Editors at the Washington Examiner offer a warning about violent left-wing protesters.

Unlike the crowd that appeared last year in Charlottesville to universal condemnation, these rioters, with their cop-killer rhetoric and their skull-cracking, window-smashing tactics of political persuasion, now hold sway over many weak-minded politicians who sympathize with, collaborate with, or fear them too much to resist.

Even to call them “antifa” or “anti-fascist” is a mistake, an uncritical acceptance of their own euphemisms. Although they are a mix of Marxists and anarchists, they derive that term from Stalinist propaganda that started in the 1930s and picked up again in the 1940s after the Soviet Union abandoned its alliance with Nazi Germany. This word was used by the Soviet communists not only to help in the war effort, but also to reinforce their tyrannical domestic rule.

“Anti-fascism,” it turns out, is a great excuse for government to make people do anything you want them to do. Why, the Berlin Wall, from its construction in 1961, was always referred to behind the Iron Curtain as the “anti-fascist barrier,” implying that it was there to keep out harmful Western influences.

It is in that spirit that this current crop of violent protesters and their allergy to dissenting views must be understood. They reject not just the current imperfect state of America, but its very founding vision. They would replace the Constitution and laws that made this country great with a single-party dictatorship. They are totalitarians who merely lack the formal power of a state to oppress and bludgeon dissenters with the full force of law behind them.

For now, the violent Left must instead settle for using lawless intimidation.