There IS NO Alt-Left!!!

Donald Trump likes to make up words.  Think of ‘covfefe’, which apparently represented some thought that surreptitiously popped into his head during his early morning tweeting session back on May 31st.

covfefe-e1502997991608.jpgIt is what Orwell referred to as ‘newspeak’ in his dystopian novel 1984, and the word has no meaning, though many have applied whatever meaning seemed apt at a given moment.  Playing with words is fun, but words are important, too, and one needs to be careful about changing the meaning, even subtly.

Today we seem to have something called ‘alternative facts’.  The common use of this phrase has its origin on January 23rd when Trump’s mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, attempting to explain why Trump and later press secretary Sean Spicer lied about the size of the inaugural crowd, told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press.  “You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts.”

And thus the word ‘alternative’ took on greater meaning in our everyday language.  The short definition of ‘alternative’ is: available as another possibility.  In the newspeak definition of alternative, it apparently means … well, whatever Trump and his hired minions want it to mean at a given point on a given day.  This makes it a bit difficult for those of us with logical minds to keep up with the mixed and often garbled messages that come from the administration.

Alternative, recently shortened to ‘alt-‘ is one word that seems to fly about in any context or no context at all.  The ‘alt-right’, for example, by definition is a loosely defined group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of white nationalism, principally in the United States, but also to a lesser degree in Canada and Europe. Paul Gottfried was the first person to use the term “alternative right”, when referring specifically to developments within American right-wing politics, in 2008.

The term has since gained wide currency with the rise of the so-called “alt-right”. White supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010 in reference to a movement centered on white nationalism, and did so, according to the Associated Press, to disguise overt racism, white supremacism, and neo-Nazism. The term has since expanded to include anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-feminism and homophobia. In other words, if you aren’t a straight, white, Christian male, you are the enemy of the alt-right.

So, there is an ‘alt-right’ movement that is typically considered to encompass all white supremacist, KKK and neo-Nazi groups and individuals.  But yesterday, in his erratic and generally disgusting informal press conference, Donald Trump made reference to something I had never heard before …

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?”

Say what????  ‘Alt-left’???  There is no ‘alt-left’?  Oh, but wait, we are in the age of newspeak and post-truth, so if ‘alternative’ means whatever Trump & Co. want it to mean at any given time, perhaps at noon yesterday, at least in the tangled-web mind of da trumpeter, there was an alt-left.  My research shows that the term ‘alt-left’ initially made its debut earlier this year, when violent riots erupted in Berkeley, California, during protests over an appearance by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley.

But Trump’s use of the word yesterday started quite a buzz. David Duke, former KKK grand poobah, even came up with a newspeak ‘definition’ of the term:

“Alt-left = BLM/Antifa communists who have burned cities, murdered cops & viciously attack thousands. Not morally the same as the Alt-Right.”

Wait … the alt-right, white supremacists have morals?  Who knew? Then Fox’ resident idiot, Sean Hannity, came up with HIS own definition:

“The Alt Left Propaganda media will run with every leak to help distract from Obamas & Co’s role in spying on @POTUS.”

And then … Britain’s own alt-right conspiracy theorist and editor-at-large of InfoWars.com, Paul Joseph Watson, had to jump on the bandwagon with his definition!

“I would use “alt-left” to distinguish it from actual liberals, but the inmates took over the asylum. Mainstream left is the alt-left.”

Huh?  I must have a bit of fog on the ol’ brain today, for that made no sense at all!  According to an article in WIRED  …

“… the intent seems to be to frame alt-left as the opposite of alt-right and create a false equivalence between groups on the far ends of the right and left. But here’s the thing: No left-wing group has ever called itself the alt-left. And the groups smeared by the alt-left label don’t include anything like the heinousness of overt white supremacism that has increasingly defined the alt-right.

It’s a blanket term some right-wing media commentators and white nationalists have taken to throwing over groups they disagree with, like the umbrella of “fake news” they use to describe stories they disagree with. Doing so manages to both minimize the ugliness of the alt-right and vastly overstate the actions and intentions of leftist groups.”

Let me go on record at this point as saying that there is no alt-left!  Repeat after me, folks … there … is … no … alt-left.  Never was.  It is yet another label, and the labels are not doing anything to help heal what I have been referring to as “the great divide”.  It is true that labels such as liberal and conservative are useful to identify a set of ideologies, a set of beliefs.  But beyond that, today they are being used to mock, taunt, and stir the already bubbling pot of hatred and intolerance.

After its use in the Berkeley incident earlier this year, the term rather faded into oblivion, but now that Donald Trump has put it back into play, I think it may well become a part of the common vernacular, and we do not need that. The ‘alt-right’ choose to be called that, for to them it legitimizes their platform of bigotry.  As I said in an earlier post, I shall call them what they are:  bigots, racists, white supremacists and Nazis.  However, those of us with liberal values do not choose to be called the alt-left and I, for one, refuse to be referred to as such.  They called me a snowflake, and I laughed, for snowflakes are things of nature, things of beauty.  But here I draw the line.  THERE IS NO ALT-LEFT.

26 thoughts on “There IS NO Alt-Left!!!

  1. Branding people as being left or right, in the political sense. Really makes little sense unless you know where the centre is? The centre keeps changing. The left was born from the Russian Duma. Their Parliament. The Duma was a late-comer to the global political world. The country had serfs until the 19th C. The representatives of the Bolsheviks sat on the left of their Speaker. Once the Czar. The Romanov’s were the first Czars and the last Czars, as of this year. The word “left”, in a political sense is derived from this. Any kind of social conscience, is branded left. Any sort of lack of social conscience thus … right. The centre keeps moving and bankers keep defrauding. Using policies of both, to feather their nest. Keep the pot boiling, keep the people arguing. Mad at each other, then sneak in and grab the loot. I hope you are enjoying your week-end off? Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jamie … I did very much enjoy my weekend off! As re “the center” … I do agree that one needs to know where the center is to define ‘left’ and ‘right’, but to me, it seems that there is no center anymore. I used to consider myself to be moderate, pretty much in the center, but with the start of the ‘tea party’ movement, I found myself going further and further to the left, as the GOP moved further to the right. It seems that what we have in the center right now is nothing but an empty chasm.

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      • Jill, good, glad you enjoyed your time. It aids in “centring oneself.

        Doing meditation, or martial arts, taiji helps find your centre. We find it each day. The outside world cannot bring it. We must find our inner centre. Trite maybe? Yet true.

        It does not matter the affairs of people. Ones own centre should be found. Then from that the chi, or energy, may be directed outwards. Left or right of the centre. The terms liberal or conservative, are really contradictions in terminology. Conservatives generally do not conserve and liberals are often not liberal or intolerant of something conservative. With the big “C”. It’s doublespeak at it’s essence. That way, divided we fall. Cheers Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, I saw a terrifically pertinent analogy for our President to consider. “If the Jews fought back on Kristallnact against the Nazis, would our President say there is blame on both sides.”

    With that said, I do wish the very few who do carry weapons to protest the white supremacists would not do so. They are harming the veracity of their argument, in my view. Yet, these folks are in minority among the protestors. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is an excellent analogy! I wonder … aw, heck, Trump probably has no idea what Kristallnacht even was!

      To your other point … I so fully agree. Those who protest against the white supremacists and neo-Nazis must hold themselves to a higher standard, must not lower themselves to that of the haters. Otherwise, as you say, they lost credibility and are viewed as no better than the haters. This is something we need to work on … it is so easy to become angry and want to fight fire with fire, but in the long run, it is the wrong answer.

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  3. Every time I read “alt *” I first think of the “alt” key on my keyboard…. “Press ctrl-alt-delete to … whatever” … 😉 So what happens if I press “alt” and the right arrow key? … Nothing …. at least not on my keyboard. Bliss! 🙂 At least in my house “alt right” is quite harmless. 😉 And if I press “alt” together with the “l”-key, I get the @ … Not too bad eithr! 😉 (Sorry for being silly, but I do have enough of that stupid name-calling-name-creating-newspeak of Mr. Trumpet!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Never apologize for being silly! We all need more silly in our lives! I had quite a good chuckle over your ‘alt’ comments! And yes, the labels are getting ridiculous … it just keeps the great divide widening more and more. Of course, the buffoon in the White House isn’t helping either. 😉

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  4. “Alt-left” was just a term DT used on the spot to demonstrate the opposite of alt-right. I wish some of the grown children in government and in their created hateful mock armies would take their toys and go home. When the National Guard showed up in Charlottesville and the woman got killed the play soldiers ran like the “Three Blind MIce”. Scratch a bully and you get a coward. — Suzanne

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Trump is a morally bankrupt person who will do anything to keep his station in life. He is just simply ignorant of history and what bothers me most is he lied to his base about being able to do what he wanted to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, he has only one goal in mind, and that is to enrich Donald Trump. You and I both knew he was lying to his base back during the campaign, but enough people fell for his lies, hook, line & sinker to put him into office. Now, those people rather deserve what they get, but unfortunately they doomed the rest of us to share in their punishment.

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  6. Dear Jill,

    THERE IS NO ALT-LEFT. This attempt at moral equivalency is driving me crazy. One cannot equate the arbiters of hate with those who oppose hate in all its forms.
    But there has been the development of moral clarity. Those who support DDT’s attempts to give moral equivalency between White nationalists as promoters of hate, division, exclusion and those who oppose them, we now know them as those who condone racism in their midst. There is no wiggle room, here.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree … there is no wiggle room, there are no grey areas. And, aside from those who are actively in groups such as the alt-right, neo-Nazis, etc., anybody who turns a blind eye and refuses to speak out against the racial hatred is equally guilty of being a racist. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, now he’s condemned the alt-right and the alt-left I suppose he’s going to claim he’s alt-centre, head honcho of a centrist party that’s fighting to avoid the extremes of either of the other two groups. Of course he really supports whichever one will get you to vote for him and the new care package he’s working on, just for the centremost group of citizens of course.
    Whatever they call themselves, it’s easy to recognise the evil that surrounds the arrogant bigots, extremists, anti-feminist and anti-gay brigade. They’re the ones who forget they’re in a Native American Country built by a group of different peoples of different colours, not a white one. If there ever came a day when the White Supremacists and their ilk were to be expelled from America, imagine how many other countries would welcome them with open arms just because they’re white.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 5 people

    • Why yes, in fact Trump considers that he is th only one who knows what is right! I seriously doubt the man knows what he thinks, since he has lied so much that the truth, whatever it is, has gotten lost in the shuffle.

      And yes, that would be funny watching Richard Spencer, David Duke and the rest try to find a welcoming port. 🙂

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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