National Review editor tackles left-wing thuggery

Rich Lowry of National Review Online chides those who make excuses for political violence tied to the Antifa movement.

One of the least safe places to be in Berkeley, California, is in the vicinity of someone holding a “No Hate” sign.

So-called anti-fascist, or antifa, activists bearing shields emblazoned with those words assaulted any of the handful of beleaguered Trump supporters they could get their hands on at a small political rally over the weekend. All in the cause, mind you, of demonstrating their supposed opposition to hatefulness.

Too many people were willing to perfume antifa in the wake of Charlottesville, where it clashed with Nazi thugs who caused, and deserved, a wave of national revulsion. But Berkeley demonstrates once again the true nature of this left-wing movement, which is thuggish in its tactics and totalitarian in its sensibility. Anyone who at this point makes excuses for antifa — or worse, justifies it — is participating in its moral rot. …

… 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.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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