a friend about Auntie Pinko
Dear Auntie Pinko,
Why do you call yourself "Pinko?" We're having a hard
enough time getting people to respect liberals as it is, what
with the Repubs making it into a swear word and all. Don't
you think it might scare people away, or confirm all those
things the conservatives say about us all being communists?
We need to convince people that "liberal" is just as respectable
as "conservative," and doesn't have anything to do with Stalin
or Castro. I know I certainly don't, anyway!
A Real Liberal in Durham, North Carolina (yes, there are
some of us!)
Thank you so much for expressing your concern. I entirely
agree with you that the GOP's strategy of making the word
"liberal" synonymous with "pedophile" has been a Bad Thing
for the Democratic Party.
Perhaps, however, I take a slightly different approach. For
one thing, Auntie Pinko is old enough to remember the true
meaning of those words - "liberal," "pinko," "commie," "red,"
and others which Mr. Rove, Mr. Limbaugh, and their ideological
predecessors have used to make a viewpoint anywhere to the
left of Mussolini seem like the ravings of a dictatorial lunatic.
(Never mind pointing out the irony of this, Real. I am fully
aware of who the real dictatorial lunatics were and are.)
But for the benefit of some of my younger readers, perhaps
it would help to review the origin of these colorful political
labels. They have a long history-even longer than I can remember.
To begin with, "white" has always been the color of the "Old"
Establishment. Perhaps this dates from the eighteenth century
Jacobite Rebellion, when the supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie
wore the "White Cockade" during their attempt to restore the
absolute-style monarchy of the Stewarts to an England that
had just taken a decided step towards a constitutional monarchy
and stronger parliamentary government.
Or perhaps it dates from the wearing of White Ribbon in the
nineteenth century by the French supporters of the Bourbon
monarchy who attempted to restore King Louis XVIII to power
after the fall of Mr. Bonaparte. Certainly the color white
had acquired enough symbolism to represent the class of monarchist
Russian nobles exiled after the Bolshevik Revolution.
And, of course, we all know that "red" was the color adopted
by idealistic young Communists who were attempting to create
the Worker's Paradise before Mr. Stalin and his not-so-merry
men co-opted the Revolution and turned the unfortunate Soviet
into an authoritarian dictatorship of the most appalling type.
And, unfortunately, no real effort has ever been made to
separate the rather quaint but lovely ideological communist
association from the quite disgusting authoritarian reality
that has become linked with the color "red."
I can assure you that, like "liberal," the term "red," too,
once had a benevolent connotation.
However, while I appreciate the noble ideals of the true
communists, I'm both too old and far too well acquainted with
the unsavory realities of human nature to be able to proclaim
myself a "red" with a straight face.
And I certainly cannot line myself up with the "white" end
of the spectrum, not with that kind of history, can I? Fortunately,
the alternative "pink" is available-which, by the way, Mr.
Webster defines as "holding or believed to hold advanced liberal
or moderately radical political or economic views."
A description which, in spite of the oxymoronic 'moderately
radical,' describes Auntie Pinko to a "T."
Or perhaps that should be a "D," for "Democrat?"
Thank you so much for writing to Auntie Pinko.
a friend about Auntie Pinko
you have a question for Auntie Pinko?
Do political discussions discombobulate you? Are you a liberal
at a loss for words when those darned dittoheads babble their
endless rhetoric at you? Or are you a conservative who just
can't understand those pesky liberals and their silliness?
Auntie Pinko has an answer for everything! So ask away!