Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness. Isaiah 5:20
As kids, many of us remember reading Superman comic books and being enthralled with his super-human strength and always fighting for “truth, justice and the American way.” He was “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” and we loved reading about his exploits to save the world from one issue to the next. Superman arrived in 1938, when America was still struggling to overcome the Great Depression and World War II was imminent. For almost eighty years, he has been an enduring symbol of all that is right with America.
One interesting story line in the Superman universe is the appearance of Bizarro Superman. Several versions have appeared over the years, but all of them are weird caricatures of the real Superman. Bizarro Superman had cube-like gray or chalk-white skin and a twisted sense of logic resulting in great destruction and mayhem. Bizarro had a strange speech pattern where everything he said meant the exact opposite. For example, when Bizarro said, “Me am going to kill you” he really meant “I will save you.” On the Bizarro planet of Htrae (Earth spelled backwards) it was a crime to do anything good or right.
I am reminded of Bizarro Superman as I watch the twisted and illogical actions of Antifa and other extremist organizations marching and rioting in recent months. These groups say one thing – “we hate fascism, we support free speech, we are for peace” – while meaning the exact opposite – “we are fascists, we hate free speech, and we want to destroy America.” The far left is using Bizarro-speak to say the exact opposite of what they really mean. Even more bizarre, these groups truly believe what they espouse and cannot comprehend how their actions do not agree with their rhetoric.
Antifa uses violence in its anti-free speech, anti-government and anti-capitalist riots. They show up all dressed in black, with weapons, shields, helmets, Molotov cocktails, pepper spray, and clubs. They attack and beat people, start fires, smash windows and destroy property. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI internally classify the militant actions of Antifa as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to Politico. The intelligence report accused the “anarchist extremists” of attacks on police, government and political institutions, along with any other symbols of the “capitalist system” or displays of racism, social injustice or fascism. The Economist reports, the “word Antifa has its roots in Anti-Fascist Action, a name taken up by European political movements in the 1930s. Antifa groups are known for militant protest tactics, including property damage and physical violence.”
Antifa claims to be anti-fascist and then uses the same fascist tactics and techniques as Hitler’s “brown shirts” against anyone who opposes their “tear down the system” ideology. Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and control of industry and commerce. These are Antifa’s goals!
While claiming to fight against fascism, i.e., white supremacists, greedy capitalists, etc., they advocate for fascist control of their opponents. Understand that if you are white, Republican, and – gasp – a Trump supporter, then you are fascist and racist and must be stopped. For Antifa’s thugs, this justifies donning their Bizarro Superman black capes and committing violence against individuals who simply showed up in San Francisco to pray for peace at a public rally. They riot and destroy property because they think they are morally superior to the rest of us. As Professor William Wagner said, “While Antifa decries the ‘white hoods’ of the fringe white supremacist groups that all decent people condemn, they put on their ‘black hoods’ and commit violence and criminal acts against us all.”
These alt-left groups claim to be in favor of free speech, but then use violence and threats to stop mainstream conservative speakers, like Ben Shapiro, from being heard, whether it is on a college campus or in the public square. The progressive left cannot comprehend that there actually may be a sane and rational opposing position. The traditional liberal has always defended the free speech rights of everyone, i.e., “I may not agree with what you are saying but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Why are these liberals so silent today? Other than Alan Dershowitz and a few others, traditional liberals are nowhere to be found.
It is now conservatives who are fighting for the free speech rights of all. As former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “Those who won our independence . . . believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine. (N)o danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
Antifa and its cohorts are today’s Bizarro opponents to free speech. They do not want “more speech.” They want “enforced silence.” These anarchist groups are openly advocating for the destruction and overthrow of our government and society. They claim to stand for ideals they oppose by their actions. When you see a march with participants chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” or “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want ‘em? Now!”, the intent is clear. The physical assaults and wanton destruction of private property at the riots fomented by these groups demonstrate their intent to tear down our country.
Americans still believe that we should all respect each other and listen patiently to different points of view, but only in the sense that each person is entitled to believe whatever he or she wants, not in the sense that I must affirm that your view is equally valid. Most of us still believe in “truth, justice and the American way.” “Truth” with a capital T is the kryptonite we must use against the Bizarro Superman tactics of the anarchists. Truth exists and needs to be imparted in the public square free from Antifa’s violence. We need to have robust debate on the issues confronting society today, but not with the threat of being physically attacked by anarchists who disagree. Such criminals need to be opposed and their criminal activity stopped. Otherwise we are going to end up living in a Bizarro world where it is a “crime to do anything good or right.”