DON’T SILENCE THEM. ATTACK THE IDEOLOGY OF THE CHARLOTTESVILLE FASCISTS.
After the violence in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, many have rightfully sounded the alarm about the dangerous rise of identity politics in the United States. This ugly conception has no place in the mainstream discourse. Here’s the best way to tackle the extremist rhetoric spewed and violent actions carried out by members of these groups.
1. Let them speak
Silencing speech is antithetical to the founding of this nation. Government censorship of speech based on wholly subjective matters is a terrifying proposition — one that can be harnessed by a future leader to impose fascism in America. Sunlight is the time-tested, best disinfectant to hateful speech. Treat fascists like the inbred members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Mock them, denounce them, and trash their ideology, but don’t trample on their rights as Americans.
2. Maintain law and order
Hateful people have the right to say whatever they want; they do not have the right to transition that speech into actionable force upon other people. The role of the police is to protect the former while preventing the latter.
During the clashes between the neo-Nazis and far-left fascists in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, the police were nowhere to be found. According to the ACLU, political operatives told police not to “intervene until given command to do so.”
When the neo-Nazis and communists were reenacting World War II’s Eastern Front battles, police were ordered to stand down for reasons unknown. The escalating violence eventually led to an act of horrific terror, in which an apparent neo-Nazi drove into a counter-protesting crowd, killing one individual and injuring 19 more.
Our political leaders must entrust police with enforcing law and order, while protecting our constitutional rights. Rioters should never be granted free space to destroy property and attack innocents. It only empowers their totalitarian cause.
3. Condemn all forms of fascism and totalitarianism
Don’t be a hypocrite: Condemn the communist fascists of Antifa, the white nationalist fascists who claim a place on the Right, the Islamo-fascists who preach sharia law, and others who seek to impose their will on the rights of the individual. They forward a supremely evil, collectivist, ethno-supremacist, racist, anti-American ideology.
With so much in common, these elements tend to overlap from time to time. For example, Jason Kessler, the organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, was once reportedly a member of the radical Occupy Wall Street movement.
In one such example of hypocrisy that has exploded on social media, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe refused to also condemn the Antifa members who rioted in Charlottesville, choosing only to single out the white nationalist crowd for agitating rhetoric.
Democrats who refuse to denounce Antifa, for fear of alienating their base, have no place in a major political party in America. The same goes for Republicans who worry that denouncing white nationalist elements may harm them politically.
4. Attack their ideology
Across the political spectrum, many were disappointed with President Trump’s boilerplate condemnation of “both” sides following the violence in Charlottesville.
It’s not enough for President Trump to merely denounce the “hate.” He also has a duty to identify and refute the ideology that serves as the basis for hatred, so that others can join him in distinguishing between our civil society and the haters who seek to divide us.
On Monday, President Trump took a step in the right direction in denouncing the white nationalist, neo-Nazi ugliness that was on display in Charlottesville.
But there’s still more that he can do to isolate and marginalize these outfits. Here’s how former President Ronald Reagan, a proficient ideological warrior, addressed the extremist groups.
Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party as only its seventh member. It’s past time for all responsible, freedom-loving people to stop these nefarious elements before they continue picking up steam and entering into our mainstream politics.