06 March 2017

Excuse me, but who are the fascists, exactly?

Supporters of President Trump had the clever idea of branding last Saturday as a day to "March 4 Trump" across the country. Predictably turnout was low compared to anti-Trump rallies since the election, in part because the modern American right, with some Tea Party exceptions, isn't really keen on mass demonstrations, while social media may make such affairs seem obsolete to the "alt-right." There was no rally in Albany, that I know of, for me to record; the nearest one, if I can judge from our local news channel, was far off in Rome. Local Trump people probably were better off staying home and warm, as their counterparts elsewhere often found themselves under attack from "Black Bloc" types and other demonstrators. Once again, Berkeley CA stood out for violent intolerance, as you can see from numerous YouTube videos. Despite the perception of Trump supporters as nascent brownshirt stormtroopers, it seems that they've been on the defensive most of the time. Apparently the few incidents of Trump people hitting hecklers at 2016 rallies have been enough to let some agitators assume that the Trump movement started some kind of street war. But this sense of entitlement to attack goes back to before Trump appeared on the political scene. For a long time, a segment of the left has felt that racists, particularly skinheads or neo or crypto-Nazis, are eligible to beat up, that "hate" can only be answered with hate. And since it has become a truism in many circles that Trump supporters are "haters" of some sort, they too can be beaten up by people who fancy themselves the moral equivalents of anti-Nazi streetfighters in Weimar Germany -- if they know any history, that is. What these people hope to accomplish apart from counting coup -- and if we're dealing with actual Black Blocs then a lot of this is white-on-white violence, for what that's worth -- is a mystery to me. As crazy as it may sound, some of them may actually want to provoke the sort of violent response from the right that would confirm their stereotype of the Trump movement, because that's the only motivation that appears to make practical sense. I don't think it's going to make fewer people vote for Trump or the Republican party next time, and it'll probably hurt the Democratic party (not that Black Bloc sorts care) because the Trump people will readily believe that the DNC if not Barack Obama himself (or that ultimate puppetmaster antichrist, George Soros!) is orchestrating every anti-Trump outburst in the country. The very last thing American liberals and progressives need at this time is violent morons demonstrating that no dialogue is possible with the Trump movement, since they may well convince the Trump movement that no dialogue is possible with the left as a whole. These fools on the left may think they can get their enemies to reveal their true nature as fascists, but if the American right turns fascist in response to the sort of "carnage" we saw on March 4, the left probably won't like what they see. Until that happens, however, the only fascists I see out there are the ones who think they're fighting fascists.

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