This article originally appeared on VICE US.
America's political divide has never been wider and, with a historically unpopular president already digging his heels in with a flurry of controversial executive orders, that chasm is only guaranteed to grow.
Unsurprisingly, the protests and pushbacks have only galvanized the Trump faithful's commitment to their leader. And they aren't at all afraid to share their opinions of those standing in opposition to the Trump team's whims, be it online or in person.
Should you be on the receiving end of their vitriol—and as the majority of the country and world is anti-Trump, you likely will—you may need help deciphering some of the more arcane zings sent your way. Here's a little cheat sheet.
There's a sizable Venn diagram overlap between Trump supporters and dudes who got sucked into the icky world of pickup artistry. In the PUA realm, thanks to complete misunderstanding of wolf pack hierarchies, "beta" has come to be used as a catch all term for anyone who is not an assertive, overbearing alpha type (mostly liberals). This insult has begun to wane in popularity as the more popular "cuck" is used to the same effect.
In The Matrix, Neo was offered a red pill and a blue pill by Morpheus. The red pill would wake him up to the hard truths of the world, and the blue pill would keep him in the more comfortable fantasy world.
Some on the right see themselves as Red-pillers, who have taken on the burden of enlightenment and having so-called epiphanies about why the races should not mix.
Don't feel too bad if if it's ever suggested that you've taken a blue pill. It's as hack a sentiment as "wake up sheeple" and red pillers are inextricably linked with impotent misogyny.
Referencing the propensity for feminists, SJWs, and other disliked groups to dye their hair bright pastel colors, this insult is, itself, a splash of color usually thrown in to modify a base slur.
Ever the gracious winners, Trump supporters celebrate electoral, legislative, or endorsement victories with BTFO, which is shorthand for "blown the fuck out." This is as much a cheerful rallying cry among one another as it is a taunt to the defeated adversary.
Referencing a few colleges' misguided efforts to soothe the burn of Trump's victory with offerings like puppies, hot chocolate, and coloring books, this insult insinuates that young people on the left are infantilized and ill-equipped to deal with issues outside of their familiar bubbles that challenge their worldview.
After the International Business Times reported that Hillary Clinton's campaign had potentially violated FEC laws by donating $280,000 to Correct the Record, a super PAC that engages in generating online political discussion, correction, trolling, etc., many pro-Clinton comments in various online threads were accused of being the work of "CTR shills." "CTR" is not as popular an insult as it once was—what with Clinton having lost and all—but "shill" is still thrown around with regularity to impugn a particular commenter and suggest they're being paid off by a cabal backing the opposing viewpoint.
You already know this popular one. To the insulter, liberal ideology is akin to another man fucking your wife. How'd we get from point A to B there? Setting aside the potential projection issues, the simplest reason is that a cuck is regarded as a simpering doormat of a person. "Cuck" is basically just "pussy" rebranded.
While not always the case, some usages of cuck have a racist element added. The wrinkle lies in the fact that a fair amount of cuck porn features a black man or men having intercourse with a white woman while her white husband watches. Liberal ideologies, traditionally more tolerant and beneficial to minorities than those of conservatives, are therefore regarded as a sort of political cucking.
Comedian John Oliver frequently (OK, maybe too frequently) makes jokes along the lines of "it's 2017, why are we still having to argue for the womens' rights?" This irked segments of the right who believed that pointing to a date on a calendar was not a sufficient argument for a stance.
"It's [CURRENT YEAR]" eventually simmered into the reduction "CURRENT YEAR" and is now employed to mock liberals who think that maybe gay marriage should maybe be legal in the same epoch in which we're gearing up to colonize Mars.
Feminism advocates for equal treatment of the sexes. Some people, men's rights activists in particular, insist that the philosophy actually seeks to diminish men. They're wrong, of course, but this hasn't stopped the word from becoming an insult that only has teeth when read or heard by others who are also anti-feminism.
There are legitimate debates to be had over the economic ramifications of globalism. Unfortunately, anti-globalism is also linked to nationalism, which is pretty much next-door neighbors with "the races should not mix." If someone is calling you a "globalist" online, there's certainly a chance they're doing so with corporate taxation in mind. But given the nature of the medium, it's quite likely they're also concerned with the far more slippery slope of "national identity."
A portmanteaux of liberal + retard. Pretty uninspired tbh.
Donald Trump called Jeb Bush "low energy" throughout the course of the primaries, and now those who oppose Trump—who is high energy—are also tarred with that brush.
Usually wielded by an older individual, a reference to a participation trophy is meant as a slam on the perceived inherent entitlement of millennials and the left.
In 80s California, a task force gave kids from poor communities trophies to boost their self-esteem. Before long, T-ball leagues and elementary schools around the country were handing out golden prizes to everyone who participated in a particular activity.
What the participation trophy invoker fails to grasp is that the recipients never once asked for these baubles. Baby boomers were the ones who decided to hand them out to a bunch of kids who unenthusiastically accepted them before putting them on a shelf and never thinking about them again.
Short for "politically correct" and a vestige of the last century, PC isn't used too much as a personal attack these days as it's been supplanted by the far snazzier "SJW." That said, "PC culture" is still bemoaned as the invisible shackles that prevent people from "telling it like it is" or using terminology others find offensive.
The term was coined by British politician Maajid Nawaz as a label for those on the left who would jump at the chance to attack an idea or person for expressing an idea. Calling any challenge of Islamic beliefs as "Islamaphobia," in particular, is considered part and parcel with regressive lefties.
Agree with the sentiment or not, Nawaz presented his measured argument for the phrase reasonably and soberly. Naturally, all nuance has since been divorced from the term, and it is now indiscriminately used against any utterance of the left.
Recently, college student groups have set up "safe spaces" as refuges from debating hot-button issues. The right, wrongly insinuating that the "real world" has no such sanctuaries, has taken to using the term sarcastically or as a suggestion of where liberals ought to return to.
Short for "social justice warrior," what once was an insult reserved for those so itching for a morality fight that they'd be willing to attack those on their own side, is now just a catch all term for anyone opposing a conservative ideology.
The current blue-ribbon insult of the right, "snowflake" refers to the presumption that everyone on the left believes the world owes them something on account of their individuality.
Though plenty has been written on the fact that it—ahem—actually originated as an anti-abolitionist insult, the sentiment of the modern usage is 100 percent lifted from a Fight Club monologue containing the lines, "You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake."
Ironically, these insulters who fancy themselves sage Tyler Durden truth-tellers are often the same ones simply aghast at the actions of the Black Bloc.
When sharing stories containing references or descriptions of graphic content like rape, suicide, or other upsetting material, people often attach "trigger warnings." Meant as a courtesy to readers who might have lived through the described situation and might experience PTSD, anxiety, or general displeasure if forced to mentally relive the experience.
Insulters on the right co-opted the trigger warning for mocking usage if a lefty is upset about something, even if justifiably so.
Imagine enormous 128-pt quotation marks around the word tolerant here, and you'll best understand the right's sarcastic usage of this term, reparations for decades of being told THEY were the intolerant ones.
A term relatively interchangeable with "SJW," Tumblrina is an insult aimed at young, alt-looking lefty women, as Tumblr is a social media platform containing multitudes of liberal-minded youngsters who can occasionally lay on the self-righteousness a little thick. That probably has more to do with kids being obnoxious than political ideology.
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