Guest Column: Might there be “good people” among the alt-right?

A woman on NPR this morning was asked if the president was correct: might there have been any “good people” on the alt-right side of things in Charlottesville? She just answered “no,” and to my ears she sounded silly, although I know she was just trying to be clear and truthful.

Maybe she should have said, “Good and bad is an unproductive set of pronouncements that most philosophers, theologians, and thoughtful people would reject, given that we are, all of us, both at one time or another. I can tell you this, though: everyone who believes in a white ethno-state in America believes in something anathema to our country’s founding idea, the idea of equality and democracy, and therefore this ethno-state idea is a direct attack on our judicial system (which has hundreds of years of law built up based on equality), our education system, our housing system and laws, and our very government of representatives. That alt-right idea is a direct threat to our way of life, our neighborhoods and private pursuit of happiness, our rules, our society.”

See? You could call that “bad,” yeah, but it’s better to say what you mean exactly. Or else it seems like you are name-calling. If we don’t remind each other over and over what our democracy is based on, people can start to think that defense of democracy is just dumb political correctness.

This Guest Column is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of 14850 Magazine or its affiliates or advertisers.

For more, follow on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.