I will probably never stop laughing at this:
(hard-hitting reporting from the Brett Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings)
This horrific baby-raping, soul-rending, gun-loving, racist white supremacist Nazi conservative death squad organizing Hitler lover is one Zina Bash. She works for the Trump administration, so she's also literally Hitler himself in a nice dress. Also, she's Hispanic and Jewish. [record scratch] Whoops.
Not one to let facts get in the way of a good witch hunt, one clever Twitterer (is that what they're called now?) knows how to really spot a Nazi:
Because as we all know, Nazis are not very clever and can only name their children using the rearranged letters of the shorthand name of their political beliefs.
It gets better. This whole thing:
white supremacist "Pepe" salute
is completely fake.
Don't take my word for it! Even the Anti-Defamation League says it's complete crap although, hysterical pearl-clutchers that they are, they claim the joke is "hate speech" because, well, to the ADL everything is hate speech. This sentence is probably hate speech. Gently chuckling and saying "calm down, guys, holy shit" is probably hate speech.
Fun fact: in the United States, there is no such thing as "hate speech!"
But it wasn't (and isn't) hate speech. The joke did originate on 4chan's /pol/ board, which as we all know is Pure Hatred Incarnate™ because someone said something there that a liberal disagreed with once, but the point of the joke was to poke fun at how eagerly left-leaning people and organizations will point and scream "Nazi!" at, well, everybody.
/pol/ wanted to test whether liberals (and especially news organizations), in the throes of mass hysteria, could be tricked into thinking the classic "Okay" sign was really a super-secret gesture used by Nazis to signal their fellow Nazis for some reason or other (because as we all know, the Nazis were secretive and clandestine, never displaying their beliefs publicly or wearing them on their sleeve ... oh, wait):
(note: not actually published by the ACLU, just in case you honestly couldn't tell)
Sadly, it worked. The media fell for it hook, line and sinker. As the old idiom goes, "/pol/ was right again":
Despite it being patently obvious to anyone with a working mind that this was a joke (and despite /pol/ openly celebrating their success out in the open), the media ran with it, broadcast it as fact, and a good number of people still believe to this day that this simple gesture is in fact a dog whistle for white supremacy.
That led to things like the Twitter post at the top of this article. It wasn't a fluke, either. Thousands of others (at least) wasted untold amounts of oxygen posting their disgust at such a wanton and gratuitous open display of hatred at a Senate hearing, completely unaware that it was all a big joke -- and they were the punchline.
The idea sprang up around the same time Hilary Clinton famously declared that poor frog "Pepe" to be a hate symbol embraced by the white supremacist menace secretly overtaking our nation. The notion that a goofy-looking cartoon frog (whose only appearances in his source comics depicted him as care-free and kind) could somehow be co-opted as a hate symbol by <Generic Hate Filled Persons> was hilarious to normal thinking people who just couldn't believe how truly insane and radicalized the left was getting.
But /pol/ wasn't done yet. They came up with another, even more ridiculous "secret handshake" that they were certain nobody could ever take seriously. But sure enough, in some circles those dastardly white supremacists got a massive spike in their numbers by way of this newly-discovered secret handshake:
Yes, that's a real article. Yes, the author is serious. For the record, the milk drinkers are not.
There's something special about the kind of person who gets so wound up in politics and consumed with burning hatred for "the other team" that they can (repeatedly) fall for obvious jokes like this. I keep trying to come up with some really clever, witty jab to mock them, but I fail every time because I can't stop laughing at how stupid it all is.
I'd like to think that people who fall for this stuff are generally intelligent, kind-hearted and caring people who just got themselves caught up in a self-perpetuating mass hysteria fed by an opportunistic media and cynical politicians, but I've just seen so much of this from so many people that I'm seriously beginning to think modern "progressive liberalism," such as it is, is fundamentally broken. It destroys rational thought and its chief currency is vicious outrage. As we all know, the perpetually outraged masses are trivial to manipulate into becoming eager useful idiots.
If it can lead people to believe simple hand gestures, cartoon frogs and drinking milk makes people evil, it just doesn't seem very "progressive" to me.