by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
… [S]uch conspiracy-minded thinking is ascendant within the online #resistance. Left-wing Twitter sees secret white-supremacist symbols everywhere these days. In May, comedian Dean Obeidallah asked Twitter user Bill Presson “are u wearing a Nazi outfit?” Presson’s profile picture was indeed of a man in uniform — his father, who served in the U.S. Army and was killed in Vietnam. When this was pointed out, Obeidallah was decent enough to apologize. “I had no idea and I sincerely couldn’t tell that was an American uniform nor that the photo was your late father. Your father was a true patriot,” he wrote to Presson. Left unanswered was the question of who, upon seeing a military insignia they don’t recognize, immediately assumes that it’s a Nazi uniform.
In another Twitter outrage earlier this year, New Yorker staffer Talia Lavin was forced to resign after accusing a veteran who lost his legs in Afghanistan of being a Nazi, assuming that one of his tattoos, which was actually a symbol of his platoon, was an Iron Cross. And then there was Samantha Bee’s gleeful, televised judgment that a young man whose hair was partly shaved for cancer treatment was sporting a “Nazi haircut.” …
… Now we seem to be seeing a new version of this paranoia on the left. Rather than “love my country, fear my government,” the motto of the conspiracy-minded “resistance” seems to be “hate them both.” It’s hard to imagine even the most committed leftist 20 years ago thinking it likely that a U.S. serviceman was a fan of Hitler, or deciding that a half-Mexican, half-Jewish lawyer was a member of the Klan on the basis of the way she curled her fingers.