It’s really quite sad that this article needs to be written. Playground politics should’ve died in elementary school, us “big kids” should know better. Sadly, the continual infantilization of our culture merits an article on how to deal with bullies in the adult world, and though I am loathe to write about it, the recent violence at Berkeley compels me to do so.
The Antifa, the people who are responsible for the increasing prevelance of Black Bloc political “tactics” (aka violence and property destruction) at events in America, are bullies. Plain and simple. They are not honorable people, though I’m quite sure they fancy themselves as righteous crusaders for justice. They are people who are unable to hear, and critically process, information that runs contrary to their utopian worldview, and this is why they respond with violence. They’re extremely fragile. They can’t handle criticism so they resort to violent tactics to silence those with whom they disagree.
Schoolyard bullies are the same way.
They surround themselves with others who will only tell them what they want to hear. Bullies try to verbally intimidate others first because, due to their own fragile nature, they don’t desire confrontation, however they aren’t above using violence to achieve their ends. They typically don’t fight one on one, but use group force so they can assure themselves of victory in confrontation, and this preserve their own egos. This is classic bullying. This is exactly what the Black Blocs do.
I may be kind of “old-school”, but I was raised with the understanding that if you want a bully to leave you alone, you need to stand up to them. That’s unfortunately the reality that we, as Americans, face regarding the preservation of our political processes. If violence can be used against those of a different political persuasion without any sort of consequence, then the precedent will have been set for the future contests as well. We can’t allow this to be “politics as usual” in America. We can’t.
Here are my suggestions for those who find themselves at an event with an Antifa presence:
1) Avoid any violence if at all possible.
I feel the need to reiterate this, because violence only begets more violence. Nobody has a right to silence another using force. It is my belief that the only time violence is acceptable is in self-defense. Since Antifa has already proven that they have a predisposition for instigating conflict, then my next point will become more relevant.
2) Go for their masks.
The reason Antifa are emboldened to act in such a destructive fashion is because they feel a sense of impunity with anonymity. This is basic crowd psychology. Human beings are more predisposed to act in a criminal manner in a group, something they’d never consider doing individually, because they think they’ll escape the usual societal consequences if they’re one in a multitude.
If Antifa Black Bloc agitators instigate violence against you, take away their anonymity, if at all possible.
3) Identify and prosecute after.
With any sort of political demonstration there will be press, the age of smartphones has enabled the Average Joe to become a citizen reporter and, when these sorts of violent scuffles take place video evidence of what happened is crucial to achieving accountability. Without their masks, and with video evidence of criminal behavior, a case can be built and prosecuted in a court of law. When the risk of exposure outweighs the possible “merits” of such actions, even dimwitted Antifa agitators will second guess their subversive tactics.
In order to maintain a civil society, we as American citizens must make it perfectly clear that political violence, and destruction of property is not how we settle our differences. We settle our differences through the ballet box, for better or worse.
As a tiny postscript to this article, I feel the need to mention that I, myself, am not a Trump supporter. He was not my candidate, and I didn’t chose him as the “lesser of two evils”. I voted third party. What the violent Leftists need to understand is that they are accomplishing the exact opposite of what they hope to achieve. The violence against otherwise peaceable rally-goers spurs others to their cause. Nobody likes bullies. Especially not when they’re attacking women and senior citizens, as they have done during election season, and in the recent events at Berkeley.
This senseless violence also takes away from genuine criticisms people could make about the Trump administration.
The Antifa are defeating themselves, and creating Trump defenders and sympathizers where before there were none.
Violence is also a dangerous political weapon to use, because the fear and reactionary sentiment it generates can ultimately be channeled into justification by governments to limit civil liberties, and to crackdown more severely on the people in the name of “public safety”. This is incredibly dangerous to a society of people who wish to be free. If you are a member of the Antifa movement, or know someone who is, please heed this warning.
You’re opening Pandora’s box without any idea of what you’re asking for…