The Right Falls Again for the Left’s Salami Tactics

The furor over contentious symbols is rising again, the latest case occurring in connection with Canadian truckers protesting vaccine mandates in Ottawa. The frightening hate symbols found among the truckers were described thus by Al Jazeera:

The convoy was organised by known far-right figures, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network has reported in detail. Confederate flags and at least one swastika were spotted during the first weekend of protests, drawing widespread condemnation from politicians and other observers.

Not only did Justin Trudeau loudly deplore those symbols, but the House Leader of the far-left New Democratic Party insisted that the Canadian Parliament pass a law prohibiting anyone from advertising or selling them.

This is plainly an attempt to engage in the “salami tactics” that the Communists so successfully used after World War II to take power in Eastern Europe. Salami tactics are so called because they are an attempt to cause division within an opposing political party by finding and emphasizing wedge issues that its members disagree on, effectively slicing the enemy side up into segments that oppose each other instead of working together. Unfortunately, our media-approved conservatives are falling right into their trap again by taking the bait over the Confederate flag.

Fox News tried to counter the media furor over Confederate flags and swastikas by stressing that these symbols were only rarely sighted among the truckers and that the overwhelming majority of these protesters were really nice people—salt-of-the-earth types, who presumably watch Fox News. Yet Fox commentators had no problem accepting the left’s premise that the Confederate battle flag belonged in the same category of “fascist symbols” as the swastika.

I had to shake my head in wonder why the conservative establishment decided to take this defensive, apologetic stance on the left’s ridiculous argument that whatever it happens to be attacking is equal to Hitler and Nazi genocide. The Confederate flag, after all, hung above the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia until July 2015, when the Republican governor, Nikki Haley, removed it, apparently to please the media. No one then really thought the symbol of the Southern heritage was as evil as the Nazi swastika. The swastika is associated with a movement and government that caused the deaths of tens of millions of people, and which overran and devastated an entire continent. Is the Confederate battle flag really as odious as that? I certainly never met anyone who thought that it was, even among my far-left graduate-school professors in the 1960s.

Yet the talking heads at Fox failed to use this invidious equation of the Confederate flag and the Nazi swastika to provide a teaching moment. They should have driven home the obvious fact that the two are not in any way equivalent symbols. Allowing them to appear so is an outrageous historical distortion.

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