Racism & Liberty


I have to hand it to the those on the left. They have succeeded in avoiding serious discussions about issues like health care, taxes, and the ecology by demonizing President Trump. Their latest attempt brands Trump as a racist for a less than perfect response to the Charlottesville tragedy. I’m not here to parse his words, but to provide some context to their argument.

First, the race card is nothing new. It’s not just a strategic part of the left’s playbook, but a philosophical one. They believe that all conservatives—and they include libertarians like me and populists like the President—are racist by default. They don’t call Trump a racist because of his response to Charlottesville. He was already deemed a racist because of his political views. Just read the playbook, Paul Krugman’s Conscience of a Liberal. Trump supporters must be ignorant or evil simply because opposition to the left’s agenda can have no intellectual basis.

Second, the President’s thesis that there are bad people on both political sides is undeniably true. As in all elections, there were despicable individuals and groups who claim to support every candidate. I’ve lost track of the number of leftist agitators I’ve seen “protesting” during the past year. The perpetrator in the Portland train stabbing earlier this year was an avid Bernie Sanders supporter, but it’s not his fault. The notion that President Trump “inspired” neo-Nazis in Virginia is a real stretch.

Third, there’s nothing “right wing” about white supremacy or neo-Nazi politics. This tag is tossed around freely to incriminate Republicans and conservatives, some of whom are apologizing profusely about Charlottesville as if they had something to do with it. Just read Paul Ryan’s response. Apparently, few commentators know that “Nazi” is short for the National Socialist German Workers Party. If anything, Nazis should be categorized as hard left, but I don’t think guilt by association is appropriate in either direction.

Finally, leftists are always telling us “it’s time we have a real conversation about ______.” But as I noted, anyone who disagrees with leftist orthodoxy is branded as either a bad person or ignorant. It’s hard to have a real dialogue if this is your starting point.

It should go without saying that I am speaking about the leadership of the political left, not all liberals, democrats, or progressives. While I strongly believe their ideology is misguided, many who identify themselves as such are nice people capable of reasonable dialogue. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with their leaders in Washington.

If Trump is anything like me, he gets tired of having to preface every statement with obvious disclaimers about white supremacy, racism, neo-Nazis, or the like, lest he be accused of supporting their views. Despite CNN claims to the contrary, very few Americans—including those of us in the South—hold these views. Our country could benefit from some real conversations, but if you aren’t willing to grant some intellectual merit and a little grace to the other side, you can’t have one. This is why our society is so polarized.



  1. JC'89  •  Aug 22, 2017 @8:42 PM

    Tucker Carlson must have read your post. He just said the EXACT same thing!

  2. Aliza  •  Aug 23, 2017 @11:17 AM

    Left/right dichotomy is not the issue here. We all should say in a CLEAR VOICE that there is no room for Neo-Nazis /white supremacy/hate groups in this country. No one person is superior to another.

  3. Bert  •  Aug 23, 2017 @2:23 PM

    Yes Aliza but hate groups include the violent Trump protestors. Did you see what happened last night? This is what he means when he says both sides. Don’t you agree?

  4. Aliza  •  Aug 23, 2017 @4:57 PM

    According to the L.A. Times, this is what happened:”The demonstrations remained peaceful until the end of the rally, when some protesters tried to break through barricades near an entrance to the convention center where Trump was finishing his speech. Police, who said some protesters had thrown rocks and bottles at them, used tear gas to disperse the crowds.”

    There was NOTHING peaceful at the March of Shame on Charlottesville!

  5. Bert  •  Aug 23, 2017 @7:23 PM

    2 more examples:
    Berkeley riots to stop Milo from speaking- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6vutX0ugjI
    California riots against Trump- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxJsJxCo4LM

    So can we reject ALL the violence from ALL sides, not just idiots in Virginia?

  6. Tim  •  Aug 24, 2017 @7:21 AM

    BOTH SIDES might not be PC, but it’s the truth.

  7. ashley  •  Aug 24, 2017 @9:05 AM

    Dr Parnell- you should take a stand against neo-nazis.

  8. notanazi  •  Aug 25, 2017 @3:54 PM

    It’s obvious that Anti-Trump violence is all around you. Why focus on a neo-nazi protest and ignore all the others? Fake news.

  9. John Parnell  •  Sep 1, 2017 @6:12 PM

    I’m seeing a lot of hate in the antifa “anti-hate” demonstrations. The latest march in Berkeley wasn’t so peaceful…
    The ANTIFA–part of the “alt left”–are militant progressives, yet CNN/etc. continue to harp on fringe neo-nazis as if they are the only problem. Mob mentality represents only a small percentage of Americans and must be rejected, on both sides.