US voters: Are you afraid of the other side, and to what extent?

This is undoubtedly true. If there is anything we learned from Jan 6, it’s that we’re not dealing with merely a bunch of loudmouthed punks who can’t back up their threats.

I disagree. Sometimes you have to speak in a language bullies understand. It doesn’t make us like them.

(Do you think the guy in the blue hoodie was wrong to have done what he did?)

I caveat the above with respect to escalation of events to threats of gun violence. If we ever reach that point, I very much doubt we’ll be arguing for peaceful protests as an effective remedy for right wing violence.

If that language is violence, then it does.

It was a bit hard to make out all that was happening, but it did appear that the guy in the blue hoodie was the first to resort to violence. If the anti-masker had been violent and I missed it, then blue hoodie was in the right. If blue hoodie intervened in a non-violent, if hostile, confrontation with violence, then I think that he escalated the situation, and it was fortunate that the anti-masker backed down, rather than responding to the violence with escalation of his own.

Wrong to do what he did? Hard to say. But I would have a much harder time saying that he was in the right, that he handled the situation appropriately.

We are well past that point. I hear stories all the time about fights escalating into shootings, and not even over political stuff. Hell, there was one the other day over gifts at a baby shower. Here in the US, you pretty much have to assume that any fight can escalate to a shooting.

And in that video, if the anti-masker had a gun on him, then he would probably make a decent case of self defense if he had used it.

Remember, this is a world where Rittenhouse is a hero. I’ll actually be surprised if he doesn’t get off, which will serve to encourage every other wannabee “patriot” to start shit and end it with a gun.

Is this coming from a pacifist philosophy? Truly curious.

Following several verbal threats the anti-masker assaulted a middle aged gentleman first by physically shoving him. The blue hoodie guy responded in kind. It’s unclear from the video whether the older guy and the hoodie guy knew each other.

I don’t think so, at least, I’m not copying any pacifists that I know of.

I subscribe to the Malcolm Reynold’s school of thought. “If someone tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back.”

But, I also do not believe that escalation is ever a way to solve problems. If you respond to violence with violence, that’s one thing. If you offer violence to resolve an unpleasant confrontation, then that’s a whole different one.

I don’t have sound here, so I can’t tell what exactly the threats were, nor how serious, but they were still words. I’ve had people make all sorts of threats that they never carry through on. As far as bark and bite goes, generally the louder they are, the less they are willing to follow through.

I saw the shove, but that’s not really violence. I’m a middle aged gentleman as well, and I don’t think that I would have appreciated it, but I wouldn’t have felt threatened by it either.

The blue hoodie guy clocked him in the face with a punch. That’s not in kind, that’s an escalation. Like I said, I don’t know that he was wrong, but I certainly wouldn’t say he was right either. Were I on a jury for his assault charge, I wouldn’t convict him of anything, but if anti-masker had pulled out a gun and shot him, I wouldn’t have been all that surprised either. And I wouldn’t be surprised if anti-masker got off on self defense.

A worse epitaph than, “He died doing the right thing.” is “He died not really doing the wrong thing.”

So you consider a punch to be unreasonable escalation for a shove. Do you consider a gun to be an even more unreasonable escalation? Or are you simply unsurprised that something would escalate to a shooting once guns are present? I think the latter says more about the disfunction in American society than the former. e.i. shove escalating to a punch, vs. punch to a shooting.

You do realize that today’s right-wing extremists think they have God on their side, right? They think they are soldiers in a holy war to defeat the evil forces of secularism and liberalism. You don’t really believe that they self identify as evil, do you?

I’m not going to say antifa doesn’t exist, but their presence has been highly exaggerated. There are have always been a small number of far left radicals in the US, mostly in the Pacific Northwest. Every protest has a counter protest. This are the two small nuggets of fact that underlie the fiction of a large organized group called “antifa”.

A large number, maybe most of them, of Twitter and Facebook antifa groups were created by right-wing trolls.

And if you follow the news at all, it shouldn’t be any secret that right-wing groups often discuss posing as leftists to commit violence, and sometimes they do it.

This is what I think is dangerous. This is what scares me.

Last year, I found out my nephew had been instructed by his employer to carry a handgun in the glove box of his work vehicle. Why? Because the vehicle was painted with a red white and blue American flag design and his boss was worried that his drivers might be “targeted for an antifa attack” because of the detailing on his truck.

I found this terrifying and I find it concerning that the right wing is setting up this bogeyman.

I think I’ve told the story about the time I went to a therapist because of some issues I was having with my adult foster child, who lived with me and was having paranoid ideations.

I was describing my situation on the first visit. About 10 minutes in, he stopped me and said “You are in a very dangerous living situation and you need to get out now. Is there a friend you can stay with until we can figure this out?
I said “I don’t think you understood me. This person isn’t threatening me or behaving violently. He just cowers in fear whenever I’m around and he thinks I’m spying on him electronically and poisoning his food. I’m here because I don’t know how I lost his trust and I want to regain it.”
The therapist said - I heard you perfectly. The fact that he thinks you want to hurt him is what makes him dangerous. Your problem is not what you think it is. You need to leave now.

There are people that really believe that health care workers are engaged in a conspiracy to poison them with vaccines. This is a dangerous situation for health care workers.

There are people that really believe hospitals are murdering COVID patients to perpetuate the hoax. This is a dangerous situation for hospital workers.

There are people that really believe their state and local officials and voting equipment manufacturers engaged in a vast conspiracy to steal their vote. This is a dangerous situation for civic officials and election workers.

There are people that really believe their children’s schoolteachers are indoctrinating them into godless Communism. This is a dangerous situation for school administrators and teachers.

I didn’t see a cite for the ONE incident you mentioned where “Antifa” punched a guy in the mouth just for waving an American flag, although I suspect I wasn’t punched just for waving a flag. I suspect whatever he was saying or doing while waving the flag may have had something to do with it.

Was it this incident

Or this one

Or this one

Or this one

I could do this all day, dude. You gotta do better than this.

Yes, of course I do.

I went to google “fight turns into shooting”, and I only got to “fight tu” before I had “shooting”, “deadly” “double homicide”. I trust you can probably do the same.

I don’t think that it’s reasonable to respond with a shooting, but I don’t think that everyone is reasonable either, especially not an anti-masker. It happens, and an even worse epitaph is, “The other guy wasn’t being reasonable.”

Sure, but I’m not saying anything about American society not being fairly dysfunctional, quite the contrary, in fact.

The same people that claimed that Rittenhouse was shooting in self defense would probably watch anti-mask guy pull out a gun and shoot the guy who punched him and claim it to be self defense as well.

Not to hijack, but this is why the complaints that the SDMB is a liberal bubble that unfairly bans and censors conservatives are hypocritical.

Those of you that claim that both sides are equally guilty, could you explain how this works? Is it a “Natural Law”? Is it magic? What mysterious force is stopping one side from being worse than the other?

Exceedingly insightful! This is the problem with the far left. They are willing to act as Robespierre did in order to have a nation of so-called virtue and equity. Unfortunately proper, classical liberalism is now considered a problem instead of a shared cultural foundation.

Peaceful protests or “mostly peaceful”? There are a few orders of magnitude of difference.

You’d have a point if it were actually the same people here complaining that were there doing the banning.

This, this, this, this, a hundred times, this.

I am a 54yo white man. You are goddamned straight that I use my privilege of looking, sounding, and talking like an educated 6-foot white executive to constantly denounce Trumpism, the various culture war idiocies, support universal health care coverage, argue against income inequality, a whole helluva lot more topics - I am ready to go at it, any time, any where.

For example, was talking to a typical conservative housewife two weeks ago. Conversation effectively went like this:

“I can’t understand why people don’t want to work.”
“Well, COVID did kill 700,000 people, most of them the very people who work in restaurants and other low-paying jobs.”
“Oh, yeah. That’s smart, I didn’t think about that!”
“And then, there’s this: Say you work at Walmart, stocking shelves. You get paid $8 an hour for 40 weeks, $320 - and that is pre-tax, meaning you’re taking home about $270. Let me ask… how hard do you think it is to use your cell phone to replace a measly $270 a week? And when Walmart calls saying they have your old job for you, do you go back to having a time clock and a boss, or do you sit at home, making money on your phone when you want to?”
“I didn’t think about that either! There’s no way I would work at Walmart for $300, hee-hee.”
“Well, the people who aren’t coming back to hourly jobs, if they’re not dead, they just learned how to earn a crappy $10 an hour in ways not covered by W-2 employment. Or they may, in fact, be making far more!”

I’m sure many of y’all have seen my thread about how I blew up a Toastmasters group because the host was expressing fascistic, authoritarian thoughts, and I had no problem standing up, looking at the man, pointing towards him, and telling him that he is damning his soul to Hell. In the very same thread I talk about how I just trashed Trump and Trumpism to a typical bunch of white and Hispanic conservatives. And, again, as I like to do, I stood up, looked them in the eye, and just held fucking forth.

I am heavily involved in a public debate group. Last week, the group moderator… an economically conservative African-American ex serviceman, came to me and said “Man, I really was 100% pro-capitalism, and then you started coming and hell… I looked into it and there’s a lot to what you say.” And we discussed this, me clarifying that I’m not anti-capitalism, I’m anti-Reaganomics and that I hate the turn capitalism has taken since 1975, etc.

I was featured yesterday in an anti-Trump article on (for the Houston Chronicle):

Fuck, I mean, the other day I found myself driving past this place…

I had no choice but to stop. I went in, up to the counter, and ordered a Trump burger w/ fries, to-go, no tomato. The woman at the counter, who apparently was featured in the article above, asked me if I was a fan. Looking her in the eye I said “I absolutely detest the malignant son of a bitch, but I’m willing to reach across the aisle for a good burger.” And the burger was fantastic… this is Texas, after all, you better not be selling crappy beef… and the fries were perfectly hot.

This is America, guys. You have to speak out. Even if you’re the only Blue dot in a seeming sea of Red, you owe it to yourself, to us, and to the ideals of the country to swallow your fear and speak truth to Power.

And, especially for us Dopers, who come here to practice our rhetoric, hone our arguments… what good is it if you don’t take the goal of fighting ignorance out among the ignorant? And triply so if you’re white, and even more so if you’re a white male.

Lastly, personal safety: I was first doxxed in 1990, 1991, on some local BBS in Atlanta… “Hey, I know you… isn’t your sister <my sister’s name>?” I get at least 2-3 Twitter accounts every year who find out my address and then say “I know where you live”, whereupon my response is “And now @SAPD knows you know where I live, and so does my lawyer @JohnTAttorney. Thanks for the evidence of premeditation.”

Again. White privilege. I have an attorney. Even if I didn’t have an attorney, to look at me, you would not disbelieve me if I said I had an attorney.

Frankly, my likely death is some heart attack or lung disease offing me when I’m 82. If I somehow find myself in a historical context where I end up dying for my beliefs… as an American, I can think of no better ending.

I, honestly, don’t think white male liberals can sit this one out. Fuckin’ speak up if you have the privilege.

In what context are you asking this question; is it from the standpoint of claims made that if the left resorts to acts of violence in response to the right, there will be no meaningful difference between the two?

There will be quite a number of people who will not be able to distinguish between them, that’s for sure. There will be those who will equate any slight bit of violence on the left to be the same as the violence on the right.

Yeah! All those fucking leftists on the Committee of Public Safety arresting and beheading people are terrible.

Just so I can get worked up to a proper frothy rage, can you name any of the Committee’s victims?

I’m white and male but not quite six feet. That’s my excuse for not confronting the Trumpist idiots I overhear out in public these days.

Seriously, I admire you and will try to do better on my end when the opportunities arise.

Anecdotally, Rev. Sharpton tells a story of the Charlottesville protests and being surrounded by white supremist/nazi protesters when a group of antifa showed up and put themselves between the nazis and the group of peaceful protesters he was with. Some fighting broke out but most peaceful protesters remained unhurt. Now, who still thinks it’s difficult to distinguish between the two?

Yeah, I know. Like the anti-masker in that video who was the first to start the fight but after getting himself up off the floor accused the hoodie guy of “assault”. :wink:

I guessed the Marquis de Condorcet, who I know was arrested and died in 1794 while (I think) awaiting execution, but then I looked him up and it turns out he was a former member of the Committee himself. I haven’t been able to figure out if it was the Committee who condemned him or if he would count as a “victim” of it even if it did.

Like this blatant Antifa BLM protester.

Are you looking for me to call people out here, or what? We do have at least one poster in this thread who seems to have difficulties in distinguishing them. We have an entire news network dedicated to confusing the difference between them.

Some don’t see shoving as violence, but do see being punched in the face as violence. Hard to say who started the fight, if you consider shoving to be fighting, then sure, anti-mask guy started it, but punch in the face guy certainly escalated it.

Like I said, I don’t know that he was “wrong” but I’m sure that someone will come along and say that he got his teeth knocked in for just exercising his rights or waving the flag or something.