From Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness, Trumped Out:

But these are not normal times. There is (for now) no longer a Democratic Party. Instead, it is a revolutionary Jacobin movement that believes socialism is our salvation, that identity politics is our creed, that gun confiscation is our duty, that the abrupt end of fossil fuels is coming very soon, that open borders is our new demography, and that the archetypical unmarried, childless, urban hipster is our model woke citizen.

Hanson also used the term in American’s New Jacobins:

There were also other parents who birthed the new Jacobinism. The campus now led the progressive movement, as everything from identity politics to safe spaces was imported and institutionalized as the new Democratic Socialist party dogma. Again, nowhere was that more apparent than in the Kavanaugh hearings. Democrats more or less appropriated the hearings and turned them into a campus-like inquest into sexual harassment charges—thereby discarding calcified constitutional traditions such as due process and the rights of the accused to a presumption of innocence, rigorous cross-examination, and the protections from hearsay and accusations well beyond any statute of limitations.

The Halls of Congress resembled the campus protests that had met a Ben Shapiro or Charles Murray when they dared give  a campus speech. Protestors bullied senators as enemies of the people and turned the senate gallery into a veritable campus quad. On the theory that both parties were controlled by aging white people soon to be irrelevant (given their spent and tired constituencies), the youth and diversity of the campus also inspired a national radical drift.

The new sectarianism has also inspired the Jacobins. Globalization, open borders, deindustrialization, and red- and blue-state polarization have intensified old political divides into new additional regional animosities. The Democratic Socialists are the party of the coasts and of the cities, where most of the high-tech industries, national politics, and universities are anchored. The hipster profile of a thirty-something, unmarried, childless, urban renter and loft-dweller is the new Democrat icon, not the blue-collar, lunch-pail bloke fighting commuter traffic in his used car to get home to his working wife, kids, and mortgaged tract house. Think of the recent Democrat campaign film, “Life of Julia,” or the “Pajama Boy” Obamacare ad. The new radicals believe that they are not just the future of the Democrat Party, but also are avatars of global culture itself, especially ecumenical ideas such as using the state to replace fossil fuels, subordinating nationalism to continental or world governance, and recalibrating the U.S Constitution as something akin to the looser protocols that govern most other countries.


Hanson’s Jacobin moniker is more accurate than ‘progressive’.  It is a far more radical, illiberal, and often violent way to move  the political needle. It is different than populism;  it shares impatience and passion but lacks a root to the old order.  Among populists you sense a love for the country, even if it is an older version of it; with the Jacobins you sense a disgust for the country. One could argue that the Jacobin wing of the Democratic Party is just a violent radical populist movement, but its lack of civil restraints make it far more dangerous.

Over 100 years the Progressives have come to grips with the constitution and its principles,  working originally through amendments and then through the administrative state to accomplish their objectives.

The Jacobin Democrats were is full display during the Kavanaugh hearing.  It was a mob rejecting any pretense to any established order.  We saw it in the resistance after Trump’s election, but not in the halls of Congress.  We saw it for years on display on college campuses where respected speakers are attacked, shouted down, and disinvited.  We saw it in the recent Oberlin bakery case.

The slate of Democratic candidates propose radical programs from the Green New Deal to reparations, eliminating the electoral college, taxing wealth, federal registration (and control) of corporations, forgiving college debt, free college, confiscating firearms, abolishing ICE, open borders, sanctuary cities, and whatever other idea crosses their mind with no consideration of the cost or social consequence. Real problems with real solutions requiring real compromise are nowhere on their agenda.

Attacking elected officials in public places becomes acceptable.  Like the original Jacobins they would be unable to handle power if they ever got it; they would turn on each other with the same violence they display to the opposition.

The public may be turning more sympathetic to progressive and socialist doctrine, but that sympathy may not extend to the violence and intolerance of the Jacobin Democrats.