The Concerning Rise And Embrace Of The Radical Left In America
They don't want peace. They don't want to co-exist. And they definitely don't want you to think for yourself.
Free markets, the rule of law, and the importance of civil discourse. These used to be universal values held across the spectrum of mainstream American politics, but unfortunately, that seems to be changing. Among the radical left, die-hard activists have decided that any tactics, no matter how brutal, are justified in order to achieve their political goals. And while every political ideology has their extremists, the rise of the far-left is so concerning because, instead of condemning their destructive behavior and policies, left-wing politicians seem to be embracing them.
Among the radical left, die-hard activists have decided that any tactics, no matter how brutal, are justified in order to achieve their political goals.
For example, a few decades ago, genuine advocates for turning the U.S. toward Socialism were confined to fringe Marxist groups, and free market capitalism, a system which has brought millions out of poverty, was generally seen as a universal good. In 2018, however, not only has it become a significant part of the Democratic party’s platform to implement government-run, single-payer healthcare, but there are now actually self-described Socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and the newly-elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez serving in Congress.
Although Democrats and the left, in general, have long advocated for the U.S. to grow government programs and services, in contrast to the small government approach of the right, the past decade has seen the left escalate into explicit cries for wealth redistribution policies. Instead of focusing on how to grow the economy and job opportunities for those struggling to get by, talks of wealth inequality have had Democratic politicians, such as Barack Obama, calling on the “rich” to “pay their fair share.” Such language may be par for the course for far-left groups, but its inclusion in mainstream political discourse shows how much the Overton window for the left has shifted from the center.
The Left's Attacks on the Rule of Law
Next, regarding the rule of law, an emphasis on the importance of border security and legal immigration used to be a bipartisan issue, with even Democratic darlings such as Barack Obama, the Clintons, and Dianne Feinstein going on record as opposing illegal immigration. Advocacy for open borders was once reserved for the likes of anarcho-communists, however, under the Trump administration we’ve seen left-wing activists not just critique the practices of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), but actually call for the department’s abolition entirely.
Border security and legal immigration used to be a bipartisan issue, with even Democratic darlings such as Barack Obama, the Clintons, and Dianne Feinstein going on record as opposing illegal immigration.
When it comes to the desire for mass immigration, any efforts to selectively vet immigrants, secure the border, or limit the number of immigrants admitted into the country have been decried as either xenophobia or even flat-out racism from the left. It’s true that immigration has been a cornerstone of American history and culture since its inception, but never before has that meant abandoning any form of border control, or the idea that the country’s laws don’t need to be followed by those who wish to immigrate.
The Left encourages Harassment
For those whose opinions can’t be silenced, left-wing politics have also seen an unsettling trend toward simply harassing your opponents out of public life. Conservative figures such as Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Candace Owens, Tomi Lahren, and Sandra Huckabee Sanders have all been chased out of public areas by activists, even though they weren’t “on the job” at the time. And most recently, left-wing activists came to Fox host Tucker Carlson’s house chanting "Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!” and even cracked his front door. His wife, who was home alone, hid in a closet and called 911.
This past week, young students of Covington High School were the latest to be viciously attacked, with many calling for violence against them as well as posting their private home addresses online.
The right to protest is an integral part of any free society, yes, but as a moral principle, does that mean that it should be acceptable to chase down, heckle, and disturb anyone with differing political views? At any time?
Regardless of how passionately you may disagree with someone, such behavior is equivalent to saying that someone else’s views are so repugnant that they shouldn’t be allowed a moment of peace in their private lives. And no matter how much Democrats may be opposed to Republicans or vice versa, are the differences between the two mainstream parties really extreme enough to say that one group is enough of an existential threat as to warrant such harassment?
Former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton recently said that civility shouldn’t apply to a party that’s trying to take away your rights, and Representative Maxine Waters went even further, saying, “Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
“Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
It’s doubtful that either Clinton or Waters expected their comments to be applied to moderate conservative pundits, private citizens, who are merely trying to get a cup of coffee. But that’s how some of their supporters have interpreted it, and, sadly, they haven’t offered any clarification to the contrary.
The Rise of Political Violence
Finally, and most disturbingly, the rise of the far-left has been marked with increased use of violence. Antifa, one of the most active and radical groups in the far-left, have staged protests in Berkley, Portland, New York, and other cities where members have broken out into riots, destroyed public and private property, and physically beat their ideological opponents. To hear them describe it, such force is merely a form of self-defense against those who would seek to disenfranchise and perhaps even physically harm others based on their race, gender, or sexuality. Not only is this a gross misinterpretation of the conservative platform, but it’s also a misapplication of what it means to use justified force for self-defense.
We should all be wary of a world where it’s acceptable for others to misinterpret your views to a cartoonish extent in order to justify using violence against you, but that is the type of society that groups like Antifa are pushing us toward. Alienating potential voters is understandably the last thing politicians want to do, but it’s time Democrats stop the extremists in their midsts from controlling their party and rightfully denounce both their actions and their policies.