(LibertySociety.com) – Nowadays it can seem as though extreme points of view (and the actions that accompany them) are everywhere. Divisions in our political landscape have driven an increasing number of people hard Right or hard Left. The development of a more Liberal society has pushed some religious people to extremism. While these kinds of movements are often based on valid concerns, their actions are deeply damaging to America, causing far more problems than they could ever solve.
So, if extremism is so destructive, why is it continuing to grow?
The Black Lives Matter Movement
The militant members of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement are currently the most active extremists in the United States. Since the death of George Floyd in May, BLM activists have staged increasingly violent protests across America, leaving cities like Chicago and Portland in a state of lawless disarray.
These protesters say they don’t want to live in a country where people of different racial backgrounds receive different treatment. While this is a laudable sentiment, their activities ignore the wishes of ordinary Americans. Most people don’t want to live in a country where their homes and businesses are at risk of destruction, where police are subjected to violent attacks, or where mass protests take place despite grave public health risks in relation to COVID-19.
It’s important to remember extremism exists on the Right as well as the Left. While no right-wing group has carried out an event on the scale of recent BLM protests, movements like neo-Nazism and white nationalism, unfortunately, remain an issue in America today.
Perhaps the most prominent example of this in recent years was the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Various antisemitic and white supremacist groups attended the rally, chanting racist slogans and brandishing weapons. Violence ensued when a march met with opposition. One woman was killed after a neo-Nazi protester drove his car into a crowd of people.
So, what can we do to bring political and social discourse away from extremism? The best course of action appears to revolve around open communication and compromise. America is a country with many competing interests, which means some people will benefit while others lose out. Unless we can learn to manage this situation peacefully and productively, we’ll all end up as losers.
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