Monday, August 21, 2017

Radical Leftists Are Never Considered 'Fringe'

Here's this, at the far-left NYT (safe link), "The Showdown Over How We Define Fringe Views in America":
Today in the United States, sweeping majorities of the public say they support fair housing laws and the ideal of integrated schools. Nine in 10 say they would back a black candidate for president from their own party, and the same say they approve of marriage between blacks and whites. That last issue has undergone one of the greatest transformations in polling over the last 50 years. In 1960, just 4 percent of Americans approved.

More than a triumph over private prejudice, these numbers reflect changing social norms. The country hasn’t extinguished racism. But society — universities, employers, cultural institutions, the military — has made clearer over time that people who hold racist views had better nurse them off in the corner.

But these norms may be fraying. Since the last presidential election, and particularly since white supremacists rallied this month, unmasked, in Charlottesville, Va., the line between acceptable and ostracized views has started to become less stark. When President Trump declined to condemn white supremacists more forcefully, he ignited a fight that at its core is about how we define norms in America: Who gets to be part of civil society, and whose views belong on the fringe?

That fight is being waged by opposing protesters across the country and by pundits daily on TV. The president’s critics fear that he is inviting white supremacists out of the corner, helping ideas that have become widely reviled in America to be redefined as reasonable opinions — just part of the discussion.

“They are explicitly trying to do that,” Tina Fetner, a sociologist at McMaster University in Ontario, said of members of white supremacist groups. Until recently, they were ignored. But now the president is repeating their memes and the distorted versions of history that prop up their views, she said. As a result, the news media is broadly covering them, too.

“This is exactly the process of how social change happens,” Ms. Fetner said. “It’s not because all of a sudden there is more racism now than there was a few weeks ago. It’s that the absolute condemnation of those most abhorrent views is crumbling away because the president isn’t fulfilling that role.”

Ms. Fetner has studied the transformation in views on gay rights and same-sex marriage. The shifts around race and gender similarly reflect not just widening acceptance of equality, but also the rising condemnation of anyone who vocally opposes it.

Polls don’t necessarily capture how people truly feel; they capture what people are willing to say to a pollster. But the idea that some people might lie in surveys illustrates how social norms work. And political scientists suspect that part of what Mr. Trump has done, through his anti-immigrant and nativist appeals, is encourage people who might have kept silent in the past about their racist views to express them in public.

“For all these years, this is a group of people that’s been very bitter about the fact that they feel like they can’t speak,” said Sarah Sobieraj, a sociologist at Tufts. “It’s not just that their policies haven’t been popular.” And then Mr. Trump says similar things, with a powerful platform, without apology.

When norms of acceptable behavior and speech start to shift, it can disturb the shared beliefs, values and symbols that make up our culture. “It’s really all of those things that we’re watching right now — they’re all up for discussion,” Ms. Sobieraj said...
This, of course, is all B.S., because it's only the alleged "alt-right" whose views are considered "fringe" and unacceptable. You never get wall-to-wall coverage of major stories like just last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son stated that radical leftists are the far bigger threat today. (See the Times of Israel, "Yair Netanyahu says leftists more dangerous than neo-Nazis.")

As I've said for years, the Democrats' motto is "no enemies on the left," and that motto is now the default position of all the major actors of the institutional left. See John Fund, at NRO (via Memeorandum), "‘No Enemies on the Left’ Is Still the Mantra of Too Many Liberals."

I haven't been following politics, or blogging politics, all that much this last couple of weeks. And you can see why. We're in the middle of an all-out war on the Trump administration and his supporters, and there's no depth the leftist mass media won't sink in its campaign against truth and decency.

Radical leftists are the real threat to American freedom, prosperity, and security. And to defeat the radical left, you have to defeat all the institutions of cultural, economic, and political domination now working against traditional America. It's a cold civil war at this point, but that's just temporary. Regular folks will only take so much before they put up a fight. And as the radical left is never satisfied (as evidenced by the current leftist campaign to remove Confederate statues from the public sphere across the country), there comes a time when you have to stand up and be held to account for your values.

That's where we are today in America. There will be blood.