Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I Am, I Said

A few days ago, somebody called me a libtard. Not to my face, of course. That sort of thing tends to happen from the relative safety of a keyboard. Which tends not to lessen the impact. Nor does it accentuate it. It is, as we say, what it is. 
And I, it would seem, am a libtard. The dictionary tells me that makes me "a person with left-wing political views." It is, according to that same dictionary, a contemptuous term. Which I understand. I am a person with left wing views, and it's that part where I tend to make those views public which is what got me into trouble. 
If, by contrast, I had chosen to keep those liberal views a secret then I would not have suffered the indignity of being labeled. But "libtard?" The etymology is every bit as complex as it sounds. The lib is something I can pride myself for, having a mother who was into women's lib starting with the very first issue of Ms. magazine. She was ready, back in the day, to hop on the back of motorcycle driven by my older brother to take him to Canada in the event that the Vietnam war and its attendant draft extended itself up to his eighteenth birthday. 
That didn't happen. But those incidents helped solidify my liberal beliefs.
So, what about the "tard?" 
Well, that's the derogatory part. It's replacing the second syllable of "liberal" with the second syllable of "retard." As a person with left-wing political views, I have become convinced that using the word "retard" to describe anyone is not politically correct. Or at least not left-wing politically correct. That same dictionary referenced previously would have us believe that retard is a verb, meaning "delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment." Slow development. Which is why it used to be a way-too-easy term used to label those with developmental or learning disabilities. 
Which, I suppose once you add in that element of contempt, I will have to take this person's assertion that I am a libtard. Left-wing political views and slow to learn anything else.
And fiercely proud of it. 

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