In broader terms the first thing the protesters want is essentially conservative. They are demanding that the changes made by the Obama administration be preserved and in the fullness of time, expanded. But those changes were much more effective at changing government policy than the broader culture, and the Trump election was to some extent, a reflection of that.
That’s an opinion of course, though I think it’s a well supported one. Trump’s actions are being cheered by a his supporters, and are seen by Trump as a fulfillment of campaign promises. Those supporters view this is a removal of government imposed tyranny, and a reversion to the mean with regard to the gap between policy and our culture. In their description it’s our culture reasserting its primacy over our government policy.
But that’s the other thing the protesters want. They want to ban the principle of policy mean reversion, that our system with its periodic elections, was specifically designed to deliver. They don’t object to change in government policy, so long as it’s a change in their direction. Few Americans think of our government as periodically mean reverting, but they intuitively appreciate it. “They have their turn for a while and then we have ours.” And the changes required to remove this phenomenon would be so dramatic and literally “totalitarian” that virtually all Americans would object to it. The banning of free elections and the like.
But that doesn’t stop the thoughtless, self-absorbed, internally oblivious and spectacularly ironic, idiot protesters. This nascent revolt is the least self-reflective revolution in human history. Psychological projection is a fixture of it, and the rioters continually perform the very actions that they claim to be protesting. All for the explicit purpose of preventing open debate of the issues.
They don’t want to have to change the minds of the culture at large, and feel that government policy should be enough to ‘instruct’ those that disagree with them. In fact they feel that the burden of arguing for their views on anything but religious moral grounds is a kind of insult. They are cultists who are raging against nature, and view nature’s persistent imposition of facts on their worldview as a kind of tyranny itself.
Only 2 genders? “Fascist!” Different groups of people behave differently? “Racism and Xenophobia!” Women and men have differing strengths and weaknesses? “Misogyny!” They will broach no heresy to their dogma, and are happy to burn down all the naturally occurring implicit structures of society, to impose their views.
They intuitively know that their arguments are so weak that they can’t withstand any critical examination. So they “shut down” contradictory speakers, and pepper spray their supporters, or pelt them with rocks, batteries, and spittle flecked slander. They demand that the right return to it’s previously defensive and ineffective stance, where the moral arguments were all conceded, and only the means were ever debated.
But since the arrival of the Alt-right in the public awareness, that’s not going to fly anymore. The right is now aggressive, persistent, defiant, and unwilling to concede the moral argument. You can call us Nazis and we don’t care. We won’t be cowed by your facile accusations. You want to shut us down you have to engage in the debate and be persuasive. But they know they can’t, so like any spoiled child, they resort to violence.
No one except Robert Reich, Nancy Pelosi and the idiots in Hollywood and the media are on their side. And the American public is not taking their moral cues from those idiots anymore. Not when there are so many other rationally offered opinions on the matter to be considered.
The Alt-Right is willing to punch back in self defense - twice as hard as the antifa crybabies. And most of the people I've spoken to about it are glad of it. They may not understand the views of the alt-right, and they may not agree with those views if they do. But they are universally happy that someone is willing to stand up to these children. And that's not fertile ground for an actual revolution.
PS - I can't figure out how you're supposed to write Antifa, so I'm trying all the options here. I'll make an aesthetic decision in the fullness of time, but with any luck it will be washed away by history (probably in a haze of pot smoke) before I decide.