Marching in the streets of Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Charlottesville, leftist extremists led by Antifa turned to violence. They attacked policemen, tossing bottles, firecrackers, and eggs. Many wearing masks threatened journalists and passersby. Others called for the assassination of President Trump.
Americans should not be surprised by acts of leftist savagery. Time and again Antifa and their dupes have provoked riots on college campuses and at other public events to silence speakers with whom they disagree.
Writing in The Atlantic Monthly, Peter Beinart observed, “anti-fascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not, that authority rests on no Democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of Antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.”
Violence, intimidation, and contempt for the democratic process by such groups is not new. As Tucker Carlson recently pointed out, “violence is in the DNA of the radical left.”
In the 1960s, for instance, radical students who marched on campus administration buildings did not seek meaningful dialogue, but instead shouted obscenities and made ridiculous non-negotiable demands. And when these rebels did not get their way, they reacted emotionally and many turned to violence. Organized chaos was the order of the day: Deans were locked in their offices, professors were harassed, classes were boycotted, research centers were vandalized, and buildings were torched.
Breaking the law in the name of “conscience” (which was not properly formed) was merely an excuse for license — the right to do what is irresponsible. The radicals behind this upheaval, concluded liberal columnist Chris Hedges, were “infected with the lust for violence, quest for ideological purity, crippling paranoia, self-exaltation, and internal repression as the state system they defied.”
In 1970, a Weatherman pipe bomb explosion killed one San Francisco policeman and wounded another. While making nail bombs intended for Fort Dix military base in New Jersey, radical Weatherman plotters blew themselves up. Three were killed and a Greenwich Village brownstone, which housed their bomb manufacturing plant, was completely destroyed. When attempting to rob a Brink’s armored truck in Nanuet, New York, in 1981, underground Weatherman murdered two policemen and a security guard.
Bill Ayers, co-founder of the terrorist Weatherman group, called for the violent over-throwing of the “evil capitalist” U.S. government.
Ayers, whose federal riot and bombing indictment was dropped in the 1970s due to illegal wiretaps, never showed remorse for Weatherman domestic terrorist activities and his involvement in setting off explosions in the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, wrote in his 2001 memoir "Fugitive Days," “I don’t regret setting bombs, I feel we didn’t do enough.” The Weatherman, he concluded, “showed remarkable restraint.”
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the closely-contested presidential election was won by George W. Bush, radicals opposing him went off the deep end. Many denounced that the Republicans had conspired to steal the election. Some went so far as to claim a "X-files" fascist plot — Votomatic software was programmed to discount every tenth Gore vote.
Four years later this same crowd, enraged that voters rejected John Kerry, portrayed Bush as a “thug and killer” in league with Bin Laden. They accused Bush of Nazi-like policies, warned that rape would be legal, and said that, like the half-witted Fredo, in "The Godfather," should be shot.
For over a half-century, leftist extremists have been bitter and angry that they have not had the political power they believe they have been entitled. Hence, they have been contemptuous of most Americans — particularly blue-collar voters — who have gone to the ballot box and have not been inclined to follow their lead.
In their perverse judgment, these “deplorables” are not properly cultivated or educated to make sound political choices. And to deal with these sorely wanted masses, they have been preaching an illiberal egalitarianism.
The radicals of the sixties and their 21st century heirs have easily rationalized resorting to violence because they are intolerant authoritarians who liberal historian, Richard Hofstadter, described as reformers who embrace “hatred as a form of creed.”
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. To read more George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
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