A particularly dismissive insult about to crash the Oxford English Dictionary is the term, “snowflake”. This innocent word, one that was formally bereft of any ability to insult or mock, has been appropriated by the Right as a standard forensic battle axe. It refers to anyone who is coddled or who demands special protections from any daily inconvenience or discomfort, particularly on any left leaning university campus. This is the world of trigger warnings, safe areas and the right to shout down or block those with differing or controversial ideas. It is the Pot-Kettle Republic and the Participation Trophy Regime.
It is a world where the unduly sensitive strap on bubble wrap from head to toe in the morning and are prepared to sue if their tenderly installed belief systems are jostled by any person or institution that fails to mop their fevered brows, assuage their self fanned fears or remind them that they are precious and special.
The Snowflake must be watched like a dinner for eight with the boss due to arrive, diapered like a two day old infant and reassured with warm hugs, hot cocoa and soft purrings of cozy reassurance in the ear. “Snowflake” is indeed a damning insult but its true scope can’t be appreciated or rightly processed until it is seen as projection, or the weaponizing of one’s own inadequacies and fears on to others. The first hail of snowflake culture occurred long ago. Tailgunner Joe McCarthy ushered in the blacklist era in the 1950’s with self righteous paranoia so onerous, it destroyed thousands of lives and careers with red tinged innuendo. Names must be named. McCarthy was the first American snowflake.
The great advantage of The Big Lie is that it requires no thought. A firm percentage of the population doesn’t process ideas. It only gives a lizard brained response to the worst of them. This is what McCarthy mortgaged then and it’s what the 45 President of the United States is doing now. Trump’s sickening CNN beat down video combines the Big Lie of a predator media corps with the added bonus of distracting the gullible from the president’s Constitutional criminality.
This is the Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell fame but Trump plays out the meme himself. The demagogue playbook is not thick but it is well worn. The video raises the fight or flight response and kicks basic reason aside for raw ancestral fear and hyper vigilance against the “other”. In this case, the other is any idea that does not match that of the demagogue.
In 2017 in America, the workers are not required to gather on the order of Dear Leader and hate on cue. There is Fox News for that now. As Trump makes an “enemy” of the media, he has actually harnessed and co opted it to control and distract those who should be holding him accountable for his obvious crimes. It’s even better for the current strongman when citizens appear to fight an imagined enemy with only their own ignorance to goad them. These Southerners salute and pine for the lost cause of the Confederacy at Gettysburg.
Living in an imagined past where the white man’s boot oppressed non whites while prospering by their unpaid sweat is hardly a high ideal but Trump’s “Make America Great Again” brand might as well appear on the tarnished face of the Stars and Bars banner. On many college campuses, the aforementioned liberal snowflake is seen in the wild every day.
In the not so recent past, Accuracy in Academia was a formal attempt to monitor speech from professors in the classroom by right wing students in response to speech that was seen as too liberal. In this now comic video, the founder of Accuracy in Academia bemoans the naming of a building at his alma mater after a “Communist” and his central idea for starting his organization is “Why the Left Hates America”.
This goes straight back to Joe McCarthy and the hits never go out of style. It’s only more snowflakery when people have so much fear of alternate ideas, they have to label, demean and attack them because they lack the stones and the wits to engage in an honest debate. When it comes to basic intelligence, the under endowed will opt to attack every time and why not? They have a lot to compensate for. When you boil them all down, every snowflake from either side of the culture war blizzard is exactly alike.
My kingdom for a snow thrower…