On June 16th, Laura Loomer of Rebel Media went to Shakespeare in the Park and stormed the stage during the production of Julius Caesar. Her reason for storming the stage: the man portraying the titular character was an actor who closely resembled President Donald Trump. However this isn’t a new event, characters resembling President Obama and Hillary Clinton emerged in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
When Loomer stormed the stage, she screamed, “Stop leftist violence!” while a colleague, Jack Posobiec of Rebel Media, shouted, “Goebbels would be proud!” After being removed, a #FreeLaura campaign was started and has raised over $10,000. They have asked for an additional $15,000, despite the fines projected total approximately $1,000.
This event is demonstrative of the sad reality that Trumpkins on the right are moving hard toward the culture of snowflakes.
Snowflake, a popular term coined on the right in 2016, is used primarily by those on the right to describe those on the left. Snowflakes focused on microaggression, trigger warnings and, most importantly, shutting down speech with which they disagree.
Laura, who later appeared on Hannity, has even conceded the last point. She said, “[T]he left has systematically used free speech and artistic expression as a pretext to incite violence against the right.” This argument is an argument constantly made by the left.
She has twice mentioned the notion violence can be incited by words. This is not true. What someone does is much more important than what someone says.
People have free will and someone else’s words cannot strip an individual of his or her responsibility to act in a civilized and legal manner.
This principle is clear when violence is removed from the equation. For example, if your friend says, “You are going to strike out,” and you strike out, whose fault is it? If your sibling says, “You are going to fail your math test.” and you do not study and fail the math test, whose fault is it? The answer is clear.
Despite what those around you say, everyone is responsible for the actions they take regardless of the words they hear.
This begs the question, why are Trump’s biggest supporters espousing leftist tactics to defend him? The answer, sadly, lies in the increasing tribalism on the left which has made its way to the right.
On the left, tribalism is created through their tactic of identity politics. The left wishes to run candidates who are either female or minority because they believe it gives them moral high ground in comparison to their conservative counterparts. The snowflake culture built off this because the left often believes that the right calls for violence or uses hate speech to contradict their views.
The Trump Right, which has mainly come out as anti-left, believes any attack or criticism on the Trump administration should be taken as a threat. The tribalistic support of Trump, who they view as infallible, makes his biggest supporters use leftist tactics to defend him. To them, the left using the First Amendment to denigrate Trump should be taken as a warning of peril. This sets a dangerous precedent and, if both sides of the aisle believe any criticism of their side is a call for violence, politics is headed down a dark road.
The aftermath of the storming of Julius Caesar shows that the use of leftist tactics on the right has created a snowflake culture. Even Loomer’s fellow protester Jack Posobiec tweeted out an article calling out UC- Berkeley for its role in the Ann Coulter speech fiasco. He is being hypocritical as he called out the left for saying Coulter was inciting violence with her rhetoric, but then said the left was inciting violence with the performance of Julius Caesar.
If banning Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and the like bothers you, but Trump supporters storming a play doesn’t, you must reconsider your principles.
It is perfectly reasonable to have a passion for political views and political goals. It is expected and required in a liberal democracy. However, as Ted Nugent said after the shooting in Alexandria, it is time to “take a deep breath” and “back it down” on hateful rhetoric. The distinction he makes is key.
We must not treat the political opponent as an enemy. This is because, in America, progressives are not enemies. They may hold foolish and harmful positions, but that does not make them enemies. Instead, both sides should focus on the issue or policy instead of worrying about beating the other side in the debate. Letting the best idea win will greatly improve discourse.
Additionally, toning down the rhetoric, not the passion, will end the desire for quieting speech and accusing opponents of inciting violence. Trump supporters should know this from firsthand experience, as the left routinely called out Trump for speech that supposedly inflamed political violence. Trump campaigned on the basis that the left was trying to silence him and end his campaign.
The left lost badly the last eight years to the tune of 1,000 seats nationwide because they campaigned for shutting out conservative voices completely. The right picking up the values and arguments of the left is a losing decision. Trump supporters must realize if they want him to win, they must drop the tribalism and then call out the left’s use of tribalism.
If the population of snowflakes begins to grow on the right, the conservative movement will be awaiting a death sentence.
Photo Credit: Ich