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Lessons From Charlottesville, 24 Hours Later

Lessons From Charlottesville, 24 Hours Later

A lot has happened in the past 24 hours regarding the Charlottesville demonstration. Both the left and the right are at odds.

Left wing agitators clashed with “alt-right” and Nazi sympathizers during a peaceful Unite The Right demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. Quickly after the left wing agitators arrived, chaos ensued and the Virginia State Police asked Governor Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency. What originally intended to be a peaceful protest, albeit despicable, left wing agitators from Black Lives Matter and Antifa showed their true colors by turning the peaceful protest into a riot.

What happened in Charlottesville is the norm for all “alt-right” protests now. Every time a group that has questionable beliefs peacefully demonstrates it is countered by violent left wing demonstrators. This is not OK. Whether or not we agree with these views, it’s our duty as Americans to let them speak and listen to these people. Free speech in a free society dictates that unpopular opinions need protecting. This event in Charlottesville reinforces the idea. If every lunatic was attacked for their views, extreme or not, would there even be anybody left to speak?

We’re at a crossroads in political discourse in the United States. Nobody wants to listen to anybody. Hot heads and malcontents constantly are at odds as to who is right. The fact that a peaceful protest turned into a tragedy where a man plowed his car into a crowd of protesters is what the climate has produced. People on the left and the right are to blame. The primarily leftist mainstream media is constantly shoving blame onto the majority GOP controlled government and it produces radical terrorists aimed at hurting everyone and everything. The fact of the matter is that playing the blame game and creating constant false narratives is not how we foster free speech and solve problems in America — It’s how we destroy and shut down all hope for change.

Are we just going to accept this tragedy, brush it off and then go back to business as usual? Or are we going to take responsibility for our actions and proactively promote common decency and engage in productive discourse? You probably already know the answer to these questions. Sooner or later the current climate will produce far more dangerous consequences. Sooner or later we will be declaring our political enemies as terrorists just for being contrarian. This is just the beginning. We can learn one thing from these events though, that unpopular opinions from now on will be met with fire and fury and it is no longer safe to express contrarian beliefs.


Richard is the co-founder of the Rational Press. He is a Libertarian and a supporter of free markets. He is also an electrical engineer and loves technology. Contact: rm@rational.press