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The Return of the Grassroots Right

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Amy Jahr sings The Star Spangled Banner after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Va., June 22, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

A surge of energetic conservative protests presents an unusual opportunity.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n America’s popular imagination, street protests — raised fists and colorful signs, marches and megaphone-led chants — are a distinctly left-wing phenomenon. From union strikes to Saul Alinsky–style “direct actions,” mass movements seem to carry far more romantic appeal for the Left than for the Right. Progressivism has traditionally understood itself as the politics of picket lines and sit-ins; conservatism tends to find its political center of gravity at Rotary Clubs, church meetings, and dinner tables in sleepy bedroom communities.

This presents an issue for conservatives. Protests — so long as they remain nonviolent — can be enormously effective. Even as

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