It’s fashionable to argue that “both sides” share responsibility for the politically toxic world we find ourselves in today.
We’re told each side has valid criticisms and ideas, that we need to understand where our opponents are coming from in order to find common ground. Only then can we find solutions and end political division.
But both sides refuse to compromise or cede ground, therefore both sides share blame equally.
It’s utter bullshit.
Only one side mails bombs in the hopes of killing their political enemies.
Only one side elevates its most extreme voices and actively mainstreams ideas that up until recently were relegated to the fringes of society.
Only one side attacks refugees fleeing violence to score political points.
Only one side embraces conspiracy theories and hatred as a core part of their political ideology, spreading it like cancer through the ranks of their partisans.
Only one side embraces authoritarianism and incites their members to violence towards their political opponents.
Only one side undermines the free press and any institution that holds the powerful in check.
Only one side does this.
This same side will say they aren’t to blame, that those views are only a small fringe, and that they don’t condone or support those actions. Some of them may even believe it.
They will denounce these attacks as not in keeping with their values or beliefs.
But it’s all bullshit.
After the bodies are buried, condolences are given, and speeches are delivered, one side will turn back to the demagoguery, hatred and fear that is tearing our western society apart.
One side will continue blaming Muslims, Jews and minorities for their problems.
One side will continue to use the rhetoric and fear-mongering that produces the very violence they prayed would never happen again.
Solutions can only be found through truth. Only by acknowledging the cause of our problems can we try to fix our broken world.
And the truth is simple: both sides are not to blame. Fascists — and the right-wingers who enable them — do not contribute to one side of the problem, they are the problem.
The fever dream of fear, hate, and paranoia we exist in today is one they have created.
The sooner we acknowledge this simple truth, the sooner we can work together to fix the mess they’ve created.