When you are convinced of the righteousness of your cause, it is easy to demonize the “other,” casting them in the worst possible light and justifying viciously hateful and nasty behavior against them. When you go too far, you even turn people on your own side against you. We see this with the holy war waged by ANTIFA and the badly misnamed “No Space for Hate” in Bloomington, as the Herald-Times editor points out:
Well how did filibustering a Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners meeting work for them? How well did being hateful and disrespectful and mean-spirited work for them?
Schooner Creek Farm had been peacefully selling vegetables at the Bloomington Community Farmer’s Market for years before some private chat logs were hacked and distributed by ANTIFA cyber-vigilantes. Once the owners were doxxed, it was suddenly unacceptable that people with “identitarian” beliefs would be allowed to continue to sell vegetables. Then, ANTIFA and NSFH decided they would rather sabotage the Farmer’s Market and destroy the livelihoods of dozens of innocent vendors rather than allow someone with objectionable beliefs to continue to peacefully sell vegetables.
And this is where ANTIFA and NSFH have lost a large portion of Bloomington and Monroe County. Most people would have been fine with encouraging boycotts of SCF or passing out literature in a designated space. When black-clad, masked thugs are standing around intimidating people, that drives people away from the market and punishes innocent vendors who had nothing to do with SCF. Even many liberals have been alienated by this behavior, costing ANTIFA and NSFH supporters who may have otherwise been sympathetic to their cause. Threats and intimidation are not free speech and are not protected by the First Amendment. Shame on Mayor Hamilton for allowing this to happen.
ANTIFA and NSFH do not care about that, though. They care about their own moral superiority. Even removing SCF from the market (which would be illegal unless they violated market rules and are treated the same as other vendors) is secondary to virtue signaling about “love” and “tolerance” and how pure they are. This is not unique to ANTIFA and NSFH, of course, as many movements on both the Right and Left are much more worried about puffing themselves up than making a solid argument. But it does demonstrate how uncompromising moral certainty can be myopic and simple-minded.