By TOM HAMPTON
No, wait…ANTIFA! ANTIFA ANTIFA ANTIFA!!!
Is it more scary if I shout it over and over again? Try to make it sound intimidating?
In case you haven’t gotten the memo, ANTIFA is the new right-wing boogeyman…the new dog whistle that’s supposed to give them an easy label to slap on everyone who disagrees with them. It’s all over social media…I even had some nutjob try to tell me last night that Rachel Maddow was “Anti FA” (sic).
If you’re “of a certain age”, you’ve seen this movie before.
“ANTIFA” is the new “SOCIALIST”, which was the new “LIBERAL” – brought to you by that political genius Lee Atwater, who made Willie Horton famous almost thirty years ago.
The thing that ends up being lost on the folks for whom these false flag labels are such delicious fodder is that – well, yeah…the irony is almost comical.
“ANTIFA” is a chopped label for “Anti-Fascist”…I’ll leave it to you and Google to determine whether that’s a label someone should be ashamed of. As for me – I’m not gonna lose any sleep over being labelled “Antifa” by a social media troll.
Before that – remember how “Socialist” used to be the slur of choice? That one was especially delicious coming from folks who were on Medical Assistance, Food Stamps, Welfare or some other form of Government-provided aid…using the word “Socialist” as a term of derision for those with whom they had some form of political disagreement with, while benefitting from the very definition of the word.
And of course, there was “Liberal” – which came into fashion as a derogatory term for us softies on the left during the Bush-Dukakis race in 1988 and eventually subsided in the shadow of newer, less rationally explainable terms in its wake.
To wear the label of Liberalism as some form of shame was handed off to the media in the backfield at that point in time, and some of them are still running with that ball, all these years later. Somehow, a few suits in front of news cameras managed to spread the notion that “Liberals” were somehow inferior, and in the wake of the Reagan Fever that swept America in the eighties, a lot of basic notions were forgotten.
Somewhere along the way, folks managed to conflate “Liberal and Conservative” with “Democrat and Republican” – they forgot all about the tectonic shifts that took place during the Civil Rights era and Nixon’s subsequent Southern Strategy – and how Republicans inherited the Conservative mantle as the Dixiecrats of old died off or were replaced in Congress.
But “Liberal” and “Conservative”? Those have always been pretty accurate labels.
Now, I’m not ranting with the direct purpose of slandering Conservatives, because – where traditional Conservatism is concerned, anyway – on the surface, the two terms are nothing more than labels for differing political viewpoints. Blonde and Brunette. City Slicker and Country Boy. Punks and Mods. Jocks and Nerds. Liberals and Conservatives.
And it likely would’ve remained within that echelon until someone decided to try to weaponize the word “Liberal” and make it derogatory…and the world played along.
But, y’know – I’m sorry, but I ain’t playin’ that shit.
Call me a Liberal all day, every day. I’m happy to wear that label.
It’s tempting to rehash the laundry list of instances where Liberals fought for, bled for, and – in some cases, DIED for many of the things we take for granted nowadays…from voting and civil rights to the 40 hour work week. But if you care about that at all, you know that already – and if you don’t, you won’t care now, either.
So call me Liberal. Or “Socialist”. Or “Antifa” if you want.
Because all you’re doing is publicly telling the world that you’re declaring yourself to be on the wrong side of history.