Yesterday, Nazis and Communists fought each other in Virginia, much as they duked it out in Germany in the 1930’s.
Goddam Nazis and Goddam Communists. Swastikas and Hammer and Sickles.
Now, not all members of the alt-right are Nazis, but they truck with them, and they engage in common cause, and I think they’re tainted by them. There’s a lot racists who aren’t also national socialists, but it feels an awful lot like the Alt-Right doesn’t seem to mind them being there.
Now look, here’s my take on the Alt-Right (and their defenders) and a few ways of looking at them:
- The racist edge of Republican Politics. This is non-helpful. They are, strictly speaking, not Republicans. They showed up for Trump, but wouldn’t have for Rubio. They are anti-free market, pro-big government, and, in-general, against most of the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party. They’re the racist wing of American Politics, and they’ll swing R or D based on whose running. These are the blue-dog Democrats that Clinton and Gore (two Southerners) tried to woo. They don’t mind Nazis as long as everyone is white. Examples: David Duke.
- The defenders of Western Civilization against a domestic threat to the nation. This is how most of them see themselves. The Alt-Right looks at Detroit and says “This is what happens when we let black people be in charge.” It looks at Ferguson and says, “Ferguson used to be a very nice place when it was white, and it turned into a hell-hole when black people moved there.” It looks around their own little small town and says, “This place was great 20 years ago, and now all these Mexicans are here illegally.” Theirs is not a terribly nuanced understanding of how demographics work, or how big H History works, or how the forces of Macroeconomics works, but it’s an easy message to sell to a lot of people. They don’t mind Nazis because Nazis are fighting for the same culture they are (they think). In terms of racism, you’d be hard pressed to find actual racists in this group, as most of them are okay with the idea of slow immigration as long as it’s accompanied by integration. Examples: Victor Davis Hanson (whose endless columns about the Mexicanization of California are easily obtained).
- Fed-up conservatives who got mugged by an Atticus Finch* moment. The American Center (which is a better term than “Conservative”) generally believes that free speech is important and that the American Way includes winning over your opponents by rational arguments that appeal to their better nature. For some, though, the game appears overwhelmingly rigged by a media infested with Communists (the enemies of the American Center are Autocracy and Socialism–which is an umbrella of both Fascism and Communism). For them, trying to win a nuanced debate when your enemy holds all the cards is tantamount to bringing a spork to a gun fight, and so they’re willing to make common cause with one branch of Socialism (Fascism) to fight the other branch of Socialism (Communism) that they see as a bigger threat. In general, there is no racism or Nazism here. Example: Ann Coulter.
In terms of relative sizes, the Western Civilization Defenders make up (by far) the largest group, probably followed by the racists and then the ex-conservatives. But all of them, even if they’re willing to say “I don’t support Nazis” are willing to march with them.
And so, it is hard for me to be sympathetic to their plight. Screw ’em.
Frustratingly, though, is the fact that the Alt-Right is absolutely correct in that most institutions in America (especially schools, the media, and one of the two major parties) has been completely taken over by Communists, and that attempts to oppose Communism in Academia, the Media, or the Democrat Party through reasoned argument or debate is impossible, because all non-Communists will be shouted down, ignored, or excommunicated.
Here’s the thing. Do some google searches on “Alt-Right condemns Nazis” and you’ll pull up some stuff where prominent people in the Alt-Right at least pay lip service to the fact that they’re uncomfortable marching with Nazis. Then do some google searches on “Antifa condemns Communists” and you get nothing.
This is because the entire–the entire–left-wing, social justice movement not only marches with Communism, but actively supports it. It is red, root to branch.
So on one side of the protests, you have (mostly) a group of people who don’t want America to turn into the United States of Detroit (which is kind of hard to argue against), but who accept among their ranks a few neo-Nazi cranks.
And on the other side, you’ve got a mass of violent communists, intent on overthrowing the government and murdering the kulaks in their sleep (which plan this kulak is a little uncomfortable with…).
Part of me wants to believe that there are still enough of us left in the middle that can condemn both sides, but part of me also knows that the death of freedom in a nation is a one-way ratchet. It’s a zip tie noose that only gets tighter and tighter.
When American freedom fails, there will be nowhere else for it to flourish. If the arsenal of democracy becomes the arsenal of communism, there will be no place where freedom can exist, no lender of last resort, so to speak.
Oremus metus meos falsos…
*In To Kill a Mockingbird, the woman accusing the black defendant of rape assures the jury that he attacked her using his left hand, which it turns out he doesn’t have. This and other evidence overwhelmingly clears Tom of the crime, but he’s convicted anyway, which causes the reader to truly understand that the game is rigged by outside forces.