As we noted previously, "normal Americans are bored by the fake drama" surrounding Charlottesville that has stoked what Kurt Schlichter called the media's 'Nazigasm'...
"The establishment’s tactic is to paint anyone they dislike as Nazis and any ideas its members oppose as hate speech...The media is running with it...Even after a week, CNN is still quivering and writhing in an earth-shattering Nazigasm."
Taking a break from Twitter and the media for a week to go be with normal people gave me an interesting perspective that I don't get when I'm surrounded by others invested in politics. None of them care.
The exact number of times I heard normal people mention Nazis was zero. No one normal was talking about it, except on the occasional big screen I passed in my travels. No one normal was paying attention to the Wolf Blitzers or the Rachel Maddows. Everyone normal was living their lives, and this fake moral meltdown had no part in them. The fact that the whole thing is so ridiculous doesn't help it gain traction. Donald Trump is a lot of things, but a Nazi is not one of them.
And the idea that when there are two sets of idiots facing each other you can't point out that both sets of idiots are idiots just doesn't ring true.
Normal people are blessedly free of the little taboos that the establishment seeks to impose, like the one that forbids pointing out that the alt left is just as scummy and slimy as the alt right. The general feeling among normals is “A pox on both your basements.”
But Schlichter is not alone. The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins - who we are sure is now facing heresy charges, bans from Google, and an inbox full of hate-mail - dares to speak up about The Great Nazi Scare of 2017...
Well, that was a bit embarrassing. Antifascist liberals mounted thousand-strong counter-rallies all weekend against a Nazi threat that proved nonexistent or thin on the ground. Leftists imagined themselves to be modern-day versions of the Czech resistance or the Warsaw uprising, but it turns out they were the majoritarian mob shouting down a handful of losers who’ve been an execrable but small part of the American pageant for as long as most of us can remember.
We don’t know what speakers at Saturday’s “free speech” rally in Boston might have said. It was organized, according to the local papers, by libertarians protesting campus speech codes, though they opened their platform to anybody, left and right. The meeting ended early; the speakers were all drowned out. Nazis and white supremacists, if any were present, were shown to be vastly outnumbered by Americans who reject such doctrines.
To state another obvious point, our civil liberties are meaningless if they don’t protect unpopular views. It’s not the mob but the mob’s targets that need protection.
For the record, of the 20th century’s malign ideologies, Nazi ideas of who should be murdered and why strike me as slightly more odious and frightful than Maoist or Stalinist ideas of who should be murdered and why. The applicability to current U.S. events is slender, though.
More relevant is the principle that large mobs are more dangerous than small mobs, and likely to harbor more psychopaths. Apparently running out of Nazis to resist, Boston protesters threw rocks and urine-filled bottles at police. Any shortage of white supremacists can always be corrected by expanding the definition. Opponents of a $15 minimum wage are racist. Skeptics about a pending climate crisis are racist. Anyone questioning the utility of pulling down old statues is racist.
The slippery slope of civil-rights erosion is manifest every time certain members of the vituperative left open their mouths.
Hard to escape is a lesson about incentives: Majoritarian violence is the predominant risk even when its targets are people otherwise impossible to sympathize with.
Which brings us back to Charlottesville. Serious professionals in every field know first reports are unreliable. We aren’t counting certain modern-day news sites, of course. Their job is manipulating passing, news-related symbols in ways that pleasure their target audiences. Bandwagons are their profession.
For the record, however, Donald Trump’s press conference, in its entirety, is available online and takes 23 minutes to watch. He did not fail to denounce Nazis and racists.
An account of events in Charlottesville is also taking shape. Mr. Trump feels he has been treated unfairly. Guess what? That’s politics. Your opponents aren’t required to give you a break. Outsmart them. President Obama would have spoken carefully, starting with: Though we don’t have all the facts, one thing Americans can agree about is that Nazi ideology and racial hatred are offensive to American ideals.
Even an Obama Justice Department, though, would be open to the possibility that Americans holding a legally permitted rally were beset by a mob while police failed to keep order, if that’s what the facts eventually showed. From the Washington Post comes an interesting social characterization of today’s young white nationalist idiots—but also a description of how their van was attacked with flying bottles and other objects.
According to Charlottesville’s Daily Progress, there were two armed militias, one representing a pro-Constitution group, the other a left-wing group. No shots were fired. They worked together to break up fights. Neither supported the Nazis, and both promptly withdrew when the governor declared an “unlawful assembly.”
In a tweet she has been made to regret, the New York Times ’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”
For its part, the FBI has put out a call for witnesses and video of James Alex Fields Jr. before he got in his car.
Messrs. Trump and Obama may have different ideological bents, but no president wants to be consumed by passing political furies. Every president over a longer horizon, we also semi-confidently presume, would have a chief magistrate’s willingness to let the true facts emerge and fill in public perception of events.
Many reputations are now tied to a false version of what Donald Trump said, and a version of events in Charlottesville that may or may not survive careful documentation. Do not expect moral courage or any apologies. Mobs are mobs. Nazis whose every thought is reprehensible will still quail in the face of a lawless crowd. CEOs of publicly traded companies are not in the business of being brave. And yet the natural order is holding. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists may be a continuing American embarrassment and eyesore, but they are not today’s most pressing threat to our civil liberties.
As Kurt Schlichter concluded so eloquently, the scars from this farce will last:
The Great Nazi Panic of 2017 will fade away when its sponsors realize that it's not having the effect on the mass of the normal Americans they hoped for. But that doesn't mean it hasn't caused grave damage.