Counterprotesters hold signs before conservative organizers begin a planned “Free Speech” rally on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers, some in uniform, others undercover, would be deployed to keep the two groups apart. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Last night, President Donald Trump gave what was a very hawkish speech on the Afghanistan strategy his administration will be taking. It featured a promise to get out of the business of nation building and to get tougher on terror havens like Pakistan. The hawkish wing of the party – Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and even Marco Rubio – seeming to take it well.
Graham even called Trump “my president.” Weird, right?
But, while last night was all about the war abroad, we do still need to talk about the war at home.
Tensions within the country are at an all time high, and while it is easy to say “The Left is getting violent,” we cannot ignore the fact that elements of the Right – fringe though they may be – are just as chaotic and un-American as the elements of the far Left that we decry almost daily. These elements are not mainstream, and yet they get the most media coverage.
As we have pointed out before, it is no surprise that the media would choose to side with Antifa (as well as whitewash over its more violent elements) over center-right groups. The labeling of a free speech group in Boston as “alt-right” and “controversial” was just their way of condoning Antifa’s existence at the rally.
However, what did Antifa end up doing? Throwing water bottles filled with urine, as well as rocks and stones, at police officers. Was every member of the protest guilty? Of course not. A friend of mine who attended the counter-protest told me that the group was actively trying to eject those who were there to cause mischief. There are many in the movement who simply want to oppose hate and oppose Trump.
They, like conservatives, don’t want to get lumped in with the scum who worship the chaos and choose to create a violent scene.
But, when we choose to focus on the extremes, and paint the opposition with broader and broader brushes, we create the conditions we are now suffering through.
And so, as we are given a speech on war in the Middle East, we must also think of the war at home. It is a war of culture, a war of ideology. It is an ugly one that has far fewer casualties than the war abroad, but it is a damn shame that there are casualties at all.
Here we have Trump, who is not a man known as a unifier. He routinely attacks and belittles those who disagree with him. His election is the result of the culture war, which has taught us that the only way to win is to fight back louder and harder. Trump is the personification of that, and has never really stopped fighting the people he picked fights with as a candidate.
The war at home is one that we have to find an end to, because it is killing us. We have devoted ourselves too much to causes and not enough to each other. I have no idea what the solution is, but I do not it is not going to be a political one. We have to be human and come together at some point, or else we will devolve into little more than cultural mobs who isolate ourselves. That is social regression, and no one should be fine with it.