Thursday, January 26, 2017

For the Left: A Joke, An Open Letter, and a Warning.

A woman, a gay Jew, and an atheist walk into a bar. Progressives completely lose their shit.

That's the joke. Take a look near the bottom of that image; there's a word I want you to remember for later.

My dear Left,

You've gotten complacent. After W, you managed a groundswell that got a black man elected president, and despite identity politics telling you otherwise, the next 8 years you had the lead and took the establishment. It would seem that, after losing the House, Senate, and Presidency, we no longer have that establishment. But in the 8 years that we did, make no mistake: we were The Man, and so the Right went underground and became punk rock. They got to be the rebels. They got to be dissident and fun while we put on our best show of being adults.

Now Trump has the big chair and the Right's got the majority in everything else. We lost. The upside? Here's your excuse to be punk rock again. But I have a few requests this time around:
  • Be mature about it. The link I posted above? Stop trying to disrupt, de-platform, or de-legitimize people that are more or less on your side but who have views that dissent slightly from yours. You can't be inclusive if you subject people to the idea of wrong-think. 
  • Keep the violence to a minimum, please. Don't blow anything up. Stop setting things on fire. Starbucks donated to Hillary, there's no reason to break their windows. They gave you those nice "inclusivity cups" last year. Remember those? The green ones with all the little people on them? I know you saw them. You were gloating how they didn't have snowflakes or Santa Claus on them. 
  • If you tell someone to check their privilege, make sure you're checking your own. No more lecturing McDonald's workers on the gender binary if you have a book deal with a major publishing house or other such nonsense. 
  • Pick your targets better, and check your tactics. Stop being awful people just because you think someone's an awful person. If you want to claim the moral high ground, if you want to think you're the good guys, start bloody well acting like it. 
Next, a warning: That word up there I wanted you to pay attention to was Antifa. Antifa is the very definition of "We think we're the good guys." Antifa ostensibly means "Anti-Fascism", which on the whole sounds rather nice. Given Fascism's track record, who in their right mind wouldn't be against it? I mean... Nazis, right?

Wrong. Please, please, please, don't let Antifa speak for you. That guy who punched Richard Spencer? Antifa*. I see you all there, cheering the hero that punched the Nazi. Call Spencer a Nazi if you want to, it makes no difference to me, but anyone associated with Antifa is not a hero. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a mutual enemy that you're friends. Antifa are the ones in black masks and hoodies that you see at otherwise peaceful protests smashing things and attacking people, which in turn puts the media attention on the rest of you, making you all look bad. They're the ones that will also attack you the moment you step out of line with their line of thinking.

I leave with a final thought: Trump has broken the Right, and the Sanders/Clinton Schism has broken the Left. All the rest of you, please pick up the pieces and make something new, something better with what's left over. Bring better ideas to the table. Bring more ideas to the table, and talk to each other. I don't want two sides dominating the elections again. There's no good reason for it anymore.

Good luck, Left. Do something productive with this time. 


* Editor's note: there is an online source that doxed him  as Antifa, but the author preferred not to provide the link due to content of a questionable nature. "Let that lack of evidence be on my head," says Salem. 

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