Commie:(n) a communist
Growing up, there were three great insults we used repeatedly to decimate the character of those around us, while greatly inflating our own sense of self-importance: retard, gay and Commie
Although they were often used interchangeably for all seasons and all reasons, there were specific times when “retard” was applied. Whenever anyone did anything that inconvenienced us he or she was a retard.
When anyone did anything the least bit unusual, and we were afraid they would ask us to do it, too, they were gay.
And when our parents told us that certain children had mothers and fathers who were questionable in their politics–well, those kids were Commies.
You could probably survive being a retard, as long as you didn’t get too upset.
You could flee from being gay.
But once you were identified as a Commie–an enemy of the state–a Ruskie–a member of the Soviet Union–a sympathizer with killers–well, it was just a little hard to shake that off.
I remember once when two friends and I refused to listen to a girl who came to school wearing jeans and a t-shirt (which was unheard of at the time) and spouted opinions on such things as ecology, civil rights, and even, God forbid, anti-war. She was especially upset with the war in Viet Nam.
In our freshman year, we had one view of this girl–but by the time we were seniors, the national opinion on civil rights had changed, ecology had been honored by the creation of Earth Day, and because of the Pentagon Papers, the Viet Nam War had been exposed as an unnecessary exercise in futility.
We were uncomfortable about it. The Commie had been proven correct.
So to compensate, we just started calling her gay.
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