As the regular readers of The Daily Chrenk know, I am not, and never was, a fan of Donald Trump. I still wake up every morning wishing that either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz was in the White House at the moment instead of a temperamental narcissist without class. But I’m equally disturbed by the unhinged nature of some political attacks against Trump.
Following the events of the past few days, you might be forgiven for thinking that Donald Trump actually invented white supremacists, skinheads and neo-Nazis, possibly sometime in March 2017; certainly it seems that these fringe political phenomena were completely unknown in the United States before the last round of Republican presidential primaries.
KKK has in fact recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. For the first hundred or so years of that history, the Klan has of course been a paramilitary vehicle of Southern Democrat racists. One of Hillary Clinton’s political mentors and idols, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, was himself the Grand Cyclops of his local chapter. He’s got some 55 objects, institutions and locations named after him – surprisingly, no one seems to be campaigning to change these names. I guess some white supremacists are more equal than others.
Fascism likewise is an old phenomenon, whose heyday undoubtedly was in the 1930s, when not insignificant sections of the American German community felt quite happy to publicly sympathise with the Fuhrer, and his renewal of Germany, in many ways more successful at the time than Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, attracted admirers from all points of the political spectrum. Ever since the war, that great crusade against Italian fascism, German Nazism and Japanese imperialism, home-grown “far right” has been very much a fringe phenomenon, insignificant either in numbers or influence and impact. But the sight of a few dozen shaved-head “Aryans” (the least convincing walking arguments for the superiority of the white race), neo-Nazi skinheads and “Christian Identity” nutjobs marching around with swastika flags has hardly been rare or unusual, particularly in various small and obscure country localities, usually attracting as little attention as they deserve.
No politician per se “allows them” to march. Their right to do so is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and often enforced by the American Civil Liberties Union, however much their attorneys might personally find the persons concerned to be vomit-inducing. This, in fact, has been the case in Charlottesville too, where the ACLU has successfully applied pressure on the local authorities to ensure that the “Vanilla ISIS” were granted the official permit to stage their tiki-lit protest, as indeed they are entitled to under the Constitution. You don’t like the First Amendment, feel free to campaign to amend it to add “…except for the Nazis and other people we don’t like”. In the meantime, the Nazi scum have the same right as the communist scum – or any other scum – to put their views across in public in a peaceful way, with an emphasis on “peaceful”.
The neo-Nazis and white supremacists continue to be numerically and otherwise insignificant. Certainly, the anti-fascists of various socialist, communist, anarchist and other radical stripes vastly outnumber “the far right” in terms of personnel, resources and organisation. The internet and the social media might have made it easier for racist misfits and losers to connect with each other, but the internet and the social media have provided the same service and benefit to all the other misfits and losers of other or no political stripe.
The antifa activists and their cheerleaders in the media and the mainstream politics are playing a dangerous game; by focusing so much attention on so few insignifants they are exaggerating the extent of the problem and making a mountain out of a fascist molehill. In that, they are repeating precisely the same mistake they have made with Donald Trump. Throughout the primaries, Trump has been given an inordinate amount of free publicity by the Democrat-friendly mainstream media, with the aim of creating mayhem in the Republican ranks and destroying the GOP’s electoral chances by subtly promoting the seemingly most ridiculous, unappealing and unelectable candidate. The cunning plan backfired; the Hillary political machine and the media have helped to create a monster, which proved too powerful to control.
Now, in an attempt to further discredit Trump and stir up trouble for the Administration, the media is similarly whipping up a tsunami of outrage over the antics of a couple of hundred of white supremacists gathered from all around the country, who clashed with a larger number of equally organised antifa activists while the police force stood down and let the two groups battle it out. The violence should not have happened. Its perpetrators are equally unsavoury – the anti-fascists were not some suburban mum and dad average concerned citizens but organised violent communist militias, which are as hostile to the neo-Nazis as they are to the mainstream of the American society, mostly because they don’t see any difference between the two (which in turn tells you much of what you need to know about antifa). The President might or might not have helped himself with his reaction to the events in Charlottesville – I will leave it to others to debate – but he is essentially right in stating that both the fascists and the antifascists were to blame for the violence and deserve equal condemnation. To condemn only the violent thugs of “the far right”, as all the best and the brightest have been shouting at him to do, would have been tantamount to granting the hero status and legitimacy to the violent thugs of the “far left”.
The smartest thing would be to starve the fascists of the oxygen of publicity. The media is pretty good at ignoring stories it doesn’t like, but to blow up a bunch of sad an repulsive losers out of all proportion serves the anti-Trump narrative, so instead of keeping things in perspective we now have a pandemonium as if the US is suddenly only one step away from the Third (or Fourth) Reich. The media and the Democrats once again are applying a side-show mirror to the society to further their political agenda and once again playing with fire. The Nazi menace is a panic largely of media creation. But panics have a tendency to acquire a life of their own.