Turley Testifies In Senate On Antifa and The Anti-Free-Speech Movement in the United States

downloadToday I am testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution on the anti-free-speech movement in the United States.  The hearing is entitled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.” The hearing will be held at 2:30 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and will be broadcast on C-Span and available on the Internet through the Committee. My testimony is below.

My testimony begins with this overview:

The protests in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd have served to focus the nation on the transcendent issues of racial discrimination and police misconduct. It is an important moment, as we deal with the continuing scourge of racism, to achieve the promise of equal opportunity and equal treatment in our country. We cannot let this moment pass for a national dialogue on racial justice.

That dialogue, however, is increasingly turning into a diatribe on our campuses, on our streets, and in our media. We are losing this opportunity to reach a consensus because of rising violence and intolerance for opposing views. If we are to come together as a nation, we have to be able to speak to one another freely and without fear. That is not occurring due to the campaigns of intimidation and retaliation against those with dissenting views.

Recently, the federal government arrested George Washington University student Jason Charter as the alleged “ringleader” who led efforts to topple statues in Washington, D.C., including the nearly successful effort to destroy the historic Andrew Jackson statue near the White House. Charter has been an active Antifa member on our campus for years, and, after his arrest, reportedly proclaimed “The Movement is winning.”

He is right. A visit to virtually any college or university will expose that success. In my three decades of teaching, I have never seen the level of fear and intimidation that we have today on our campuses. Many professors are afraid to voice dissenting views of the current protests or other issues out of fear that they could be accused of racism or even physically attacked. Some professors have indeed been assaulted or required police protection after voicing opposing views. To put it simply, Antifa and these other extremist groups are winning, and few people seem to be taking notice.

They are winning because universities are now effectively blocking conservative or opposing speakers to avoid violent clashes.

They are winning because the media and politicians downplay such violence to avoid criticism.

They are winning because local officials are ordering police to stand down or prosecutors to drop charges to avoid further conflict.

They are winning because free speech itself is being viewed as a destabilizing factor in our schools and society.

Antifa has achieved its anti-free speech agenda to a degree that even longtime critics never imagined possible. It only took inaction from our government and silence from our citizens.

I would like to briefly describe the agenda of Antifa and its history of violence in our country, including how recent violence fits into its militant philosophy. I would then like to suggest ways for the federal government to fill a vacuum left from the inaction of local and academic leaders in dealing with attacks on the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. It is by no means an easy task since government enforcement itself can also chill free speech and free association rights. However, threats against free speech have reached a critical mass, from our schools to our streets. We can either act or remain passive pedestrians to what inevitably comes next.

Here is the full witness list:

Panel I

  1. The Honorable Ron Wyden

    United States Senator
    State of Oregon
  2. The Honorable Jeff Merkley

    United States Senator
    State of Oregon

Panel II

  1. The Honorable Erin Neely Cox

    United States Attorney
    Northern District of Texas
    Dallas , TX
  2. Mr. Ken Cuccinelli

    Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary
    United States Department of Homeland Security
    Washington , DC

Panel III

  1. Mr. Andrew Ngo

    The Post Millennial
    Portland , OR
  2. Professor Jonathan Turley

    J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
    George Washington University Law School
    Washington , DC
  3. Ms. Nkenge Harmon Johnson

    President and CEO
    Portland Urban League
    Portland , OR
  4. Mr. Kyle Shideler

    Director of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
    Center for Security Policy
    Washington , DC

Here is my testimony: Turley.Testimony.Free Speech.Senate.Final

449 thoughts on “Turley Testifies In Senate On Antifa and The Anti-Free-Speech Movement in the United States”

  1. I fail to accept your premise that all problems related to black people are cultural and not related ton other factors like mass incarceration, substandard schools and materials and people predisposed ton thinkmof them as inferior and treating them likewise. There are reasons for all the things you believe are cultural, you blame black people as an excuse to ignore the reasons.

    1. Enigma, it seems that you feel that Turley made an offensive statement on this page. I looked over his piece and found nothing that I think you should have taken offense over. Did I miss something or are you ovrereacting? Maybe you can enlighten us by quoting what disturbed you.

      1. I wasn’t responding to Turley though I do think his focus on ANTIFA while ignoring the sources of more violence and death than any groups since 2001 is a distraction. I replied to Karen S., I could have made that more clear by putting her name first.

        1. Enigma, that clears things up with regard to Turley though I don’t know what Karen said.

          Antifa has been quite violent and along with BLM we are seeing a lot of innocents dying. Then there are the crazies that neither side wishes to accept as their own. Be careful because a lot of white nationalists actually swing towards the left. Look at what Richard Spencer stands for.

  2. I believe the ultimate goal of these groups is not to eliminate free speech, but the entire Constitution. As other advocacy groups, especially those for the Second Amendment, have said for years: If they can take down one of our Constitutional rights, then the rest will fall. They tried for many years to take down the Second Amendment, knowing they could bring down the First shortly thereafter. This plan failed.

    Now they go after the First, why? Because the nature of the First gives them the right to freely speak their anti-First Amendment rhetoric. With critical mass reached, so that the entire social structure of the U.S. is paralyzed by this movement against free speech, and the failure of the media to remain unbiased, combined with a new push to portray Christians as some type of barbarian, it will not be long until the First Amendment will be changed to something like China has, where you may only speak the Party Line.

    When this happens, and it will if this trend continues, the other Amendments will quickly follow. We already see the push against Due Process, not from the expected area of government denial, but from government cave-in, setting aside crimes and providing no relief to victims. Justice is now laughed at; where are the reparations for those living with injuries received in the current hostilities? The constant push to remove the Second Amendment is another example.

    This fight is real, and it is for the Constitution and our Society!

  3. I’ve been watching conservatives posture and crow about how their freedom of speech is being threatened on university campuses for years. I’ve witnessed these same conservatives growing more and more absolutist in their desire for strict adherence to conservatism, their notion of religious freedom and equality. Interestingly, not everyone is white. Not everyone is a christian. Certainly, not everyone is a conservative. For those differences, I am eternally grateful.

    Conservatives are threatened by a group called Antifa. This shadowy ‘organization’ has conservatives quaking in their shoes and pissing their knickers. They live in total fear of violence directed at them from the shadows, from the halls of academia, from the streets of America where conservatives fear to go.

    Do conservatives really know what Antifa is? They think there’s a grand conspiracy by a vast murderous cabal lurking behind every brown face, every person not decked out in the latest fashions of the wealthy elite.

    Antifa means AGAINST FASCISM. Antifa is an ideology, not an organization. The existence of anything that denounces fascism terrifies conservatives. Why is that? Why are conservatives afraid to denounce and resist fascism?

    I think the answer is too obvious for conservatives to understand

    1. Because they promote fascism with violence ,they are hyparcrits ,the answer is obvious,truth is now the new hate speech

    2. Read a history book and then learn what Antifa is. Stop relying on a name to tell you all you need to know about something. Go house hunting and look at developments. The development might be called Oak Forest so you might want to live among all the oaks based on your understanding of these things. Unfortunately there used to be an oak forest but the oaks were cut down to build houses.

      A name doesn’t necessarily represent a product. Antifa is a violent fascist type of organization. If you go out and protest with them you are an idiot.

    3. I got my eye on the sparrow

      antifa is a RACKETEER INFLUENCED CORRUPT ORGANIZATION or a series of them like the mob

      they are a series of mobs and they are gangs that commit crime

      we are going to stomp them out like so many little criminal gangs that have come and gone before. it may take a while but it will happen

  4. The degree to which the Democrats in both the House and the Senate march in lock step is truly amazing.

  5. Jonathan: I read your testimony before the Senate Judiciary yesterday. Here is my take. Much of your testimony was an attempt to blame Antifa for what you allege is a threat to “free speech”, or to be more precise, the right of conservatives to express their views. You said Antifa “is arguably the most anti-free speech movement in our history”; and “Antifa embraces tactics that are the very signature of fascist organizations”; and “Antifa is about revolutionary change and using demonstrations to trigger greater social unrest”. I think you give Antifa more credit than it really deserves. Antifa is not an “organization” in the traditional sense. It has no acknowledged “leaders” nor an organizational structure. It is a very loose movement of mostly young people who share the common goal of fighting fascist tendencies in this country. So by definition it is not “fascist”. When occasional violence does occur during mostly peaceful protests you immediately blame Antifa because, as you said in your testimony, they are the “usual suspects because they are often the culprits”. By demonizing Antifa you try to justify your proposal to crack down on mostly peaceful protests..

    In your testimony you proposed 10 “conditions” to ensure that in universities conservative voices cannot be marginalized. It turns out your proposal is not new. In a recent report “Campus Free-Speech Legislation: History,Progress, and Problems” by the AAUP, the authors point out that right-wing think tanks have worked over many years to require universities to enforce “free speech” rights to favor conservative advocates. This effort began with the Goldwater Institute, founded in 1968, to promote “school choice”. The Institute is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), an alliance of dozens of conservative think tanks. SPN is an ally of ALEC that pushes right-wing state legislation. Your proposal is just the latest attempt to put the Goldwater Institute model bill into federal legislation that would apply nationwide.

    In 2017 the Goldwater Institute issued a report “Campus Free Speech: A Legislative Proposal” which alleged that “free speech” was under attack on university campuses and proposed a model bill to ensure conservative views would have a more prominent place–even though conservative faculty and students are a distinct minority in most universities. The Institute made clear in its report that its goal was not to just ensure “free speech” for everyone but to change the “balance of forces” on university campuses As the AAUP report indicates: “The primary goal is not to enhance campus free speech but to protect conservative voices”. Due to the efforts of ALEC a number of states have implemented the model bill with some modifications. Your proposal mirrors the Goldwater Institute model bill but goes a step further. You want the federal government, through legislation, to deny federal funding to any university that does not enforce your “conditions”. You want an “independent commission” to make determinations on whether a university has violated your “conditions”. Who would be on that commission you don’t say. But if Trump is re-elected and Congress were to pass implementing legislation, which is highly unlikely, there is no doubt the president would pack the “commission” with people like Betsy DeVos, an opponent of public education, to enforce your “conditions” with a vengeance. In your testimony you say “federal conditional funding can be crafted to avoid the danger of government management of universities”. But your draconian proposal does just this by empowering a “commission” to force universities to punish or expel students or fire faculty who allegedly violate your “conditions”. Who decides whether a violation has occurred? A commission in Washington, D.C.? This is clearly “big brother” government making “free speech” judgments that favor conservative voices over other constituencies. Holding a Damocles sword over universities is not the way to guarantee free speech for all constituencies and violates the basic principle that universities should decide these issues without interference from the federal government .But you are apparently willing to give up this important principle to protect conservative speech.

    I think your claim that conservative voices are being drowned out or suppressed on university campuses is way overstated. When you refused to sign the letter by the vast majority of the law faculty at your university protesting AG Barr’s use of the DOJ to push Trump’s agenda did you suffer any retribution by your colleagues or the administration? Was your right to “free speech” interfered with in any way? I doubt it. Otherwise you would be loudly protesting in one of your posts. As the second-most cited law professor in the country no doubt your testimony will carry a lot of weight with Republican lawmakers who don’t like liberal faculty in universities “indoctrinating” their students with “socialist” and “anarchist” ideas. But the real threat to “free speech” isn’t occurring on university campuses but from the Trump administration. Hopefully, if Trump loses the November election, we will return to a post-Trump, post-fascist era in which the free press will no longer be attacked by Trump (and sued), where Republican politicians will no longer be emboldened by Trump’s racist rhetoric to express similar views (at least not in public) and the nation will finally be unified in the fight against COVID-19.

  6. On the left/right issue I think that when Trump looks at a proposal he is less concerned with labels than practical issues:

    What is it supposed to do,

    Will it work,

    What will it cost in price and loss of alternatives

    Will it help or hurt Americans and the country?

    Those are real questions worth asking. Whether something is left or right is political pipe dreaming and the opium for it is money and loss of rational thought.

      1. Actually, it is readily apparent to most voters (yes, most) that Trump’s love for this country runs deep and that he is doing all he can to correct the wrongs he saw happening to his beloved country. He is doing it all on behalf of all of us. We see him. We love him. We are going to make sure he wins reelection to finish what he started four years ago. Trump 2020. All the way.

        1. Most voters don’t approve of Trump:

          In his entire presidency, Trump’s average approval rating has never been above 50%.
          In his entire presidency, Trump’s average disapproval rating has been above 50% for all but a few days.
          In his entire presidency, Trump approval rating has been under water for all but a few days, with more people on average disapproving of the job he’s doing than approving.

          Trump is a malignant narcissist and a pathological liar, and he is unfit for the office.

          1. “Most voters don’t approve of Trump:”

            When it comes to election time it is not a matter of approval rating. It is a matter of who will show up at the polls. The reason why democrats don’t like one citizen one vote is because they can’t win based on a fair election.

            Biden may appear to have a higher favorability but so do turnips whose roots lie deep underground and don’t see the light of day. I don’t think Biden’s followers are all going to enthusiastically run to the polls to vote for a turnip. Trumps voters are loyal and while they sometimes are quiet for safety reasons they will be going to the polls.

      1. Kurtz, I didn’t vote for Trump in the primaries. All of the legitimate complaints were known by me when I voted and some for decades before. I was very familiar with his legal hassels that he won. I didn’t have a good fix on the man as a politician but I do now. He is pragmatic and the thing he wants to do is to prove he can be the best President. That is part of his psyche. He must accomplish and he must not give up. He doesn’t want to engage in race politics and he doesn’t want to tell people what to do.

        Today, there is no question who I would support. No one else could have survived the attempted ‘assasinations’ democrats unleashed.

        What I do note on this blog is a lack of optimism that most of the left wingers have. Listening to them, though they might be decent people, they don’t seem to be of the nature to accomplish something without a lot of help from a lot of others. I see envy and the desire to get to the top of the ladder by pulling someone else down rather than putting in the effort to climb upwards faster and harder.

        I find it amazing that they dump people they used to cling to like Dershowitz and our host Turley. I disagree with both of them but if I were looking for ideas that were consistent for the benefit of the nation I would want to expand my horizon so both would be highly desireable. We lose sight of what our goals are. Most decent people have the same goals and it is only a matter of how to get there. If one’s goal is only his ideology then he has failed to improve anything and is a threat to normal people.

    1. God Bless Herman Cain;

      Free and Self-Reliant American.

      His success was achieved through his hard work, sacrifice and merit.

      He sought no charity or pity.

      He endeavored mightily and enjoyed his “…certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      Herman Cain freely pursued happiness of his own industry as a Great American.

      1. ” God Bless Herman Cain; Free and Self-Reliant American.”

        Very true George. He was an American in the realest of senses.

        I have to get that documentary film “Uncle Tom” and watch it. I keep forgetting.

    2. Thank you Allan! There is something refreshing, something pure about how he described meritocracy. Anyone that would come away from this clip with a negative attitude towards this man must have a bias influencing how they think.

      1. “Masks. Better safe than sorry.”

        That you used the word safe demonstrates you still don’t understand what we face. Think of risk management and think in increments of risk.

        I’m not against the use of masks though there are many features about wearing a mask that you will never understand. More appropriate would have been for you to say that he should have maintained distance and even more distance if masks weren’t being worn by others.

        If one has a choice distance from Covid is much safer than dependence on a mask which is questionable. Cain should have self isolated because he was among those with the higherst risk.

        The chances are, with my understanding of his schedule, that had he worn a mask at all times the likelihood of the same outcome would be very high.

    3. He should have worn a mask, just as he should have encouraged other to wear masks.

      From Wikipedia:

      Health and death

      In 2006, Cain was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and metastases to his liver and was given a 30 percent chance of survival. Cain underwent surgery and chemotherapy following the diagnosis, after which the cancer was subsequently reported to be in remission.[108]

      Cain opposed mask mandates during the coronavirus pandemic.[109][110][111] He attended the 2020 Trump Tulsa rally on June 20 and was photographed not wearing a face mask in a crowd who also were not wearing masks.[112] On June 29, Cain was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital two days later.[113] On July 2, Cain’s staff said there was “no way of knowing for sure how or where” he contracted the disease.[113] Dan Calabrese, the editor of Cain’s website, said, “I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling [that] week, including to Arizona where cases [were] spiking.”[44]

      After four weeks of hospitalization, Cain died from COVID-19 complications on July 30, 2020, at the age of 74.[114]

      On June 30, the day before he was hospitalized, he praised South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for not requiring masks at an upcoming Trump campaign event, tweeting “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”[115] The tweet was deleted the day he died.[110]

  7. Thanks for standing up for the 1st, Prof. JT.

    We all appreciate it, the sanes ones. Or half way sane and above. 😉

    1. LOL! I don’t like long posts either, em. I’ll often choose one paragraph and provide the link. In this case, there wasn’t just one paragraph, but the entire article in my opinion was worth posting.

  8. Yale sued for defective virtual/online education.

    The collapse of higher education and education finance; coming to a town near you.

    1. There was already major financial problems spreading in lower tier universities and colleges

      not even the unfair exemption of these socalled “nonprofits” from property taxes is enough of an advantage for them

      shutter them and reorganize higher education fast or they will keep on leading us to ruin.

      STEM department staff are the only ones genuinely worth retaining, the humanities need a severe purge

      most of all, purge the boards of governors and trustees and their failed handpicked stooges in the top executive slots



    Commenter Olly has posted what appears to be 50 page paper regarding a Nigerian study of Hydroxycloroquine. Said study was published by the Palmer Foundation of Australia. Founder Clive Palmer is a minerals baron steeped in Australian politics.

    One can only speculate as to why Olly felt this study should occupy a 10 yards of comment space.

    1. Either you ”accidentally” clicked on the next article > located directly above the article he reference…or deceptively chose to tie both articles together in your attempt to discredit the article altogether. Either way, it’s easy to see your motive in your many comments while you viciously attack anyone with an opposing viewpoint. And given the orgins of this post, I can’t help but see the irony of it all… Oh and by the way The REMAP clinical trial discussed is ongoing in 200 sites in 14 countries. They include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, USA.

      And I gotta ask, what’s wrong with a Nigerian study anyway? Your discriminating against a nation despite the standard you set for everyone else?

    2. You fancy yourself the editor and gatekeeper of the Turley blog? It is apparently lost on you that by routine, not only will you create lengthy posts, but you’ll reply to them with your Regarding above commentary. Had you a functioning left-half of your brain, you wouldn’t need to speculate. If you read the article, it’s very clear why it was written and you are not restricted from asking me any questions for clarity. Of course you always have the option to bypass comments as you see fit.

      I do however appreciate you directing others to the article. 🙂

  10. Professor Turley, i do greatly value what you are doing . Your today’s testemony was impressive and educational. Thank you!

    1. Woot-woot. 3rd circuit par-tay

      Theyre kids, they say dumb stuff all the time, at least up until 25 yo, and you’re well into your young adult years by then. Sometimes some never learn. Lol.

    2. Good. I may have missed it, but did she want to be reinstated on the JV Cheer squad as well? I fully expect the school will find a way to retaliate against this decision.

  11. Seth– Instead of thinking in terms of left wing and right wing try this experiment.

    On a line with one end being most totalitarian and the other end being the most free place the systems of government without regard to ideology.

    On the totalitarian end we could probably all agree that we would find China, Russia, the old Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, and East Germany. Close to them, or maybe in the same place, would be Mussolini’s Italy and Franco’s Spain. Nearby would be some of the Muslim countries. Most of the Western countries would cluster on the other end of the line, free but not free enough.

    Once done, where are the self-identified socialist/Marxist countries? I think almost entirely on the totalitarian end of the line.

      1. The idea is that you put a state anywhere you think it belongs on the line. If you don’t like ‘totalitarian’ use plus and minus measures of freedom for the scale. The idea is to get away from the internal bias that labels bring. Whatever it is, is Russia less free or more free than, say, France? I don’t care what you decide on that issue. But put the countries somewhere on a freedom scale and see if socialist or Marxist programs at any degree tend to push the country to the less free end of the scale. Obviously, other things can do the same, like the Big Man rule sometimes seen in Africa or the ME.

      2. People were arguing fruitlessly whether Nazi Germany was left wing or right wing. On a freedom scale it clearly belongs with the Soviet Union and China. The state can more easily crush you in states like those. That seems a more important measure than which wing it belongs to.

        1. Shill want’s to tar Barry Goldwater with Nazi Germany. Retrospective admirers of Goldwater know this is fraudulent and say back at you. Not that difficult to understand.

          1. No, it is not that hard to understand. That is why getting away from antique labels they use to make such comparisons is important.

        2. That seems a more important measure than which wing it belongs to.

          That is such a fundamental point to nearly every discussion we have on this blog. Labels are for suckers.

          Perhaps it’s the Navy in me, but I see our country as a ship at sea. As long as our course is set for a more perfect union, as long as we respect the design (constitution) and not try to defy it’s limits, our ship of state will withstand rolls to port and starboard. It’s when we have a captain and/or a crew that wants to set a different course that defies the designed limits, this is when we get into trouble. Labeling these rogue ideologues as Fascists, Communists, Socialists doesn’t actually matter. Hard turns to port or starboard will happen. It’s when they take us off course and they defy the design, that is when they put our ship at risk.

          I knew Clinton was not the captain we needed. Trump was an unknown, but he has put us on the right course and within the design. I realize it appears we are on a radical turn to starboard, but in reality, we had turned so far to port with the last administration that any starboard turn was going to seem radical. This election is about staying the current course, or turning so far to port that the ship won’t survive the roll. How many are going to abandon ship when that happens?

    1. Young, ‘what ‘socialist Marxist’ countries??

      Perhaps ‘Venzuela identifies as ‘socialist Marxist’. But I don’t who else you’re talking about.

      If you’re honestly trying to say that Sweden and Denmark are totalitarian regimes, you’ve lost me completely.

    2. If we ran down a list of economic policies and laws concerning private economic activity, we very well might find that China is “to the right” ie more liberal than the United states where certain important matters such as taxes are concerned. For example, the PRC has NO estate or gift tax whatsoever. Ours was very extensive until Bush II and Obama raised the level quite high. But it is still there.

      Franco’s Spain was also very light on “regulations” on private business interests.

      Also, if we compared “police per capita,” among these various authoritarian regimes, we might find unexpected results compared to the United states.

  12. Picking Up On ‘Nazi – Socialist’ Discussion..



    Smithsonian explains that in the early 1880’s Chancellor Bismarck presided over a newly united German state where socialists had emerged as a ‘radical’ force. Bismarck calculated he could beat the socialists at their own game by devising a government safety net for elderly Germans. The program was put into practice in 1883 and became so popular that it altered policy thinking throughout western Europe.

    Therefore when the Nazi Party was formed, shortly after WW!, Bismarck’s old age safety net had been around almost 40 years. Which suggests, as I stated before, that ‘socialism’ already had mainstream appeal when founding Nazi’s co-opted that term.

    1. I think i agree with seth that socialism was not associated with Marxism in that place and time, and it had some cachet as a coming aspect of modernity.

      this would fit with Roger Griffin’s definition of fascism that I ascribe to

      I would not agree that the NSDAP “coopted” socialism, in the sense that, they advocated policies that they sincerely believed would benefit the nation.

      Now we do not like how they defined the nation as Germans and not Jewish Germans, which was a core aspect of their platform, but, aside from that, the NS government actually did implement many of the very same social benefit programs that were adopted at the same time in other nations such as public works of Roosevelt, or, believe it or not, guess what, Nazis were way ahead of us on occupational health and safety regulations. including rules about exposure to carcinogens

      moreover, there were various social welfare operations


      overall, my point is that they were not all the more or less socialist than other national governments at the time. I think liberterians have overplayed this theme, on the one hand, and some people who think of themselves as leftists today, are likewise in denial that the nazis, at least before the war disaster, and setting aside antisemitic programs, but apart from those two things, a credible argument can be advanced that the NS government actually did advance social interests by law and national policy and programs, and that was in some sense a very genuine form of socialism, whether anybody likes to see it that way today or not. or whether anybody likes the term or not.

      1. Kurtz, it gets complicated. Scientists in Nazi Germany discovered the link between cancer and cigarettes in the 1930’s. And Hitler, a vegetarian, encouraged the German people to have at least one meatless meal per week.

        In other words the Nazis were enlightened in some respects; which muddies the narrative that they were totally evil.

        1. Seth, It’s good history to try and round out a factual picture that is not a cartoonish caricature of reality. Caricatures are propaganda not history. Narratives about evil are moralistic judgments and not historical analyses. This is as much true of the Soviet Union as it is of the NS regime. Usually these oversimplifications are being used for some petty rhetorical point scoring. And yet we rarely correct these moralisms. One of my modest purposes here is to suggest that we can explore topics with greater attention to fact and analysis and not just wallow in the mud like so many unruly pigs snorting at each other.

          Republicans, in my view, and I count myself as one my whole life, are too quick to toss the socialism accusation. This turns off young people who are not as catechized as older generations in disliking the term. A lot of these young people can be reached and drawn into a serious conversation about policy wherein we consider how and when government plans, laws, and edicts are necessary at times, which may curtail privae action and interests for the common good; or perhaps, may be needless and even counter productive.

          Republicans are not without their own historical tools of “socialism.” Anti-trust laws are a corrective measure which aims at cancelling planning or undertaken market activities for the common good, and were brought into existence under the administration of Teddy Roosevelt. In my opinion we need to aim these tools at correcting the overweening power of Google and similar other Silicon valley oligarchs. Arguably, this would be a form of socialist activity, but it’s one we need now to do.

          Free trade restrictions such as Trump has undertaken against firms doing certain trade with China, is also arguably a form of socialism, even though, Adam Smith himself explored it as a legitimate part of capitalism which respects nations states as valid communities and juridical entities. But he was writing at the early phase of capitalism, before international finance grew so big and fat that it decided nation states were no longer desirable. This is globalism, in a nutshell.

          We have seen that globalism at times attacks populist leadership a la Trump, and at other times, it may attack socialist leadership. Perhaps Venezuela or Bolivia is an example of this. But both Trumpian populist trade restrictions, and socialist activities such as undertaken by various overtly socialist regimes, are likewise both based on the legal perquisites of nation-states as such. I am reluctant to erode the legitimacy of what remains of the Westphalian order in international relations by “going after socialist regimes” such as Venezuela, which although obviously incompetent, may be operating within the sphere of their own national sovereignty.

    2. socialism’ already had mainstream appeal when founding Nazi’s co-opted that term.

      Then Nazism had mainstream appeal. It was a variant of socialism, as was Fascism.

  13. I would like to laugh about Trump supporters, I just don’t find it funny any more. They are in a world of their making. And no matter how bad it gets, they see no fault in their Dear Leader. Sad…very sad.

    1. You must not know any Trump supporters. They see many faults. What’s sad is that you stereotype instead of truly looking around you. And that’s not funny.

      1. Reality is going to slap Trump Supporters upside the head so hard, good thing they have nothing to damage.

    2. This woman used to share your opinion, until she had the novel idea of going to a Trump rally and meeting some of the people. She still considers herself a liberal but she was surprised at how normal and nice everyone was to her.

      You might want to consider engaging people outside of the internet. It’s a thing, that real world.

      1. Fantastic video and the truth. It should be posted again and again. My experience at a Trump rally before he was elected in 2016 was the same except I was a Trump voter but I saw Bernie People there. Not common but not everyone attending a Trump rally is for Trump but virtually everyone at those rallies are peaceful and kind to one another (except pre-planned protestors). You can see that kindness when people are pressed together and someone has a problem. Everyone seems willing to help, even willing to help enough and give up part of their space.

        I also saw Trump when he walked in on a large meeting where Democrats and Republicans were attending. The President was in that limbo period waiting for January. He walked in for a minute and said a quick hello from a corner next to the entry way. He acted very humble and said a few nice words about the person who was speaking. In his presence everyone behaved extremely well and even the Democrats were impressed with his demeanor.

  14. Any time someone claims that ‘Antifa’ has any goal or plan beyond confronting and exposing fascists and supremacists that person is revealing a propagandistic motive of their own. That goal being to distract the people from the violence and subversion of the far right.

    1. Antifa is a fascist collection of soy people, hoodlums, psychos and criminals bent on destruction for the sake of destruction. We saw the like in Hitler’s Brown shirts and Mao’s Red Guard.

      1. Maybe if they sling assault rifles on street corners and state houses they would be “very fine people’

    2. A few years ago during one of the Antifa riots I heard a guy who claimed to be a leader of the Portland contingent. He was asked what he was “protesting” This is what he said:

      1 Wanted rent control
      2. Didn’t want people kicked out by landlords (apparently despite the new rent controls)
      3. Didn’t like Nike’s tax break for building new facilities in Portland (paying for itself many times over).

      Boy, were they “confronting and exposing fascist and supremacists” or what? Or did they just want free rent.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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