President Trump received a hailstorm of criticism for his comments that there was violence on both sides during the Charlottesville protests. Political correctness refuses to allow commentary that suggests there is evil and a willingness to hurt and kill on the Left, because after all, they’re fighting for the good and opposing the Nazis.
But the extreme Left, which often operates with the tolerance of normal liberals – who by turn accuse Trump of tolerating “right-wing” extremism – has its own agenda, and white supremacists are foils for a larger plan to create disorder in society and destroy the republic.
If you have any doubt, have a look at this well-reported piece today by Politico, a liberal publication which commendably ran the article anyway. It’s exactly what Trump was talking about.
Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.
Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.
Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.
Let’s understand this. “Anarachists” are not out to oppose white supremacists as their primary aim. They are seeking to destroy “the system.” It was only after Trump won that Antifa saw opportunity knocking to augment its already existing activities. Of course, Politico can’t get completely off the reservation and needs to blame Trump for the growth in leftist violence
After President Donald Trump’s election in November, the antifa activists locked onto another target — his supporters, especially those from white supremacist and nationalist groups suddenly turning out in droves to hail his victory, support crackdowns on immigrants and Muslims and to protest efforts to remove symbols of the Confederacy.
Those reports appear to bolster Trump’s insistence that extremists on the left bore some blame for the clashes in Charlottesville and represent a “problem” nationally. But they also reflect the extent that his own political movement has spurred the violent backlash.
In interviews, law enforcement authorities made clear that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and policies — first as a candidate and then as president — helped to create a situation that has escalated so quickly and extensively that they do not have a handle on it.
“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” said one senior law enforcement official tracking domestic extremists in a state that has become a front line in clashes between the groups.
But the same official notes the nearly unbridled violence being committed on the left.
“These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”
The article goes on to describe how authorities really don’t have a handle on how to infiltrate, track and combat this. It represents a danger because it is escalating, and the fascist, racist white supremacist crowd has a macho self-perception that isn’t going to refrain from fighting back. What’s more, Antifa is increasingly directing its attacks not at extremists, but at conservatives trying to deliver normal, protected speech.
At least Trump recognizes the problem and isn’t afraid of the politically correct from Capitol Hill to his own White House, and is willing to point it out. And hopefully combat it.