Glorifying bloodlust: Why Democrats must reject the new leadership of the Nevada Democratic Party the same way GOP should have disowned Trump

We all thought it was a joke, or maybe just a weird coincidence. But it turns out there is a reason that in the United States, the alt-right Republican Party and the alt-left socialist movement are both represented by the color red: they a common, romantic, and defining theme of political bloodlust.

Not proverbial bloodlust. Literal  bloodlust. A desire to quite literally draw blood of the people they imagine to be their political enemies defines the bain of their existence. And surely enough, the socialists and the far right MAGA fringe do not consider each other their greatest enemies. Rather, the liberal political center of gravity - on the horseshoe political scale the farthest point from the extremes bunched together closely - defined often as the 'establishment' is the target.

Such was the case right after in Nevada, a socialist slate of former Bernie Sanders supporters won control of the state's Democratic party apparatus. The co-chair of the Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America promoted a tweet that featured an image of the logo of the Nevada Democratic party transformed into a guillotine.

Although after getting attention from the likes of Jon Ralston, the Las Vegas DSA co-chair deleted the tweet, there was no condemnation of her behavior or calls for her resignation quickly forthcoming from either the new leadership of the Nevada Democratic Party or Las Vegas and Nevada DSAs, which have now been merged for all practical purposes.

It behooves us to ask why not. It is not as though the socialist contingent taking over the state party haven't been doing anything. The leadership has found time to harass and extort former staff, all of whom quit when the socialists took over, along with contractors. The staff, who were contractually promised a severance before the socialist slate came to power, has been notified by Chair Judith Whitmer that she will withhold that promised severance pay - likely illegally since Nevada is an at-will employment state and there is no requirement that employees provide notice before they quit - unless they work for free to train their replacements. For all their talk about worker solidarity, socialists sure don't seem bothered when one of their own extorts former employees of an organization into providing unpaid labor.

So why, when they have had enough time to hatch a plan to acquire forced labor - or deny workers promised compensation - hasn't anyone from the new party leadership found time to condemn violent imagery being used by one of their own?

We have to consider the most obvious explanation: they agree with it.

The guillotine has been a constant fixture of socialist and far-left anarchist politics over the past few years, as their rhetoric toward people they protest has shifted from crude to cruel, from vitriolic to violent.

'Tax the rich,' terminology meant to signify the progressive message that the wealthy should bear the lion's share of investing in the next generation and social welfare, is no longer fashionable. To be considered a properly initiated member of the alt-left club, you must now say 'Eat the rich,' language signifying physical injury and slaughter (think of what happens to your food before you eat it, especially if that food comes from an animal). It's a dangerous, conscious, paradigm shift from social investment to personal retribution, from the common good to a common enemy, from justice to vigilantism.

It is in this vein that the guillotine emerged as a favorite symbol of the far left enamored with the faux romanticism of violent imagery. The guillotine, made famous for literally beheading rich people, has shown up in far left protests outside the homes of some famous rich people, like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. But Bezos is far from the only target of this violent imagery from the socialist left. This symbol of vigilante justice has been carried by radicalized leftists to places from the Puerto Rico governor's mansion to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. Socialist magazine Jacobin sells a guillotine poster for a cool, anti-capitalist price of just $14.95 plus shipping and handling.

Solidarity with and advocacy for the have-nots do not define the alt-left, a hot-blooded desire to commit harm against the have's does. In fact, solidarity with and advocacy for working people aren't even essential components of the far left, as their hijacking of peaceful protests for Black lives to destroy buildings and businesses in those very Black and brown neighborhoods demonstrate. For them, it is not so much about correcting the badly skewed distribution of wealth but about the doling out physical punishments to the wealthy and anyone who is perceived as insufficiently servile to their ideology.

It should not come as a shock to any keen observer that Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, as I have pointed out before, the two hottest beds of socialist and far left "activism," are also the only places on the map where violent left-wing anarchist terrorism equal in breath and scale the nationwide epidemic of right wing white supremacist terrorism. They do not seek a 'political' revolution. They are after a violent one.

The guillotine appears in alt-left gatherings just as a noose, set up by alt-right, white supremacist Trump supporters framed the US Capitol hours before an angry, armed, right wing terrorist mob invaded the Capitol looking for members of Congress and then-Vice President Pence. "Hang Mike Pence," they chanted.

This is yet another core commonality between the militant far right and the equally militant, but thankfully numerically smaller, far left. Although the 1/6 mob roamed the halls of Congress looking for Democratic members of Congress, and in particular Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the lion's share of their - as well as Trump's - rage was focused on Mike Pence and Republican members of Congress who they believed were insufficiently servile to the alt-right personality cult of Donald Trump for allowing the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be formalized by Congress.

Likewise, the ire of the militant alt-left is focused on mainline Democrats - and even Democrats pretty far to the left when they dare to cross some sacrosanct line - while they pay little more than lip service to criticizing Republicans. In fact, some on the horseshoe left are well on their way to publicly merging themselves with the horseshoe right. Glenn Greenwald, a deity among the far left who is now a regular on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox, where they regularly rage and reminisce about "cancel culture," has crossed the rubicon and simply stated that alt-right white nationalists are really socialists, and defined xenophobia as essential to socialism.

It is in this spirit the guillotinized version of the NVDems logo was presented and promoted by alt-leftists on social media. It was meant to symbolize the victorious triumph of the socialist left over the people they consider their enemies: the mainstream Democratic party. The frame is meant to invoke the literal and bloody imagery of brutal murder of those who dare to challenge the alt-left from the Democratic party. Think it's an exaggeration? One of the 'designer's' fellow alt-leftists has already picked up on the bloodletting: "It'd be funnier if (former Democratic Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid's stupid hat was lying on the floor next to it," they said.

The guillotine is the alt-left's version of the noose. It, like the noose, is a symbol and a threat of political violence (aka terrorism) against its displayers' political enemies. There is no use denying it.

This is the natural progression of a 'movement' that has consistently used intimidation, doxxing, and even death threats as means of gaining and maintaining power. The most vile alt-left backers of Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign, though infamous for their toxic online presence, were not limited to 'ratioing' people on Twitter. The alt-left is just as vile in real life. Nowhere have these tactics been more on display than in Nevada, so the guillotine logo almost makes sense. 

In 2020, just before Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, his forces harassed, intimidated, and targeted culinary union members for daring to question Sanders's health care plan. And just who was in charge of Sanders's forces in Nevada? If the head of the Nevada delegation to the Democratic convention is anything to go by, it was Judith Whitmer, the person whose election as chair of the state party the 'guillotine logo' is supposed to celebrate.

Elements that romanticize violence in order to subdue their political rivals have always existed in America. As President Biden says, you cannot eliminate hate; you can only drive it to the fringes, underground. You can only deprive it of legitimacy and power.

But that does not happen by itself. The Republican Party shamefully failed to drive its own fringe extremist elements underground until it took over the party. Democrats, having had the benefit of watching the GOP experience, cannot afford to do the same.

Democrats everywhere must strongly and unequivocally reject the alt-left and their stranglehold on one of our state parties. We must excise this growing cancer on the progressive movement in a way that the Republican party should have - but to the lasting damage of our republic, did not - disowned Donald Trump and the hostile, populist, violent movement reached the pinnacle of their influence with him.

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