Once Upon a Time….
There was a young progressive who lived in a village. The Progressive’s self appointed job was to protect the villagers from harmful things, such as referring to people by the wrong gender pronouns. (This is why the progressive was known as “The Progressive”.) The Progressive was always finding something wrong with the way the village was being run and would feel compelled to lecture the villagers about it and the proper, progressive way to run a village. The Progressive was very vigilant that only the correct type of people should be in the village or have any say in its governance. And by the correct type, The Progressive meant those who agreed with The Progressive’s beliefs. While the village was nice, the Progressive always dreamed of making the village into…, well…. The Village.
The villager, while not overly happy with the young progressive, tried to humor him/her/whatever for two reasons: 1) Occasionally The Progressive was right and 2) the village as a whole was far more tolerant about The Progressive’s beliefs than The Progressive was about theirs.
Now the progressive’s mentor, an Alinskyite, had always told The Progressive that it was very important to keep the wrong people out of the village lest the Sheep be harmed by a Wolf. Though when the Mentor said “Sheep”, he meant the villagers. And the Mentor said “Wolf”, he meant anyone who did not agree with the young progressive’s world view. And so The Progressive was ever vigilant for wolves.
One day when the village was seeking a new leader (dealing with The Progressive caused a lot of early retirements in the position), The Progressive sat watching the Sheep and road that lead through the quiet forest, always on the lookout for people who might come to village and undermine progressive ideology. The mentor had told the Progressive, should a such Wolf be seen, The Progressive should call for help by shouting “Racists”. “For remember,” the mentor said, Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” This would cause the Villagers would drive away the wolf because they would not want to be seen as racists.
And on this day, an old man came towards the Village. He had the bearing dignity of someone who had suffered many hardships but was determined to put his best foot forward regardless. “Hello,” he said to The Progressive, “I’ve come about the leadership position. My name is John McCain. Here are my qualifications.” McCain handed the progressive his C.V. The progressive looked at the qualifications, looked up at McCain and then shouted, “Racists! Racists!!”
As expected, the Villagers who heard the cry dropped their work and ran in great excitement to the where the progressive was sitting and chased a very confused John McCain away. (This treatment caused McCain to become quite disordered. For he was later seen wandering the forest shouting nonsensical things such as, “Complete the Danged Fence!“).
When the villagers returned, they asked the young progressive, “What were his racist policies?”
“Well, you can tell by the coded language he uses,” said The Progressive, changing the subject by using a tone that suggested everyone should know what he meant.
The villagers were confused and there was some muttering. One asked The Progressive, “What coded language?”
The Progressive gave the exasperated sigh one gives to a small child. “The witch hunt he incited,” the Progressive responded, condescension dripping from every syllable. “The way he talked about everyone but him. He was catering to racists and xenophobes.”
The villagers looked at one another. None of them recalled a Witch Hunt. And since they had chased off the man before they had even heard him spoke, they weren’t sure what language the Progressive meant. But even with these nagging doubts, the villagers felt good for getting rid of someone who could have been racists. Some did suggest, in the dark of night, when no one could hear them speak unpopular truths, that maybe there had been rush to judgment and that maybe the old man wasn’t really a racist.
A few days later the progressive was seated in the same place, working on plans to improve the breeding stock of the Sheep, when another man came walking towards the village. While the last man was old, this man was younger, with finely coiffed hair and had an aura of leadership. “Hello,” the man said, flashing his amazingly white teeth. “My name is Willard Montgomery Romney. Most people called me Mitt. I understand your village needs a leader. I’ve done a good job turning around other villagers. Perhaps I can help yours.” As Romney handed his resume, The Progressive shouted, “Racist! Racist!” Again the Villagers ran to help The Progressive and chased Mitt Romney away.
(Though don’t feel to bad for Mitt. While he fled that village, he enjoyed his life, taking time to vacation with his grand-kids).
When the villagers returned from chasing away the “Wolf”, they asked the progressive, “What were his racists policies?”
“Well, if he became the leader, he would literally put black people back in chains,” The Progressive said.
“He actually said that?” asked one of the villagers.
Waving Mitt’s CV, the progressive said, “His whole agenda was a dog whistle to racists.”
A villager looked at the CV and then passed it around to others. None of them could see, or hear this supposed dog whistle. “What else did he say?” another villager asked, skepticism creeping into his voice.
“He kept lists full of women and their information. Binders full of them,” the progressive said smugly.
This got murmurs of disapproval from the crowd. That was surely wrong. But then a third villager, who was looking at the CV said, “According to this, the binders were lists full of women who were capable of running major businesses and government agencies This looks like he was trying to help them, not hurt them.”
“He was a racist and a sexist,” The Progressive stated. “Surely you are not saying we should accept racists and sexists, are you?
The crowd of villagers started to shift uneasily under The Progressive’s gaze.. No one wanted to be called a racist. There were murmurs of “No, of course not” before the crowd slowly dissolved. But, as they all walked home, many villagers started to wonder about recent events. There seemed to have been a lot of cries of racism without any actual proof. Some villagers started to talk to one another about this. (Not openly, of course. They didn’t want to be seen as racist). Had the Progressive not been seated at the edge of the village drinking his coconut milk, no foam latte ( made with ethically sourced coffee beans sold by the Clinton Foundation) with an air of superiority, the Progressive might have sensed the shifting mood of the village.
Then one evening, as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, another man appeared. He was well dressed. The man was clearly balding but had an amazing comb-over that all but defied the laws of gravity. The man looked at The Progressive and then the village. “I’m here to run this village. This village is really bad,” the man said. “I mean, I’ve talked to lots of people and they’ve all said, ‘Donald, that Village near the woods is horrible. The Worst. A complete mess. So that’s why I’m here. I’m going to Make this Village Great Again. We’re going to start by getting rid of all of the taco wagons. Then we are going to build a wall. Because everyone knows, and I mean I’ve talked to a lot of people and they all say ‘The village needs a Wall.’ So we are going to have the yugest, most luxurious wall ever built. And we will used it to get rid of all of the undesirable people. And of course we will stop trading with the undesirable people and make everything we need right here. And we’re not going to have any of this political correctness crap. We’re going big league. Not out of my way, Pajama Boy.”
Not understanding that “bigly” was actually Trump saying “big league”, the Progressive was too stunned to move or even speak. And before he knew it, the people of the village had chosen The Donald had become their leader. The Progressive’s mind reeled. “But he’s a racist, xenophobic, misogynist,” the Progressive cried out. “And he is being supported by the Russians!” But no one was around to hear The Progressive’s whines. Being distraught, the Progressive walked into the first bar he spotted. When he opened the door, he was shocked to find a large gathering of white men. “What’s this? Who are these people” he blurted.
“Oh, they’re 199 Neo-Nazis,” said a woman.
The Progressive looked at the group. They were indeed all white men. And they were all dressed like Lady Gaga at a Hillary Clinton Rally. But they didn’t look like the pride of the Aryan Race. It was more like a room full of Joseph Goebbels impersonators. Then the Progressive did a double take. “Tila Tequila?”
“Law and order, I think that’s very important to have. Most people are so used to being all about their ‘freedom,’ so they becomes these little crybabies. They can’t live by laws and rules. Civilization needs to be civilized.“
“Oh my Darwin, it’s happening,” he squeaked. The Progressive couldn’t believe racists had made it into his village. He also couldn’t believe people thought they could live by laws and rules he didn’t agree with. It was all too much for him. And he needed to warn the village of the danger it was facing.
The Progressive ran outside. “Racists! Ray-cists!” he cried.
Some of the town folk heard the Progressive. But none went to him. “We’ve been fooled too many times,” said one while another added, “It’s probably another hoax.” A third looked out a window saw The Progressive fleeing down the street followed by Tequila and the Alt-Righters. This villager said, “Hey, it looks like Mel Brooks is doing a sequel to the Producers starring Tila Tequila”.
And what is the moral?
The moral isn’t that there aren’t any wolves or racists.
The moral is if you call everyone a racist, no one will care or believe you when the real racists show-up.
(If you liked this piece, be sure to check out the Freedom’s Light Anthology, now available for pre-order: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBAM5NG)