There is a Chinese proverb, “Good things comes in pairs.” For the sake of equality, we might also say that bad things come in pairs as well. This last pair of weeks did not disappoint.
Last week Joe Biden began and based his campaign for president of the United States on a fundamental mischaracterization of Antifa as “courageous” freedom-fighters, instead of depicting them for what they really are--political terrorists.
This week Facebook and its subsidiary company Instagram announced they would not only ban fixtures of rightwing independent media—Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, and Laura Loomer, among others—but also censor anyone who shares their content without condemning them. Conspicuously missing from this list? Antifa.
These two conjoined incidents beg the question: Why would a former vice president and the biggest social media platform in the world blatantly celebrate or blatantly ignore some of the most violent people in America. How on earth do the great minds of Biden and Zuckerberg conceive of this strategy as a winning one, in terms of garnering the trust and support of their target populations? This anomaly is worth a closer look.
Biden was able to use Antifa as a convenient campaign prop by taking the isolated incident at Charlottesville, Virginia from nearly two years ago, where these "anti-fascist" protesters fought with white nationalists and violently attacked riot police. In short, Biden hopes to cast himself as the enemy of intolerance and hate...by defending the most intolerant and hateful people in America.
The catch: he can only do this if he ignores the plethora of cases where Antifa has, without provocation, assaulted peaceful Trump supporters across the country.
It’s no secret that Antifa’s actions are described by the FBI as 'domestic terrorist violence.' Although they hide behind the moniker of “anti-fascist,” they are more than willing to embrace tactics used by fascists (and communists) in the last century. And if this isn’t enough, many of them are avowed socialists, communists, anarchists, or some combination thereof.
But Trump’s supporters—especially those in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—are precisely those voters whom Biden needs to court in order to win the 2020 election.
How likely are victims of Antifa’s violence likely to vote for a man who extols their attackers as the pinnacle of American heroism? And does it seem at all likely that Middle Americans, who are on average more capitalistic and Christian than the average anarcho-communist, will support a politician who explicitly endorses anarcho-communists who want to burn down the whole system?
This massive strategical error can only be explained by sheer incompetence on the part of Biden’s campaign staffers, who didn’t bother looking at the bevy of high-profile news stories relating to Antifa abuse—including terrorism directed against journalist and pundit Tucker Carlson’s family. And if they did, these staffers made the false assumption that the Forgotten Man and Woman would so easily forget the vitriol directed against them by social outcasts.
Either way, it appears that Biden's biggest blunder to date is not failing to be gay, or black, or female, or young. Rather his greatest mistake is mistaking blue-haired anarchists for blue-collar Middle America.
As for Zuckerberg, his silence is complicity, as many a Social Justice Warrior will attest.
It bears noticing that Facebook and Instagram only announced their bans on Alex Jones and Laura Loomer after the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand and the Poway synagogue shooting in California. That is, they caved to the cacophonous demands of congressional Democrats to crack down on right-wingers across the board, on the specious argument that relatively mainstream figures who have never called for violence against Muslims and Jews are those most responsible for radicalizing these shooters.
These same congressional Democrats have been calling on tech CEOs like Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey of Twitter to take definitive actions against those accounts perceived to be spreading misinformation, either for their own reasons or on behalf of the Russian government. Silicon Valley has only moved to ban these individuals because they fear an endless round of congressional subpoenas and the negative publicity they generate.
Zuckerberg and Dorsey could care less about harassment and violence—if they did, they would have banned Antifa accounts, which have a long record of using their platforms to doxx and terrorize conservatives. In fact, Dorsey himself was on no less than two widely-watched Joe Rogan interviews, where he was directly pushed on the matter of Antifa’s dangerous use of Twitter. In Silicon Valley the profit motive replaces the moral motive; Mammonism is their god, and Money is their prophet.
Until Republicans unabashedly embrace the idea of naming and shaming tech companies over their unfair policies regarding political speech, and use government legislation or the power of subpoena to intimidate these cyber oligarchs, the likes of Zuckerberg and Dorsey will never condescend to treat conservatives with a modicum of respect.
And do not think for a minute that Facebook and Instagram’s decision to ban notorious anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is an any way a show of neutrality: Farrakhan is banned not because his words have been proven to lead to anti-Semitic violence, but because Zuckerberg and Dorsey quake in fear at the idea of finding themselves linked to synagogue shootings such as the one in California.
In both cases, Biden and Zuckerberg have decided to play footsie with a devil they refuse to acknowledge, and it is likely to only further damage their credibility with a large swath of the American people. Their cost-benefit analysis is off, and it will cost them at the benefit of political terrorists such as Antifa, who continue to operate unimpeded in the political and social media realms.
Gavin Wax is President of The New York Young Republicans, former New York State director for the Ted Cruz presidential campaign, and former deputy political director for Nicole Malliotakis' New York City Mayoral campaign. His work has appeared in Townhall, The Daily Caller, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, The Federalist, and Newsmax. You can follow him on Twitter @GavinWax