In response to the events in August in Charlottesville, Virginia which resulted in the death of one woman and other injuries (and precious few arrests), there has been much hand-wringing as we on the Right distance ourselves from the more unsavory characters and groups who have attached themselves to the movement known as “conservatism.”
The actions of both the neo-Nazis who assembled in Emancipation Park and who marched through the campus of the University of Virginia the night before were clearly abhorrent, as were/are their views. President Donald Trump’s characterization that there was violence on both sides- an absolute fact- was met with derision, scorn, ridicule and disgust. His initial statement, which admittedly looked like a hostage video, called out by name the neo-Nazis and KKK, legitimate hate groups. The following day, not sticking to the script, he stated that there was violence on both sides and that there were some “nice people” on both sides.
Video evidence clearly proves his first assertion- that there was violence instigated by both sides. The second assertion is harder to prove because it sure did not appear there were nice people in either group. Perhaps the nice people abandoned ship with the first signs of violence.
This tendency by the media that somehow portrays the violence in different lights depending on the group is not new. During Trump’s Inauguration while thugs with scarves over their faces were blocking entrances, setting cars on fire and throwing newspaper dispensers through windows, we were told it was “sporadic violence” as if the qualifying “sporadic” made the violence any less real. There was nary a story about the cancellation of the Rose Parade in Portland, Oregon over fear of violence from these same thugs because the local Republican Party- not neo-Nazis or KKK- dared to have a float in the parade.
A night of violence in Berkeley, California over the speaking appearance of a gay alt-right person concentrated more on the rhetoric of Milo Yiannopolous than the actual violence. Meanwhile, other speakers were denied a platform to speak because their views did not match up with the thugs in the streets. The Left even went after their own at Evergreen University in Washington. And the list can go on.
If conservatism means an appreciation of order and an adherence to the law, then conservatism has failed by not calling out this moral dichotomy of the violence, mayhem and deaths on the hands of both sides now. Only recently has there been a discussion about the Leftist thugs like antifa. It is a shame that Nancy Pelosi beat Paul Ryan to a denunciation of the group.
The actions of James Fields- the loser who ran his speeding car into a crowd of people- was abhorrent and he deserves the full penalty of the law. And most conservatives called it out for what it was. Compare this with the lack of “calling out” when a person runs amok on a military base shooting soldiers while yelling “Allah Akbar!!” It was workplace violence, remember?
When the heinous act involves the Right (and I posit Nazis-neo or otherwise- are NOT the Right), there is immediate condemnation. In fact, there does not even have to be truth involved. I am thinking of some Duke lacrosse players, a gang of rapists roaming the campus of the University of Virginia, and that “gentle giant” in Ferguson, Missouri. Jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in makes you morally virtuous.
Liberals have conservatives behind the eight ball right from the start. A simple whisper of the word “racist” sends conservatives running for cover or to Twitter to denounce the violence as one-sided. One wonders what the media portrayal of the events in Virginia would have been had a nutcase from antifa run a car into a group of neo-Nazis. One can surmise there would not be such pontificating and hand-wringing. A day’s coverage and let’s move on to Trump’s latest Tweet, or the new iPhone.
A good liberal friend of mine is all for “punching a Nazi in the face.” His rationale: we fought a war against Nazis to give us a right to punch them in their faces. When reminded that we fought a war against the Nazis to allow them the right to speak (that is, to defend basic values), he becomes silent and perplexed. And dismissive.
To the Left, James Hodgkinson, a Bernie supporter who opened fire on a group of Republican Congress members practicing for a charity softball game, was not trying to commit mass murder. He was just fighting some “Nazis.” In the wake of the Dallas police shootings, not more than 12 hours later Hillary Clinton barely paused to note their deaths or condemn the killer, yet in the same time span in the speech mentioned the “implicit bias” of the police.
And this is what the Left does- condemn and then there is the inevitable “but.” When the Right does it, you are a Nazi sympathizer, if not an actual Nazi, or a white supremacist and you are shut down. Get used to it if you haven’t already.
The mainstream media is a big booster of this new moral relativism. They, along with CEOs of tech companies, are gleefully tracking hate groups and purging their ranks of those who disagree with them. The Left even acknowledges that corporations are now the arbiters of public morality- that is, political correctness. But, the Left has no fear of being harangued by corporations or the media. They are not a “street movement,” but a gaggle of scolds usually regurgitating the lines of John Oliver or Samantha Bee.
It is a strange coalition of actual Communists, capitalists and establishment Democrats all opposed to free speech. What is sad is that there are now Republicans and some conservatives actually considering that maybe we have taken this free speech thing too far. In the wake of Charlottesville, we had finger-wagging, head-shaking and pearl clutching taken to extremes best exemplified by Mitt Romney who, by the way, no one really cares about his opinion.
In an attempt to morally posture oneself, did anyone bother to check the facts of Trump’s statements? Was all the violence really instigated by the neo-Nazis? Were they the only ones waving sticks, throwing bottles of urine, and engaging in other violent actions? The ideologues in their effort to reach the high moral ground throw facts by the wayside. Anything that contradicts the narrative is “evil” and cannot therefore be factual.
Was there Leftist violence at Charlottesville? Of course, because the Left has traditionally used violence to protest a sunny day. While they were protesting and harassing those attending a Trump rally or speech, did anyone see violence from anyone on the Right around a Bernie or Hillary appearance?
This moral relevancy has become so skewed that if one expresses an idea or thought that goes against the Leftist mantra, it IS violence, or the threat of violence. Therefore, shutting down the thought or idea is justified, even if it means urinating in a water bottle and throwing it at someone. Mere words are now violence while actual violence has become justice.
A CNN headline sympathetically portrayed a group of thugs as promoting peace through violence. We clearly live in Orwellian times.
The following week a free speech rally in Boston left Boston journalists asking where the Nazis were. Apparently they are under everyone’s bed according to the Left. Worse than the self-justifications by the actual thugs is the justifications offered by the media and public officials when it comes to Leftist thugs. Incidentally, there were 34 arrests in Boston- none of them Nazis.
And the reason is simple. There is a difference between words and violence. Let me clear it up: one involves words, the other involves violence. When words are now equated with violence and actual violence is justified, there is no moral high ground. When “free speech” is equated with fascism or white supremacy, there is no moral high ground.
No amount of hand-wringing, pontificating, or pearl clutching by anyone on the Right will appease these scum and place you on their supposed higher moral ground. In their eyes, we are all white supremacist neo-Nazis.