The unfortunate events of Charlottesville have revealed a very dangerous trend among the governing and media elites of America. There is almost full consensus that Trump made the unforgivable mistake of being morally equivocal in his condemnation of the two fighting sides. This view unites not only most of the elites of both parties, but it even unites them with statements issued by people around the world who viscerally hate the United States, including that great icon of human rights, the Ayatollah Khameini of Iran!
This should not be surprising. The consensus is based on a completely unamerican premise: that the government should be first and foremost concerned with the moral stature of people involved in violent clashes. The big danger of this is that it makes those groups who feel that they are on the right side of morality think that they are permitted to be violent against those they deem morally deplorable. This is the very thinking prevailing in college campuses, where students now feel it is fine, and even noble, to physically restrain certain people from expressing their views on college campuses.
What is really disconcerting is that this idea is now so pervasive among the elites that even Trump’s prepared speech, written by his White House advisors, carried this same dangerous premise. Trump had to, as always, go off teleprompter to say the one thing that is actually his job to say: even if only one side had some people with very reprehensible immoral views, the violent people who caused the problems were clearly on both sides. That’s the only thing that should matter for the president and the rest of the government.
This is very different from judging who has an immoral worldview. It is not the business of the president or the federal government to adjudicate in matters of personal morality. The president’s statement should have really just been limited to condemning “both sides” for the violence, i.e the statement that was not on the teleprompter.
If a group today decided to protest against gay marriage as “immoral,” many people would call them a hate group and there would be many counter-protesters. If violence broke out between the two groups, who should the president publicly condemn? The now popular “elite” view of course is that he should condemn the anti-gay “hate group,” irrespective of irrelevant details like who actually threw the first punch, and not those gallant people who were morally superior because they were only fighting against the evil “homophobes”.
It’s a patently unAmerican stance with a frightening level of support among our public intellectuals. The president is not the “moral leader” or “moral guide” in a free society and he really has no business preaching about morality (and “love”) in his official capacity (he can perhaps do it in his personal capacity on Twitter). His job is just to focus on identifying (and condemning / punishing) the people who initiate acts of violence, no matter how good their moral intentions are. Which is why Trump rightly said that they needed to first investigate the issue of how the violence was started, a statement that drew even more ire from the elite. “What is there to investigate when one group is Neo-Nazi and the other group is against hate?”, one sincerely baffled TV host cried.
In my own personal view, the neo-Nazis and KKKs and other truly “white supremacist” groups are obviously a bunch of irrational losers. Only a true loser with no sense of self-esteem or useful talent would shamelessly chant collectivist drivel like “Jews. Will not. Replace us.”
However, we should still defend the right of these Neo-Nazi idiots to hate whomever they want to hate, as long as they only express that hate in words. That’s the great invention of Western civilization: the limitation of “violent” hate to words alone. It is not true, as many elites and speech writers seem to suggest, that America was founded on the principle of “love” and “unity” etc, even though those are probably noble values within a practical context. Instead, the Founding Fathers designed a system that assumes that men will never be celestial angels: thus, you may hate me all you want and call me any evil, racist name you can imagine, but you have no right to put a hand on me and I have no right to put a hand on you for your hateful words. That’s the great American principle of freedom of speech that has thus far sustained the greatest society in human history.
Trump may have helped slow down what progressively seems like the inevitable decline of America by taking huge political risk when he chose to go off script by going with his instincts. Had he chosen to follow the politically correct cowardice of our elite leaders in both parties, he would have hastened the fall of America by allowing the new anti-free speech college violence — cloaked in morally pretentious goals like “anti-racism” or “anti-fascism” — to invade the rest of the nation with impunity.
Had he remained “presidential” and stuck true to the professionally prepared teleprompter, Trump would have allowed America to descend more toward the direction that the Ayatollah would find admirable: a society where your violence is hailed as heroic if it is targeted against a person deemed to be morally reprehensible because of the ideas he expresses in a speech, a book or even a drawing.
Neo-Nazi violence is obviously wrong, wherever it can be found. But it is “anti-Neo-Nazi” violence that, besides being equally wrong, also poses a grave danger to the very foundation of American society as we know it.
Contrary to the consensus of the elite, the president should have been more unequivocal in defending the right of the Neo-Nazis to protest and to even chant their stupid slogans.That’s the oath of defending the Constitution that he took and it is what truly requires resolute courage from him, so help him God.