‘Stop Making Excuses for Antifa Thuggery’

by Rich Lowry

I wrote about antifa today after its disgusting performance in Berkeley:

[They] treated suspected Trump supporters with all the decorousness of torch-wielding medieval villagers who believed they had stumbled upon a witch. A leader of a pro-Trump group had to run from a mob that pepper-sprayed and beat him, until he was taken into police custody for his own protection. The targets weren’t Nazis bearing Nazi regalia, but supporters of the duly-elected president of the United States. Or people who were guilty of the offense of committing journalism — a reporter was beaten by the antifa cadres.

Antifa benefited enormously from the horrific events in Charlottesville. It became Nazis versus the people standing up to the Nazis, and in that formulation the people standing up to the Nazis always win. There can be no moral equivalence, we were told, between Nazis and their opponents. But that depends on who the opponents are — there is a vast difference between peaceful counterprotesters and violent thugs, even if they are marching on the same side.

 There was certainly moral equivalence between Hitler and Stalin. Likewise, bully-boy fascists spoiling for a fight and black-clad leftists looking to beat them up exist on the same moral plane. They both thrill to violence and benefit from the attention that comes from it. They both reject civility and the rule of law that make a democratic society possible. They both are profoundly illiberal.
 

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