Does hatred and violence reside only on the far right, as the media seems to be spinning things? Consider this recent personal anecdote.
Late last year I was attending a board dinner for the group ALEC in Pittsburgh. ALEC represents conservative state legislators around the country. The left hates ALEC because it promote conservative reforms to state government and challenges the public sector unions.
In the middle of our meal we were jolted by shouting, shrieking and banging. Shortly thereafter about 25 left-wing activists pushed past a security guard and stormed into the room. I don’t know if they were organized by unions or Moveon.org, or Black Lives Matter, or even more radical groups like Antifa.
They were mostly young, angry, and thuggish. They began throwing things at us, swearing, and chanting mantras like “ALEC is worse than Trump,” and “fight for 15” (the minimum wage they want). They surrounded us in a menacing and intimidating way.
Thankfully the security reinforcements finally showedup, but when they tried to escort these protesters from our private dinner, they became indignant and started kicking and shoving, while hissing things like: “Get away from me you bleeping fascist.”
During the campaign season, I attended many Trump rallies across the country. It wasn’t uncommon for fights and brawls to break out when protesters showed up. In most, but not all cases there are nut cases on both sides — the left instigated the violence. I saw it with my own two eyes.
Now in the wake of Charlottesville, the media and the left are preposterously not just accusing the nitwit white supremacists, but are labeling President Trump, conservatives, and Trump supporters racists and bigots. If you don’t renounce any association with or support for, Mr. Trump, you too are morally inferior.
The truth finally comes out: the left really does believe that Trump voters are “deplorable” people.
Ironically, many of these same media mavens are the people who have spent the last decade bemoaning the degradation of political discourse.
If your political adversary who disagrees with you on tax cuts, Confederate statues, the minimum wage, is not just wrong, but a Nazi-sympathizer or white supremacist, then you can justify shutting them up or shutting them down through intimidation and violence.
Already left-wing publications like the Nation, who say are for “peace,” are not condemning violent acts by liberal protesters, but excusing them as a “practical” response to Trumpism.
Peter Beinart wrote recently a brilliant but frightening article in the Atlantic titled “The Rise of the Violent Left,” which chronicles the increasing militant actions and rhetoric of far-left terrorist groups like Antifa — a group that was in Charlottesville and San Francisco. He warns that not only is their political clout growing but their “violent tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.” Why?
As Mr. Beinart puts it: “If you believe the president of the United States is leading a racist, fascist movement that threatens the rights, if not the lives, of vulnerable minorities, how far are you willing to go to stop it?” Maybe the press should ask that question of the man who was mauled and pummelled by these left-wing agitators in San Francisco this weekend?
All of this, I fear, will be manifested in the months ahead in some very unhealthy and dangerous developments. Here are my predictions:
The shameful war on free speech on college campuses will intensify. Those on the right will be shut down — and this will be rationalized because conservatives are racists and those on the left are righteous. The closing of the American mind will get worse.
We will see more militancy from groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa, who have been emboldened by the media. These groups will become increasingly aggressive in their political tactics. Intimidation will be put on display. People who wear a Trump T-shirt, have a Trump bumper sticker or dare don a red Make America Great Again hat are going to get humiliated or beat up — or worse. (So much for the left being against bullying.)
Next, the demands from the grievance lobby on the left will grow increasingly ridiculous and outlandish. Will taking every statue of every Confederate in America satisfy the left? Of course not.
I’m predicting that the left’s lunatic insistence on “reparation payments” for slavery come back full force.
All of America — not just college campuses, news rooms, and the public square — will be declared “safe spaces” so that liberals are granted a de facto constitutional right never to be offended by a viewpoint that is contrary to their own.
Don’t be surprised if we see routine acts of violence and mayhem and shootings that will make the 1960s riots look like a picnic. The country will be ripped apart. The media will then throw up their hands and hypocritically say: “Gee whoever thought someone would actually shoot a congressman?”. The other day on CNN I noted that Robert E. Lee was revered by many Southerners and that taking down statues of him was a bad idea. I was inundated with hate mail and even threats of physical injury.
It’s ugly and dangerous out there. For decades the left has preached the need for tolerance, but these are the people who want to use their own force or the force of the state to silence any voice that disrupts their worldview.
The shame of all this is that if liberals had simply ignored the wacko white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, and who represent perhaps 0.01 percent of the conservative movement, their flame of hatred would have burned out quickly and quietly.
That’s the last thing the left wanted. They gave the wackos on the right a media platform, so that militants on the left would have their own soap box and TV camera spotlight.
So just who is spreading a message of hate in America?
• Stephen Moore is an economic consultant at Freedom Works and a CNN contributor.