The last few years have seen a dangerous shift in America’s cultural climate, especially when it comes to the expression of political beliefs. In the past, Americans could engage in heated debates over the issues while still maintaining a semblance of civility. But now, political discourse has been turned on its head, and it is unlikely that the nation will see a return to normalcy anytime soon.
…they have chosen to launch a malicious campaign.
The days when individuals could communicate their political leanings without fear of reprisal have morphed into an environment in which an article of clothing can invite attacks so vicious that lives can be upended. The story of the Covington High School students who became targets of a rabid left-leaning media mob is only the latest in a series of occurrences that demonstrate what can happen to a person for simply wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) baseball cap.
Political Expression Has Become Dangerous
Since President Trump began his campaign, progressives in the media have homed in on his supporters, smearing them as ignorant bigots who are working to build an American Third Reich. As a result, those who voted for the president have been subject to harassment and, in some cases, violence.
Last year, a Texas 16-year-old was accosted in a restaurant for wearing a MAGA hat. A 30-year-old man verbally assaulted the young fellow, ripped the hat from his head, and threw his soda into the teenager’s face. In 2017, a New York man was denied service at a bar because he sported the infamous red cap.
It is also important to remember the numerous instances in which far-leftist protesters showed up at conservative rallies to physically assault the participants. The left has managed to take an act of political expression and use it as a weapon against those who oppose progressive ideas. To the wearer of the MAGA hat, they are simply expressing support for a political movement. To the progressive left, it is an identifier, a way to pinpoint evil.
How Did This Happen?
Many individuals, both on the left and the right, have contributed to the tense political atmosphere America is experiencing today. But it is evident that the primary culprit is the establishment media, whose members have sown division and resentment through their biased reporting, and the majority of Americans are aware of the role the press has played in pitting one group against the other. A recent study revealed that people believe that the media is more divisive than President Trump, who is constantly maligned for his aggressive rhetoric.
The Fourth Estate has used its various platforms to treat conservatives as if they are both ignorant and evil. Instead of portraying right-leaning Americans as individuals who simply disagree with progressives, they have chosen to launch a malicious campaign. Several outlets have attracted clicks and views by using extremely loaded language to describe President Trump and his supporters; comparisons to dictators like Hitler have become almost commonplace in the reportage of the most popular news outlets.
It is for this reason that many on the far left do not see an article of clothing when confronted with a MAGA hat; they see a symbol of oppression. Some have likened the cap to the swastika or white hood. Many of those on the left who are portraying conservatives as fascists are fully aware that their accusations are inaccurate. Put simply, they are lying.
However, because of the influence of the media, there is a significant number who truly believe they are opposing oppression when they attack people for wearing the wrong headgear. For this reason, they can easily justify implementing a nationwide smear campaign against high school students who committed the sin of wearing a MAGA hat. It is why they have no problem with doxing or even assaulting Americans who support the president.
The only solution to this problem is for reasonable people on both sides to call out those who dehumanize anyone with differing political beliefs. But it is individuals on the far left who are going to extremes to harm conservatives, and this will persist as long as they are allowed to do so without being checked by their own.