August 14, 2018

Unite the Right Rally

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

drew two dozen demonstrators and thousands of chanting counterprotesters on Sunday, the one-year anniversary of racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.” (Reuters)

While the left and the right disagree about the state of the white nationalist movement, both sides are condemning the violent tactics of Antifa:

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The left is glad the rally proved embarrassing for the white nationalist movement, but remains wary of white nationalist ideas taking hold in mainstream politics.

“Unlike last year, when racists overwhelmed the city of Charlottesville, white supremacist organizer Jason Kessler could scarcely pull together enough racists this year to fill a train car.”

Huffington Post

While the small turnout “does not mean that racism has been defeated and all is well in America... at least for today, the white nationalists couldn’t field enough people for an actual rally.”

Vox

Others point out that “the alt-right and its fellow travelers were never going to be able to assemble a mass movement... A year after white nationalists in Charlottesville chanted, ‘You will not replace us!,’ their message has been taken up and amplified by Fox News personalities… Laura Ingraham says that ‘the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore’ because of ‘massive demographic changes’... as an ideological vanguard, the alt-right fulfilled its own purpose in pulling the Republican Party in its direction.”

The Atlantic

“The alt-right began as an online subculture and will remain one with real staying power, given the salience of far-right ideology among more Americans than we, until very recently, have been willing to admit. A national survey conducted after last year’s Unite the Right rallies suggests that about 10 million Americans believe they ‘mostly agree’ with white supremacists.”

Slate

Perhaps most alarmingly, “there is a large crop of nationalist political candidates who have learned to thrive in the shadows of their much louder ideological kinsmen... Unite the Right II may turn out to be just a very lonely Jason Kessler surrounded by hundreds of counter protestors and journalists, but the movement he represents, the movement that killed Heather Heyer one year ago, is just getting started.”

The Guardian

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right argues the rally is confirmation that the alt-right is a tiny fringe movement and criticizes the mainstream media for making the movement appear more popular than it really is.

The right argues the rally is confirmation that the alt-right is a tiny fringe movement and criticizes the mainstream media for making the movement appear more popular than it really is.

“With the help of social media, the lunatic fringe has forced its way into the mainstream media and been made to look larger and more important than it is. The left recognized that the newly visible alt-right could be turned into a political weapon by drawing a straight line between Trump voters and white supremacists, thereby hoping to scare off more mainstream supporters of the current government.”

Wall Street Journal

“The left often treats reasonable conservative positions — held by many if not most Americans —such as opposing illegal immigration and backing voter ID laws as evidence of racist extremism... the notion that the country is boiling over with right-wing lunatics looking to take over our streets and the government is not only untrue, it’s a partisan myth as harmful to democracy as Trump’s ill-advised comments.”

New York Post

“The second Unite the Right rally in Washington turned out to be an affair which could just as easily have been held in a decent sized garage... Is this the extent of the ‘rising white supremacy movement’ which has supposedly flourished across the country since Donald Trump took office?”

Hot Air

“If the media wants to know why white supremacists are so active and visible now, they need only look at their coverage of them. How much airtime has been given to these fringe groups that no one with any sense actually supports?”

RedState

“The actual news is this: the average American could get more people at a backyard barbeque or poker game than the racists managed to organize this weekend, even with nonstop national news coverage... A divided America this does not make, however the media chooses to cover it.”

Fox News

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

14-year-old boy uses legal quirk to run for Vermont governor.

AP News

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