Neo-Nazis have been around for a long time. I remember learning as a teenager that there was an American Nazi party led by George Lincoln Rockwell. It seemed odd, but no one paid much attention. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists–the terms seem to be used interchangeably these days–have been with us for decades, regarded as irrelevant fringe groups consisting of nuts and watchful FBI agents.
Suddenly, though, that has changed. Neo-Nazi/white supremacist groups turned out a few hundred tiki torch-carrying goofs in Charlottesville, and now these fringe kooks have become, we are told, a crisis of the republic. Politicians race to denounce them, and President Trump has been criticized in many quarters for not denouncing them fast enough, or harshly enough, or uniquely–that is, without denouncing anyone else at the same time. If that sounds crazy, you are right. It is crazy.
Neo-Nazi sightings, no matter how lame, have become newsworthy. Thus, the Daily Mail reports, breathlessly, on “The shocking moment Neo-Nazis gather at Arlington shopping center to commemorate assassinated leader with Nazi flag and salute.”
A small group of neo-Nazis held a ceremony outside a shopping mall, sparking a protest by angry neighbors in response.
The neo-Nazis, five men and one woman, were marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell in Arlington, Virginia, around noon on Friday.
The small group fit into a single parking spot at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center, where 50 years previously, on August 25, 1967, a disgruntled fellow Nazi shot and killed Rockwell.
Here they are. All six of them:
Their brief ceremony prompted a much larger outpouring of outrage from nearby residents who were determined to show, apparently, that they are opposed to the scourge of Nazism:
After 70 years of irrelevance, neo-Nazis have finally arrived, although they are still (or perhaps more than ever) rare birds. I personally have never met a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist. I have, however, met quite a few Communists. And last year, the Democratic Party likely would have nominated for president a man who admits he is a socialist and who spent his honeymoon in the USSR’s Communist utopia, but for the DNC’s rigging of the primary process.
Historically speaking, Marxian socialism of the sort that is almost, but not quite, advocated by politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn is at least as great an evil as national socialism, which is supported by…whom, exactly? And, as it happens, there are quite a few more members of the Communist Party USA than there are white supremacists or Nazis, at least as measured by participants in demonstrations:
So why is it that neo-Nazis, an irrelevant fringe group until a month ago, are suddenly a major issue, while the apparently larger number of American Communists continue to be ignored? Why are insignificant marches sponsored by neo-Nazis covered in real time by pretty much every news outlet, while larger demonstrations by Communists go unreported? Does anyone seriously believe that either faction commands any significant support, or plays any important role in our political life? If not, why the current obsession with neo-Nazis and (if there is a difference) white supremacists? And why has this obsession with neo-Nazis suddenly appeared?
Perhaps I am missing something. But it seems blindingly obvious that the answer is: hyping neo-Nazis became an opportunity to serve the Left’s interests in January of this year, based on leftists’ more or less insane association between neo-Nazis and American conservatives, while hyping the American Communist Party does not–and will not at any time in the future–serve the Left’s interests. That is the difference.