The conflict, which on the surface seems so unequal, with an emboldened and violent right against a demoralized and disorganized left, is not as one-sided as it looks at first. It is unequal but it is also highly asymmetrical. The right has the weaponry and an electoral system weighted overwhelmingly in its favor. The left has money and tech.
Steve King was, in a sense, absolutely correct about the armed status of the two sides. Half of Republicans own a gun, compared with 21% of Democrats. But that gap, though wide, is closing. In 2020, 40% of gun buyers were new buyers. There was a 58% rise in gun sales to African Americans in 2020 over 2019. In 2021, women were nearly half of new gun buyers, an astonishing statistic. The real structural advantage the right possesses is not military but electoral. By 2040, 30% of the country will control 70% of the Senate. The institutions of the US government distinctly favor those who want to destroy it. Every Democrat who fights to end the filibuster is fighting for their own future irrelevance, or rather for the acceleration of their own irrelevance.
Two essential facts of the 2020 election should give leftwing partisans hope, however. Biden-voting counties amounted to 70% of GDP, while 60% of college-educated voters chose Biden. That is to say, the left-democratic wing of America is the productive and educated part of the country. One way of looking at the American political condition of the moment is that the leftwing part of the US has built the networks that have left behind the rightwing part. The networks are the left’s strength.