Malcolm Fixes America I: Extremism

Malcolm Durfee O'Brien, Managing Editor

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Political extremism has risen in prominence since the heads of the political parties were cut off.
The alt-right has given the American far-right its loudest voice since Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns and the antifa has given the American far-left its loudest voice ever.
The voices of both extremist sides have grown so loud that they have begun to enter mainstream discussion. This is not a good thing.
Both antifa and the alt-right represent inherently un-American ideals. The alt-right obviously represents Nazism and racism, an ideal which would tear apart the very fabric of American society.
On the surface, the far-left counterpart to the alt-right, the antifa, does not represent an ideology that is inherently dangerous, but it does, though they are far less explicit in what they represent. The Antifa represent Communism, an ideology which has become quite heavily romanticized in recent years, but is as brutal and as murderous as the Fascism of the alt-right.
Even the group’s name, though often used to display the group’s morality and humanity, antifascists, comes from the 1930s “resistance group” Antifascist Aktion,which has been depicted by Antifa as heroic fighters of the Nazis. In reality, Antifascist Aktion was the Communist Party of Germany’s Paramilitary wing.
The German Communist Party was an organization who implemented the same plans to wipe out and systematically murder opposition that Adolf Hitler did, as could be seen when they took control of East Germany, they used secret police, torture, explicit murder, and crush their citizens free speech
The fact that these groups have come to prominence in the first place is not the problem, but the ideas of how to conduct political discourse that they have brought with them is extremely problematic. Both groups have resorted to attacking reporters and denouncing the media as liars. Both have denounced election results as being “rigged,” whether it be against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders.
Both groups also have endorsed violence to be used as a political tool, something common in authoritarian dictatorships like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The endorsement and use of actions such as political violence and targeting of journalists shows an inherent distaste for freedom of the press and a distrust of democracy from these groups.
In addition, the views taken are dangerous to public discourse, they denounce and attack anyone who doesn’t follow exactly the ideologies they do, such as Senator John McCain, who after his decision to end treatment for cancer, received statements of support from most normal humans, but the antifa and alt-right issued attacks on Senator McCain and had begun celebrating his upcoming death. When he did die, these attacks only got worse, denouncing him as a “war criminal” (he obviously wasn’t) and as a “secret Democrat” (he obviously wasn’t).
To be fair, antifa still has the significant moral high ground in regards to political violence to the alt-right, as they have not resorted to murder to advance their goals. But the fact that the alt-right and antifa share anti-democratic values such as a distrust for freedom of speech and support for political violence and slander still stands, making both extremist groups equally dangerous to the people and government of the United States and the discourse of its citizens.
Another part of the dangers of these groups is that they have not been denounced, but taher been embraced by major political leaders. Donald Trump, after Charlottesville, infamously said there were “some very fine people on both sides,” obviously courting the alt-right neo-nazis present at the rally and also obviously oversimplifying the reality of the event significantly.
Every single Unite the Right marcher was morally reprehensible, they were all neo-nazis not a moral person could be found on their side, but on the counter protest side, the villainous antifa was a very loud minority, nearly everyone was a morally good person, most were not there looking for a fight, but to show the fascists that they were outnumbered. Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the DNC, endorsed antifa and their violent stances on twitter.
The reason for these two declining to oppose authoritarians is clearly to court voters, and shows their fear of losing votes to the extremists, so how do we defeat these anti-democrats if they exploit the weaknesses of democracy against us?
We can’t suppress them or we would be made as morally reprehensible as they are, and the result of suprresion would be their insane beliefs being validated. We can’t attack with either words or with fists, or we run the risk of instigating their violence, and we can’t debate them, as there is no reasoning with extremists.
Unfortunately the only means of dealing with these hateful extremists is to ignore them and their beliefs. This is the most difficult way to deal with something, when we see something we hate, we have an innate desire to do something, anything, but in the case of extremists like antifa and alt-right, we are like oxygen to their fire.
Should we ignore them, the fire will slowly burn out and end one of the most dangerous aspects of modern political discourse. The only way forward is to stand still in the case of extremists.

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