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Often, massive historic events are triggered by a single iconic moment. People who have put up with chronic repression will seize upon a single iconic moment to push back.

Britain had been heavily taxing the American colonies for quite a while, but it was the tax on tea that got ordinary people, not ideologues, angry.

In 1963, when Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in Saigon to protest Ngô Đình Diệm’s Roman Catholic-based persecution against Buddhists, the photo of that moment led to a coup against Diệm, triggering the decade-long Vietnam war.

The dislocations of the Arab Spring started the same way, in 2010, when Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian, self-immolated to protest government harassment.


What may prove to be a turning point in 2024 is the murder of 31-year-old NYPD officer Jonathan Diller. That’s because his tragic death operates at the intersection of so many Democrat party policies and values, exposing the rot behind all of them.

Diller, who left behind a wife and infant son, was shot to death by a recidivist; that is, a repeat criminal. But this was no ordinary recidivist. In the old days, that might have meant someone who had, at the very least, spent some time in prison.

Under the new rules, though, Diller’s killer, whom I will not give the dignity of naming, had an endless history of previous arrests…21 in total at last word. Nor were these inconsequential arrests for things such as jaywalking or graffiti.

Instead, the killer, who was arrested with a gun in his hand and shiv carefully stowed in his rectum, was arrested for violent crimes. In a sane society, the killer would have been in prison until he was dead or too old to commit crimes. But thanks to the demons unleashed on society by the BLM movement, the killer—a black man with a Hispanic name—was out on the streets and armed.

For leftists, his race meant he was society’s victim, no matter the carnage he deliberately rained down upon those caught in his path.


There have been many such shootings since leftists seized upon the self-inflicted death of a drugged-up felon in Minneapolis to remake criminal justice in leftist cities across America:

In a telling visual, the two presumptive presidential candidates approached Diller’s death very differently. Biden hasn’t said a single word about it. Indeed, at the same time that Diller’s funeral was taking place, Joe Biden was attending a lavish fundraiser where people (including Hamas activists) paid as much as $500,000 to get in.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump attended Diller’s funeral, where he was warmly greeted, unlike New York governor Kathy Hochul, who was barred from entry.

Of course, the fact is that Biden cannot speak about Jonathan Diller’s slaying. His base sides entirely with the criminal class, not law enforcement. Representatives of law enforcement, meanwhile, turned out in the thousands for Diller’s funeral:

When a country’s criminal justice system fails, the country fails. In Mexico, a completely broken country, we see people taking the law into their own hands. That’s what happened in Guerrero, Mexico, where enraged residents lynched three people accused of kidnapping and murdering an eight-year-old girl. One person, a woman, died from the beating she sustained. It’s a reminder that a lawful society protects both the innocent and the allegedly guilty.

It’s to be hoped that Americans don’t wish to slip into the dystopian anarchy that they see in Haiti, large parts of Africa, and Mexico (and that Mexico is importing, via Biden’s open borders, into America).

Officer Diller’s death, the reasons behind it, and the Democrat response to it should be a loud warning bell that this election is our last chance to pull back from the abyss of anarchy and vigilantism.


Andrea Widburg is the deputy editor of American Thinker.