The last column I wrote generated a letter to the editor objecting to my use of the word “leftist” when referring to those who variously refer to themselves as Democrats, liberals, progressives and now the new group “wokes” among other descriptors. Permit me to explain why I’ve settled on “leftist.” The decision was made after serious consideration.
The word “Democrat,” to me, evokes names like Truman, Kennedy, Sam Rayburn, Tip O’Neill and even Lyndon Johnson. These days, people like Sanders, Obama, Pelosi, Biden, A.O.C. and Omar seem to be the party’s standard bearers. The former would likely not recognize the latter as Democrats. It seems that the current batch has acquired different goals and traits from Democrats that I’ve admired.
Many leftists had not so long ago proudly claimed the label of “liberal.” That one, apparently, fell out of favor when that word developed a negative connotation. At that point, they seemed to be offended when called liberal. I’ve joined them and ditched that label.
“Progressive” is a name that leftists seem to agree upon. Personally, I don’t find them to be progressive at all and opt not to use that one.
Nothing offensive or divisive is intended by using the word “leftist.” Leftist is simply a word — a descriptor. It only indicates a position on the political spectrum — nothing more and nothing less. Thus far, sufficient evidence has not been revealed to use the descriptor “socialist.” However, given the number of followers attracted by the Bernie Sanders campaign, reconsideration remains an option.
The letter writer indicated that he found the word “leftist” to be divisive. Personally, I find words used by leftists to be far more offensive and divisive — very much more.
Leftists use terms like Nazi and fascist when referring to their political opponents. All too often, they transition from the political realm to get personal with words such as haters, racist, homophobe, xenophobe, and misogynist to name just a few. Each such name carries with it very nasty and despicable connotations. Such words are the divisive words.
He closed his letter “doubting” that I used the word “leftist” prior to 2016. I can assure the writer that between 2009 and 2016 I used it plenty. Those were the Obama years. (Wink, wink.)
Now, let’s change channels. For whatever reason, the countless charges and accusations made against President Trump by the left are on my mind. One of the more recent ones claims that Trump disrespected American warriors according to an article printed in The Atlantic magazine.
I thought the report sounded fishy after hearing verbal reports. For edification, I opted to read The Atlantic’s stuff. Wow! Each of the following quotes was taken from The Atlantic’s Sept. 3 article that claimed that Trump had disparaged fallen soldiers: “But according to sources…” “According to sources with knowledge…” “…according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event…” “…according to four people with firsthand knowledge…”
Anonymous sources supplying purported information to an allegedly reliable publication. Such passes for news in 2020.
A number of military general officers have disavowed The Atlantic story. John Bolton, who wrote an unkind tell-all book about President Trump disclaimed the story saying, “That’s simply not true.” Who do you believe — anonymous sources or identifiable notables?
The ceaseless “bombshells” dropped on Trump have brought an Aesop Fable to mind: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
Find it. Read it. It underscores the lesson that those who repeatedly lie to get attention will be ignored. That thought makes me wonder about modern society. How many manufactured charges have been leveled against Trump by leftists, anti-Trumpers and the media with a single objective — remove a duly elected president from office with lies. And yet each new false charge seems to gain unearned traction. How does one justify acceptance of stories whose sources choose to remain behind the curtain, if they exist at all?
Consider just a few old leftist tales: If Trump is elected the stock market will crash (2016), he caused the pandemic, he colluded with Russia, and he will cut/eliminate Social Security (Leftists have dragged that tired story out every four years for decades.)
So, come on folks. How many more Trump stories will you buy? We are better than this. Pelosi says so.
In parting, let’s work to reestablish the unity that this country felt the day after Sept. 11, 2001.
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Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. His column appears every other Tuesday. Contact him at email@example.com.