I came very close to going to Charlottesville. I initially thought it was going to be a MAGA Meetup, which is a Pro-Trump organizing event. I had it on my calendar and was fully prepared to go. A few days later, I discovered that it was actually Unite the Right, and would include all sorts of various White Supremacist groups. Immediately I decided that I wasn’t going to be affiliated with any of that, so I decided not to go, as did every Pro-Trump personality and organization out there. I actually used to think I might be Alt-Right, before It was co-opted it into a white nationalist group.
This is a critical part of the timeline that not a lot of people understand. The Alt-Right moniker was originally considered a new breed of conservatism. Much like the Tea Party, but more active online, and more willing to push back hard against the far left. This was right around the time that Steve Bannon called Brietbart “A platform for the Alt-Right” which he now gets called a White Supremacist for saying. So, most of the grassroots Trump supporters started out using the term Alt-Right. Then, in a twist, Richard Spencer shows up, singlehandedly co-opts the name with a small group of supporters, and now the Alt-Right is a White Nationalist group. Myself, and the vast majority of the Trump base immediately abandoned the term, opting instead for “New Right”, as we disavowed the White Nationalist ideal. I feel it’s important in all of this to show the timeline, since Trump gets blamed for virtually everything, and Alt-Right is attributed to all of his supporters, as Hillary Clinton did during the campaign. It’s important to understand that Donald Trump did not start the Alt-Right. It was festering for years online, in places like 4chan as a response to GamerGate, mass immigration, and political correctness.
I really wish I could say I was surprised at Charlottesville, and Berkeley before it. I’ve seen this coming for quite some time. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be the last. We have a toxic stew right now of two fringe elements that keep doubling down on each other. First, let me say, I completely disavow any sort of White Supremacist organization or ideology. However, they do have the right to free speech, as reprehensible as it may be. My understanding of the sequence of events yesterday are as follows:
1. Unite the Right gets a permit, and even the ACLU sued for their right to have it.
2. They show up, and are marching.
3. Counter protesters including ANTIFA, show up as well.
4. Their permit is pulled, and they are directed to leave the area.
5. They are then directed right in the direction of the counter group.
6. The police, inexplicably, have a an order to stand down, based on multiple accounts firsthand.
7. The two groups meet and start brawling. Police do nothing.
8. The groups separate, and go in different directions scattering with individual assaults and violence on each other.
9. The counter protesters gather in the street.
10. A car rams into two others, plowing over pedestrians.
11. The driver was seen earlier marching with Vanguard America, a white nationalist organization. They deny he is a member.
The driver is clearly a domestic terrorist and scumbag. Personally, I’d be for the death penalty for something of this nature. One of my biggest questions in the aftermath is who told the cops to stand down? We’ve seen this before at Berkeley, where cops stood by and allowed riots, brawls, and assaults. Who is issuing the stand down order and allowing chaos and violence on the streets? Even the ACLU is asking that question. Any violent offenders should immediately be arrested, and prosecuted. If that event is policed properly, then it’s likely that this tragedy never happens. One of the officers explicitly said, “We are not to engage unless ordered to.”
Who was supposed to give that order to maintain the peace?
Now, this entire thing is reprehensible. I see a lot of progressives losing their mind over this, rightly so. However, I want to know where they were when Trump supporters were being stabbed, assaulted, and shot? What about when 4 people kidnapped and tortured a Trump supporter? Where was your outrage then? I condemn all of this violence, consistently, across the board. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to claim the moral high ground if you didn’t call it out when it happened to the other side. If you are a progressive, and you didn’t say a thing when ANTIFA stabbed and assaulted people, then you need to reevaluate your stance. I want everyone to come together and be civil, even vehemently disagree, but this violence is untenable. We are in dangerous times right now, and we all need to ask ourselves, “what am I doing to de-escalate this.”
One point I will agree with: The President needs to do a better job calling this, and all political or racial violence out. I generally support the President on most things, but I agree he should have issued a stronger condemnation. My theory is that he really believes he isn’t racist and doesn’t support any of these people or groups, so why should he have to disavow? He has disavowed David Duke, and the KKK multiple times, so I guess he kind of figures why do it again? That said, I still believe he should be doing more to bring the country together. So far, he’s done a tremendous amount that I like, but this is one area I have to say he’s coming up short and needs to do better.
Now, I seem to recall when Steve Scalise was shot by a radical Bernie Sanders supporter, everyone said the rhetoric was coming “from all sides” just like Trump said. Just a few days ago, a Trump supporter was shot in the head over a political disagreement. I bet the majority of people haven’t even heard of this incident. The left seems oblivious to the fact that they are creating their own problems. Allowing ANTIFA to run rampant, Trump supporters to be stabbed and shot, and not a word from the left or the media, only serves to further radicalize some of these fringe groups. In addition, the trend of calling everyone you disagree with on the right a “Nazi”, then saying it’s ok to assault and kill the “Nazis” is only going to lead to more violence. I get called a Nazi on Twitter like six times a day. When Trump said the hate is coming from “many sides” he’s not wrong. So far, I have yet to see the left assume any responsibility for their violence. Loretta Lynch calls for “blood in the streets” and Bernie Sanders wants a “revolution”, and Maxine Waters says “Everyone in the White House is a white supremacist”, and that’s just getting started with the incendiary rhetoric from the left. Spend two minutes in my Twitter feed and you’ll see stuff that makes those statements look like a love fest.
Charlottesville was just the beginning if people on “many sides” don’t start to de-escalate the rhetoric.
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.