The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Houston or Berkeley

The trained hamsters in the media are trying very hard to ignore or minimize (one story and done) the alt-Left violence that is spreading weekly. The latest example comes from (where else?) Berkeley, CA, but it isn't unique or very surprising. Masked groups like antifa are referred to as "demonstrators" while they use clubs and wooden shields to attack people whose message they don't like (those people in Berkeley, by the way, were not overt KKK, neo-Nazis or white supremacists). The police in some uber-progressive cities stand back allow the violence to happen.

Ben Shapiro draws an interesting comparison:
Over the weekend, we saw the best of America: Americans helping Americans in Houston. Race, creed, color — none of it mattered. Americans were in need, and other Americans moved to help them.

Meanwhile, in Berkeley, we saw the worst of America: Americans, garbed in black, helmeted, wearing bandannas over their faces, assaulting peaceful protesters merely there to exercise their free speech rights. We saw the police stand down. We saw assaults in the streets.

So, what’s the difference between Americans in Houston and Americans in Berkeley?

The existential threat.

... To define our existential threat, in other words, we must define ourselves. And right now, we’re breaking down along tribal lines, along class lines. We’re not breaking down along the lines of principles: non-violence in politics; free speech; rights inherent in human individuals free of government. The founding vision has been undermined, and so we search out abroad in favor of new dragons to slay. Meanwhile, the real dragons grow at home, in the form of those who see the founding vision as the problem.
White supremacist groups have always been around. They represent a tiny percentage (estimate at 0.006 percent) of the population. They do NOT represent an existential threat, although they are certainly despicable. The alt-Left has also been around for about a century. For those of us old enough to remember the 1960s, analogous alt-Left groups (e.g., the Weather Underground) claimed that their opposition to "the system" and the Vietnam War justified violence. The media, then at least trying to establish a patina of objectivity, called them out. They were generally condemned by the public at large.

There will always be an alt-Right and an alt-Left. The problem today is that a biased and dishonest media exaggerates the threat of one (the alt-Right) and minimizes or even applauds the violent actions of the other (the alt-Left).* The danger is that the public reacts by thinking that the fascistic actions and violence of the alt-Left are somehow justified or acceptable.

Houston or Berkeley? You decide.


* It appears that this is beginning to change. The likes of CNN and WaPo have begun referring to antifa as "militants" and use the word "violence" when referring to their actions. That's a start.

The reason, I think, may be that antifa could become a real albatross for Democrats in 2018, unless their violent, fascist tactics are universally condemned by Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media. It will be interesting to see whether prominent left-wing Dems (e.g., Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and rising star Kamala Harris) come out and unequivocally condemn antifa and other alt-Left groups. I'm waiting ...