There’s a smug formula that’s been going around for a while among Second Amendment loonies that goes, “If you don’t know what the ‘AR’ in AR-15 stands for then you have no right to complain about how it’s being used.” This is, of course, an absurdity on its face. It is nothing more than an artificially made up rule contrived by cowardly ammosexuals so they can dodge the real issues. Imagine someone saying I have no right to complain about the idiot who ran me over in a Pontiac because I don’t know what “GTO” stands for. After all, cars don’t kill people, people in cars kill people.
But for those of you who are interested, AR stands for “Asshole Republican.” Or, if you’re more literal-minded, it stands for “Armalite,” which was the small arms division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation back in the 1950s. Note that the company’s original intent was to make “small arms.”
Armalite’s first successful model was the AR-5, a lightweight, bolt-action .22 calibre popgun. So if you can be bothered, you can instruct the more doctrinaire among the inadequate gun nuts about how the company betrayed its original intent. Armalite was never supposed to produce a murder weapon used exclusively for slaughtering large numbers of human beings in a short period of time. It began life as a bird gun manufacturer — which is bad enough as far as I’m concerned — but you get the idea.
Even so, though my contempt for the insane gun culture in America is nothing new, I’m not here to write a polemic against that, per se. My purpose is to point out that most Republicans really don’t know what they’re talking about whenever they open their stupid, ignorant mouths. They are walking and talking advertisements for the Dunning Kruger Effect, and we mustn’t ever be intimidated by the nonsense they are taught to parrot.
Their words, more often than not, are glassy-eyed repetitions taught to them by their corporate and religious paymasters as formulas so they don’t have to think. Republicans are very good at not thinking.
For example, a mallet-headed MAGA cretin named Christopher Rufo noticed that an obscure, graduate level academic term known as “critical race theory” was perfect for creating culture wars among the perpetually outraged. He deliberately kidnapped the term and deliberately started the rumour that Critical Race Theory, or CRT for short, is being taught in grade schools. Then he encouraged outrage about it and taught other fools to get angry any time it was mentioned. It is, in fact, an assault weapon used by racists to mow down anyone opposed to racism, a kind of cultural dialectical version of the AR-15, if you will.
Mr Rufo was tracked down and exposed by the press for his fabrication. Instead of being ashamed, like a normal person would be, he’s actually quite proud of what he’s done. And, in an odd way, he can afford to be. In a world of instant information it’s easy to hide one’s true intention, to use the avalanche of nonsense that’s out there as a kind of camouflage. Rufo knows he will never comprehensively be named and shamed, and his performative trope will live on and on among the perennially offended and permanently ignorant, like Frankenstein’s Monster imbued with the immortality of performative social stupidity.
Then there’s the common MAGA claim, intended to distract from their fascist ways, that the original Nazi party was in fact composed of socialists. After all, their full name was “the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” Certain woolly-brained MAGA morons think that puts an end to the argument. But the consensus among historians, that is, people who actually know what they’re talking about, is that the Nazis, and Hitler in particular, were not socialists in any meaningful sense. There was no deliberate socialism in any Nazi policies. It’s just a word they stole because they liked the sound of it, and it was used back in the day before socialism was turned into a swear word by Republicans.
Socialism, in fact, is a political philosophy and movement encompassing a wide range of economic and social systems which are characterised by social ownership. Its philosophy is expressed in mundane things like libraries, fire departments, public schools, unemployment compensation, social security, you know, all those democracy-destroying things. It’s a perfectly wonderful and useful tool that Republicans would positively scream like banshees if it was ever actually taken away from them.
By the way, socialism is quite different from communism. The principal difference is that under communism, most property and economic resources are owned and operated exclusively by the state rather than individual citizens. Under socialism, on the other hand, all citizens share equally in economic resources as allocated by a democratically-elected government.
Which brings me to the latest, hilariously ignorant bloviations from the twice impeached, four times indicted criminal and rapist Donald Trump. These days he likes to refer to Democrats as “Communists and Fascists.” This is particularly hilarious because communists and fascists are the exact opposites. In fact, Hitler, who was himself a fascist in the mould of his good friend Mussolini, hated communists almost as much as he hated Jews. Fascism is in fact a far right, authoritarian and ultra-nationalistic political philosophy that employs repression and vengeance as its principal tool of terror and control. Sound familiar?
So be aware that any time a MAGA cretin opens his or her stupid mouth they’re full of crap and they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. They like to accuse us of being what in fact they truly are, fascists and criminals. These days MAGA Republicans are easy to defeat. They are full of violence and anger, sound and fury, bullshit and bravado, crowing and conceit. So let’s defeat them.
There are eight million misbegotten terms in the naked city of MAGA Republicans. This has been a few of them. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.