Election 2016 Part 5: Left-Wing Self-Examination
In the most recent installment of this series, I discussed the massive and vocal cadre of sore losers and sour grapes on the left.
[Again, I voted for neither Trump nor the Clintons, and as such, stand independent of partisanship here; indeed, in an earlier post, I condemned a sore-winner element in the ranks of so-called conservatives.]
In fairness, however, not all left-wingers were such bad sports about the fact American democracy worked as designed. Other liberals admirably took to self-analysis and introspection, looking inward and at themselves and one another, collectively, in the search for what went wrong, instead of reflexively and emotionally blaming the omnipresent other. These leftists I respect and uphold as aware and analytic thinkers, even as I disagree vehemently with their opinions on issues. To wit…
The rise of someone as outwardly onerous as Trump rightly compels the left do so some soul-searching in many ways. One is with the direction of the Democrat Party, where a leftist analog to the Tea Party, rooted in the far-left/socialist, more ideologically pure Sanders/Warren wing, already is gaining groundswell support against the Goldman Sachs wing that dominates the party. For laughs I’ll call this insurrection the Latte Party.
Do you expect the same leftists who decried the rise of the Tea Party on the Republican side to behave similarly toward the Latte Party revolt in their own ranks? I doubt it, except for those few who truly buy fully into the corporate/globalist model of neoliberal leftism, which really is an ideological self-contradiction if ever there was. At least the Latte Party nee Sanders socialists are genuine in their ideals, instead of sellouts to the system like Obama, the Clintons, and their political sycophants.
I actually support the Latte Party ideal in principle, even as I disagree with damn-near everything they stand for issues-wise, because they do agree with Trump’s campaign talk on one of the few substantial ways I also do: the swamp needs to be drained. The globalist Bilderberg puppets and one-world-governance sellouts need to go — from Republican and Democrat parties alike.
THE INTROSPECTIVE LEFT
Finally! It took long enough. The best thing the left wing can do is what too few already are: looking inward and blaming themselves for their own bigotry and intolerance toward the right, and toward the ignored minority of working-class Rust Belters who ultimately made the difference in tilting just the right states Trump’s way. Unsolicited advice: for your own sake, liberals, listen to those few who have a clue what really went wrong and what to do about it.
For starters, you can find no clearer voice than Nicholas Kristof in this remarkably introspective and brilliant column. Take note, too, it may be the only time I ever compliment Kristof on anything. Then take heed and understand what he is trying to tell you! The fact that a majority of left-wing academics in one peer-reviewed study would engage in overt religious discrimination in hiring (a Federal crime, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964!) should go against everything for which “progressivism” has struggled; yet there is the cancer, right in liberalism’s own gut.
When just one single Princeton faculty member and a janitor contributed to the Romney campaign in 2012. So much for “diversity” on campus. Is it any wonder the “intellectual elite” is seen as distant, detached, unrealistic, insular, ivory-tower, and (ironically) ignorant? Complain about that perception all you want, but it exists for a reason. Fix that reason.
Then given the often ferocious pro-Hillary partisanship involved, the condescension, dismissiveness, and glib invalidation of others’ concerns are but a mild terms for how the media behaved leading up to this election! This column, also from the left, offers motivation to return to balance, impartiality and treating opponents like they are worth hearing. As the author rightly alludes, the left has been masterful at preaching empathy but wretched at practicing it with regard to the right, evangelical Christians, and poor whites. Fair-use excerpt:
Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid. It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. … We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. … That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line.
Clearly the Trump voters (and again, I was not one) did not react as desired by the left when told to shut up and get in line. Instead they turned out en masse, motivated as never before, to install a President even less qualified than Barack Obama (something I thought impossible eight years ago).
These ladies have a point. Remember, I did not vote for Trump. Yet I sympathize with the plight of the great majority of those who did, who are non-racist, non-sexist, who just want to have a better life, who don’t want government interference in their personal and business issues, nor Federal theft of their hard-earned wages to subsidize sinful causes and waste and bureaucratic inefficiencies. I don’t think Trump will provide that, but after the last eight years of a failed radical-left-wing Presidential experiment, the most extreme leftism this nation has known in the White House, I don’t blame Trump voters for their desperation.
For all of these corrective behaviors and nuggets of wisdom directed by a minority of seeing leftists toward their foaming brethren, my expectations that they have turned a leaf and will seek compromise with the right are low, given life experience and given the deep-seated core of anti-conservative resentment simmering or boiling (see above) from so much off the blue side of the sociopolitical spectrum. This includes the anti-conservative bigotry that motivates false-flag crimes and hate-crime hoaxes framed to look like they came from the “right”.
An election was won or lost, depending on your perspective — or mine from the third-party view, where we lost regardless. Yet life does go on. Get over it. Grow a thicker skin. Acquire a sense of humor. Enjoy the entertainment as your favorite pundits trample all over Trump and his surrogates for their buffoonery, tomfoolery and general ineptitude. Most importantly, get about improving your nation and loving your neighbor (even if it means tough love). Don’t just say stuff on social media, actually spend a chunk of your life to serve your society and country in some way.
The final chapter of this series of essays will cover select state (Oklahoma) and local (Norman-area) ballot selections and their implications.