I like Ruth Davidson. When I see that she, and many others, had tweeted that Trump defended Nazis, I was concerned, so I therefore immediately checked for the scandalous thing he had said. So I skimmed through the news, through the videos, through the dire tweets on Trump’s press conference, and I was no surprised to find one thing: it was nothing. Literally bugger all. He didn’t defend Nazis, nor did he excuse their violence in Charlottesville. What he did, however, was bring up the violence of the counter-protestors, which is very real and incredibly relevant in discussing why events happened.
Anyone paying attention to American politics in the past couple of years, and particularly student politics, will have seen the rise of both the alt-right and Antifa (labelled the alt-left by many, including Trump in this press conference). The alt-right is a white nationalist movement. Many people have called themselves alt-right despite being just civic nationalists, or even just because they like Trump and pepe and hate political correctness. These people don’t really understand what the movement, which is at its core racist, is. Yes, the alt-right regrettably gained prominence with the rise of Trump.
Antifa, a short way of saying anti-facist, sounds benevolent, right? Except they have been engaging in violence against the alt-right and perpetuated the idea that it’s okay to punch a Nazi, which it is not. This is not WWII. The Nazis are not in government, nor do they have any real prominence, and are not committing atrocities – punching the alt-right is merely violence over different politics. Debate and sunlight is more effective.
So what has been happening in the U.S. has been a bunch of alt-right rallies have been counter-protested by Antifa, who have every right to do so. Except Antifa started to get really violent. They came masked, armed, and ready to fight. In response to this, the alt-righters, whenever a rally came around, would equally prepare. They’d make shields and weapons to fight in some quasi-military battle. It’s been quite entertaining to watch as it is effectively LARPing, but there was always the feeling that one day it would go too far.
Charlottesville was that inevitable day. The white nationalists held a rally and it was badly received. Many counter-protests were there innocently, and with respectable reasons. Many were there to fight as they had done for the past couple of years. And so what happens when political violence becomes normalised? It becomes murder. And someone drives their car into a group of people on the ‘other side’ and kills someone. Tragic, indefensible, predictable.
The response to this has been abhorrent, largely. Rather than thinking “okay, this needs to stop, let’s just stop being violence”, there has been a doubling down on both sides of the spectrum. The alt-right have been speaking online about getting better fighting tactics, and the leftists of twitter have shared pictures of ‘nazis’ being punched with glee, hoping that it happens more.
Trump has come out and said that, yes, both sides suck. It was disrespectful and wrong of him to condemn “both sides” of the protesting just after a young socialist had been murdered and I understand why it was taken so poorly. But let’s be honest here, it’s not just the alt-right doing this violence. We cannot condemn just one, but we must fight political violence in its entirety.
Yes, another post on Macron. I’m not obsessed, I swear. He really is the most interesting thing in Europe right now.
This week, the new French president Emmanuel Macron unveiled his portrait officiel and it was glittering, clean and displayed the fresh face of the new France. It contained ambiguous symbols, including classic literature, showing its orchestrator’s enjoyment for the theatrical. Going into the future, the question is whether or not this portrait will become a reverse Dorian Gray, where the picture remains the same while the man himself becomes wicked, or whether its real life subject will maintain the same rosy image over the next five years.
Some things don’t deserve their own post, but are too long for Tweets. Here I’m discussing whether people are exaggerating about Marine Le Pen, why young people are stupid, why the Tories don’t care about your dead siblings, why musicians need to shut up, and why, basically, Twitter sucks. (more…)
Tim Farron is now hated by progressives for his stance on gay sex. But it is really just a load of hot air over nothing?
The two most insufferable politicians of the past couple of years?