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Trump’s Left Wing Allies

Don Rose 6 September 2017 One Comment

One would think damn near every anti-Trumper would know that violence from the left does nothing but play right  into Trump’s hands, but those who call themselves “antifa”–meaning anti-fascists–and their sympathizers don’t seem to get it.

The antifas and their overlapping relatives, contemporary anarchists, haven’t killed anyone to my knowledge, but they’re known for carrying bats and assaulting or fighting with Trump supporters at rallies and meetings–also for  smashing store windows and such.


Violence on the left constitutes only a tiny fraction of that coming from the racist right and alt-right. The problem is that every TV clip showing antifas in “action” only feeds the right-wing mentality and gives further excuse for their own violence–which includes murder. I’m not making a case for “moral equivalency,” but for plain old common sense.

Perhaps I need to mention that though I may sound like some old curmudgeon, I and the many others who agree with me on this point are just as anti-fascist as anyone and have been in the struggle for social justice for a long time. Long enough to have learned lessons from the antifa and anarchist antecedents of the recent past–the most important of which is that violence is not a winning strategy.

Back in the late ’60s and into the ’70s, splinters of the once leading Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)   known as the Weathermen or Weather Underground believed the revolution was at hand and they could lead it–beginning with a riotous rampage through Downtown Chicago known as “the days of rage,” smashing sore windows, denting cars and so forth.

Some of the organizers had hoped–perhaps genuinely believed–that because we were in the middle of a strong civil rights and anti-war movement they would be joined by thousands of progressives. Uh Uh. It was a relatively limited ruckus–but a couple of years ago when black-clad, masked “anarchists” rampaged through Seattle it was like looking at a remake of a movie I saw decades ago.

The Weather people graduated to bombings, robberies and such all in the name of the still coming revolution, with many winding up in prison. Need I mention the revolution didn’t come?

What did materialize in part because of their antics sustained a president named Nixon. Worse yet, many progressives believe, they helped kill off the larger movement. That’s still a matter of debate in some quarters, while the participants and leaders of the weather underground exhibit feelings ranging from defense of their actions to apologies.

I’m not trying to refight that battle, but point out similarities between then and now, with full knowledge that today’s times are even more perilous with a Donald Trump in charge of a nation that seems headed toward a kind of fascism–and you don’t have to be a leftist to recognize it. More and more Republicans are using that F word, as I wrote last year.

Yes, times are worse and many Trump people are worse, but the decking a few with a Louisville Slugger, much as some may deserve it, is one lousy strategy because it strengthens Trump.

Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

image Communist Terrorists Bomb Wall Street in 1920





One Comment »

  • Alan Medoff said:

    Today I listened to a superb interview with Mr. Rose on the AxeFiles with David Axelrod. I was just wondering if Mr Rose worked for a short period of time at the Capezio dance store in downtown Chicago in the 1950’s. My dad owned that store back then and if this is the same Don Rose I just wanted to say thank you for all of the piggyback rides you gave me in the back of the store. I was probably about 6 or 7 years old at the time but I still have fond memories of those mainly because it was such a relief from the boredom of going to work for the day with my dad. No offense to my dad but there was not much for a little kid to do there at the time.

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