(CITY JOURNAL) -- The resurgence of public protests in support of Hamas has revealed a disturbing truth: the left-wing rioting following George Floyd’s death in 2020 was not an anomaly, but a tactic that activists can repurpose for any cause. Whether by coincidence or design, these recent outbursts could be a dress rehearsal for possible violence during next year’s election campaign.
Conservative leaders must prepare for that prospect. To prevent 2020 from repeating itself in 2024, conservatives need to consider what might spark a riot, how it can be prevented, and how to understand and manage the politics of rioting.
First, what could generate a riot season? Left-wing agitation has some familiar causes: a police-involved death of a black person; an international conflict; an economic crisis. But another threat looms. Former president Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, faces multiple criminal indictments. Trump may well be convicted and imprisoned, likely yielding explosive consequences, including possible violence from both sides of the ideological divide.