A massive point of confusion I’ve noticed these past months in the realm of politics is in the conflict between perceived fascists, and alleged anti-fascists. Somehow in 2017, the definitions of the term fascist have become so loose, that practically anyone who disagrees with far-left policies can be defined as one. This is dangerous, as not only does this wash away real definitions and muddy political waters, but it gives violent hate groups on both extremes ammunition to attack essentially innocent people. To make matters worse, the media have long been aiding the extremist effort to label anyone right-leaning as “fascist”, going as far as to promote violent hate groups like Antifa who claim to be in opposition of the alleged fascists. What we then have are entire hate organizations, formed around opposing an imaginary faction, which is comprised of people peacefully trying to assert long-silenced viewpoints and unpopular, but arguably necessary, changes to benefit the nation.
The major problem that needs to be immediately corrected in this nation is buying into the notion that those who fight against our enemies are somehow our friends. Another notion that needs to be dispelled is that just because a group labels themselves as something, that doesn’t mean they’re actually said label. Most relevant to this discussion, just because Antifa labels themselves as being anti-fascist, it doesn’t excuse them from criticism when they display violent, and sometimes even semi-fascist tendencies. Just look at Antifa at any major free speech rally or political gathering, and you’ll see the black clad protesters march in step and violently suppress free speech and attempts at unique expression. This behavior would be unacceptable by any group, no matter their alleged motive, and if you switched the black hoodies of Antifa to shaved heads and black boots, then the behavior would clearly be labeled as fascist. The illusion of being progressive or even good intentioned purely based on labels needs to end, and it feels as if our media is on the slow road to realizing this.
Another point that needs to be made is that comparing social and political issues from the past to today is not a valid way to argue points or gain social credibility. People who have existed in the past were shaped by the values and societies that they existed in, so to try and appropriate a famous activist or historical figure to your side purely based off of titles, is a disingenuous act that needs to be curbed. The amount of people I’ve seen claiming that Martin Luther King Jr. would support Black Lives Matter, or that somehow liberals of the past like George Orwell would align themselves with the alt-left of today, not only is intellectually dishonest, but comes across to those educated in history as cheap pandering for social brownie points. Again, titles have zero meaning, and the only thing that matters with political beliefs is the actual beliefs themselves. It’s important these days to not fall for wolves in sheep’s clothing, as I feel most media and decent society seems to be doing these days.
At the end of the day, the issue with our nation isn’t a political one, but an issue of respect, or lack thereof. Unprovoked violence is never an acceptable course of action, and the fact that more and more groups are utilizing violence is not only worrying, but emblematic of a decay in our culture. Even if somebody is a fascist in this nation, they have the freedom to have those strange beliefs and as long as they aren’t enacting force on anyone else, they should be allowed to hold them with no fear that a bunch of unemployed college students are going to beat them senseless. The fact of the matter is that political violence is very one sided these days, and this inequality has been bred from disingenuous reporting, paired with a lack of empathy for the well being of our fellow man. We need to remember now more than ever, that as Americans we’re all part of the same team, which will be essential once more serious global conflicts finally come to a boil, namely those in North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan. A house divided cannot stand, and at this point, we’re basically lying down, ready for the world to stomp on us. There’s enough real enemies out in the world folks, there’s no need to create false evils within our own borders.