Election 2020

What About the 'Alt-Left'?

(Photo by Mark Apollo / Pacific Press)

My old friends and colleagues at the New York Sun ask a good question:

Secretary of State Clinton’s decision to play the racism card against Donald Trump strikes us as lacking in credibility — given the source. There is no doubt that the Republican nominee has stirred up the xenophobes with his harsh rhetoric in respect of immigration and is being cheered on by the racist David Duke and his ilk. The New York Sun wants no part of them and neither does the GOP. But the Democratic Party has its own fringe for which to answer before Mrs. Clinton has any standing to make a megillah of the “alt-right.” What about the alt-left?

It’s not our intention to suggest that there are never grounds for grievance against the police or that the police are always right. Neither is it our intention to suggest that Mrs. Clinton is herself a racist (even if, during the 2008 campaign, there were suggestions that the Clintons were using racist tactics in the Carolinas). It is our intention to suggest that Mrs. Clinton is no more high-minded than Mr. Trump. She still, insofar as we’re aware, hasn’t broken with President Obama’s outrageous claim that the Iranian regime could be rational about its economy even if it was anti-Semitic.

The Democratic Party alt-left agitators protesting against Mr. Trump’s rallies in this campaign have illuminated nothing so much as the fact that the alt-right has no quarter on violence, bigotry, and thuggery. Ironically, Mrs. Clinton was the first to make the ad hominem attack the central feature of her strategy against her general election opponent. She has refused to engage the GOP nominee on the issues — and, indeed, has swung in behind him on certain big issues, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. On immigration, one issue where she is playing the race card against him, she vows to pursue Mr. Obama’s strategy.

That consists of acting without Congress, which is one of the things that has so inflamed the issue in the past eight years. Another is the strategy of trying to boost employment with easy money rather than economic growth. It’s a combination that may have delivered what is ostensibly a low unemployment number but has also given us the lowest labor participation rate in decades. This has enabled Mr. Trump to make the argument that, despite the efforts to tar him as a racist, he has the better strategy for striving minorities. We look forward to at least the possibility of the presidential debates getting into all this.

I’d go further and say it’s the “Alt-Left” — which, when you stop to think about it, is actually now the mainstream Left — that routinely resorts to violence. Indeed, violence and incitement have been part of the “Alt-Left” playbook since 1968. Shutting down free speech and debate is essential to the Leftist world view, and always has been. But what do you expect from people who are triggered by “microaggressions” while they’re smashing you in the face with a broken beer bottle?