There is an enormous difference between a liberal and a leftist and that doesn’t get said nearly as much. Plenty of Trump voters are “liberal” by 2008 standards and I personally could be labeled liberal in some areas as well. There are plenty of civil left leaning individuals who disagree, perhaps severely disagree, with Trump and his politics but do so in a civil manner. They clock in and clock out at work without ever mentioning and don’t feel the need to constantly inject Donald Trump into every conversation. Civil, respectable liberals more than likely outnumber the extremists but sadly, as we all know, the last few years have seen a rise of what can only be described as the radical left.
When thinking about the radical left, the first thing that pops into mind is probably masked antifa rioters breaking car windows and physically assaulting conservatives on college campuses. While there is surely a rise in outright militant leftist extremism on the left (thanks to mainstream media support), the rise of socially acceptable far left extremists is something that largely goes unspoken about.
Socially acceptable far left extremists may not be out in full black bloc gear, smashing car windows, but they certainly lend support to it. These are the types who tweet things like “yeah well Antifa stands for anti-fascist” every-time an act of violence is committed. The ones who openly discuss their hatred for Donald Trump and his supporters at work, on Facebook and everywhere else they go. In their mind, everybody hates Trump because they’ve lived in a bubble their entire lives.
Their teachers/professors were liberal (more like Marxists at the college level), all media they consume is heavily biased and their inner circle all thinks like them. Couple a lifetime of having your views reinforced with constant out of context sound-bytes, dramatic hyperbole and outright lies from a mainstream media hell bent on taking down Donald Trump and you get socially acceptable far left extremists.
In their view, only evil, skinhead tier scum support Donald Trump. They’re so open in their political views in any and all situations while failing to realize that most people simply don’t care enough to say otherwise. I can’t count the number of times a far left co-worker (oh there are many) has walked up to me and gone on a tangent about how bad Drumpf is, all while I say “yeah” and smile. They all believe I’m an anti-Trump fanatic like them simply because I don’t say anything at work. Then they probably go home, digest some more “orange man bad” from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and carry on about their day.
These types of people fall into the socially acceptable far left extremist category. They can often be found in deep blue areas in and around major cities and have no concept of anything but their cosmopolitan lifestyle. It is a problem and one that needs to be addressed.
Socially acceptable far left extremism has to be reigned in but it doesn’t mean that those who espouse it are bad people. Plenty of times, these individuals simply don’t know any better. They don’t know that there was never a “Muslim ban“, that Trump never called white supremacists “fine people” and that Jussie Smollett style hate crime hoaxes are a dime a dozen. It’s a non-stop barrage and it’s never challenged.
As stated above, the majority of the American public isn’t so rabid about politics. Moderate liberals, whether they want to admit it or not, know that the most rabid Trump haters are blissfully unaware insane people who hurt their cause. However, the majority’s lack of engagement is what allows socially acceptable extremism to take root. When unchecked, potentially well meaning individuals fall into ideological traps. The lack of anyone reigning this in has led to the nightmare we have currently, where a third of the country seems to think Donald Trump is Hitler incarnate.
The bulk of us see it but few want to combat it, and there is good reason for that. Far left Twitter mobs hand out life ruining accusations like candy and corporations almost always buckle. It’s why you see the youngest demographics on Twitter opting for anime profile pictures instead of putting a face to their beliefs. It’s not because they don’t want to stand for what they believe in, it’s because the far left has thrown civil discussion in the trash. The mere support of Donald Trump, one of only two viable candidates in the upcoming election, is enough for extremists to instantly change their opinion on somebody.
It’s far past time to start combating it. Does that mean you stoop to their level and discuss politics everywhere? No, that’s actually a huge reason people are being turned off to the left. Combating socially acceptable far left extremism is simply not hiding from moderate political views. I have no problem putting a name and face to my writing because I’ve never said anything radical. If a far left mob wants to lob accusations at me one day, there’s nothing I can say or do that will sway them otherwise. They’re losers who just want an excuse to lash out, and buckling to them only justifies their extremist behavior.
If more and more people simply get open about having moderate right wing views – the same views that Obama had in 2008, namely on immigration – socially acceptable far left extremists will start to realize that they’re being over-dramatic. Again, I have faith in a-lot of these people. I grew up with them, work with them and know where their values lie. With proper engagement, a-lot of radical Trump haters can at least be brought to the understanding that the orange man is not Satan, and that his support is a-lot more nuanced than they beleive.
Of course, there are plenty of out and out far left extremists who can’t and won’t be engaged. People who are so closed minded that they won’t even listen to opposing ideas are simply looking for an excuse to be who they really are, which is a trash individual.
To these people, the answer is always a big “f**k you” too.