As we reflect upon the anniversary of D-Day (address on that event can be found under Addresses) and the defeat of fascism on the world landscape, I find this to be a prudent time to release a statement regarding the declaration of terroristic intent against ANTIFA. Of course, we have now all overheard a term which has direct correlation with fascism by this point in modern times.
Fascism is defined as a form of far-right, authoritarian ultra nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy. This form of dictatorship came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. An example of a fascist leader would be the staple head of that movement itself: Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. Mussolini is reflected upon historically as the right-hand of Adolf Hitler in leading the Axis powers. By reflecting upon Mussolini alone, I feel that it is evident that fascism is not acceptable in any sense of the imagination. And so, the target placed upon a group such as ANTIFA for the chaos playing out on our streets today is preposterous. The truth of the matter is that ANTIFA is not a collective group, rather a loose collection of local/regional groups and individuals. This essentially makes the declaration of ANTIFA as a terrorist group ineffective.
The violence is posed by groups which embrace violent tactics to suppress opposition. ANTIFA, while potentially integrated in the fold on the outset, is intended to be a scapegoat for the federal government to place blame upon. This declaration, as previously mentioned, will not lead to the deescalation of riots and vandalism. In principle, all Americans are likely to declare fascism as treacherous and a threat to our democracy itself. And yet, to condemn ANTIFA as a terroristic affiliation when no group formally exists? I cannot express my level of displeasure with this proclamation. Not only is the federal branch looking for an obscure place to assess blame, they also are avoiding the issues we are pressed with all together. I am not one to outright condemn any one person or group for their inability to grasp the gravity of a situation, but in this case, I have no other alternative. This issue is prominent, and will not simply die out. Mr. President, it is time to act. You are the President of the United States of America. You must stop tarnishing the reputation of the office itself by your complete inaction in a time of disaster. I am not talking policy at this point, I am talking outright morals, the intrinsic variance between right and wrong as we know in our consciences. What do you plan to do about this crisis, Mr. President? What reform do you propose we place forward to address the issue of police brutality? What speech will you deliver to put protestors at ease? What symbolic gesture are you willing to preform in order to illustrate that you hear the cries of millions of American citizens? Mr. President, you have had three weeks to show one once of sympathy, to show that you care about the Floyd family, to depict your awareness of the injustices faced by African American communities, to make an appearance at a public gathering which mourns the loss of Mr. Floyd while reflecting upon the issues faced by thousands of communities scattered throughout our great country. Mr. President, in case you have not taken notice of this obvious fact, you have failed to preform any one of those actions.
Let me reflect upon a time in 2015, when incumbent President Obama marched with a large crowd to reflect upon the granting of voting rights to African Americans. Let me reflect upon a time in 2020, when several state governors marched with protestors in an effort to bring awareness to the need of common sense police reform. Let me reflect upon a time in 2020 when the Democratic nominee for President Joe Biden walked the streets of Delaware to access the damage caused riots, and went on to listen to members of the African American community in a nearby church. Policy aside, all of these officials heard the collective cry for help, and stood in solidarity with them. These public servants wished to show solidarity with the protestors. Now let me reflect upon a time in 2020 when the President issued a statement on Twitter, calling protestors “thugs” and uttered the racially-insensitve statement, with history dating back to the Civil War, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. The point in this reflection is not necessarily intended to compare which servants present themselves with decorum or ‘act like a President’. The point in this comparison is to illustrate what a public servant is expected to do when holding office: listen to their constituents, regardless of their affiliation or support level. The term public servant indicates that you must be beholden to the interest of the majority of your constituents, not just your political base and donors. I certainly hope that we have not lost sight of that basic, democratic initiative.
I leave you with one final point: when you enter the ballot box on election day, and on any election day to clarify, you will ponder one question to yourself. President Ronald Reagan had conjured up this proposition in his election bid in 1980, and I find this to be a very basic, yet vital consideration that each voter must consider prior to bubbling in your choice as to who best represents the interest of America’s future. President Reagan stated, “Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment…than there was four years ago?” I pose those questions to you in this election before you make your choice. Carefully consider every variable which accompanies every candidate. Also give consideration to third party candidates and independents if the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument is unappealing to you. The one thing I encourage every eligible voter to avoid, however, is not voting at all. The easiest way to voice your opinion in this democracy is through your vote, and so at that, why wouldn’t you want your opinion to hold weight. Regardless of whether people appreciate your views, they are meaningful because they show that you care, that you can compose your own, unique opinions on complex matters. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of voicing your opinion is the very fact that you can form one in a time when the electorate is so easily swayed and buys into every narrative at a whim. Irrespective of whether I personally agree with someone, I respect their view as they know what they stand for and express it openly. I will always respect that, and I hope you all can as well. In a society where name smearing has gone rampant, I find that the value in meaningful conversion and compromise has skyrocketed.
– C. Lewis