We missed this yesterday, but it’s worth noting today for two reasons. First, it shows just how sharply the Left has shifted on Antifa. I mean, when you’ve lost Comedy Central, and the Daily Show is making fun of you as a bunch of maladjusted losers, you know that the comparisons to D-Day are over, amirite?
Second, this might be the first genuine laugh from the Daily Show since Jon Stewart retired:
“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah spoke out against the left-wing “antifa” movement on Thursday, calling its adherents “vegan ISIS.” …
“Breaking a window was a symbolic act?” Noah said. “Most people see that and think, ‘Great. Now I’ve got to walk a whole block up to the next Starbucks. … Who is that supposed to convince? What are you trying to do? It definitely doesn’t convince the Starbucks guy — the person who’s going to be cleaning up the glass [isn’t] saying, ‘Yeah, they made a good point about fascism.'”
Noah continued saying that the most destructive tactic of all is when antifa members engage in physical violence.
“It doesn’t matter what you say you’re fighting for, when people see you beating other people up, people think oh shit, it’s vegan ISIS,” Noah said. “You don’t realize that when you think you’re punching Nazis, you’re also punching your cause. Your opponents will just use every violent incident to discredit your movement.”
Not to get too picky, but that’s a weak argument. The main problem with political violence isn’t that it discredits a cause — it’s that it’s terrorism, and it’s in service to totalitarianism. To be fair, Trevor Noah does say that when he calls Antifa “vegan ISIS,” a name that aptly describes the movement, right down to the “cosplay” that the Daily Show derides. However, Noah goes on to say that “it doesn’t matter what your noble goal may be,” but actually it does. Noble goals can gain popular support through free speech and legal demonstrations, processes which have actually defeated state-sponsored cruelty such as Jim Crow and apartheid. Bad and unpopular ideas, such as fascism and totalitarianism, require violence precisely because a free people won’t adopt them willingly.
That also ignores the history of the so-called “Antifa.” This is not a new movement that arose in response to a supposed upsurge in white supremacism, a dead philosophy that’s not coming back at all except in the minds of propagandists. Antifa has been around a long time in other guises, from the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle to the 2008 Republican convention here in the Twin Cities. It has existed for decades as a loosely organized band of violent radical-leftists who wish to impose their political views by force because it’s the only way those policies will ever get adopted. (That’s equally true of the ne0-Nazis and white supremacists.) Antifa and its public faces have tried to prettify their movement by claiming to only target neo-Nazis in hopes of gaining a sense of cool with the mainstream media and entertainment industries — and for a short period of time they succeeded, getting compared to Allied efforts to destroy Nazi Germany.
Well, it looks like the cool has evaporated. Now the Left is ridiculing Antifa as losers and fascists. That’s long overdue, and definitely worth noting, as well as the genuine laugh.