In my view, the issue is simply that liberals (a term I will use to describe both economic and social liberalism) have very much allowed the alt-right to rise up against a very soft, easily penetrated barrier.
As time went on, and the threat of a far-right uprising became more and more apparent, there was simply a ‘hope for the best’ attitude. As if voting and calmly conducting interviews was the way forward to converting them.
What they failed to realise, however, was that they were facilitating the spread of the very ideas they opposed. The idea that everyone is entitled to their own opinion has dredged on as a weapon of suicide for these ””left-wing”” (there aren’t really enough inverted commas in the universe) liberals. They’ve slowly and surely allowed an old (yet modern) movement, the alt-right, to express itself and spread freely.
The result of this has been observed numerous times. Even to the point where there is now a fairly large divide in who calls themselves liberal. Many who previously identified with that term will now distance themselves from it, precisely because it now defines the type of person who sees all opinions as equally valid and therefore equally deserving of having an ear to shout into. The ignorance is, then, the blindness to the fact that this was never going to be a two way system.
Trying to convert someone on the far right to ‘liberalism’ was like trying teach a dog to play piano; they’ll just end up smashing their keyboard until you give up. Well, the result is the result, we just have to hear them out and hope for the best. OK, but have you tried listening to them? Silencing one side is just asking to silence all sides, and that’s halfway to authoritarianism. These are, vaguely, things liberals have said, on loop and en-masse, since at least the RNC chose Trump as their candidate. Yet the nightmare is happening, Trump is signing executive orders to restrict abortion rights, the ability for Federal agencies to discuss climate change, and to restart the Keystone XL & Dakota Access pipelines which the people of the US fought so hard against. He has started the first week of his presidency by wiping the slate clean and saying ‘There is no progress, we are going at full speed, head first, into a golden age which never even existed, but which millions of you believe in.’
It’s an age in which belief, not fact, dominates top-level political discussion. A period wherein all that matters is what you think is good, not what almost certainly has the greatest benefit for humanity. It’s this disconnect from the ability to decisively cut through the vile words of the right, straight into the heart of our problems, which is killing off the voice of the people.
It is why we must decry those who believe that the bashing of Richard Spencer was ‘shameful’. There must come a point where we see that justice is built on experiences, and surely history has given us enough experiences with the far-right? It is why we should not associate with those who fall on the same ethical, political, and human spectrum of Trump, May, and their bunch. The real wall was built years ago and it exists solely in the minds in their. That wall, however, is there to block rational thoughts and a desire to help people at the deepest level. It is a wall which keeps the suffering and trials and tribulations of others out, yet manages free transit for the thinker’s own narcissism. This is why liberals are wrong to give the far right a voice; they are really aiding in the construction of not only a wall far larger than that envisioned by Trump, but also a weapon which may very well signal the end of progress for years to come.
It brought me great joy to see so many people taking part in the Marches for Women last weekend. It is a tremendous reminder that there are still those out there who willingly scream from the rooftops that what is happening isn’t right. The world we are now living in is built upon lies and hatred and ignorance, and it must be brought to an end! Yet, I am still faced with the brutal reality that, over all this, these voices are silenced by the despicable whispers and grunts of the very establishment we protest. how then, shall the people stop those whispers? How do they rise above it all, clamber onto the peak from which a better horizon may be seen, with the bodies of hatred left behind? The answer isn’t sitting down and letting them speak from atop a podium. There have been many names for the the modern-day uprising we see today: the ‘alt-right’, ‘far-right’… ‘fascists’… ‘nazis’. These are just alternative names for a not-so-alternative fact; that though it was once stomped on, locked up, and left to die, it has found the key and is now rising fast from its shadowy corner.
This shadow not only takes the form of denial and ignorance, it lurks deep within the global markets, too. As wealth inequality continues to rise, as homelessness continues to rise, and as big profits skyrocket, a very obvious part of the symptom has grinning at us for nearly a century. The Capitalist world has slowly been whittling away at the power any one worker has. By either decimating unions, or stripping our rights from us to prevent dissent, the system has allowed their Figurehead (a large, loud, orange baboon) to take the helm as Money Prime; President of the United States. The lack of self-realisation amongst many social liberals is that their economic counterparts have been facilitating the slow dredging of despicable humans from the deep and back into the spotlight. The world is now their oyster, and it comes on a plate with a bottle of champagne.