Well… that’s a bit of a mouthful, but let me explain. In the political sphere of the west, the idea of violence being used to win in politics has mainly been condemnable unless it is for a revolution “””we””” support. So how comes then, the violence displayed in the Charlottesville is inherently wrong, yet the violence displayed in Venezuela on the side of protests attacking the current government is a necessary evil in many peoples, including my, view. The reason why this is the case is because of what government these situations are based in. Charlottesville is part of a democratic society whereas in Venezuela has effectively become a dictatorship (or at least a government so corrupt that democracy doesn’t matter any more).
The situation in Charlottesville
As I write this, the situation in Charlottesville is as such: Far right white nationalists/supremacists (I know there is a difference yet both terms are being used at the moment, even in the same reports (Gunter, A reckoning in Charlottesville, 2017)) decided to hold a rally in which they were spewing their rhetoric; this rally clashed with counter protestors in the streets resulting in violence that had to be contained by police. Now let’s go through the damage. As much as I believe that the rhetoric from the “Unite the Right” camp is vile and disgusting, especially in this day and age, they still should be allowed to speak because it is still part of the first amendment. In that same light, I believe that the counter protestors should have had their voices heard and that we as outsiders should have chosen which rhetoric we subscribed to. If that were me, for example, I would have ignored the “Unite the Right” camp and sympathised with the counter protestors. However, the problem with the whole situation is that violence ensued. I couldn’t care less about who started it, who provoked it or who “won” it, because nobody won in this situation, the loser here is democracy. We shouldn’t need to bring violence into democratic political discussion it solves nothing yet creates an unsafe environment for all, not just the ones involved but the innocent by-standers as well. My view seems to be the same as what President Trump has come out and said, yet he was condemned for not specifically calling out “Unite the Right” yet I don’t believe he needed to. As much as you can say “what do you expect the counter protestors to do in that situation”, in the same way you could say it about the free speech activists in Berkeley (Wikipedia, 2017), it doesn’t mean they are right to fight, instead, if they believe they weren’t the instigators in the violence, they should be trying to stop violence and instead be trying to promote discussion, like some at the “Battle for Berkeley” like Lauren Southern who is not wanting violence. This condemnation of Trump seems to come from the presumption that the “Unite the Right” are Trump supporters and therefore Trump is responsible for their actions. This shouldn’t be the case. As much as I feel confident in saying that all “Unite the Right” supporters are Trump supports, I can most definitely say that nearly no Trump supporters are “Unite the Right” supporters, in fact, most Trump supporters, like myself, condemn “Unite the Right” and the rhetoric. And why should anyone be responsible for their follower’s actions unless they actively tell them to do something. This has been a point driven home by journalist Richard Lewis (Lewis, 2014), and this most definitely applies to Trump in this situation, yet the media ignores that, like they did with Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail. Overall, the reason why Charlottesville shows that two wrongs don’t make a right in a democratic society is because everyone has the platform to debate ideas, however it resulted in violence that was not called for or needed and instead detracts from the conversation these rallies are meant to have. What makes it even worse is that when Trump condemns the violence, he is being condemned for not condemning the right people even though the right people to condemn in this situation is everyone partaking in the violence.
How this links to Venezuela
For those who aren’t up to speed with the situation in Venezuela, this video from Philip DeFranco should help you (Defranco, 2017). In summary, violent protests are taking place due to decisions being made by the government that have made the country poor and effectively a dictatorship. So you may be asking why many see this political violence from the protestors to be a necessary evil. The reason why I believe so is because the protestors don’t properly have the democratic platform to speak up and are now trying to fight for their lives and their humanity in today’s world. What can also be linked is condemnations of political figures condemnations, in this instance the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (Mason, 2017) where he, like Donald Trump with Charlottesville, condemned all violence but not the right people, that being the government. Full disclosure, I am a member of the Conservative Party, with the Labour Party being their main opposition. The reason why myself and many others condemn his condemnation is because Corbyn has been a huge advocate for the Venezuelan government due to them both holding similar socialist views, and seems to still be wanting to support the government for that reason. Since many people see the protests as being justified, those people by extension see that Corbyn should have condemned the government for their dictatorship. Some of you may now be thinking “How comes violence in Venezuela be okay, yet the other situations in this post aren’t”. The reason for this is because in the other situations, there is a democratic platform to speak from.
In conclusion, there should be not violence in political discussions in a democratic and that condemnations of these situations should not be condemned for not condemning the right people. However, in a dictatorship, violence on the side of the population being oppressed can be justified and people should be condemning the government that dictates this mess rather than the protestors that are having to fight for their freedom.
Defranco, P. (2017, August 1). J.K. Rowling Promotes Fake News, YouTuber Loses Scholarship Over Video, and Venezuela In Chaos. (J. Girardier, Editor, & A. Morones, Producer) Retrieved August 13, 2017, from YouTube: https://youtu.be/76eGLHYOKBQ?t=10m51s
Gunter, J. (2017, August 13). A reckoning in Charlottesville. Retrieved from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40914748
Lewis, R. (2014, May 23). RLewisReports channel. (S. Davis, Producer) Retrieved August 13, 2017, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RLewisReports/
Mason, R. (2017, August 7). Jeremy Corbyn condemns ‘violence done by all sides’ in Venezuela. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/07/no-10-reiterates-uk-condemnation-of-venezuelan-government-may
Wikipedia. (2017, April 15). 2017 Berkely protests. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Berkeley_protests#April_15