You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
Rahm Emanuel, current Chicago Mayor and former Chief of Staff for Barack Obama
Carl Olson at Catholic World Report notes that in the aftermath of Charlottesville it is business as usual for the left:
“Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.” — Pope Pius XI, Mit brennender Sorge (March 14, 1937)
“Their conflict is not one of ideologies, for Communism and Naziism are both destructive of human freedom.” — Abp. Fulton Sheen, Philosophies at War (1943)
There are many aspects to the violent, ugly, and shameful actions that have taken place in Charlottesville, Virginia, these past few days but I focus here on just a couple of them, seeking to make a couple of connections to ongoing troubles in the Church.
First, at risk of being misunderstood or misrepresented, I am a bit bemused at the flood of statements, remarks, exhortations, demands, tweets, posts, and declarations that certain groups must—must!—renounce, condemn, and otherwise harshly decry the words and deeds of the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and related haters. It’s as if we GenXers and the Millennials nipping at our heels have never, in all of our many years in public schools and in various public settings, really heard or learned that racism is an evil, as it surely is. But, in fact, if there are any evils that approach the status of objective certainty in the eyes of the ordinary, younger American today, they are surely racism, sexism, and homophobia (and perhaps Islamophobia as well).
A couple of nights ago, as matters turned deadly in Charlottesville, I saw that a well-known Catholic commentator was excoriating “conservatives” and “Trump supporters” and other apparently dubious deplorables for failing to step up and offer endless condemnations. Silence or even a low level of social media shouting was taken, it appears, as a tacit admission of support of said racists. It was a ploy both clever and crude: “Do this, or I’ll have to conclude that you aren’t upholding my lacking, emotive, and ideological assumptions!”
Some study of history, both American and otherwise, as well as nearly thirty years of following politics closely has taught me a handful of near certain things. One of them is that the Left, from its extreme fringes to even its more moderate and mainstream forms, will use anything and everything to smear, deride, shame, and even destroy those deemed politically conservative and orthodox Christian. (I don’t have time, unfortunately, to explain why I’ve never believed Donald Trump is conservative. Another time.) For such folks, many of them quite active in Charlottesville, history exists to be re-written or destroyed, reason is ignored or attacked, and order—social, political, religious, etc.—is to be broken and discarded.
Those considered enemies by the Left are called “bigots” and “racists” and worse, and they told to shut up, grovel, and bow to the angry hordes—whether in the streets or on social media. David Harsanyi sums it well over at The Federalist:
The left doesn’t take responsibility for the violence on its fringes, for the murder of five cops in Dallas, or the assassination attempt on Republican leadership, or the serial vandalism, or the mobs of free-speech antagonists on campuses, or the rioters at WTO, or those who desire to massacre social conservatives in Washington, because it’s inconvenient to the left’s preferred narrative. They don’t see these people as their responsibility. But you, my conservative voter, do you condemn in the harshest terms those Nazis in Charlottesville that you spawned by supporting tax cuts and judicial restraint and Donald Trump? And even then, condemnation is not enough. You may not mention anyone else or any other factor or you risk being smeared as a Nazi-apologist.
Put another way, the Left always seeks to claim and re-name the moral high ground—and has been doing so since the French Revolution (although dated in some ways, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Leftism, published in 1974, is very instructive regarding the Left’s history, foundations, and tactics). And while not all on the Left are overtly communist or Marxist, they share in the general belief that agitation and the undermining of social order are not just helpful, but necessary, in remaking America. “Communism,” as Fulton Sheen observed eight decades ago, “believes that the only way it can establish itself is by inciting revolution, class struggle, and violence.” Naziism, in both its 20th century and 21st century forms, also relies on similar actions, but often seek to appeal to a perverted form of religion in doing so, while focusing on race rather than class. (Of course, “identity politics” are just another form of racism, and one used very effectively by the Left.)
Violence, hatred, and disorder are essential to both; they are not so much directly opposed to one another as they are demented twins separated at birth, pursuing forms of atheism that cut the bonds between God and man, moral law and social order, objective truth and human nature. Thus, Sheen also said: “There are two kinds of ‘atheism’: the atheism of the right, which professes to love God and ignores neighbor; and the atheism of the left, which professes to love neighbor and ignores God.” The two were responsible, in the past century, for the deaths of tens of millions; the two are now, in various forms and under many (and often misleading) names, battling and brawling on American soil. Both ideologies are diabolical and both rely heavily on youth who are unmoored, unrooted, historically illiterate, philosophically clueless, angry, preening, and morally confused.
The incoherence of the Leftist mobs can be seen in the now escalating destruction of statues and the demand that others be destroyed. Personally, I think each community (as locally as possible) should decide, after coherent and careful discussion and debate, what should be done with particular statues. But, of course, the morally superior among us have taken it upon themselves to make final judgments. Democracy? Who cares! Rational discussion? Hell, no! Respect for fellow citizens? Never! For these philistines, it’s very simple: they have judged these monuments to be racist, bigoted, and hateful, and so they must be destroyed. Those who object must be shamed and silenced. Period.
Go here to read the rest. Contemporary leftism isn’t about debate and an appeal to reason, but about the application of sufficient force to crush their adversaries. The action of a neo-Nazi lunatic was a god send to them because it is an excuse to for them to attempt to drive their adversaries from the public square. Don’t let them succeed.