Glenn K. Beaton: There were no good guys at Charlottesville
The Aspen Beat
“Two sides” didn’t produce the horrifying violence at Charlottesville. There were many sides. All were bad in varying degrees.
The worst of the bad guys, of course, was the homicidal loser who drove a car into a crowd of people for the purpose of killing as many as he could. This is the guy who once assaulted his mother and was drummed out of the Army after four months.
The next worst were the neo-Nazis. Yes, other groups are equally violent, equally racist, equally hateful and equally stupid. But neo-Nazis are in a special category because their predecessors — the ones that were just as violent, racist and hateful but not as stupid — nearly succeeded in plots of worldwide genocide and totalitarianism.
Neo-Nazis are even worse than the originals in some ways. The originals mistakenly believed they were in the right, while the new ones know they’re not. Nazism is not the political philosophy of the neos — what do these morons know about politics or philosophy? — but is just an excuse for being ugly.
The next worst at Charlottesville were the groups that have coalesced like sticky grime under the pseudo-mysterious and grandiloquent name “Antifa.” That’s evidently supposed to be a contraction of “anti-fascism.”
The Orwellian irony to Antifa and their name is that they’re not anti-fascist at all. They’re fascists. Like other fascists, they censor, shout down and sometimes physically assault anyone they don’t like.
And like all fascists, their rationale for their violent rhetoric and actions is that they’re right and their victims are wrong, and so shut up.
Some of the Antifa fascists and some of the neo-Nazi fascists were at Charlottesville for the express purpose of picking fights in front of TV cameras. That’s what fascists do. These two groups with much in common succeeded in their common objective.
The next-worst were the politicians. The mayor of Charlottesville and the governor of Virginia apparently gave advance orders for the cops not to intervene in the anticipated violence.
This misguided order originates in the myth propagated in some political quarters that, as between a guy with a baseball bat who wants to beat the daylights out of a bystander and a guy with a badge who wants to stop him, the latter is the bad guy. And if only the latter will stay clear of the former, the former will put away the bat.
It’s time to reaffirm what we all used to know — that the thin blue line of guys with badges who are sometimes killed are the good guys. At Charlottesville, the politicians ordered these good guys not to do their job.
Next is the media. CNN, for example, has gone from a respected news source to a lame and partisan propaganda machine at endless war with President Donald Trump.
The media didn’t exactly cause Charlottesville. But they have legitimized violence in the name of “resistance” to the president duly elected by people that the media thinks are too stupid to elect the candidate whom the media chose and too stupid to see the media chose one.
This media is not only biased, but cheap. Before the dead woman was even buried, the media had already shifted away from news and onto their anti-Trump propagandizing. News reporting is difficult and expensive, but propagandizing is easy and cheap — it requires no more than a free talking head talking out of his fat, lazy butt.
The media should be ashamed.
Next I blame Trump. I don’t think he produced Charlottesville either, but his garbled post-Charlottesville statements made things worse. It is true, as I write here, that lots of people were bad actors. But the day after mayhem a president should console and unite us in mourning. There is always time later to consider broader policy questions and causes.
In this regard, Trump is singularly lacking in political competence, and seems unable to learn from his mistakes.
Like many other people, I don’t respect politicians much. I initially believed that an incompetent politician like Trump is less bad than a competent one, just as an incompetent criminal is less bad than a competent one. But I’ve come to reconsider that view.
I now think a politician needs to be competent in his craft. Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were, and got things done. Jimmy Carter, and now Donald Trump, were not and didn’t.
Mr. President, you’re no longer an apprentice. Grow into the office. And grow up.
Correspond and subscribe at theAspenbeat@gmail.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Aspen City Hall reporter Carolyn Sackariason reflects on the same old story, different year, different decade.