In the months since Vermuele’s essay appeared, the mood among conservative intellectuals has turned darker and more desperate, as the likelihood of Trump winning re-election has diminished — and as the president himself has begun to use federal officers to quash protests on the streets of American cities over the objection of local elected officials, while also repeatedly suggesting that voter fraud in the upcoming election could render its results illegitimate.

Just how dark and desperate is the right becoming? So much so that it is now increasingly common to find conservative writers flirting openly with ideas that clearly point in the direction of outright political radicalism — including talk of civil war, permanently purging liberals from political office and positions of cultural influence, the need for revolutionary action, and hopes for a “refounding” of America using “regime-level power.”

This is how political actors talk when they have lost faith in the legitimacy of the political opposition and begin dreaming of overthrowing the system as a whole in favor of one that will be more inclined to place people like themselves in (potentially permanent) positions of power.