Which group is more dangerous to America: the far left or the far right?
- The use of left and right political terminology originated in 1789 after the French Revolution when politicians were attempting to draft a constitution and “anti-royalist revolutionaries seated themselves to the presiding officer’s left, while the more conservative, aristocratic supporters of the monarchy gathered to the right.”
- According to the Counter Extremism Project, far-left groups can be classified into at least one of three general categories: anarchism, communism/socialism/Marxism, and autonomous radicals. Additionally, they have “embraced social justice as a raison d’être in protest of perceived restrictions on liberty by the state.”
- The Anti-Defamation League states that the far right encompasses two large general groups: the white supremacist movement, which includes neo-Nazis, and anti-government movements, such as the militia and “sovereign citizens.”
- A 2020 YouGov poll revealed that 62% of Americans are “concerned about the threat of domestic terrorism from right-wing extremists,” while 54% had the same feeling about left-wing extremists.
Louis (Far Left)
The far left poses a significant threat to the fabric of the nation and has proven itself to be an ideology rooted in hatred, intolerance, and a rejection of America's values.
Following the shooting of Daunte Wright, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib took to Twitter to say, 'No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can't be reformed.' Her words demonstrate the far left's inherently closed-minded ideology that wishes to tear down the country's foundation rather than reform the aspects of it that need improvement. A Gallup Poll reveals that while less than 1% of Republicans wish to abolish the police, nearly 28% of Democrats do. This shows the emergence of the far-left ideology within the democratic party--making ideas as drastic as this more accepted.
Another dangerous precedent set by the far left is cancel culture, a system rooted in intolerance and incoherence when reasoning with others. The problematic nature of cancel culture is that it uses the blind adherence of consumers to tear down businesses, public figures, etc., inevitably leading people to lose their jobs over the misguided public acceptance of others.
Aside from wanting to abolish the police and cancel out whoever is deemed offensive, the far left also defends another troubling ideology: communism. A Pew Research study also suggests that 65% of Democrats favor socialism, a political belief inherently harmful to the nation's future.
Conclusively, the far left's drastic ideals, their presence in Congress, their lack of tolerance, their support of socialism/communism--not to mention their city-burning violent protests from 2020--illustrate the danger they pose to the best country in the world, the United States of America.
Amanda (Far Right)
Labeling far-right extremists as a greater danger than the current extreme left isn’t just a matter of confirming one’s beliefs, but a position backed up by law enforcement. The DHS considers right-wing terrorism its number one deadliest threat, with the US GAO recording 106 deaths attributed to right-wing terrorists between 2001 and 2016. The number of deaths from left-wing extremism in the same time period: zero.
There’s also additional evidence that other types of non-terroristic violence can stem from radical right ideology. For instance, while most mass shooters don’t necessarily advocate a specific political stance or belong to an extremist group, multiple high-profile shootings in the last decade have resulted from far right and white supremacist conspiracy theories. Further, related ideologies, such as the misogyny espoused by the incel (involuntary celibate) community, have not only served as gateways to the alt-right but have inspired their own long history of fatal violence.
More importantly, however, we’ve consistently seen right-wing power brokers--politicians, corporate leaders, media figures--embrace racist and anti-Semitic conspiracies while actively stoking resentments that lead to violence. This ultimately culminated in the January 6th insurrection, an incident the current director of the FBI himself, Christopher Wray, called out as domestic terrorism. And that riot was believed to have been incited by none other than the sitting president of the US, Republican Donald Trump.
Despite right-wing insistence that January 6th was nothing more than an ordinary tour of the capitol building or that a loose coalition of left-wing anti-fascist groups is just as bad, there’s simply no equivalent of such organization or power structure on the left.