The events in Charlottesville will have a very bad effect on the political Left in this country. I’m sure they will also have an effect on the Right but I don’t care because I don’t belong to it.
On the Left, though, things are going to get bad. It’s already not amazing but it’s about to get worse because now one can mow down any dissent with “You disagree? What are you, a Nazi?”, “You want freedom of speech? What, like a Nazi?”, and “You don’t like what we are doing? The other side is worse. They are Nazis!”
And yes, it’s an unassailable argument because it’s true. Whatever you do, Nazis are worse. It’s the best carte blanche there is.
And hey, it already started. See here:
It’s 100% true, of course. And it’s also true that this shouldn’t be the extent of our options. We shouldn’t have to choose only between traitorous neo-Nazis and self-righteous privilege-scratchers. Yes, the scratchers are better but only because they are competing against the most despicable people ever.
Being better than torch-waving, Heil-Hitlering, goose-stepping, people-killing Nazis is a low bar to cross. But to a movement that is already addicted to self-righteousness, this feeling of being on high moral ground compared even to this kind of opponent will be irresistible. Like all addicts, it will desperately look for the next fix. And since there aren’t enough Nazi protests to feed the hunger, it will manufacture Nazis out of anybody who fails to be sufficiently loud and eager in their cheering and condemnation.
This is the trap that the Left has been incapable of avoiding since the 1930s. And it lost every single time because the potency of “But at least we are not Nazis” has an expiration date.