Salon is hyperventilating over the “pro-Trump rioters” who brawled with Leftist “antifa” radicals in Berkeley, completely ignoring the reality of human nature in the process. Are some Leftists really this stupid, or are they simply entitled children?
Earlier this year, Leftist radicals rioted in Berkeley because Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak on campus – smashing windows, setting fires and generally acting like thugs and hoodlums who ought to be behind bars. The “alt right” pro-Trump protests were ready for a fight when they held their rally, especially given the history of “antifa” thuggery. There is ample evidence that at least some of the “alt right” protesters wanted to provoke a physical confrontation.
Here are a few questions for Leftist thugs, whether they consider themselves part of “antifa,” the “resistance” or other various factions. What did you think was going to happen? Did you think you would just be able to break windows, set cars on fire, assault people so severely they have to be hospitalized, and engage in various other acts of thuggery that at least border on terrorism with no response? Did you think you would be able to act with impunity forever without provoking a response? Because if that is what you think, you are an idiot.
I do not excuse thuggery by anyone. I do not excuse violence by anyone. Those “alt right” thugs who wanted a street brawl cannot be justified. To the extent “alt right” protesters wanted to provoke a violent confrontation, they were wrong. Conservatives must not excuse bad behavior (and especially violent crime) simply because “they started it.” But that is my point. Violence begets violence. When one side resorts to thuggery, it brings out the worst in the other side.
What worries me is that this is going to get a lot worse. Instead of bruises, cuts and maybe some broken bones, we are going to see a massacre as thugs on both Right and Left ramp up the violence. This is why Leftists need to aggressively police their own side and make it clear that not only is violence not acceptable, it will not be tolerated and will be reported to the police. It is time for Leftists to stop making excuses for why violence is “understandable” and how they are only standing up for “oppressed people groups.” Ramping up the violence helps no one, and will make things much worse as “alt right” thugs respond in kind.