Let's start with a open explanation. This is going to be an opinionated essay. My goal by the end of my writing is to share my views, warrant my points, and present facts to anyone who reads this. The main topics I would like to discuss are the rise of political extremism and how politics ties into what it means to be an American. Before I continue, I would like you to know that everyone has different opposing idea and beliefs, and the great thing about our country is our ability to openly share these under the first amendment. Overall this is what makes our country so unique and great.
One recurring aspect that I come across in my research is the use of fear. Fear has been widely used to manipulate how the American people view each other. During the presidential election, people were told from both sides that their competing candidate will ruin the country. This naturally pushed people away from those who they simply did not agree with. This is the the only problem that can easily be fixed by sitting down and talking to the people who you disagree with. That all ended when those who did not want to challenge the base of their own views became violent. This is apparent in both sides of the political spectrum but I am going to choose to focus on extreme left because that is the side that receives the most support from the media. The group that has had the most growth in the past few years has been Antifa, an organization based around eliminating fascism and nazism. Antifa is responsible for most of the violence in rather peaceful protest and the rejection of supposed fascist speakers on college campus. This whole charade is fueled by the fear of rising nazism and pro-Trump information. This organization used fear to justify their protest and violence against free speech across the country. This harmful beliefs spread by the media that opposing speech is hate speech has sparked this sudden rise in Americans using their fists rather than their words.
Today, all we hear about in the news is the “rise of the far right” this term “far right” usually meaning people who are extreme conservative views or identify with the alternative right. To understand why groups like the alt-right and alt-left have become so popular we must first understand the beliefs and position these groups take and social economic and structural issues in America. The far right is most known for a strong feeling of nationalism and anti-communism “Linked with right-wing nationalism is cultural conservatism, which supports the preservation of the heritage of a nation or culture and often sees deviations from cultural norms as an existential threat”(Wiki). In total contrast to left-wing politics, the far right believes that social inequality is natural law and it is a waste of time to try and correct social darwinism. Personally. I believe that these two ridiculos groups are a product of themselves. It isn’t really about who came first it is about the fact that these parties disagree so starkly that they believe they must combat each other to maintain the existence of their beliefs. While the far left believes that there must be more government control to enforce a complete equality, the far right want the exact opposite. This is why when these two forces collide in riots, they most always turn violent. “Now, there are violent clashes on college campuses involving groups like Antifa, the anti-fascist group, taking on the alt-right” (Hersh). One big reason for the violence in these protest especially from far left is the fact that they believe they have a given right to attack someone whom they disagree with.
So how does politics play into America today? I believe that the role of politics is starting to undermine basic human characteristic as the political divide becomes bigger. People in America are no longer able to talk to each other and resort to senseless shouting and violence. Through the use of populism and demonizing the opposition, disagreeing americans see each other as morally inferior beings. “In addition to the decline in competition, American politics today is characterized by a growing ideological polarization between the two major political parties”(Mann). I think it is more important to be able to come together as a nation to solve issues not only in our country but those around us and not let differing politics divide us.
“Right-Wing Politics.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics.
hersh, joshua. “Extremism Experts Are Starting to Worry about the Left.” VICE News, VICE, 15 June 2017, news.vice.com/en_ca/article/3kpeb9/extremism-experts-are-starting-to-worry-about-the-left.
Mann, Thomas E. “Thomas E. Mann Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/thomas_e_mann_250065?src=t_american_politics.