Marxist? In Your Dreams

It’s the agenda of of the misinformed, or simply the fearful, to label anyone who exercises their Constitutional rights in protest, as a Marxist.

Come on modern Archie Bunker, use those college-educated brain cells. It is not the usual rednecks crowd that engages in this malarkey, well they do, but they don’t know any better, it is the crowd that gathers around the Fox Financial News channel at the office and taps into the Neanderthal thinking of painting anyone who joins a march or a demonstration as a bomb-throwing, Marxist, America-hating communist.  Oh yeah, friend of the boogeyman.

Demonstrators come in all shapes and political persuasions.  The same could be said of NRA loving, libertarian, racist, fascist traitors.  To label them as such would also be unkind and untrue. Most people are more than labels.

The truth is, we each have a story and a mix of beliefs.  Somehow, certain media splinters has labeled anyone who asserts their First Amendment rights outside of their house as anti-police, anti-democracy and un-American.  That makes a good soundbite played over and over and over on cable television or the internet.

Imagine where this country would be if strong-willed, patriotic Americans had not stood up to the British. We would be talking that funny version of American language.  Oh, yeah, English.  Or, women had not protested the inequality being prohibited from voting.  Or Martin Luther King, John Lewis and others had not protested for civil rights.  Or, men and women of all ages and backgrounds had not taken to the streets to protest America’s involvement in Vietnam. When you look back at history, through the sepia hue of nostalgia, those things are okay, even accepted now.   However, protesting against destroying the planet, or racial equality or foreign conflicts, those things are not okay.

Mostly, I laugh off the Marxist idiocy. The other day I read a posting on LinkedIn that made me ill.  LinkedIn is the social media site for business and leadership.  Some people cannot resist turning it into Twitter or Facebook with personal views of politics and social issues.  Usually, I ignore it, as I hate to be the LinkedIn police, which usually ends in people doubling down on their posts.  Someone I know very well “liked” this ridiculous post, which attracted many like-minded thinkers.  Personally, I have no problem with having different opinions and views.  This is America, land of the free and opportunity to express your own beliefs.

The person posting the original comment began his rant with stating that he does not agree with posting political views on LinkedIn, and then he went ahead and offered his own political view.  The theme of his comments tagged anyone who who protests as un-American and a Marxist, who wants nothing more than to destroy this country.  Naive, misguided and dangerous were the kindest words.  He provided his rationale with little room for disagreement, his views were really presented as “fact” not opinion.  Educated folks are crafty that way. Of course, his rant drew sharks of all sort taking up the protests as un-American and attacking any opposing opinion.  I’m not sure what any of that had to do with the mission of LinkedIn.  It did not, only allowing one person to preach and feel vindicated.  Okay.

In come cities, there have been confrontations between protesters and police/law enforcement, where the intent was confrontation.  Even in mass protests, there has been an element who want to push back and stand their ground, in sone cases, provoking confrontations and violence.  Most protesters do not seem to be there for that reason.  Are these protesters, who end up engaging police, Marxist? Few.  Do some want to totally defund the police?  Probably some, but again, few.  What most want are better policing, more transparency and the use of non-police resources to deal with many social problems where police are the only solution. Nurses and moms on the front line are not anarchists and communists. Choosing to be there is their right, and they may happen to be standing near a socialist. God help us.

To paint all protesters as evil and un-American is misguided, and laughable, despite what FoxNews, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones will spoon-feed listeners for hours each day.

If you scan photos and videos of large-scale protests, you find White Americans, mothers, fathers, grandparents, Veterans and neighbors.  These are not bomb-throwing Marxists.  These are tax paying, God-fearing, middle class suburbanites.  These were the same people who became part of marching for civil rights and against Vietnam.  Are they right?  That’s open for debate.  What is not open for debate is their right to do so, peacefully and protected by the Constitution.

The thing about the Constitution, it is there for everyone, even Nazis, who are not there to advocate equality or fairness.  We do not get to pick what we think is okay, what conforms to our own beliefs, we accept the bad to protect the good.

This is not about BLM or Blue Lives Matter, that’s a subject for another day.  Branding someone as a Marxist is unfair.  Certainly there are voices that want to defund the police, as unlikely or reasonable as that notion sounds.  Whether someone advocates for universal healthcare or putting less money into the Military Industrial Complex, does not make them a communist.  It might make them dissatisfied with public policy decisions on the use of our resources, not an overthrow of the government and the end of democracy. 

I am more concerned about the dangers of cable television and other media promoting hate and divisiveness, and of all the dark money flooding politics.

I’m less afraid of a Marxist living next door, because he or she is alone and you can ignore them. My fear is the fascist across the street who looks like me, but is far more successful at spreading their views. Neighbor beware.

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