Nazi-Hunting Fantasies Have Unhinged The Left: After Charlottesville, the Left’s tendency to smear anyone who disagrees with them as a Nazi is spiraling to the point of paranoid insanity

Nazi-Hunting Fantasies Have Unhinged The Left: After Charlottesville, the Left’s tendency to smear anyone who disagrees with them as a Nazi is spiraling to the point of paranoid insanity. By Robert Tracinski.

I’m worried that the Charlottesville riots are making the Left psychologically unhinged in the same way that they have been unhinged by the election of Donald Trump, only more so.

The problem with their reaction to Donald Trump is that he seems to so totally vindicate all of their political prejudices that he justifies an even more vicious vilification of anyone who opposes their agenda. Everyone who supports free market capitalism is a rich jerk who looks down on poor people? Check. Anyone who complains about political correctness just wants to be a sexist boor? Check. Anyone who talks hawkishly about Islamic terrorism must be driven by a neurotic need to prove his masculinity? Check. Anyone who doesn’t sign up for the latest iteration of the “diversity” agenda must harbor some kind of implicit sympathy for white nationalists? Yeah, well, check.

These things are not true of the overwhelming majority of people who hold those views. As applied to Trump, they are a bit exaggerated, but close enough to be plausible. So the Left is seduced by the temptation to take this as final proof that everyone who opposes them is just as irredeemably awful as they always suspected. …

Now Charlottesville:

Charlottesville has made them feel even more emboldened in smearing everyone who disagrees with them as a Nazi or a white nationalist. …

What is most ominous is that the Left is using Charlottesville to talk themselves into the notion that Nazis and white nationalists have no free speech rights and are fair game for violence. They talk about “punching Nazis,” but that’s just a mild-sounding euphemism as they work their way toward justifying political murder. Don’t believe me? Look at this video, and ask yourself where this is heading. …

What struck me is the way the people around him have formed into a howling mob, closed to reason, principles, or restraint.

Also notice that the people attacking him are not just young people caught up in the frenzy of the moment. They’re distinctly middle-aged—notice the man with the grey goatee—and given that this is a university town, they’re probably well-educated. They look like the kind of people I might rub shoulders with in the aisles of the local Whole Foods. In other words, they are old enough to exercise some self-restraint—but they’re not interested in doing so. They have taken the evil of their enemies as a license to forego all the rules of civilized society. …

Combine this with the Left’s glee at calling anyone a Nazi, at the slightest provocation. If you stood accused of that and were confronted with a mob like this, do you think they would listen as you patiently explain that you only oppose removing Confederate monuments out of a desire to preserve history? And if free speech rights don’t apply to “fascists”—or to those branded as such—would you even be allowed to make the case that you aren’t one? When the online mobs have set out to get people fired for attending the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, they certainly didn’t wait to find out if they might be targeting the wrong people.

Believe me, the arguments about how Nazis don’t have free speech rights and how it’s okay to punch them sound much more ominous if anyone has ever called you a Nazi just because he doesn’t like your stand on single-payer health care.