There is absolutely no excuse for the initiation of violence in opposition to political speech. Even if someone has legally changed their name to ‘Seig Heil,’ and they have a giant swastika emblazoned across their chest, there is still not a valid excuse to use violence as a means to shut them up.
Here is my third-grade civics lesson for today: either you believe in the rights of people you vehemently oppose to say things you vehemently oppose, or you do not believe in the freedom of speech at all, and if you would take the freedom of speech from another person, then you deserve to be the next person violently shut-down.
Case in point? ANTIFA (short for Anti-Fascists).
First ANTIFA went after actual Nazis. Nothing happened, and, in fact, much of the political left condoned them.
Next, ANTIFA went after other white supremacist, and white nationalist, groups. Nothing happened, and, in fact, much of the political left condoned them.
Now, ANTIFA claims the right to go after anyone with whom they disagree, openly attacking anyone on the political right, including Free Speech advocates, Republicans, Libertarians, etc.. The left still largely condones them, with such ridiculous statements as, “Let me see.. Do I support ANTIFA, or Nazis? Hard call, LOL!” (that was a real Facebook comment).
The problem with using violence to shut down Nazis is that the temptation to shut down political speech never stops with just Nazis. Instead, once a group like ANTIFA is allowed to shut-down actual Nazis, they start using the term ‘Nazi’ ever more loosely, until either you agree with everything they say, or you become a Nazi yourself, whom they will violently shut-down.
Here is another third-grade civics lesson: support for ANTIFA is support for violence in pursuit of political ends, which is also the dictionary definition of ‘terrorism’.
It should go without saying that supporting the Freedom of Speech is not the same as supporting Nazis, but since our country seems to need third-grade civics lessons, allow me to present another: the Nazis were against the Freedom of Speech.
And now that I have given a few third-grade civics lessons, allow me to move up to the fourth grade: there are two ways to look at the relationship between the government, and the governed. One is to look at the government as a force that supports the natural rights of all the people. This means that government exists to ensure that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The freedom of speech is a central pillar of any such society.
The other view (the one ANTIFA shares with Nazis) is that government exists to support some groups, by oppressing other groups. If you subscribe to this view, then the first thing you have to do is to decide which groups to support, and which to oppress.
ANTIFA claims to support marginalized groups, and to oppress Nazis. Let’s test that…
Here is a video of ANTIFA attacking Candice Owens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-he9XX9UTk
Here is video of ANTIFA attacking Andy Ngo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WzMZxT-41k
Here is video of ANTIFA attacking whomever happens to be driving through downtown Portland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCHSNE09aMI
Here is video of ANTIFA attacking a GOP headquarters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYJG1I3rZLc
Here is video of ANTIFA fire-bombing a federal facility: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZDchVGY74g
Here is video of ANTIFA attacking a Latino, a Transvestite, and an elderly woman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B6N2pQ0P1M
Here is video of ANTIFA attacking Trump supporters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-WuizjeJks
I could post such videos all day long. The point is that ANTIFA attacks everyone who disagrees with them, and that ANTIFA believes that they, and they alone, should be able to decide what people can say in public.
The truth is that the only real difference between ANTIFA, and actual Nazis, are that they both want to support, and to oppress, different groups. And that difference is even more superficial than it sounds, as both groups tend to lump everyone who disagrees with them together, into whomever it is they wish to oppress. In other words, both groups want to oppress everyone.
Only someone who does not understand third-grade civics could call a group ‘freedom fighters’ when that group is quite literally fighting against freedom.
ANTIFA is a violent, extremist, terrorist organization, and it needs to be dealt with accordingly.
And that, I hope, is a lesson learned…