The Importance of Language: Leftist Thugs are Terrorists, not “Protesters,” “Snowflakes”

While violence has always had a home on the political left, and while the Left in America has been engaging in violence from at least the time of the late 1960’s, forces on the thuggish left became emboldened during Obama’s tenure in the White House. Within the last year or so, they have become especially brash and merciless toward Trump supporters.

This came to a head at Berkeley a few nights ago when “protesters” prevented provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from delivering a planned speech. Mobs of anti-Milo and anti-Trump demonstrators were on the scene. No small number were self-described “anti-fascists” (or “antifa”) clad in black with masks concealing their faces. Things turned feral as fires were lit, Molotov cocktails were thrown, property was destroyed, officers were assaulted, and innocents were tear-gassed and beaten up with various weapons.

And the police arrested…no one.

While it’s true that most of those on the Left do not physically engage in violence, for two reasons this is neither here nor there.

First, it only took 19 terrorists on September 11, 2001, to murder nearly 3,000 innocent Americans while causing pain and suffering to many more. Within an hour or so, fewer than two dozen immigrants brought the country to a standstill and irrevocably altered its history. A minority of rotten apples, however small it may be, can ruin the bunch.

Second, those leftist Democrats in political office, the media, academia, and Hollywood, those who aren’t literally initiating violence against innocents, are hardly off the hook. The rabble in the streets functions as their strong-arm wing, the Democrats’ foot soldiers. Those Democrats who object to this characterization of their relationship to the thugs, who explicitly disavow violence while qualifying their denunciations with the very same anti-Trump vitriol that gave rise to the violence, want to have it both ways.

The Democratic Left’s demonization of President Trump and his supporters—after all, it was the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who described “half” of those backing Trump (over 30 million Americans) as “deplorable”—created the climate of hatred, irrationality, and thuggery that is now consuming cities and college campuses around the country.

(Can there really be any doubt about this? When four black Chicagoans videoed themselves pummeling, torturing, and taunting their white cognitively challenged victim while shouting “F**k Donald Trump!”, a leftist colleague of mine was quick to remark that it is highly unlikely that the guilty parties were really upset by Trump’s election. I suspect that he was probably correct. Yet as I was equally quick to respond, if our suspicions were correct, this would show only just how powerful the Democrats’ anti-Trump rhetoric has been, for even those, like the scum in Chicago, who aren’t politically engaged can’t avoid being influenced by it.)

The Democrats who control the Government-Academic-Hollywood-Media Complex are like the proverbial person who runs into a crowded theater and screams “Fire!” In demonizing the President and his tens of millions of supporters as “racist,” “sexist,” “Islamophobic,” “homophobic,” “xenophobic” and the like, the non-violent Democratic Left aid and abet their more overtly thuggish counterparts on the streets.

It’s one thing for them to disagree with President Trump. It’s another thing entirely for them to, in effect, incite mobs to hurt innocents. It’s also inexcusable for them to do anything other than unequivocally, routinely, condemn this mob action.

This, they have not done. When Democrats renounce the violence of street punks while either refusing to acknowledge the role that their language played in enflaming it or rationalizing, if not overtly justifying, it by blaming the victim, they convict themselves.

To be clear, the Democratic Party and its apologists aren’t really that bothered by the fact that riots are being executed—as long as they are done for the sake of “protesting” Trump and it is those to their right that are being harmed. This is the message that anyone who is listening must receive.

So, perhaps I’m overreacting, but it seems to me that this is not politics as usual. The current situation feels more like a civil war that is beginning to heat up than anything else. The only problem is that while the Deplorables—those who are not attacking innocents, police, private property—just won a major victory in defying, well, everyone and electing Donald Trump, it is their side only that is all too often getting physically hurt.

In a future essay, I will propose ways for law-abiding patriotic Americans to deal with those who would harm them. For now, however, we’d be well served to call to mind Confucius, whose doctrine of “the Rectification of Names” underscores the importance of calling things for what they are.

“Protesters” or “demonstrators” do not act violently. Those who act violently for any reason other than self-defense are thugs, criminals, felons. Those who act violently in the mob are rioters.
And those who act violently toward innocents for the sake of altering the direction of government or government policy are terrorists.
To reiterate, those leftists who have been wreaking havoc, those who the left media call “protesters” and who the right continually characterizes as “snowflakes” and “crybabies” are indeed domestic terrorists.

Were those who besieged the American embassy in Benghazi in 2012, murdering four Americans—were they “protesters” or “snowflakes?” So far, anti-Trump terrorists haven’t murdered anyone. This, however, doesn’t mean that their actions couldn’t have easily resulted in the deaths of innocents. Nor does it make their actions any less terroristic.
Second, the terrorists are not “anti-fascist.” They are anti-American neo-communists, or neo-coms, militant leftists who want nothing less than the fundamental transformation of the United States from what it has always been into something more on the order of the utopian totalitarian order of their fevered imaginings.
Importantly, these anti-American neo-com terrorists are also Democrats, if not formally or officially, then in spirit, for their ideas are essentially one and the same as those that have been greasing the wheels of Democrat politics for decades.

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


  1. They are also not “anarchists” – a way liberals try to disassociate the embarrassing violent liberals the same way Muslims say Islamic terrorists aren’t really Muslim, while shouting Allah is greater, acting per the words and founder’s example of the Koran.
    Progressivism to its end is always communism and violent revolution, because when you assume all must be equal and in total lockstep with the ideology, there is no place for the dissident but the death camps or just dead. They see violence to scare people into silence moral just as Islam permits the killing of critics.

  2. Yes, sir, you are overreacting – and you’re being hypocritical, too. Conservatives have been complaining for decades about political-correctness advocates who condemn mainstream right-wing politicians for employing language that “creates a climate of hate”; now you, a conservative, are using the very same rhetoric as your leftist counterparts. The Constitution protects our right to condemn anyone we wish, as long as it is in lieu of violent resistance and as long as it is vague enough to not count as a specific untrue accusation (slander). “Racist,” “sexist,” and the various “-phobic” epithets are nebulous concepts that are hard to prove or disprove – as are “anti-American” and “unpatriotic” and the like. And ironically, slander is exactly the accusation you’re leveling at Hillary Clinton and various other peaceful, moderate figures: you’re accusing them of inciting violence, which is a very specific accusation that can easily be disproved by examining someone’s rhetoric and noting the lack of threatening language therein. YOU are the snowflake if you hear name-calling and you interpret it as a violent conspiracy.

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