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Dems also betrayed all principles by implicitly endorsing any rioting.

Are some riots permissible when others are deplorable? Certainly not. Individuals who damage property and conduct attacks, whether against law enforcement officers or civilians, should face consequences, regardless of the cause they claim to support.

However, contemporary liberals oppose this just and universal ideal. They maintain that while some riots deserve legal protection, others must be harshly repressed. It all depends on the rioters' politics.

Certain members of Congress, such as the excitable Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), are cheering the prospect of another round of Black Lives Matter riots, er, "peaceful protests," if the Derek Chauvin trial does not go their way. Additionally, they are outraged by a recent Florida law that increases the penalties for those who take to the streets to commit crime.

Yet some of the same leftists are now demanding that authorities throw the book at Trump supporters who engaged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. They also support the District of Columbia authorities' refusal to provide more details about the officer who shot and killed one of those entering the US Capitol.

Maxine Waters also encouraged protesters to disregard curfews imposed by the police as a means of protest.
Maxine Waters also encouraged protesters to disregard curfews imposed by the police as a means of protest.

The apparent double standard is infuriating: According to the left, one party of protesters should be allowed to commit mayhem. Another party needs to be imprisoned as seditious insurrectionists, and the police-involved murder of one of them should and must be overlooked.

This is the most eloquent demonstration of how the new left subordinates all values to the distinction between political friend and foe: The Democratic Party views itself as an ally of a particular group of violent protesters, whose excesses must be accepted as an understandable response to racial injustice; the adversary must be punished.

America's innocent citizens will bear the brunt of this cynicism and irresponsibility. As the Chauvin trial draws to a close, the atmosphere in Minneapolis is particularly charged. But some Democrats seem to be prioritizing promoting more explosive rioting along the lines of what occurred last year. Waters was recently in Minnesota protesting the police shooting of Daunte Wright, which sparked nationwide violence.

Waters advised protesters to "be more confrontational" with law enforcement if the Chauvin jurors make an incorrect decision (by her political lights). Not long after she said those words, a group of “mostly peaceful” demonstrators committed a drive-by shooting of National Guardsmen stationed in the area to guard against riots.

Thus, the Florida bill is required. While the law makes it easier for police to prosecute rioters, it also protects the right to peaceful protest. It's a prudent response to the fact that last summer, when rioters set fire to shops, assaulted public buildings, and generally caused mayhem, police were often told to stand down.

And when arrests were made, rioters were often released rapidly, reinforcing the perception that those committing violence in the name of a trendy cause such as BLM did not face consequences. Several were soon bailed out by funds promoted by then-Sen. Kamala Harris, who is now the United States' vice president.

It is nonsense to assert that the Florida bill would have a chilling impact on First Amendment exercise. Likewise, the American Civil Liberties Union's assertion that anti-rioting laws are "racist" is false.

However, the harsh treatment meted out to the Capitol rioters — who are no less worthy of retribution than BLM and antifa hooligans for violating the law — seems to obfuscate the left. Indeed, Waters and some of her Democratic House colleagues are suing former President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting a riot — despite the fact that they seem to be encouraging the very same behavior in Minnesota.

They cannot get their cake and eat it too. Florida is correct to take a hard line against politically motivated crime, and the rest of the country will be wise to follow suit. Those who offer amnesty to one party of rioters while punishing another harshly are not simply being hypocritical. They are accomplishing just what they accused Trump of in January: undermining the rule of law.

Once political and cultural leaders give a nod to rioting, once unanimously denounced actions, the rioting will spread beyond their chosen causes. Sending a message of approval to one group can very well encourage other groups to follow suit. The danger to our civic structure is immeasurable.