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Monday, August 14, 2017
Charlottesville's Collateral Damage By Association
The disgusting and nefarious events of this past weekend are too important, too significant and indeed, too dangerous to be seen through a simple prism of "our side versus their side."
A young woman was killed. Killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Killed for participating in civil discourse, for exercising her constitutional rights.
We can rebuild civic society, restore respect for individual rights. But that young woman is gone.
There are other victims on a broader, yet less tragic scale.
The entire weekend represents another unfortunate success for fringe political elements to take advantage of our constitutional rights and exploit the attention they get from news coverage to make themselves look important, look bigger than they are, look more respectable than they are. These elements have no redeeming features, and make no mistake about it, they respect nothing and no one else. Everyone else is fair game, so they claim association with other groups, with elected officials, and even with sports teams. (One famous team's iconic logo was spotted on protest flags, with the team promptly denouncing the link.).
This collateral reputational damage to the legitimate, to the respectable, is not an accident. It is on purpose. The fringe seeks to destroy the institutions and societal conventions which exclude, repudiate and reject them.
When you see that strategy at work, you'll realize that the common political spectrum labels of "left" or "right" or "center" don't really apply.
Of course, the other serious downside to this weekend is the exploitation of tragedy by the Far Left to further shift the political demarcation lines. The Left now has the relative high moral ground -- that's not a hard accomplishment, not right now -- and is framing the debate to say, essentially, that anyone not standing with Antifa, with the most radical Left elements out there, is by default standing with the white supremacists, the fascists and, yes, the murderers.
Even worse, the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech, of assembly, will be associated with the vilest elements as a means of attacking those rights, chilling their exercise and slandering the reputations of those who exercise them.
Sadly, this weekend will give ammo to the totalitarian elements who are ready to accuse anyone supporting these core constitutional rights of standing with and supporting white supremacist murderers.
For the Far Left, which rationalizes individual suffering as the necessary "broken eggs" in the progress towards Revolution, this weekend was a tremendous victory.
For the rest of us, we've moved several minutes closer to midnight on the Lost Constitutional Rights Clock.