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There are a lot of seeming contradictions in the street violence widely employed by the left. Rioters destroy their own neighborhoods. Look at Detroit, where the riots that started in 1967 have now devastated what was once one of the richest cities in the United States. Rioters in Portland attack the federal courthouse, the bailiwick of the Department of Justice, which has become a virtual tool of the left — keeping dozens of January 6 demonstrators in solitary confinements as hordes of left-wing rioters are not prosecuted or even cut free after being arrested. This raises the question: why are they turning against their own? Lee Smith, a brilliant political commentator, has a satisfying answer in Tablet. It is short, so I recommend you read the whole thing, but here is the core of his explanation: The Democratic Party has had a problem. It’s a small, incoherent, and privileged clique funded by billionaire oligarchs to push policies that even mainstream Democratic voters oppose. How to bridge the gap? The solution they chose, which party officials made clear this week, was simple: the way third-world elites always do — by using street violence to keep their clients in line.

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