by Daniel Carter
Last month, Congressman Dan Donovan introduced legislation to the House of Representatives called the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018. If passed, this legislation could potentially give someone 15 years in prison for wearing a mask while injuring, threatening, oppressing or intimidating a person. This Act became extremely popular this week when right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich asked his followers to get behind the legislation. This potential law seems like it would be great for public safety, but I can already imagine a huge downside.
If any group needs to face harsh punishment from the law, it’s Antifa. Ironically, Antifa stands for Anti-Fascist. However, this is possibly the most fascistic and vile group in America today. They continuously use violence and intimidation against their political enemies. They violate the rights of speech and expression by shutting down speaking events with riots. They are also known for destroying cars, stores, trash cans and other private property.
In case you have never seen these thugs in action, here is a very small taste of what they are capable of:
They have had a much easier time getting away with their crimes because they wear masks. They are also emboldened to commit more crimes because of their masks. In a society with cameras on every street corner and in front of every store, anonymity is essential. Without anonymity, Antifa would be neutered.
But imagine it the other way around. Imagine if Antifa and/or their far-left sympathizers took control of the government. Antifa is fighting fictional fascism and totalitarianism, but what if you were put into a situation where you needed to fight real totalitarianism? Would you still want unmasking legislation?
We live in a time where governments and technology companies are immensely powerful. With facial recognition technology, they can tell who you are, where you live, who your employer is and where your family is. While this Orwellian nightmare has not yet been fully implemented in the United States, it’s well underway in China. An evil Chinese government could crush any legitimate dissent within a day. They could find where you are and arrest you almost immediately. They could take away your livelihood by getting you fired from your job. And if things got crazy enough, they could go after your family.
Every sensible person should despise Antifa, but is it worth it to allow government to take away their anonymity? All governments will eventually be cursed with a dictatorship, and the US is no different. It may occur in 5 years or 100 years, but we need to preserve our ability to fight a dictatorship when it does occur. That includes preserving the US Constitution as well as the ability to wear a mask while resisting a government we do not like. Governments will always be able to arrest citizens for committing violent acts but wearing a mask while committing a violent act should carry no extra penalty. This is a controversial position, so let me know your thoughts in the comment section.