Sympathy for the Devil

The “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville was a stupid tragedy costing the lives of three people and injuring more than 20 more. Many in the media now talk of incipient civil war, while politicians, reporters, and political parties almost universally brand the marchers as the instigators of the violence. Somehow I just don’t see David Duke meets Antifa as a trigger for the whole country to go to war. I also don’t see the march organizers as lone agents in what happened, as bigoted and ignorant as they are. In time the violent will be punished. The danger is what happens next.

Have no doubt, a lot of short-sighted people out there will start talking about how “white supremacist nationalists” need to be outlawed.   That’s when the real trouble begins. The Green Party is already calling for prosecution of far-right groups for terrorism. The Party for Socialism and Liberation openly justifies violence against those they consider far right. We cannot forget free speech covers both the enlightened and the ignorant. Unless their speech leads directly to violence (like yelling fire in a crowded theatre) or they initiate violence themselves, they must be allowed to voice their views. Otherwise, protecting our individual rights, yours and mine, really means nothing in the USA.

As Sir Thomas Moore said, if you cut down all the laws to get at the Devil, where do you shelter when he turns on you?

Pete Blome

Chair, Northwest Florida Libertarian Party

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