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Politics

First They Came for MAGA Hats...

For far too many leftists, the MAGA hat provides a springboard for rationalizing sub-humanization.

Arnold Ahlert · Jan. 28, 2019

America has reached an inflection point. In a nation built on individual liberty and God-given rights, leftists have decided they should be the sole arbiters of what is or isn’t acceptable in modern society. With relentless help from the rank propagandists who have killed journalism, they have determined that anything that doesn’t comport with progressive dogma is not only wrong, but evil. Evil that can be completely dismissed at best — or eliminated, possibly violently, at worst. The current focus of their unrestrained rage is a red baseball cap with Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” printed on the front.

Their hatred is raw and real. “Before he encountered Omaha elder Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial, Covington High School student Nick Sandmann had already taken steps to provoke and insult people of color,” writes NBC columnist Noah Berlatsky. “He’d put on a MAGA hat.”

Berlatsky’s overt bigotry, as in the ridiculous notion that he is a spokesperson for “people of color,” would likely be unsurprising to Eugenior Joseph. Last Mother’s Day, the 22-year-old black American was harassed by employees at a Miami Cheesecake Factory for wearing a MAGA hat. According to multiple eye witnesses, employers threatened Joseph with violence, called him names, and followed him to the bathroom. Multiple video clips and photos validate those eyewitness accounts.

As for MAGA, Berlatsky is equally blunt, asserting, “America was great when Trump fans could hurt others — especially non-white others — with impunity.”

Who’s hurting whom? In addition to Joseph, a quick search using the words “people attacked for wearing MAGA hats” yields a number of equally contemptible instances of people being harassed or assaulted, including a trans activist assaulted in Hollywood, a Brooklyn man attacked with a broken bottle in a Manhattan bar, a Texas teen assaulted at a Whataburger in San Antonio, and an Arizona man who had his ankle broken in a Tucson encounter.

Apparently such people automatically deserve such treatment. “It matters that they wore ‘Make America Great Again’ hats,” asserts CNN columnist Issac Bailey, referring to the Covington Catholic School teens subjected to one of the most contemptible media smear campaigns in modern history. Bailey is particularly incensed by the hat’s acronym. “When was America ‘great’? he asks. "When millions of black people were slaves? When hundreds of thousands of black men were sold to US companies via convict leasing? Maybe during the heart of Jim Crow, the height of lynching, or when black people struggling with drug addictions were viewed as criminals to be controlled, not fellow human beings needing help?”

How about when slaves were freed at a cost of 360,000 Union soldiers’ lives, or when Martin Luther King triumphed over the same Democrats who established the Ku Klux Klan, embraced Jim Crow, and opposed the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution — amendments banning slavery, guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves, and granting black Americans the right to vote, respectively?

Like so many progressive propagandists, Bailey tells half the story because the other half is utterly inimical to his twisted agenda. It’s an agenda completely immune to hypocrisy as well. “Together, we can make America great again,” said Bill Clinton in 1991, using the phrase as a springboard for his presidential campaign. The same campaign over which the Left swooned.

Unfortunately, this toxic brew of rage and hypocrisy has found a home in the nation’s education system, where two generations of semi-literate, semi-numerate students who know next to nothing about history, civics, or the Constitution are nonetheless well-attuned to a single idea: America is an inherently flawed nation in need of “fundamental transformation.”

Fundamental transformation that leftists would like to impose by any means necessary. Thus it should surprise no one that Kentucky Democrat and House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth not only showcased his contempt for the Covington students but the Constitution itself. “I am calling for a total and complete shutdown of teenagers wearing MAGA hats until we can figure out what is going on,” he tweeted. “They seem to be poisoning young minds.”

What is poisoning minds, young and old alike, is the Left’s ongoing determination to reduce America to series of tribes. “People become groups — and an individual’s own guilt or innocence beside the point,” warns columnist Katrina Trinko.

Individualism itself is also becomes beside the point, which is why the Left is obsessed with identity politics. The dissemination of propaganda becomes far more difficult when inconvenient “anomalies” conflict with The Narrative™. Better to sweep Eugenior Joseph and other equally problematic MAGA hat-wearing exceptions under the proverbial rug than allow them to “complicate” memes such as the one that white, Catholic, male, pro-life students wearing MAGA hats are privileged, backward, toxic, misogynistic, and deplorable.

Moreover, the assignation of guilt and the rush to judgment it engenders from our politically correct would-be masters is much more effective when it can be categorized — and collectivized. How collectivized? “I’m a New York Times reporter writing about #exposechristianschools,” tweeted New York Times reporter Dan Levin last week. Apparently starting from the assumption that Christian schools require some kind of exposure is what passes for unbiased information gathering at the Times.

Can “Two Minutes Hate” be far behind?

Sadly, nothing is new here. The collective demonization that inexorably reduces groups of people to sub-human status enabled the guillotines of the French Revolution, the gas chambers of the Nazis, and the gulags, torture chambers, and mass starvation and mass executions that took place in the Soviet Union and Communist China.

For far too many leftists, the MAGA hat provides a springboard for rationalizing similar sub-humanization.

Leading to what? In a seemingly unrelated story, Trump adviser Roger Stone was arrested last Friday morning in a pre-dawn raid conducted like a terrorist takedown by approximately a dozen FBI agents armed with AR-15s. The 66-year-old man was led away — in his pajamas. The orchestrated, circus-like atmosphere was conveniently captured by CNN reporters, who claimed “instinct” had them on the scene filming the arrest.

Stone’s alleged crimes? Five counts of making false statements, a count of witness tampering, and one for obstruction of official proceedings, but nothing related to collusion with Russia — and nothing warranting law enforcement tactics that make it clear the Special Counsel investigation is anything but even-handed.

How over the top was this raid? A federal judge ruled Stone was not a flight risk and he was released on a $250,000 signature bond that will cost him nothing if he shows up for his court proceedings.

Anyone still remember when such heavy-handed tactics were considered the hallmark of totalitarian regimes?

Dangerously, over the top has become the essence of progressive ideology. “You don’t let your kid wear a MAGA hat and then act offended when they get taken for a racist,” asserts columnist Mollie O'Reilly.

No, Ms. O'Reilly. You don’t get to champion the evisceration of the First Amendment and then act offended if someone takes you for a fascist.

Such odious reality elicits paraphrasing. “First they came for the MAGA hat, and I didn’t object because, I don’t wear one…”

Will history repeats itself?

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