Charlottesville, Barcelona, and the Left's Nostalgia for Nazism
Within minutes of the announcement of the vehicular terror attack in Barcelona, Jim Sciutto and Wolf Blitzer of CNN were opining that the horrifying events in Spain may have been inspired by (i.e. were a copycat of) Charlottesville. The implications of this comparison are not only wrong-headed, they are reactionary and dangerous to the American public and the world.
And this is for even more important reasons than the fact that Barcelona was a catastrophic attack with, as of this writing, 13 dead and over 100 wounded, many seriously. (Coordinated attacks were apparently attempted in other parts of Catalonia.)
What happened in Charlottesville?
A hodgepodge group of disgusting white-supremacist racists, including vestigial members of the barely-existent Ku Klux Klan and some random neo-Nazis who spilled off a webpage, decided to assemble in Charlottesville, VA, to protest that city's removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. None of these demonstrators -- despite what Donald Trump alleged -- were justified in this protest, because standing with the KKK and neo-Nazis automatically disqualifies you for life, no matter what your reasoning. Nevertheless, they were only a few hundred of these demonstrators, a decidedly puny showing in a country of over 325 million.
Another counter-protest consisting largely of the equally disgusting Antifa movement arrived to oppose this demonstration. The two sides, not surprisingly, got in each other's faces violently. The police opted out, as they so often do these days. And one delusional white supremacist dope -- in an act that does not seem to have been premeditated, but entirely out of blind rage -- drove into the crowd of counter-protestors, killing a young woman. A tragedy...
... but nothing at all like what went on in Barcelona. Or in Nice. Or in Paris. Or in London. Or in Manchester. Or in Berlin. Or in Brussels. Or in Stockholm. Or in Orlando. Or in San Bernardino.... Obviously, I could go on. These were all -- to one degree or another -- planned acts of radical Islamic terrorism, designed to frighten the world into submission, not random explosions of reprehensible racist hotheads exacerbated by extremely poor crowd control.
So why -- beyond the traditional Trump bashing -- are such liberal-lefties, or whatever you want to call them at CNN and elsewhere, so determined to make such an equivalency? Why do they want to magnify the existence and importance of neo-Nazis and Klan members in our society when their numbers are minuscule?
We could call this a kind of nostalgia for Nazism, the yearning for a simpler time when the source of all evil was so clearly evident and so directly confronted. Perhaps more importantly, it's a nostalgia for when all evil was supposedly on the right, even though the Nazis, so many conveniently forget, were the National Socialist Party. At least the right could be blamed. And is.
It is also a yearning for a time when the source of evil was not so treacherous and complicated. No one knows how many Islamic radicals there are or where they are, although there are apparently a lot of them, probably vastly more than there ever were Nazis, possibly in the hundreds of millions if you add up the results of this Pew poll of eleven Muslim countries. (It may even be understated, given the reluctance to answer such incriminating questions.)
Not only that, a significant percentage of the left evinces sympathy for Islamic radicals, identifying with them and justifying their cause, despite the obvious misogyny and homophobia, through such latter-day crypto-fascist inventions as "intersectionality." The Antifa movement, in the forefront of that nauseating sympathy for Islamism, is far more prevalent and dangerous in U.S. society than those few pathetic remaining losers in the KKK and similar neo-Nazi groups. The Antifa thugs are seemingly everywhere, smashing windows and making life Hell for weak-willed university administrators across the country.
Nevertheless, overwhelmed by this nostalgia that is, in truth, a masquerade for fear of a gruesome reality, the almost non-existent neo-Nazis are the boogeymen of the hour in the eyes of our friends on the left. Again, what a convenience, because dealing with what happened in Barcelona is surpassingly difficult. It isn't because of neo-Nazis or the KKK that it's been decades since any of us has walked onto an airplane or entered a concert or museum without being examined or x-rayed, that our daily lives have not been the same. A vicious ideological war is obviously being waged against the West and its liberties with its end nowhere near in sight. As ISIS wrote of the Spanish terror, "We will recover our land from the invaders." Like the Nazis of old, they mean it.
Will the left ever wake up? Or will they still be talking about Charlottesville when a runaway truck barrels across Times Square and down Broadway?
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already. He tweets @rogerlsimon.