Trump warns Antifa opposition could become 'more violent'

The far left group Antifa, who justifies violence against their political opponents as a means to combat "fascism," received a direct warning from Donald Trump in an interview with the Daily Caller.

The Hill:

"They better hope that the opposition to antifa decides not to mobilize,” Trump told the conservative outlet The Daily Caller in an interview. "Because if they do, they’re much tougher. Much stronger. Potentially much more violent."

"And antifa’s going to be in big trouble," the president continued. "But so far they haven’t done that and that’s a good thing."

The left-wing antifa movement is known for its direct protests of events and figures that supporters accuse of spreading white supremacist and fascist ideals.

The loosely-affiliated network of groups have participated in public protests of multiple Trump administration and GOP figures. Critics have slammed its members for inciting violence at events they organize and attend.

Trump identified Antifa's opponents as the "police," "the military," and "a lot of "tough people." The president wasn't specific about which "tough people" he was talking about, but it's safe to assume he was referring to far right, violent white supremacists and neo-Nazis who often clash at Antifa protests.

Antifa groups describe the use of violence as necessary to combat authoritarianism. They have participated in brawls with right-wing groups across the country, including the white nationalist demonstrators during the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year. 

The Anti-Defamation League describes the antifa ideology as "rooted in the assumption that the Nazi party would never have been able to come to power in Germany if people had more aggressively fought them in the streets in the 1920s and 30s." 

Antifa's platform of "anti-fascism" is a smokescreen. Their real agenda is to overturn the established order, destroy capitalism, curtail liberty, and punish those who oppose them. Any 5 year old knows that the gaggle of half wits in the white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements have no chance in a billion years of coming to power in America - any more than Antifa thugs and their associated extremist organizations could ever gain power. But both sides find it convenient to manufacture threats to convince the gullible that they are "fighting" fascism or communism.

Trump's statements about Antifa's violence being turned on them may have been stating the obvious, but his opponents won't see it that way. They will accuse the president of "enabling" the far right and encouraging them to commit violent acts against Antifa.

The nutcases on the far right need no encouragement from anyone to start a fight, nor do Trump's statements enable anyone to do anything. But if Trump is once again trying to stir the pot and rile up his supporters while enraging his opponents, perhaps he should look at the results of the recent mid terms. Every time Trump does something like this, he may energize his base, but the GOP ends up losing supporters. The GOP is getting smaller and smaller, even as his base becomes more fervent in their support. 

Is this a recipe for victory in 2020? If Democrats, as expected, nominate a far left kook, this strategy may look like genius the day after the presidential election.