The Only Side of History is the Side That Holds the Power.
In reading three different articles, with three different perspectives, and three different topics yesterday, I encountered the most infuriating of intellectual and verbal foolishness.
First, some anti-Trump nincompoop maintained that all of the supporters of said demagogue are on THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY!
Said nincompoop is not wrong in his assessment of Trump, in my opinion, but he is wrong in assigning some designation that presumes there is a RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY.
There is no wrong or right side of history; there is only who won, is winning, or who wields the power at any given moment in time. Ask any one of the millions of refugees from any of the Middle East nations, or Africa, or Venezuela if they give a flying fig about what may someday constitute the wrong or the right side of history.
I realize that the great Martin Luther King, Jr. pontificated that the long arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, but that represents one of the few times that the good Doctor was simply 100% wrong. I suspect that Dr. King made this mistake not because he didn’t know the truth, but because he wanted to say the hopeful, the supportive, and the optimistic thing in light of the battles that were being waged. That statement was akin, I think, to telling the bereaved family that their lost loved one is “in a better place,” or “no longer in pain,” even if you don’t know that, or especially if you don’t believe it.
In the second instance, the wrong side of history contention was made in reference to LGBTQ (and whatever letters I might be missing as the acronym grows larger than its constituents) rights. Again, the wrong or the right side of history is a delusion that is fabricated and projected onto the movie screen of American society by virtue of the luxury of US affluence and relative stability.
The fastest growing demographic is the world is Muslim in outlook and composition. If one wishes to maintain that the moral universe is moving inexorably to strong and inviolable acceptance of all people who fit under the LGBTQ rainbow, that same person needs to be committed to a rubber room decorated with sunflowers and unicorns. The moderate Muslim that we hear about is not the largest part of the Muslim world. The most typical cross section is not radical, or necessarily orthodox, but the ranks of those who still see the need for women to be subject to rules about their dress and their range of vocations is prevalent.
The last instance of the wrong side of history being bandied about was in reference to terrorism and immigration, with the supposition being that the two topics are natural allies designed to either incapacitate or empower the country, depending upon which side of the aisle you inhabit. For most of the 200 years that the US has been a world power and leader, the country has been on the RIGHT side of history, primarily because we have been on the winning side of wars, which has given us the advantage of writing the history. We have generally assimilated cultures of Europe, but also some from other continents as well. And we have been afforded the opportunity to cast ourselves as prevailing because our efforts have usually been successful.
In conclusion, please abort your use of the phrase. Using it helps to reveal that you are not being thoughtful, considerate, or discriminating in your judgment. Rather, the phase truly belongs to the smug, condescending faction of the progressive party, those who would shut down dissent, and who would idiotically wish for the genuine demise of the rival party on the grounds that there really is but one viewpoint or perspective that has value or integrity. In other words, if you resort to the phrase, you are making your audience consider the possibility that you are obtuse, as the opposite of acute.