Democracy Dies in Darkness, according to the Washington Post. Since we, in the United States of America, do not live in a democracy, it is an irrelevant sentiment. Perhaps a better tagline for that newspaper would be ‘Truth Dies in the Editor’s Office.’ The Post published an opinion piece on political violence Friday. It was a perspective so divorced from reality that only a fool or a victim of manic delusion could take it seriously. Indeed, it was an almost perfect example of the psychological condition from which the vast majority of leftists suffer: Projection.
From a strictly clinical perspective, projection manifests in diverse ways. It is what Sigmund Freud called a defense mechanism. Leftists suffer from neurotic projection. To avoid accepting, and dealing with, one’s own negative traits and feelings, one projects those very same attributes onto others. Leftists do it all the time and have been doing it for many years. The Washington Post’s opinion piece was a superb example. One need not even read beyond the headline to realize this: Why the American left gave up on political violence.
At a time when the American left indulges, almost daily, in political violence, one could be forgiven for assuming the author, Yoav Fromer, was being satirical. Sadly, this was not the case. Dissecting Fromer’s opinion point by point would be tedious and is hardly necessary for anyone with even a modest grasp of political history. Not that everything he wrote, here, is inaccurate; he sketches a generally truthful, if superficial, outline of left-wing organized violence, prior to the 1970s.
One glaring exception to this, however, was Fromer’s willful dishonesty about the role of civil rights activists. “The left’s [second] reason for rejecting violence,” Fromer states, “was even simpler: There were better ways to get things done. The civil rights and feminist movements showed that nonviolent protest could achieve tangible political goals.” Fromer’s blatant attempt, here, to commandeer these movements on behalf of the left is laughable. Indeed, it demonstrates how earnestly the author – and the Washington Post, as an organization – believes that Post readers are idiots, bereft of any knowledge of history. Perhaps he is correct. The civil rights movement was not about left-wing political ideals; it was about black Americans fighting to gain the right to vote and no longer be denied their right to be treated as equal citizens and human beings. The feminist movement – at that time – was also not about one, specific political ideology. It was about women establishing themselves as capable of making their own choices, carving out their own independence and having an equal voice in matters political and cultural.
Fromer then writes about the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., but this is more subterfuge. King was a member of the Republican Party; the party that abolished slavery. Many Republicans stood proudly with King, during his fight for justice. Many Democrats stood against him. In 1964, when the House of Representatives voted on the Civil Rights Act, the Democrats held a slim majority. Only a handful more Democrats than Republicans voted for the Act; almost three times as many Democrats as Republicans voted against it. In the Senate, where the Democrats held a larger majority, nearly twice as many Democrats voted for, compared to Republicans, while 21 Democrats voted against, compared to just six Republicans. In short, to imply that the civil rights movement belonged to the political left is ludicrous and blatantly dishonest. More directly, it is a lie.
Having mangled that period of American history, Fromer goes on to describe the state of political violence in post-1960s America. “[But] since the 1960s,” he writes, “left-wing movements in the United States (and in the West writ large) have gradually turned away from violence.”Almost nothing could be further from the truth. From the late 60s until the late 80s, left-wing terrorist organizations were prolific across western Europe, Latin America and even the United States and Canada. Additionally, larger organized movements were preparing to bring violence to the streets, such as the leftist Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the United Kingdom. At some point, it seemed it almost as if every country in western Europe had its own band of communist fighters. The Red Army Faction in Germany, Action Directe in France, the Red Brigades in Italy. Even Belgium had its left-wing terrorists; the Communist Combatant Cells. These groups were, by no means, disparate; sharing ideology, tactics, training and even weapons and explosives. They even connected with Muslim terror groups in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, whom they viewed as brothers in arms. The founders of the Red Army Faction trained with the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
From 1968 on, the entire western world was facing the prospect of decades of growing, organized left-wing violence. The trend only faded with the collapse of communism. Suddenly, even the young idealists on the left realized that flocking to a lost cause was no longer cool.
The very moment in time when Fromer suggests, the left was turning away from organized violence, radical left-wing terrorism was, in fact, entering its heyday with a global network and common goals. In the U.S., the Weather Underground and Symbionese Liberation Army proved that America was not immune.
Right-wing violence, by contrast, has consisted of largely isolated incidents. Such incidents were much less about advancing a political ideology and more about resistance – justified or otherwise – to government agencies overstepping their authority. Fromer attempts to paint every act of right-wing violence as part of some sinister conspiracy while brushing off left-wing violence as the disjointed acts of unstable ‘lone-wolf’ types or small, isolated groups. The opposite is far closer to the truth.
Since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, few days in America have been free of left-wing violence. The main protagonists now are called Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Fromer describes Antifa as “occasionally violent” and portrays them as “loosely banded, disorganized and low scale.” Yet, clearly, they are organized, nationwide – indeed, international – and their goal, in the U.S., is nothing less than the destabilization of the current federal administration while advancing a progressive-socialist agenda.
Fromer attempts to disassociate them from the political left, but their targets are exclusively right-wing; Trump supporters, conservative speakers, and Republican politicians. Antifa is both praised and protected by the left-wing media and many prominent Democrats; why would this be so if that movement were nothing more than mindless anarchists, bent on total destruction? Antifa’s opposition to neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups has less to do with politics than with picking a fight with those who are universally despised; thus, endearing themselves to a wider section of the population. The true ideology of Antifa and Black Lives Matter is not open to debate.
The Washington Post, in the person of Fromer, is shamelessly attempting to rewrite the entire history of political violence, over the past five decades. In their determined efforts to whitewash the political violence of the left, is not the media, to some degree, complicit in that violence?