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Antifa and the Politics of Personal Unhappiness
They are young. They are aimless. They are unhappy. (They are unemployed.) And they have turned their discontent into a club-swinging, urine-pelting melee the likes of which the world has never seen.
They are "Antifa." Behold their misery.
Largely children of divorce and various alternative lifestyles, many never had a consistent male authority figure. Their mothers expiated their own guilt by treating them like princes and princesses of the domain. There was no parental pushback, no holding firm against the natural rebellions and unease of youth. Instead, the malaise of the young that usually grows into at least semi-contented adulthood became a permanent malady.
What should have been a temporary affliction has morphed into the largest temper-tantrum of all time.
They are adrift, but they came by it honestly. In their experience, even fathers who remained in the home were often emasculated and broken. Stripped of the pride of traditional roles, their fathers felt unneeded and acted like it.
Discipline, where it happened at all, was couched in hesitancy and cemented by a growing societal belief that men had nothing special to offer. Highly-dominant and overly-protective mothers filled the void.
The Snowflake was born.
Donald Trump frightens them because he simultaneously represents everything they ever longed for and everyone who ever rejected them: the strong, approving father, the unafraid protector, the masculine voice that reassures even when overbearing. The father they were told they didn't need but still mourn.
For them to see that "father" now, in persona Trump, looming large before them, is nothing short of a call to war.
Dad has returned home, uninvited, and he will be punished.
The anger is real. The target is hallucinatory.
Over time, as the country steadies itself, these malcontents will see things differently. As the energy of a toddler recedes from rage to rest, they, too, will wear out and settle down. They will likely continue to be unhappy, but it will eventually occur to the brightest among them that President Trump is not their problem.
They will then shift their bitter vengeance to an equally blameless person, institution, or entity that will also fail to provide the resolution for which they yearn.
Like Holden Caulfield, who sought redress in places that only confirmed his cynicism, they may never find the answers they seek. They are looking in the wrong direction.
It is the deep and abiding injury caused by the loss of family, father, and tradition that has done them such lasting damage.
The greatest tragedy is they are now inflicting it on their country.
In memoriam, A.G. "Ladd" Alexander (Pop), 1929-1932, who was Semper Fi.
Leslie Alexander lives in Lafayette, Louisiana.
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