By editorial board • 

Left does itself no favors by allowing fringe to run amok

Increasingly in recent years, Republican Party leaders have shirked their moral responsibility to condemn dark, ugly fringe elements of their base — fascists, racists, Nazis, militiamen, Klansmen, sovereignists and the like.

And none more so than the current occupant of the White House. In fact, he has gone them one better by expressing open admiration for odious dictators, including The Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Unfortunately, Democratic Party leaders in Oregon, and the unions who fuel their campaigns, seem to be slavishly following suit when it comes to their own hate-filled, bomb-throwing fringe element — an anarchist movement welling up from a prison system breeding ground.

Whether it’s Republicans on the right or Democrats on the left, allowing the most radical elements of their bases to compromise their principles and mute their voices is repugnant. It helps tighten the grip of raw partisanship, thus serving to thwart reasonable policy initiatives.

The National Anarchist Movement ran prison inmate Sean Swain for president in November. He promised, among other pledges, to dismantle our armed forces, flood the economy with billions in newly minted currency, pardon all prisoners and burn all prisons, and declare every day a holiday, thus eliminating all work for pay. He proposed to accomplish this in 90 days, then resign and set the government adrift.

Trump won the big prize, which led an appalled opposition to mount November protests in numerous locales.

But when black-masked anarchists infiltrated the otherwise peaceful Portland demonstrations to pelt police, set blazes, smash windows, snarl traffic and engage in random acts of mayhem, organizers were more critical of the police for restoring order than the anarchists for disrupting it.

The anarchists were aided and abetted by then-Mayor Charlie Hales, who established a virtually unmatched record of ineptitude during his mercifully brief tenure. They got another boost when the district attorney’s Office dismissed charges against virtually all the 113 arrested.

Mayoral successor Ted Wheeler, displaying an equal lack of fortitude, allowed the anarchist fringe to bring city council meetings to a grinding halt for weeks with ceaseless demands for the police chief’s ouster. And it took nothing more than an anonymous threat for Portland anarchists to force cancellation of this year’s 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade.

It should have come as no surprise when anarchists began tossing Molotov cocktails, setting bonfires, defacing storefronts, shattering windows and pelting police again during the union movement’s annual May Day Parade, staged May 1 in Portland. After all, they openly recruited participants on social media sites.
But the response from the self-proclaimed voice of the American worker was, distressingly, a condemnation of the police rather than the bomb-throwers who spoiled the party and soiled the cause.

For shame. We have every right to expect better.

Allowing the base’s most violent and lawless hangers-on to wantonly wreak havoc represents a virtual guarantee to lose future elections that might otherwise prove winnable.



You obviously don't understand POTUS Trump. Taking things at face value often does not show what is below. He does not admire despots. He merely wants to open a dialog---which you should approve of.

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