In 2017, an article published by Think Progress did one of the better jobs I’ve seen when it comes to defining the current use of the political term “snowflake.”
“The insult expanded to encompass not just the young, but liberals of all ages; it became the epithet of choice for right-wingers to fling at anyone who could be accused of being too easily offended, too in need of “safe spaces, too fragile”. (emphasis added)
Not a bad explanation of the now popular practice of referring to progressives and liberals as ‘snowflakes’.
Like many who elect to suffer the slings and arrows of social media, I have had the insult sent my way more times than I can count. I don’t quite get it because, when it comes to politics, I’ve been accused of many things- but thin-skinned is rarely among the accusations that feels like it should stick when there are so many other slams that would seem much more on point.
Still, I admit to a measure of sympathy for those who are inclined to place the label on anyone seeking “safe spaces” on college campuses as, for me, a safe space during my college years involved anywhere I could go to safety smoke a joint without getting caught. Today, a safe space means something very different. I can further acknowledge that it might be fair to suggest that those forced to take to their beds following the election of Donald Trump, in some instances for weeks, might just be guilty of being “too fragile”.
And don’t get me started on those who treated their despondency following the 2016 election with coloring book therapy.
But there is a new champion of the snowflake variety and it just might moot and spoil the use of the term as currently applied to liberals.
In a Sunday morning tweet, the President of the United States wrote the following:
“A REAL scandal is the one-sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?”
Talk about being easily offended and far too fragile!
According to the Leader of the Free World, political satire and comedy is the REAL scandal-not the multiple investigations into every facet of this President’ past and present, some of which have already produced some scandalous results.
When Chevy Chase, as a member of the original SNL cast so many years ago, picked on and parodied President Gerald Ford for being clumsy, I don’t recall that President calling SNL a “democratic spin machine”. When SNL slammed President Bill Clinton for his tendency to eat way too many MacDonald’s cheeseburgers and donuts, I don’t recall Clinton suggesting that such offense was deserving of a First Amendment court challenge because ridiculing a president couldn’t possibly be legal. When SNL took on President Obama, using the device of a “60 Minutes” parody, to nail the President on trying to put the blame for ISIS on social media, I don’t recall that President expressing sour grapes in public.
Folks, ridicule and parody of those sitting in the White House comes with the job-and you can thank your lucky American stars for it. And if you think SNL is rough, you should see what newspaper publishers used to say when ridiculing American presidents all the way back to our founding as a nation.
Indeed, after forty years of SNL making fun of every single president and vice president who has held the office during the run of the late-night comedy program, we are experiencing the first president to be so stunningly thin skinned as to actually contemplate a court challenge to one of the most obvious and critical elements of our First Amendment Rights- the right to parody and make fun of our leaders.
To spend any digital ink explaining why Trump’s tweet is pure heresy to American ideals and the most basic premises to our Constitutional way of life would be an insult to the reader. There is nobody in America-who understands and believes in the American experience- that requires a lecture, from me or anyone else, on the importance of parody continuing to be protected by the First Amendment.
Except, apparently, the President of the United States of America.
When the leader of the Republican Party takes whining to a level never before experienced by actually proposing a court challenge to SNL’s right to parody and pick on a President, it simply no longer makes sense that “snowflake” be a term of criticism leveled only at liberals.
One thing has, however, become clear.
When candidate Donald Trump told us that we would get sick of all the winning, what he apparently meant to say was we would get sick of all the whining. It certainly would not be the first time we’ve seen him confuse words (see @realDonaldTrump).
So, to my conservative friends, I say, with sympathy, deal with it.
When it comes to the joy you experience when referring to liberals as ‘snowflakes’, I’m afraid this just won’t hold water any longer. The President has ruined it for all of you.