I often use the word “leftoid”, and people occasionally ask why.

It is commonplace for those who are on the conservative side of an issue, or are at least somewhat aligned with that position, to accuse opponents of Leftism. xx is a Socialist! yy is a Communist! zz is a Leftist asshole!

Of course they aren’t Leftists. Marx would dismiss them as “Fabian elitists”; the Fabian Society would blackball them for being pretentious bourgeois; Engels would punch them out; Trotsky would attempt to “re-educate” them, more in sorrow than in anger; Lenin, Stalin, or Pol Pot would have them in the labor camp so fast they wouldn’t notice the train ride.

They can, however, cite chapter and verse of Leftist ideals to further their own agenda(s), in the same way and for the same ends as the charlatans who can and do produce unshakable Scriptural support for their demands for money and/or sexual gratification. Something that looks alive but only simulates life is an android; something that looks human but is only similar in superficial ways is a humanoid; something that looks like a Leftist until you find out what they’re actually up to is a leftoid[1].

Confusion arises because the genuine Leftists, above, would in reality not make such judgements in public; even the trip to the labor camp would be in the dark of night, the transportee becoming a desapericido, a “disappeared one”. Among the bases of Leftist thought are the concepts of “useful tool” and “fellow traveler”, both of which express the notion that anybody who is advancing the cause of Socialism, regardless of motive, is to be patted on the back and encouraged to do more; meanwhile the Left is ensuring that its knife is sharp and will be ready to hand when the tool becomes less useful or the road companion seeks another path. It’s a major weakness of the Left, because it exposes them to opportunists who are often smart enough to wear puncture-resistant clothing. That’s not much consolation to the rest of us, because Leftism, being inherently centripetal, is extremely attractive to would-be tyrants wishing to use it for cover; when (as often) they survive the knife in the back they can point to the Left’s support in the past as justification for their actions. That doesn’t make them Leftists; it makes them leftoids.

[1] A wag suggests that something that looks like a “him” but isn’t is a hemorrhoid. Sorry, you left a syllable out; something that looks like, but isn’t, uncontrolled bleeding — a hemorrhage — is a hemorrhoid. The similarity may go deeper, but is beyond the scope of the discussion.