As a straight, white, Christian, right-wing, middle class male of European extraction I get told to shut up a lot. As you can imagine, this does not at all stop me from speaking out. The white privilege clearly makes me both uncontrollable and insufferable."Ideological cosplay". That's good!
But if lived experience is indeed the be-all-end-all that the identarian left considers it to be, there is one area where my lived experience without a doubt shit all over the lived experience of the woke folk. Unlike all those among them who have been born and/or raised in the West and have zero or almost zero experience of living under anything other than a liberal democratic government (which is 99 per cent of them at least), I have lived the first 15 years of my life under the Soviet block-style communism, or “real socialism” as the Party used to call it. I’m not going to pretend that the 1970s and the 80s in Poland were as bloody and traumatic as the Stalinist Russia, Mao’s China or Pol Pot’s Cambodia (as P J O’Rourke who visited Warsaw at that time noted, the communism for most part doesn’t kill you any more, it just bores you to death) but I do know a difference or twenty-two between a totalitarian or authoritarian society and a Western democracy.
So to all the women dressing up in costumes from “Handmaid’s Tale” who think they’re on the brink of living in a misogynist theocracy,
To all those calling themselves “The Resistance”, as if they were the French Maquis or the Polish Home Army shooting collaborators and derailing trains after their country has been brutally occupied by a totalitarian foreign power,
To those who think that America is currently in a grip of fascism and are calling on the military to stage a coup to remove the President (that’s you Rosie O’Donnell, Sarah Silverman, Congressman Steve Cohen and others),
To the celebrities and commentators, from Michael Moore to former security officials like John Brennan, who think the United States is on the brink of dictatorship,
To all those who have compared Trump to Hitler,
(And a special mention of those who really should know better – professional historians of the German and the Russian totalitarianism, like Timothy “Bloodlands” Snyder and Charles “Ordinary Men” Browning, who have been only too happy to – without quite comparing Trump to Hitler – talk about illiberal democracy, authoritarian leadership, and draw parallels between the 1930s Europe and the 2010s America),
you really have no idea, and I mean it with the greatest possible respect. Actually, I don’t. Most of you are supposedly mature, rational adults but you seem to have at best the most superficial knowledge of history and a complete lack of self-awareness, any sense of perspective, and an ability to contextualise. Having spent your lives relatively free of hardship, deprivation and persecution on any remotely comparable scale to people in other, less fortunate corners of the world, you probably get some frisson from believing yourself to be big actors at a critical time in history, the last line of separating civilisation from the descent into new dark ages. You’re free to engage in whatever ideological cosplay you want, but don’t expect others to take you seriously.
It seems that there are no rainbows or unicorn farts.