The tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville Virginia, is a watershed moment for the nation. For the past few years we have experienced increasingly hateful rhetoric, and acts of violence in our politics. What occurred in Charlottesville was a national disgrace, and it should serve as a warning to all those, who respect Democratic values and traditions that the time has come to say enough!
The first step in this process is to respect the rule of law. While every person in this nation has a fundamental right to express their opinion, no matter how repugnant, no one has the right to resort to violence to make a political point. Police officials must allow protests from all sorts of groups. They do not have to stand by and watch them taken over by thugs. As soon as any manifestation of violence occurs; such as, the refusal to obey permits, the wearing of helmets, the carrying of shields, clubs or other armaments, the police should shut down the event and disperse the crowd. This was not done in Charlottesville and it hasn’t been done in other locations as well.
The second step is for law abiding people to explicitly condemn violence by whatever group perpetrates it. There is nothing that can justify political violence in a nation of law, where civil rights are guaranteed. There are too many people taking sides in these incidents, attempting to justify the actions of one group over another. Anyone who resorts to violence to advance a political agenda is a threat to all of us. To make distinctions among thugs is the height of absurdity.
People who engage in political violence are fascists, regardless of their political views. In 1938 when the Nazis joined with Communists in signing the non-aggression pact, Soviet Ambassador Sergei Molotov commented that “fascism is simply a matter of taste”. If you are prepared to hit someone with a club, because you think your political beliefs are more justified than theirs, you are a fascist. The true mark of political extremism is the willingness to commit violence. It is time to end this once and for all!
– Dennis J. Galvin