The Hard Right and Hard Left Pose Different Dangers

The Hard Right and Hard Left Pose Different Dangers, by Alan Dershowitz.

The extreme right — neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other assorted racists and anti-Semites — and the extreme left—anti-American and anti-Israel zealots, intolerant censors, violent anarchists such as Antifa, and other assorted radicals — both pose a danger in the U.S. and abroad. …

History has set limits on how far to the extremes of the hard right reasonable right-wingers are prepared to go. Following the horrors of the Holocaust and Southern lynchings, no one claiming the mantle of conservative is willing to be associated with Nazi anti-Semitism or the KKK. Neo-Nazi and Klan speakers are not invited to university campuses.

The hard left lacks comparable limits. Despite what Stalin, Mao, the Castros, Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez and North Korea’s Kims have done in the name of communism, there are still those on the left — including some university professors and students — who do not shrink from declaring themselves communists, or even Stalinists or Maoists. Their numbers are not high, but the mere fact that it is acceptable on campuses, even if not praiseworthy, to be identified with hard-left mass murderers, but not hard-right mass murderers, is telling. …

The danger posed by the extreme left is directly related to its more benign goals, which seduce some people, including university students and faculty. Believing that noble ends justify ignoble means, they are willing to accept the antidemocratic, intolerant and sometimes violent censorship policies and actions of Antifa and its radical cohorts. …

Former White House aide Steve Bannon recently told “60 Minutes” that “the neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates and the Klan, who by the way are absolutely awful — there’s no room in American politics for that.”

In contrast, prominent American leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and even Bernie Sanders, supported the candidacy of British hard-left extremist Jeremy Corbyn, despite his flirtation with anti-Semitism.