Today’s paragraph comes to us from Gil Troy, a history professor at McGill University, writing for what’s left of Time Magazine.
Mr. Troy has written a piece that – inaccurately, I think – equates the so-called “alt.right” with what he calls the “alt.left” – a term most mainstream media seem averse to using.
But, on a more accurate note, here is how he sees “alt.left” people:
The “alt-left” designation helps explain the Democrats’ emerging civil war, with extremists assailing centrist liberals, and turning the word “neoliberal” into one of their overused epithets. It exposes the postmodern fanatics: bullies who violate liberal principles by shutting up speakers they dislike; brats who riot in Berkeley, Portland, Oakland and elsewhere when they don’t get their way; hypocrites who denounce their opponents’ unreason and violence yet can’t see their own; and brutes who whip each other into vulgar frenzies on the Internet. The “alt-left” is populated by ideologues who reject the American value of compromise. They see a world of conspiracy theories, imagined enemies and exaggerated slights. Ironically, they echo their far right rivals by demonizing Wall Street, the Big Banks, the Mainstream Media — and, frequently, Jews or Zionists. Both far right and far left radicals represent a politics of backlash and lashing out, not consensus-building or reaching out.
I have a problem with Mr. Troy’s “alt-left”/”alt-right” equivalency. Do you see masked far-rightists starting riots? Preventing liberal/conservative speakers from speaking at colleges and universities around the country? Do you see any equivalence in the media coverage the two extreme sides receive? I know I don’t. Nor do I see any “civil war” with moderate Democrats: where have moderate Democrats -what few of them there are these days – attacked the antifa thugs? It’s not a war when only one side is fighting.
But Mr. Troy’s description of the people he calls “alt.left” is right on target.
That, and the novelty of seeing someone in a mainstream media venue calling them out this way – finally, after all this time – is why Gil Troy wins Paragraph Of The Day honors.