On Saturday, 200-300 Trump supporters marched in Shelbyville, Tennessee in their neo-Nazi regalia, chanting Nazi slogans:
Billed as a "White Lives Matter" rally, there's no pretense of "free speech" being made here. This is a purely white nationalist rally and they were not shy about who they support:
This Trump worship continues to present something of a problem for the rest of Trump's supporters who keep finding themselves on the same side as Nazis. On the one hand, no one really likes Nazis. They're the single greatest evil the world has ever known. World War II was the last war America was in where the moral lines were so clear cut that 70 years later, Nazis are still the go to bad guys in almost every form of pop culture from video games to awesomely bad movies to really bad comic book plot twists:
But on the other hand, Trump's Nazi supporters aren't saying anything that the rest of his supporters don't already agree with. Illegal immigrants have to go? Check. Black people are lazy moochers and criminals? Check. Jews are greedy manipulators? Check. Muslims are all terrorists? Check. Gays are pedophiles and perverts? Check. White Christians are the best thing about America and we're under attack on all sides? Double check!
Still...Nazis. Who wants to be on the same side as Nazis?
To solve this conundrum, the right has deployed its favorite tactic: Mass cognitive dissonance.
This is nothing new. Conservatives have been claiming the Nazis were Socialists for years because the official name of the party was the National Socialist Party. It's the same type of nonsensical argument that blames the modern liberal Democratic Party for the sins of the old conservative Southern Democrats in creating the KKK and Jim Crow.
But brand new for 2017, we have....Antifa, the new Brownshirts! No, seriously.
The mental gymnastics here are astonishing. Here's how it works. Antifa's entire purpose is to fight fascism. It's literally their name: ANTI-FAscism. That means, in the United States at least, they almost exclusively fight against Trump's white nationalist supporters. That makes them, somehow, Democrats and liberals. And that means they're just like the Nazis whose faces they keep punching.
Just to be clear, the right really really wants to link Antifa to the left and the Democratic Party:
Except, of course, that Antifa doesn't have a political ideology beyond "Don't be a fucking fascist." Literally anyone can be Antifa. It doesn't matter if you're a conservative, a liberal, or if you're not even concerned with regular politics; if you're willing to spend time outing Nazis to their coworkers and neighbors (which is what Antifa does when they're not counter-protesting) or you're willing to punch a Nazi in the face and risk jail or worse, who you vote for during an election is irrelevant: You're Antifa.
Think of this way: Antifa will never have a political party or run a campaign or hold elected office. It can't, it literally does not have an ideology other than opposing fascism.
That doesn't stop the right from insisting it's a terrorist movement trying to overthrow the government which is strange because no one can recall Antifa doing anything to elected officials. No threats, no attacks, no demands, nothing. They do keep showing up to protest white nationalists and get into fights with people that chant "Blood and soil" but it's unclear how punching Nazis and people chanting Nazi slogans is a bad thing. The usual answer is to defend "free speech" but that's a rhetorical dodge. Nazism is a genocidal ideology at its core. It's inescapable. By chanting their slogans, you are explicitly saying that you want to kill every Jew, black, Latino, Asian, LGBT, handicapped, etc. etc. on the planet. A direct threat is not covered by the First Amendment no matter how loudly you scream "free speech."
Trump supporters, unwilling or unable to criticize fellow travelers even if they're literal Nazis, have embarked upon a series of justifications that will inevitably lead to them endorsing Nazi ideology. Just as they took any and all criticism from Trump as evidence that he was right, so too will they increasingly side with the extremists against the "bad guys" of Antifa and the mean ol' liberal fascists trying to shut them up. If it makes liberals cry, then bring on the Nazi chants!
In the end, they'll find there's really not that much difference between them anyway. After all, there's only ever been one way to make America white again and they had a solution for that back in the 1940s.
There are 9 days left to the the 2017 elections.
There are 373 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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