Vilify the villains

At the gym this afternoon, I glanced at the TV monitor featuring Fox News . The headline read “Biden attack on MAGA vilifies half of Americans.”

At a Maryland fundraiser in late August, you might recall, Biden laid into the MAGA crowd, comparing them to “like semi-fascism.” 

Allowing for Biden’s inexactness of expression and foot-in-mouth verbal gymnastics, why can’t we say, point blank, that MAGA is fascist? Or, more subtly and reasonably perhaps, that it appeals to fascist sentiments and sensibilities? (I know, I know. MAGA sensibilities? Not too much Jane Austen in that crowd.)

But it’s the Fox headline with which I demur principally. 

MAGA rally
MAGA rally in Massachusetts, November 2020, protesting Biden’s win. Thank God for patriots.

If a villain, after all, is in the most common usage an evil or malicious person, a criminal, he’s also a low person, a contemptible person, a country bumpkin. That is, the malefactor derives according to the origins of the word from the 14th century Old French vilein, or serf, from Late Latin vīllānus, a worker on a country estate, from Latin villa (see

Trump himself may be the lord of the villa, or of Mar-a-Lago anyway. And abundant evidence suggests he’s a malicious fraud in almost every sense of these words in his business dealings, his personal affairs, his governmental experience.

It’s no wonder that such a lord enlists in his (unpaid, but emotionally powerful) service the serfs of the country, the bumpkins, the semi-literate at best.

Sorry, there are just too many bumpkins near where I live flying their US and Confederate flags, wearing their flags on their sleeves, in fact, and bellowing how something was stolen from them.

A brain perhaps? A semblance of logic and control?

No, Biden may not be much of a speaker, but you cannot vilify one who is already a villain. A low villain. A cad. A curmudgeon. A roaring moron. A drifty grifter. A malcontent who’s injured and aggrieved because he has not come into his share of his lord the estate master’s loot and boodle. Isn’t it  supposed to go round and round?

Vilify, from the 15th century Late Latin vīlificāre, from Latin vīlis, worthless + facere, to make (, again).

You cannot make worthless that which is already without value. That which does not think, or read, or write, or begin to question the basest emotions or summon logic, too, and ethics into the arena.