s racial hysteria, that liberal elites are the first people to get eaten by woke mobs. This is particularly obvious to Jewish liberals like Bill Maher, who have been forced to confront the fact that their status as “Zionists” may be seen as an even worse black mark than wearing a MAGA hat. In short, if the woke movement is no longer seen to hold any political power, but to actually be an impediment to holding it, then the liberal elites will have no reason to be loyal to it. Which means the Kente Cloth brigades will be cast into the political outer darkness where there is wailing, gnashing of teeth, and video essays.

So those are the Left’s weaknesses. How, then, do we capitalize on them? Well, the first and most obvious answer would be to divide and conquer. Fortunately, this is very easy to do; the Left’s ideological commitments are rife with such blatant contradictions that practical problems inevitably emerge. Perhaps the most hilarious recent example was the blocking of Philadelphia’s Pride Parade by pro-Hamas activists. “No Pride during genocide!” they screamed, even as the Pride marchers looked mildly terrified that for once, their vaunted identities did not trump all other considerations.

This is not simply an esoteric bit of street theater; it is symbolic of a much larger conflict between different wings of the Left, which one can see not just in the streets of Philadelphia, but in the halls of power in cities like Hamtramck, Michigan. For context, liberals celebrated in Hamtramck when an all-Muslim city council was elected, only to now react with dismay and horror that said all-Muslim city council has excluded LGBTQ+ flags from city property. “Queers for Palestine” was unavailable for comment, and for good reason: these groups can’t coexist in the same coalition. This is the stuff of which realignments are made.

Secondly, the Right must continue to exploit and highlight the pressure points where woke ideology is most at odds with elite thinking, and draw the elite “consensus” further and further Right. We counsel this approach because wokeness, for all its shrieking irrationality, has beliefs. The elite have none. It is easier to fill a vacuum than to argue people out of their principles. Israel has provided the greatest opportunity to do this, though questions of free speech and due process have also proved to be flashpoints. This is, ironically, the place where complaints about the many, many procedural irregularities in Trump’s trial will be most useful; liberal elites love process, and hate when it’s subverted. Which is precisely why you saw formerly anti-Trump liberals like Sequoia co-founder Sean Maguire donate $300k to President Trump’s campaign after the verdict. These people are powerful and can see the writing on the wall; they know that what can be done to Trump can be done to anyone else who gets too big for the woke commissars’ tastes.

Thirdly, the Right must show itself capable of defeating woke activist ideas at a substantive level. We say “substantive” because this has to take place not merely in the realm of perception, but at an institutional level. Reversing woke policies, removing leftist subversives in the civil service, and crafting new policies which are both popular and practically difficult to reverse must take precedence. This will require a unique form of message discipline which blends policy moves with principles of marketing, and which can exploit the Left’s increasingly shrill and outrageous behavior to drive public support for conservative governance, while also minimizing opportunities for the Left to exploit publicly damaging behavior on the Right. For all our disagreements with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), his “Parental Rights in Education” bill (and the way in which it weaponized and then destroyed the Left’s freakout over “Don’t Say Gay”) was a model for this kind of policy.

But most important of all, the Right has got to win this election. To be seen as a viable counterweight to the woke frenzies which America has rightly grown sick of, we’ve got to show that we’re able to crush them at the ballot box. This is not a sufficient condition for victory, but it is a necessary one. So don’t get mad, conservatives. Get even.

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