I’m about to piss off both sides with a single sentence. Here goes:
The alt-right is a far bigger threat than the anarcho-communist left for the same reason Islamic extremism is a bigger threat than Christian extremism.
Our esteemed president, with his usual statesmanship and full grasp of the issues, just returned to his equating the alt-right with the “alt-left” at his Trump Tower presser just now, thus flying in the face of the statement he issued only yesterday. Granted, it’s been a long, long time since he suffered the questions of the press in his presence, so perhaps he was just off his game. But more likely: He honestly buys the FoxNews line that, well, both sides are bad, so why waste time pointing fingers?
The conservative press, even outside of the Breitbart/Alex Jones fever swamps, has been pressing this line since the Charlottesville riots.
“Dear alt-right white supremacists and leftist Antifa thugs, you deserve each other,” wrote Matt Walsh on a piece posted on The Blaze.
“If you base your political platform on identity politics (antifa, BLM, alt right) & not the spirit of freedom, I’m not on your side,” tweeted the NRA’s Dana Loesch, herself not entirely unsympathetic to the practice, if not the ideals, of fascism.
NRO editor Rich Lowry praised the equation of the two sides: “This doesn’t make the neo-Nazis any better; they are obviously evil… But anti-fa is also hate-filled and violent and was spoiling for a fight. Any person of good will committed to liberal values should be perfectly happy to denounce them both.”
Know what? I do denounce both extremes. Here’s a post worrying about the rise of the alt-left from just last month. And here’s an older post on the far left’s corruption of the university. I cannot be accused of being a fifth columnist. Indeed, circa 1968, one could easily make the case that the far left represented the greater threat to the Republic.
But here’s the thing. Today, in 2017, only one side wants to kill me. And it ain’t the side wearing the bandanas and hoodies.
Sure, of course it can change over time. The political realities for a resident of Warsaw in 1940 were far different from one in 1950. But right now, as I write this, of the two sides, only the alt-right would follow through on an urge to kill a secular New Yorker such as myself.
This is not denying that the most rabid elements of the left are just as totalitarian and eager to put their boots on the necks of humanity as the fascists. A glance through communist postings on social media is all it takes. But for now, they lack either the numbers or the murderous intent of their enemies.
For what are the crimes of the far left? At this point, they mainly consist of smashing windows, bullying dissenting viewpoints on campus, and brawling with their enemies. All concerning, to be sure.
But all with zero body count.
Know what the recent crimes of the alt-right are?
- A white supremacist in Portland, Ore., murdered two men who were trying to stop his verbal harassment of a black and a Muslim.
- A black Army officer was murdered by a neo-Nazi simply because he was black.
- A crazed white supremacist murdered an elderly black man here in NYC because, as he soon confessed, he just wanted to murder black men.
- An alt-right loser drove his car into a crowd of liberal and leftist protestors in Charlottesville, killing one and injuring several. The Neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer celebrated the attack and taunted the victim, leading to GoDaddy to kick it off its service.
And that’s just a selection from 2017 only. I’m not even bringing Timothy McVeigh into it.
I’ve been in #BLM protest marches here in NYC. I was at the OWS “reunion” in 2012. I’ve seen lefty protesters with my own eyes. The vast majority are peaceful, want only the best for everyone, and even go out of their way to praise and support the NYPD to show they are no threat. Hate on DeRay all you want… but does anyone seriously think he could possibly be a violent threat to anyone?
Yes, there are some leftists that… veer the other way. Yes, they are assholes. Yes, they can smash windows, torch convenience stores and brawl with Nazis. But, as of now, they do not murder. Their major crimes are property crimes — which isn’t nothing, sure, but also a far cry from murder. If they brawl with anyone, it is only with the alt-right which is also spoiling for a fight.
I know which side is worse.
Which brings up the fundie Christian vs. fundie Islamic comparison. On this, I’m sorry to say to any liberal who reads this: Bill Maher and Sam Harris are absolutely right.
As of now, Christian fundies want to post the Ten Commandants in public areas, restrict women’s access to contraception, and take away LGBT rights. Islamic fundies want to execute heretics, literally enslave women, and throw LGBT people off rooftops.
Sure, things can and do change over time. Circa the year 1100, the situation was reversed. There was no question that the Christians were far more brutal and savage in that age. But we do not live in the year 1100. And we do not live in the 1920s or 1960s when anarchists/leftists waged bombing campaigns.
A Christian fundie will not try to murder me if I disagree with them, and neither will a member of Antifa. That’s the difference. It isn’t that complex. And if and when the balance shifts the other way, I will (not so) happily acknowledge it.