On Sunday, Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the United States government would soon be classifying “ANTIFA” as a terrorist group, despite the fact that antifa (no caps lock) doesn’t exist, at least not in the way that the President always talks about it.
Per It’s Going Down, antifa, short for antifascist, is neither an organization nor a web of shadowy instigators but “a political stance against far-right violence, white supremacy, and fascism.” If you hate far-right violence, white supremacy, and fascism, then guess what, babe? You’re antifa! And if you oppose antifa—like, to the point of, say, calling antifascists a bunch of terrorists—then that must mean you’re a fascist. And if you’re a fascist, um… Go fuck yourself? It’s really that simple.
Trump’s proclamation about labeling “ANTIFA” a terrorist organization—something he doesn’t even have the legal authority to do, Politico notes, were “ANTIFA,” all caps, even an organization in the first place—isn’t the first time that he’s invoked some telephone-game understanding of antifa for his own political gain. Last year, the President tweeted that he was seriously considering naming “ANTIFA” (again, the fake all-caps group that doesn’t fucking exist) “an organization of terror,” and in an effort to secure Republican victories at the 2018 midterms he warned that the “violent people” of “ANTIFA” would “overturn everything…quickly and violently” if the Democrats won Congress. There was also the time in 2017 when he tried to pin the white supremacist violence at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville on something he called “the alt-left,” which, like the invented all-caps “ANTIFA,” also doesn’t fucking exist.
So, why does he keep doing it? Is Trump really that fucking stupid, or is he knowingly pretending to clamp down on an organization that doesn’t exist in order to look tough in front of his monstrously stupid fans? Honestly, it doesn’t matter (and also it’s probably a little bit of both). Trump has been a fascist the entire time he’s been in office, from the Muslim Ban on week one to his comments on Friday encouraging people to gun down demonstrators protesting against anti-Black violence and the horrors of the police state. His words might not make sense—they never have—but his actions have always been clear as day.