After Charlottesville, if you are a Republican and you find yourself defending people who are making nazi salutes, utilizing rhetoric like “white ethno-state” and literally killing people they disagree with, then you are a racist.
There is no wiggle room around it. The violence and hate coming from Charlottesville demonstrated that this moment is not a crisis of political correctness vs. freedom of speech, it’s an all-out culture war. We have literal Nazis and Klan organizers taking to our streets with torches, spewing hate and hurting peaceful Americans.
Yet, Fox News and other outlets on the right have been trying to spin the Charlottesville saga into being primarily about whether monuments depicting the Confederacy should be taken down or not. Shame on them.
Keeping up statues is a “nothing burger” compared to fact that a large segment of our country actually felt conflicted about whether explicitly denouncing white supremacists, Nazis and the KKK this weekend was the right thing to do.
Charlottesville has revealed how intoxicating identity politics is. Since 2016, the GOP’s unabashed support for anyone who talks remotely like them- those who speak of despising “social justice warriors” and “cuckservatives”, or who support President Trump and “Making American Great Again” – is now leading a large part of the right into a rabbit hole of offering support or defense to abhorrent individuals, actual Nazis and white supremacists. Again, shame on the GOP.
Our tipsters have been alerting us over the last few days of outrageous social media posts by prominent Montana Republicans demonstrating everything from sympathy and support for the white supremacists in Charlottesville to outright calls for violence or even “marshall law”.
But we’re not going to put them on blast here. Not because we want to protect them, all are free to check out public social posts and we encourage others on #mtpol to do so, but because we wanted to spend our time talking about the larger issue of Republican identity in crisis. Because in reality, it’s the silence or the tepid response from those in a position to lead a condemnation of violence and hate that is the most concerning. We want to talk about what should be done.
For the right, the correct path forward is very clear:
- Explicitly condemn the alt-right, the nazi’s, the KKK and the other utterly abhorrent, racist cultural nationalist voices present on the right. Call them what they are – racists. And then don’t feed them or give them any sort of platform.
- Take down Confederate monuments. Move on from it. Don’t give voice to any on the right who continue to talk about “nullification” and “states rights” in the context of the Confederacy. Those are not allies for smaller government, those are covert racists.
- Reject identity politics and xenophobia. Ostracize the radical anti-religion voices in the right who spew hate about an entire religion of Islam and a billion people. Banish those who legitimately contend that we should “build the wall” to fix our immigration system. Instead, welcome and defend the abundant, peaceful cultures in the United States with open arms.
- Deliver on a message of economic empowerment.
The alternative path, the path of cultural identity politics, means doom for the Republican Party.
For the sake of the nation, we hope the right path is taken.