I feel like I need to say something right now, if only because it’s more productive than lying in bed crying and feeling helpless.
Before I begin, I should mention in advance that, due in part to having ADHD, I have genuine difficulty putting my thoughts together in a concise manner, which can lead to very long posts. I understand if that puts anyone off from reading further, as I’m not even sure I know how to express what I’m feeling right now.
As a person, I was raised to be open-minded. I’ve never known any other way to be. I come from a highly LGBT-positive (bisexuality runs on my mother’s side of the family, and my godfather is gay), Democratic family that allowed me to express myself however I wanted, and consume whatever media I wanted (I’ve been watching horror films since I was a toddler, and I’ve been allowed to have facial piercings since age 16, and wear whatever I chose). My immediate family is comprised of people that have known abuse, and overcome it (rape, CSA, alcoholism). We have also been familiar with poverty. The state we live in–where I’ve spent my entire life–had never gone red until this past election.
Having been born in 1983, I was alive through most of the presidency of one of the absolute worst leaders to ever take office: Ronald Reagan. I lived through both Bush administrations. I remember the “Satanism Scare”, the original backlash against violent video games, and 90′s “political correctness”. The AIDS epidemic had barely begun. PSAs aimed at children did their damndest to try to reverse the fact that drug use had become “fashionable” in the 80′s, and they practically beat us over the head with them during every commercial break while watching our Saturday morning cartoons. I have seen a lot of bullshit (meaning that I have a lot to compare our current situation to), and always–always–I thought it was from the “bad” guys. The “other” people, with the “wrong” values.
In less than five years, I’ve come to see that bullshit doesn’t only come from one “side”. I’ve become disenchanted with the groups I had placed my faith and trust in for most of my life. I’ve found myself disappointed and irritated with many actions done in the name of the things I believe in. I feel as though we’ve reached critical mass, and that the people I thought were on my side–the “good guys”–bear more responsibility for it than any of them will ever admit.
Can I just ask when the FUCK so many of us on the left turned into the equivalent of yesterday’s paranoid WASP soccer moms and religious zealots? When did we become the racists, sexists, and bigots, pretending those labels don’t apply to us just because they’re aimed at “the other” demographics? And when I say “us” on the left, I’m really not so sure I even want to be here anymore, because it’s become a shamefully toxic and manipulative environment where people actually try to justify threats of death and violence over inane, pointless things that mean fuck all to the world at large. I sure as hell don’t want to be a “right-winger” (because, remember–I was taught those were the “bad guys”), so where does that leave people like me? In the mindset of “You’re either with us, or against us”, being fair and objective isn’t allowed.
When Trump became president, our news media and college campuses became rife with cries of “fascism”. Where? An overcooked yam in a suit that’s (rightfully) been the center of derision and mockery since he became involved in the election? THAT’S what’s threatening you?? I’m sorry, have you never read about the shit Reagan pulled? If you want to know what legitimate fascism is, go talk to someone that lived through Ferdinand Marcos’ rule in the Philippines.
Let’s establish something here: Those neo-Nazis were always here, BUT they had been shamed into hiding. Suddenly, people were throwing the terms “Nazi” and “fascism” around, and these people started feeling more comfortable. Those on the left started advocating for violence to combat mere differences of opinion, and white supremacists felt even more comfortable, because they were being shown that their methods were now socially acceptable.
People on the LEFT created the ideal environment for these people to crawl out of the woodwork, and feel like their belief system is validated and justified. People on the LEFT spouted needless hatred, and gave these political cretins something to point to and say, “See? We were right all along!”. People on the LEFT willingly handed them the kind of antisocial behavior they’ve been dreaming of.
We’re now all experiencing the consequences. If the Democratic Party had given Bernie Sanders the nomination, he would have steamrolled the election, and you all know it. Then where would the “fascism” be? Still hiding. Cowering. Not a single soul would be throwing that word around right now. And no one’s willing to admit that maybe–just maybe–the Democratic candidate we were given could have been the problem. We’ve created an environment where criticism is not allowed against certain people, which makes it so much easier for our trust to be abused.
And it is being abused. We are approaching legitimate fascism, and it’s coming from the complete opposite end of the political spectrum. This is where the careless throwing around of serious terms comes into play, as even the slightest criticism is enough to have a person labeled “alt-right”, or even “a Nazi”. All this does is make actual neo-Nazis and white supremacists believe they have more company and support than they actually do. If you’re not ashamed and embarrassed as hell about all of this, then, well…you’re probably not the type that’s even read this far in the first place.
I don’t know what else I can say that I haven’t said in pieces before. All I can say is that I’ve lost faith in a lot of people. Nearly ALL people. And for someone that used to be very cheerful and social, I feel as though a part of me has been taken away. Many of us are forced to be distrustful, even when we’ve nothing to hide. When the bar for what is deemed “socially unacceptable” keeps being lowered, how long before it reaches you? And when will the limit end on what we consider “hate speech”? When you turn valid criticism against needless violence into “hate speech”, how long before it reaches those “vent posts” and “critical” blogs? Because I’ve legit seen someone use the term “hate crime” because someone else didn’t ship the same two fictional video game characters together, and if you think those things are comparable, you are completely proving my point.