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Is Liberals’ Vanity Stronger Than Their Misery?

A reader writes:

So this is really happening:

https://newrepublic.com/article/138624/hillary-clintons-celebrity-feminism-failure [1]

The New Republic says Clinton failed because nobody cares about Katy Perry and Lena Dunham, and they just want MORE progressive policies. Minimum wage!

The article seems to say that the only thing wrong with the Democrats’ appeal is that it wasn’t more economically based. While there is a lot of truth to that, it leaves unaddressed the possibility that the multicultural identity politics that liberals suck on like crack pipes had a lot to do with their loss.

The reader comments:

Maybe she’s right about the economic security. But she doesn’t even consider that there might be tension between the goals of economic and cultural progressivism. That you can be FOR a higher minimum wage but AGAINST wangs in the girls locker room. And that some people might choose to forego the wangs even if it means foregoing the wage.

The worldview is so obvious to them that they cannot even imagine that union members might object to mass, unfettered, low skill immigration on logical grounds. And it cannot imagine seeking such voters because they are guilty of the only sin there is: BIIIGGGOOTTT!!!

Because to even consider the question is to commit that sin themselves.

Seems to me that they forced conservatives to collapse on marriage, but then moved all too quickly to the trans thing, insisting against all logic that these are exactly the same, even though many in the LGBT community don’t see it that way. Worse, they forced all legitimate questions into the closet, then were shocked when people chose to lie to pollsters rather that risking cultural pariah status.

And now, their solution is… more progressivism!!

Trans is to Obamaism what tax cuts became for Reaganism.

Legit issue! But when you refuse to accept victory and demand annihilation instead, you get Trump instead. Just like Reaganites spawned Obama.

This clip from the liberal philosopher Richard Rorty’s 1998 book Achieving America has been going around. I found it in Jedediah Purdy’s new piece in Jacobin [2], but it’s been bouncing around all year in various versions:

Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are heading into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments. Edward Luttwak, for example, has suggested that fascism may be the American future. The point of his book The Endangered American Dream is that members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers—themselves desperately afraid of being downsized—are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for—someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. A scenario like that of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here may then be played out. For once a strongman takes office, nobody can predict what will happen. In 1932, most of the predictions made about what would happen if Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor were wildly overoptimistic.

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words “nigger” and “kike” will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

There are two interesting things about this passage. The first, obviously, is Rorty’s foresight (which is to say, Luttwak’s) about wages, outsourcing, and politics. The second is Rorty’s moralistic blindness about cultural issues. He reminds me here of those rightist nuts who couldn’t tell the difference between Obamaism and Marxism. This is not analysis on Rorty’s part; it’s hysteria. Thing is, Rorty was not a talk-radio ranter, but one of the most influential American philosophers of the second half of the 20th century. Roger Scruton’s summary of Rorty’s legacy is revealing:

Undoubtedly he was the most lucid of the postmodernist philosophers – though that is, given the competition, no great achievement. And undoubtedly he added, in his thoughts about contingency and irony, a real insight into a peculiarly postmodern way of thinking. However I believe that the concept of truth is fundamental to human discourse, that it is the precondition of any genuine dialogue, and that real respect for other people requires an even greater respect for truth. I therefore cannot go along with what seems to me, whenever I encounter it, to be a wholly specious and even cheap way of arguing, which Rorty typified and indeed perfected. Rorty was paramount among those thinkers who advance their own opinion as immune to criticism, by pretending that it is not truth but consensus that counts, while defining the consensus in terms of people like themselves.

What it reveals is the sanctimony with which many liberals cloak their epistemic closure on cultural issues. It never seems to occur to people like Rorty that people who disagree with them on cultural matters might be anything other than bigots. It leads them to assume, completely without warrant, that America is a seething cauldron of hatred kept from boiling over only by a heavy lid controlled by the sure hand of liberal authority. When they construe the rest of the world in that way, they cannot help but misread it, and impute evil to those who don’t share their strict views. They end up only having a conversation with themselves, because they have so stigmatized anyone to their right that they both don’t want to listen, and make the price of dissent so high that dissenters end up keeping their mouths shut for fear of losing their jobs or their positions.

On this point, Frank Rich Bruni (of all people!) is one liberal who seems willing to take a lesson from this week’s stunning vote [3]:

Other factors conspired in the party’s debacle. One in particular haunts me. From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused.

Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob. Never mind that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t themselves onboard just five short years ago.

Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity that may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. It’s a handmaiden to smugness and sanctimony, undermining its own goals.

I worry about my and my colleagues’ culpability along these lines. I plan to use greater care in how I talk to and about Americans more culturally conservative than I am. That’s not a surrender of principle or passion. It’s a grown-up acknowledgment that we’re a messy, imperfect species.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has documented that conservatives understand the liberal mind better than liberals understand the conservative mind [4]. The basic reason is that liberals generally interpret all moral action in terms of Care and Fairness. Thus when conservatives think or behave in ways that violate what liberals believe is the Caring and Fair thing to have done, they can only figure that this is because conservatives Don’t Care and Aren’t Fair. In fact, Haidt says, there are other things going on in conservative moral reasoning, but liberals who strictly adhere to the Care/Fairness standards blind themselves to them.

This week’s vote shows what can happen when you do that. Robby Soave, a young editor at Reason magazine, showed no mercy in laying into the politically correct for Trump’s victory. [5] Excerpts:

The segment of the electorate who flocked to Trump because he positioned himself as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness” think it means this: smug, entitled, elitist, privileged leftists jumping down the throats of ordinary folks who aren’t up-to-date on the latest requirements of progressive society.

Example: A lot of people think there are only two genders—boy and girl. Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe they should change that view. Maybe it’s insensitive to the trans community. Maybe it even flies in the face of modern social psychology. But people think it. Political correctness is the social force that holds them in contempt for that, or punishes them outright.

If you’re a leftist reading this, you probably think that’s stupid. You probably can’t understand why someone would get so bent out of shape about being told their words are hurtful. You probably think it’s not a big deal and these people need to get over themselves. Who’s the delicate snowflake now, huh? you’re probably thinking. I’m telling you: your failure to acknowledge this miscalculation and adjust your approach has delivered the country to Trump.


This is akin to the political-correctness-run-amok problem: both are examples of the left’s horrible over-reach during the Obama years. The leftist drive to enforce a progressive social vision was relentless, and it happened too fast. I don’t say this because I’m opposed to that vision—like most members of the under-30 crowd, I have no problem with gender neutral pronouns—I say this because it inspired a backlash that gave us Trump.

My liberal critics rolled their eyes when I complained about political correctness. I hope they see things a little more clearly now. The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly. It punished them for not being woke enough. It called them racists. It said their video games were sexist. It deployed Lena Dunham to tell them how horrible they were. Lena Dunham [6]!

Soave goes on to say that Trump appealed to lots of people who were told by the left that they didn’t have a right to speak their minds, because he was not afraid to speak his. Read the entire Soave column. [5] It’s important.

It’s hard to know whether there will be much soul searching within left-wing institutions around this question, and subsequent reform. This remarkable post-election editorial in the Harvard Crimson [7]calling for on the university to make “ideological diversity” a priority is a welcome sign. I can’t help being skeptical of the imaginative capabilities of most liberal institutions, though. Universities, newspapers, and political parties are not churches, but the people who run them think of them as institutional forms of secular religion (though the last people in the world to realize that are their leaders). Forgive the irony of this analogy, then, but the liberal clerisy has just had a political version of the Ninety-Five Theses nailed to their wooden backsides by the American voter.

One last thing: don’t be fooled by the fact that the GOP is triumphant today. This is not the GOP of the Bush family and the Republican establishment. Trump destroyed that, and he was able to do so because it had rotted from within — mostly because its own religiously-held ideology blinded it to the discontent its policies caused for many of the people within its own base. And don’t be fooled by the fact that the candidate supported by many on the old Religious Right is going to be president. Donald Trump is not a moral or religious conservative, did not campaign as one, and is not likely to govern as one. The Religious Right did not win the culture war. To be opposed to political correctness is not the same thing as being a social conservative. Trump is right-wing, which is not the same thing as conservatism. Milo Yiannopoulos is the real face of Trumpism. Ralph Reed and all the old school Religious Right folks are just along for the ride, whether they know it or not.

It all goes back to the wisdom spoken by Don Fabrizio in The Leopard, about his countrymen: “The Sicilians never want to improve for the simple reason that they think themselves perfect; their vanity is stronger than their misery… .”

94 Comments (Open | Close)

94 Comments To "Is Liberals’ Vanity Stronger Than Their Misery?"

#1 Comment By Joe_the_Programmer On November 13, 2016 @ 10:50 am

We needed a Nelson Mandela, but since a third term for Obama wasn’t possible (and he was only about 35% of a Mandela, anyway), we got a Donald Trump. The US and South Africa, two ships passing in the night.

#2 Comment By Susan On November 13, 2016 @ 10:51 am

Liberal progressive Democrats’ vanity is stronger than their misery. When they lose, their mockery turns to patronizing condescension. It won’t work on Trump’s middle-, lower-class voters IF the Republican congress quickly acts to create work for…e.g., unemployed coal miners. If some mines reopened, it would go a long way.

#3 Comment By Laurelhurst On November 13, 2016 @ 10:53 am

Rod, here’s how it looks from a Deep Blue state. What’s happening is the mirror image of what happened in the GOP in 2012, only worse. Lots of people on the Left are thinking that Obama should have spent more time on jobs and less on, say, bathroom equality in public schools. But you can’t say that on Facebook! You will be accused of throwing trans folk under the bus.

It’s not far-fetched to argue that Dems got way out in front of public sentiment, but you can’t say that in polite company because Black Lives Matter, trans rights, feminists etc. are part of the big coalition.

Unfortunately, this coalition is not a real political alliance, because these groups can’t turn out voters. Feminists can’t turn out female voters, BLM can’t turn out Black voters, etc. These groups are practically useless but politically important within the Dem coalition, so it cannot be discussed. I think it will take a long time to get past this quandary — the Dem elite will not allow this coalition to break down, even if it means taking a dive in the 2018 elections too. That’s probably guaranteed anyway.

[NFR: I hope you’ll believe me when I say that I’m genuinely sorry to hear this. You’ve been reading me long enough to know how much I despise PC, and how I’ve been saying for a long time that the identity politics of the left call up and legitimize the same on the right. If the ideological conformity of liberals prevents them even from voicing self-criticism, the commissars are only ensuring defeat. On the right, we saw something similar after Bush, with regard to Iraq. It was such a stunning (and, if you ask me, refreshing) moment in the South Carolina GOP debate in January when Trump blasphemed by saying the Iraq War had been a bad idea, and Bush was to blame for it. Think about how crazy it is that it took nearly 13 years after the start of that war for this to be stated in polite Republican society. That inability for the party to deal with its own failures paved the way for Trump. Anyway, on the problem you on the left face, you (not *you* personally, of course) have talked yourself into this way of thinking and talking about politics, in which everything is maximally moralized. As you say, to think in purely strategic terms about whether BLM or the trans movement have made mistakes is to show your own insensitivity. Therefore, you shut up rather than be shouted down. This is the essence of political correctness and how deadly it is to reasoned discussion and debate. — RD]

#4 Comment By Lllurker On November 13, 2016 @ 11:20 am

RD: “I’ve experienced the same thing at times as a person of the right trying to engage these talk-radio folks. But if you think hero-worshiping a media personality and treating them as fonts of inarguable political wisdom is solely a right-wing problem, let me introduce you to Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert… . Point is, the problem you’re talking about is broader and deeper than left vs. right.”

I have to disagree, at least to some extent. What has happened on the right is that everyone has been trained to scrutinize media bias, to dwell on media bias, to feel like it is a worthy accomplishment to spot media bias. Meanwhile no one is scrutinizing their (psuedo) news sources for truth. And I mean no one.

So what you end up with is this box set of easily internalized talking points — emotionalized talking points — that are often based on falsities. An example that pops to mind is the source of the big federal debt that we now have. I hear it attributed to: Obamacare, other new giant left wing social programs, “Obamaphones” and the like. Or it’s attributed to TARP or an explosive growth in the size of the federal government over the last 8 years. (Of course some of it actually is from TARP.) But try to explain to “these people” that deficit spending was virtually gone by the end of the 90’s, and that the lions share of the new debt that has accrued since then is the natural downstream result of the tax cuts in the early aughts and the unfunded wars. But oh no that can’t possibly be true! Because:
a) “It contradicts what my outrage “news” source told me.”
b) It is heretical to even consider the thought that cutting taxes could cause deficit spending (!)
c) “Those figures you have are from the MSM so they must be biased.” (I’ve actually heard that by the way. Apparently even figures can no longer be judged on their accuracy, just their “bias”)

Again, not the greatest of examples, but my point is that due to the love given to the media personalities there is no scrutiny of facts, and no willingness to do so, even though the revered talking points are often based on complete fallacies.

On the left I don’t see that as much. Yes there certainly is the nutty fringe and more than enough BS, and there are gobs of misleading websites. But I find it is possible to actually discuss real world issues based on real world facts. And when there is a disagreement on underlying facts there isn’t the extreme defensiveness and dismissiveness that I get from the right. I generally see a willingness to go back and look to the original source and scrutinize things. The arbiter of the accuracy of the “fact” doesn’t have to be some Outrage Jockey’s talking point.

To circle back to where this started I believe _this_ is the dominant stereotype of the right. Certainly there is always a suspicion that race animus lies there too, especially when you just cannot find any logic or reality undergirding a person’s views, you end up wondering “what is this guy really telling me?” But first you have to wade through the other and by then the stereotype of “close minded ignorance” is already in place. (In my own view it isn’t so much ignorance or a lack of information, it’s usually, as I indicated, a state of being stubbornly misinformed.)

[NFR: You are correct that this is a problem on the Right. There’s a good video somewhere on the Internet of Tucker Carlson confronting a CPAC (I think) audience about this problem we have. I would only ask you, though, to be mindful of the fact that what presents itself as neutral reporting and analysis — MSM stuff — is often more biased than someone on the left might think. This is especially true when it comes to reporting on social and cultural issues. — RD]

#5 Comment By Mitchell On November 13, 2016 @ 11:25 am

I haven’t voted for a Republican for president since 1988 (I was an R in the 70s-80s). I stayed out of the 2012 election and did not vote at all. This Reagan Democrat went for Trump easily. His stance on trade and immigration are far closer to where we need to be IMO than Hillary. I had nothing personal against Hillary. That said, the three things, in order of priority that made me vote against her were:

1) I felt she was incompetent as Secretary of State and felt she had bad judgement. This worried me about future foreign policy screw ups. This was an existential threat to me.

2) Her status quo stance on trade, immigration and globalism worried me. Her election would have been a green light to employers to continue the same old policies of outsourcing, offshoring, etc. with no second thoughts. This was an economic threat to me.

3) Importantly, but down the list was the perpetuation and encouragement of the latest nonsense in academia and the media. This wouldn’t have been a threat to me, per se, but this absurdity does grate on the nerves.

#6 Comment By l’autre J On November 13, 2016 @ 11:50 am

It’s hard to know whether there will be much soul searching within left-wing institutions around this question, and subsequent reform.

Why would they? The Right poked the Left-liberal bear very unkindly and now he’s awake and angry for the next four years.

The bear- post 1968 liberal cultural support- knows that it’s up to 48% of the society in 48 years. In the summer/fall of 2018 it likely becomes an absolute majority. In the fall of 2020 it won’t be humored by conservatives of any stripe. It knows its strength now.

Between 2011 and 2016 what one might term Christian culture stopped being a cultural majority. This was noted very explicitly on this blog. At present the cultural and political center, the 50%+1st vote in both, is held by what seems to be a 5%ish, maybe a little larger, portion of the population which is meaningfully neither religious nor liberal, to the contrary even, and somewhat nuts. Donald Trump is the President of their period at the center.

Governancewise it all looks and feels a lot like after the 2004 election. Most of the mandate from the 2016 election is likewise to not do much that is different- it is pretty status quo- and seems largely to be retroactive licensing of dysfunctional policies and bad behavior by Republicans during the Obama years. It’s setting up the currently dominant variety of Republican politicians to overreach their small mandate, with the electoral guillotine waiting. Who the American People would like to destroy, they vote into control of Congress.

The retention of Senate majority contains probably the one clear policy mandate from this election- the Right gets the open Supreme Court seat. But the narrowness of the Senate split and Democratic gains, and the nearing full cultural tipping point, suggests only a moderate will get through. IOW, no Scalia.

In any case the appointment likely puts the decisions in major controversies back into the hands of the erratic Anthony Kennedy. Who is 80 years old and amounts to probably the last of a species at extinction, the conservative Democrat, in any position of nationwide import.

#7 Comment By Shane On November 13, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

“Yes, that’s exactly the kind of conservative writer I am: nothing but a rationalizer for everything the right does. You’ve caught on well. — RD”

Oh, I’m aware of your pretenses and the role you try to play here. But this about the 100th column you’ve written describing the cultural wars as entirely the fault of SJW’s, as if the GOP hasn’t been inciting and benefiting from this stuff as well for decades.

And I’m not even saying these criticisms are entirely unfair either. But the left did not nominate and then elect Donald Trump. Your side did that and your side will own him.

#8 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 13, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

“Because when the smug, morally self-satisfied left points at you and screams RACIST!!!, the alt-right says – See what they think of you.”

Jared Taylor seems to be too clever by half. Propagating part of the truth doesn’t make his whole narrative true.

Yes I’ve been called names, but that doesn’t make me internalize what they accuse me of.

#9 Comment By jim sleeper On November 13, 2016 @ 1:26 pm

I don’t know who commenter David B. is, but I must challenge him to produce any evidence that I have ever been outspoken in defense of restrictions on speech or of safe spaces. In an essay, “The Coddling of the Conservative Mind,” — [8] — I’ve offered a summary of campus conservatives’ own very long history of intellectual coddling, safe-space maintenance, and restrictions on speech in colleges. Perhaps David B. misconstrued this summary as a defense of such practices.

I’ve also regretted many conservatives’ abandonment of a longstanding conservative principle (which I endorse) that what the Constitution rightly protects in free speech, civil society rightly moderates — a necessary contradiction that relies on the exercise of self-restraint (not of state or corporate restriction), because we understand the a “free-for-all” rapidly degenerates into a cacaphony that becomes a senseless free-for none. I made that argument in this short column responding to postings about campus demonstrations in Reason, National Review, and conservative websites:

It also needs saying that the the more prominent that writers such Rod Dreher and Robby Soave become as exponents of American conservative wisdom, the worse it will be for conservatism of almost any variety..

#10 Comment By Steve On November 13, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

“liberals don’t need to win over everyone who voted for Trump. If Clinton–a historically unpopular candidate–had moved a handful of voters in PA/WI/MI with a more economically focused message, we’d be talking about how the GOP was in meltdown.

There’s no good reason to believe that the liberals need to give up on an approach that has won the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 elections and won outright 4 of the last 7. Do liberals need to do a better job of appealing to downscale white voters, particularly in the upper midwest? Sure. Can they probably do that just by campaigning there and focusing on pocketbook issues? There’s plenty of reason to think that would be perfectly sufficient.”
For all the hysteria about what a bad candidate Clinton was and how out-of-touch the Democrats are, Clinton is (as of this writing) still beating Trump in the popular vote, 60.97 million to 60.33 million. In the states that really turned the election, Trump only beat (again, as of this writing) Clinton by 27,000 votes in Wisconsin and by 12,000 votes in Michigan. And yet, the pundits (many of whom were saying on Monday that Trump could never win) are now saying that the Democrats need to move away totally from whatever it was that garnered nearly 61 million votes for Hillary Clinton.

I’ve written on another thread on this blog that the Democrats have real problems. But hyper-political correctness is not the only one and may not even be the most important one. Turnout is a problem for Democrats as is the distribution of its vote. Running up huge margins in states like California (2.7 million) and New York (1.5 million) is an inefficient distribution of its vote.

Here’s another interesting thing: Clinton outperformed Obama’s 2012 vote total in Texas by 560,000 votes — the best Democratic performance in Texas in decades. (In contrast, Trump only improved on Romney by 112,000 votes.) Who are these half million voters and what led them to vote for Hillary Clinton? Was it an anti-Trump vote? Or did Clinton’s message resonate? Or is it a case of slowly changing demographics? (Or maybe a combination of all three.) Before the Democrats go jettisoning their strategies (on the advice of very fallible pundits), they had better know exactly what they’re jettisoning and whether or not people actually liked it.

As for the Republicans, I might be more than a little nervous that Clinton ran so well in Texas (as she did in Arizona). She also won Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. A future belt of blue states running from Houston to San Francisco is not in the realm of impossibilities.

Finally, I already feel like the Republicans are overreaching with Pence and Ryan acting like the Trump Presidency will be a Trump Regency and conservatives talking about amendments to the Constitution.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 13, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

Lots of people on the Left are thinking that Obama should have spent more time on jobs and less on, say, bathroom equality in public schools. But you can’t say that on Facebook! You will be accused of throwing trans folk under the bus.

What’s wrong with (politically) throwing trans folk under the bus? They have a medical diagnosis, that does not make them an oppressed minority.

In my experience, with a very limited circle of Facebook friends over a matter of only a few months trying it out, those most emotionally committed to Hillary and most distraught over Trump are the same ones who post (using the standard bathroom pictograph symbols) that if you have the equipment of a man and you follow my daughter into a women’s restroom you’re going to need to use a restroom for people with disabilities for the rest of your life.

(Yes, mostly this combination is found among people of African descent.)

If you have to “scrutinize the depths of your heart” to figure it out, then no, you are not a racist. To suggest otherwise may be good for full employment in the hand-holding and counseling services industry, but its sanctimonious horse manure.

I do predict massive disillusion among Trump voters within six months. From the reporting on what reporters glean is going on in the transition team, we’re going to have traditional Wall Street types running the economy, someone for attorney general who will crack down hard on states that have legalized marijuana (which I rather expect a lot of down home Trump voters are smoking and a wide variety of states have voted for), and he definitely won’t be creating any jobs.

#12 Comment By MRG On November 13, 2016 @ 2:58 pm

Stay at Home Wife: You nailed an important piece of the puzzle. I was also about to respond to the post you noted, although from a slightly different standpoint.

Aside from the general disdain poured on non-elites by people who think they should be singing Sunday spirituals, wearing serapes, and calling each other “zir,” don’t forget the specific examples.

Early in the Obama years, I made the mistake of criticizing his trade policy. And that made me a big ole’ racist according to my interlocutor. Being a slow learner, it took about 99 more times of this to figure out the Obama couldn’t be criticized for anything, no matter how principled the disagreement. He was black and he was right. End of discussion.

And I remember thinking: these folks will eventually overplay their hand so much by shutting down legitimate criticism of Obama that: 1) real instances of racism will be come to be ignored as mere political disagreement; and 2) people will stop caring what they’re called. I don’t know if number one has happened, but for number two ……… Welcome, my fellow racists, to Trump’s America. Have a seat and let’s discuss trade.

#13 Comment By VikingLS On November 13, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

” Clinton is set to win the popular vote by a far larger number than Gore did in 2000. ”

Which as a fraction of a percent is largely meaningless, and you know it.

Of course the country is divided. It’s less than a week after a presidential election, there has been no event or reason that would would unite us. You’re one of the agents of division, probably I am too.

#14 Comment By Donald On November 13, 2016 @ 4:56 pm

I was puzzled by Sleeper’s potshot at Rod. Lord knows I have my problems with some of Rod’s views, but he is at least somewhat self critical, which is rare on any part of the political spectrum and Rod acknowledges much of the stupidity on the right.

This is not meant as a suck up– I get angry at Rod fairly often and while his criticisms of the left in the last few days are accurate in many respects, it is starting to get very one sided. Shane has a point there. But we lefties should hope most conservatives start reading Rod or people like him. On Iraq, for instance, we should all welcome skepticism of our imperial ventures from whatever corner they come from. Where Rod s wrong he is probably wrong with most Christian conservatives.

#15 Comment By Rebecca On November 13, 2016 @ 5:27 pm

Fran, I think you miss Jared’s and my point. Of course no one is forced to become a racist by being called one over and over. But it’s a real psychological effect recognized and even overplayed by the left in many other situations– it’s why criminals are now “justice-involved individuals.” But in this one instance, somehow, they think being called out over and over will actually turn the racists into non-racists? Or just shame them into silence, more likely.

#16 Comment By Intelliwriter On November 13, 2016 @ 5:33 pm

The right-wing is already overreaching. Watch for wave elections in 18 and 20. And so it goes…we go back and forth between the parties praying for a miracle. After 8 years of pure obstruction from the GOP, I doubt the left will be in much of a forgiving mood. The question then becomes: Who offers the first olive branch. If Trump does that, he could possibly make a difference. Based on the people he’s surrounding himself with, I’d say it’s highly unlikely.

#17 Comment By Chinese Democracy On November 13, 2016 @ 6:36 pm

The overreach spoken of here became clear to me during the eruption over the trans bathroom debacle. I believe transgender Americans should be able to use the bathroom corresponding to their identity. I work with a transwoman. I can guarantee you it will cause far less upset and disruption to simply allow her to use the ladies’ room than to force her into the men’s room. Those who believe this is an invitation for men to enter women’s restrooms and commit indecent acts should be aware that sexual assault is already a criminal offense. Allowing trans people some modicum of dignity does nothing to change that.

But I also felt that a blanket pronouncement from the federal government was the wrong way to handle this. Instead of having this conversation at the local level, where I believe people like you could have been persuaded to understand this issue from the other side, it created a backlash.

I come from one of the counties that had an incredibly dramatic swing toward the Democratic Party in this election. It went from being a truly 50/50 purple county to one that Hillary carried by double digits and that voted every Republican in county-level government out of office. It is a county that is roughly one third white and one third Hispanic, with blacks and Asians making up the rest. I know people who are afraid they or their relatives will be deported. I know Muslim women who are afraid to wear a headscarf in public.

So I’d ask you to remember that if Donald Trump’s America was tired of New York Times writers they never read and celebrities they never follow calling them racists and bigots, the people in my America now feel like they are being told they cannot even exist in this country. That’s something you and the Donald Trump voters have never experienced and never will have to experience, no matter who is in office.

#18 Comment By Leah On November 13, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

Honestly, I think that if a liberal accepts and supports their new president, I have no problem. Like it or not, we need both parties. One to build up business, the other to spread it around. Unfortunately that wasn’t even discussed this election, the candidates personal lives were too awful that it became the main focus. I really don’t think it was due to political views but rather to them preferring a liar to a buffoon. Next time around, I really hope that we have valid options on both sides, as that would mean trump was a good president, but we still have another option if he does something controversial. Anyways, God bless America! Bye.

#19 Comment By Michael Guarino On November 13, 2016 @ 7:45 pm

…Anyway, on the problem you on the left face, you (not *you* personally, of course) have talked yourself into this way of thinking and talking about politics, in which everything is maximally moralized. As you say, to think in purely strategic terms about whether BLM or the trans movement have made mistakes is to show your own insensitivity.

I have made this point previously, but the Left doesn’t just have a moralism problem, they have managed to become moralistic about moralism. Call it higher-order hypermoralism. That is effectively what political correctness is, a set of norms about which norms can be held and expressed. This is a profoundly foolish move from a philosophical standpoint, you can generate self-referential contradictions, or what we see more often is the application of higher order moralism contradicts an obvious object level moral imperative (like when people discuss enforcement of immigration restrictions as being “insensitive”).

There is no way to tease this out, because higher order moralism is at root bullsh!t. It connects to no moral intuition. But you can keep it going as a purely academic exercise, which the Left finds itself in.

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 13, 2016 @ 8:41 pm

Early in the Obama years, I made the mistake of criticizing his trade policy. And that made me a big ole’ racist according to my interlocutor. Being a slow learner, it took about 99 more times of this to figure out the Obama couldn’t be criticized for anything, no matter how principled the disagreement. He was black and he was right. End of discussion.

Funny… I live on the north side of Milwaukee, and I’ve been criticizing President Obama almost since his first year in office. The only one who reproached me about it was my mother, the Republican in the family, who found it dismissively laughable that everyone and anyone (including me) thought they were in a position to give advice to the President of the United States. Most people of African descent I know have criticisms of President Obama, and aren’t shy about saying so. They don’t object to hearing the same from people of lighter skin shades either.

(Oh, I’ve got it… maybe “white liberals” don’t like to hear fellow “white liberals” criticize Our First Black President, and therefore label all criticism racist. Well, that’s what you get for hanging out with a bunch of white liberals.)

#21 Comment By Michelle On November 13, 2016 @ 9:19 pm

Of course the country is divided. It’s less than a week after a presidential election, there has been no event or reason that would would unite us. You’re one of the agents of division, probably I am to.

The country was divided long before the election. Even the crisis of 9/11 served to unite us only briefly before we separated into warring factions again. When you have the stark choice between candidates presented by this election and they split those voters who bothered to show up 50-50 with a small percentage going for third-party candidates, you have a country without much in the way of unifying culture.

As for being an agent of division–sure. Why not? I will respect the results of the election, but I cannot respect a charlatan like Trump, who’s just pulled off the biggest con in a long career of cons. President-elect Pussy Grabber is not an honorable man and winning the presidency doesn’t make him one.

[NFR: The country is hugely divided. Trump won, but he didn’t win in a landslide. Had a relative handful of votes gone the other way, we would be talking today about the GOP in disarray, etc. The next four years are going to be incredibly divisive … but they would have been under President H.R. Clinton too. That’s where we are as a nation. — RD]

#22 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 13, 2016 @ 9:31 pm

“But in this one instance, somehow, they think being called out over and over will actually turn the racists into non-racists? Or just shame them into silence, more likely.”

Since the real racists don’t have any shame, the effect is to silence those who aren’t racists at all, which is why the polls were wrong. People weren’t willing to tell those who have been calling them racist their voting intentions publically.

From the rioting in Portland, it appears that many of the most violent protestors, even if white themselves, are racist, according to the many signs saying “F— Whites” and “F— the Pigs.”

There’s no conversation possible with these hateful “Love Trumps Hate” types.

#23 Comment By Cascadian On November 14, 2016 @ 12:20 am

The country is divided. There is not a shared culture to rely on. The country is too large, populated and at odds to function politically. If a moment can be found where we can all part if not as friends, at least without severe animosity, we should take it.

#24 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 14, 2016 @ 12:55 am

Gee Rod you’ve come to the attention of Salon’s Jim Sleeper, and you’re in his sights as being a danger – he says, to conservatism, as if he cared to help it – but what he really means as an extreme “progressive” SJW partisan is that you represent a threat to them. Congrats – you must be doing something right.

“It also needs saying that the the more prominent that writers such Rod Dreher and Robby Soave become as exponents of American conservative wisdom, the worse it will be for conservatism of almost any variety.”

[NFR: Jim Sleeper teaches at Yale and falls all over himself to defend political correctness from its critics. Yawn. — RD]

#25 Comment By Treehugger On November 14, 2016 @ 7:32 am

“However I believe that the concept of truth is fundamental to human discourse, that it is the precondition of any genuine dialogue, and that real respect for other people requires an even greater respect for truth.”

I love this, because it seems to get at the heart of the debate over “political correctness.” I am only slowly coming to understand what that term even means—probably because I’ve been guilty of it. I saw it as a label people would spit out when they didn’t want to think about the experience of other people. (The irony). I can see it now, though I am sorting it out. Or, I should say, I hear something *true* in both perspectives, which I didn’t used to. Concerning the quote (and here comes my inner post-modernist), one can just as easily define “truth” in terms of themselves as they can “consensus.” A lot of cultural studies and the humanities is about “problematizing” how we come to understand what is true—to see the power dynamics at play and to recognize the normative implications issuing from different perspectives. I believe this to be a valuable aspect of critical thinking. But one loses an openness to truth if this mode becomes total—the notion that all that exists are competing, normative narratives, and that pure thinking and the highest morality means divesting of all biases (in a way this is a concept of truth in the negative, a hollowing out). The worst thing one can do from this perspective is fail to be inclusive, fail to see the inherent egalitarian value in any worldview, except one that itself fails to do so. (And, implicitly, even one that fails still counts, if it is traditionally marginalized or minority, because fairness dictates for equal representation of those truth claims among the “dominant” ones). This way of thinking often realizes the contradiction that what tolerance can’t tolerate is intolerance—but still has a blind-spot in that it presumes to know what “intolerance” means and looks like in all circumstances and feels wholly justified in rejecting it. It misses the true insight in this contradiction, namely the potential for epistemic closure, the tendency to * stop listening,* to lose one’s ability to hear and perceive the truth in different circumstances. Similarly, it often presumes to know better than those it purportedly speaks for.

Still, what PC tends to take as its causes are not merely academic, but have real people and real experience at the heart of them—people who face violence and indignity and diminished opportunities. The morality underlying what can take form as “PC” is one that seeks to speak the plight of the marginalized and unaccepted, and one that has made a positive difference in different contexts. The quest of PC is visibility, to draw attention, the hope being that the more we see intentional and unintentional mistreatment we’ll work to do better. And I’m all for that. I think it is a good and important effort, and I think that morality asks this of us who live in a democracy. But if it can’t engage, with humility and on equal-footing, with the community around it, if its stops listening for what is true, then it is also a quest that risks hypocrisy, arrogance, myopia, condescension, disconnection, and self-parody.

I was squarely confronted with what PC means this year when I found myself in mind-boggling debates on FB threads over whether there were traces of sexism or racism or “privilege” among the Bernie Sanders campaign or its supporters. *Puhleeeaassssse!!* Why are we even talking about this?? That’s when I got what PC is, and when it jumped the shark for me.

And it’s true—it’s impossible to speak of it in liberal circles. Even now, a popular debate on the left is whether Clinton lost because of racism/sexism or economics—and it’s those who are sure it’s the former that not only provoke the debate but frame it as a binary. Noting a multitude of factors is to commit the sin of racism/sexist. The implication being that if we assure ourselves it was racism/sexism, the we can keep on doing what we’re doing, no further reflection necessary, because it’s “them” and not “us” and we shouldn’t cater to bigotry.

I hope we can get over it, there is much work to do, and for the moment, I’m in the wilderness.

#26 Comment By Brooklyn Blue Dog On November 14, 2016 @ 8:51 am

Dreher at his best. Thank you.

#27 Comment By Phillip On November 14, 2016 @ 9:04 am

Hi Chinese Democracy,

I am genuinely sorry that people near you are so fearful, especially two months before the inauguration.

You may not have heard about it on CNN, but the Governor of New York declared some time ago that people who believe that human life begins at conception are not welcome in his state.

Yes, we get it.

#28 Comment By Gerbby On November 14, 2016 @ 9:11 am

I don’t understand why people on both the left and right think that this election wasn’t about economics. Were we looking at the same electoral map? Clinton barely campaigned in the Rust Belt. She didn’t go to Wisconsin once despite the fact that the blue collar base in the state went for Sanders in the primaries. Michigan, another state Sanders won, she only visited at the very end once polls showed the race would be close. Bill was the only person on her entire staff asking why she wasn’t reaching out to blue collar workers more. She didn’t just call these people deplorabls, her actions show that she thinks of these people as has-beens that aren’t worth politically reaching out to any more.

She didn’t offer blue collar workers any kind of policy. Her VP pick sponsored union-busting legislation. A democratic strategist said the party would gain moderate Republicans in the suburbs to make up for hemorrhaging their blue collar base. Trump somehow understood that the party lines were being redrawn. I don’t think his policy suggestions for the Rust Belt will get them any where, but he showed that he cared enough to consider them, which Hillary couldn’t do.

I do think PC culture played a role as well. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about it, mostly because I fear liberals will double down on the language policing and silencing post-election. But we have to remember it was a very close race, and any one of many factors could have swung it the other way.

[NFR: Of course the election was about economics, but it wasn’t only about economics. Trump was arguably more left-wing on economics than the neoliberal Clinton, but how many cultural liberals would have voted for him on blue-collar grounds? — RD]

#29 Comment By Adam Kolasinski On November 14, 2016 @ 10:15 am

I just read Sleeper’s Salon article. Has anyone else?

To me it seems his article is nothing more than an extremely long-winded exercise in deflection, and can be boiled down to two basic points:

1) Modern leftists are doing to silence non-leftists on campus is no different that what the evil WASPs did in the first half of the 20th century

2) What leftists are doing to silence dissent today pales in comparison to the evil corporations are drowning out all other voices thanks to citizens united.

I’m actually surprised that someone who fancies himself an intellectual, with an appointment at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, could write such drivel with a straight face.

#30 Comment By Laurelhurst On November 14, 2016 @ 11:28 am

Sometimes the situation reminds me of how it was before the American Civil War, two groups, two moralities, not much overlap.

I am really hoping we get “good Trump” and the usual mixed bag from his Presidency. I am worried that the alt-right influence will keep polarizing the country, all the Muslims and Black folks and Hispanics who didn’t vote for him getting angrier and more hard-hearted.Most of those people are not going anywhere, after all.
We’ll all be here in 4 years again, no matter how it goes, but there are better and worse scenarios.

#31 Comment By Traveler On November 14, 2016 @ 11:28 am

“[NFR: “A sizeable portion of Trump voters want WHITE hegemony.” How do you know this? How do you explain places like Elk County, PA, which went for Obama twice, and Trump this time? “Racism!” is not an all-purpose explanation for political outcomes you don’t like. — RD]”

No, “Racism!” is not an all-purpose explanation for political outcomes one doesn’t like, but it doesn’t mean that racism in the U.S. doesn’t exist either. Perhaps the term “White hegemony” doesn’t adequately, or rather precisely, name the hegemony that has usually been promoted when examining American politics, that of WASP assimilationism. Note that while American nativism originates with this cultural group (WASP’s), that other American cultural groups can and do often fly under this banner (Norwegian Americans, let’s say, who are not Anglo-Saxon) is immaterial. But the term “White” does fit in terms of examining competing hegemons which are based along racialist lines (and which more often than not also have cultural nuances)–again, an aspect that cannot be underplayed and nor should it. I think it’s naive on your part Mr. Dreher to ask how this commenter “knows” this. If anybody knows anything about your country’s history, they know this! There is no way anyone could make a sound argument that could ever adequately negate the fact that America has always been about “White” hegemony and all of the cultural implications attached to the word “White”. To deny this is to deny the very history of your own country.

And as for using the existence of Elk Co., PA as the sole refutation of this commenter’s argument is, well, rather thin. Elk Co., PA is but one (1) example. Are there any more Elk Counties out there? Maybe. But the only way of truly knowing is to actually do the research is it not? And once one tallies up the numbers, are they significant, in the end? If they are significant in number, then that would be a sound refutation. But as is, on its own, “But what about Elk Co., PA?!!” is no serious refutation.

I dearly hope that you won’t start back-peddling on Trump, Mr. Dreher. I agree with the commenter who questions your glee in lambasting the liberal reaction. Somehow I don’t think you’d be as disapproving were the tables reversed. But this is mere speculation at this point. It is what it is.

I see that TAC has taken a very clear pro-Trump stance now. I just hope that there’s no pressure to tow the party line to the degree that all objectivity about Trump is thrown out the window.

[NFR: You should be aware that I get exactly zero pressure from the Mothership to write about Trump from any perspective. Daniel Larison and I, as well as Robert VerBruggen, were clear in the TAC symposium that we were not voting for Trump. TAC will continue to be what it has always been: idiosyncratic and independent-minded. That’s how I like it. I’m personally glad to be part of a magazine that features pro-Trump commentary. — RD]

#32 Comment By steveb On November 14, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

Demographics are destiny.

Trumps core voters are dying off.

None of Trumps policies will re-vitalize rural Trump country and make the angry folks feel better, the youth and the motivated see the writing on the wall and will keep leaving. A vast automated and mechanized corporate agribusiness will finish the job of replacing them. They will be free at last.

Republican policies always favor big business and the established elites to a greater extent than democrats. You are not going to be in the group that gets the republican spoils. You will get some token trinkets tossed your way. You get a supreme court that allows you to ban abortion in your state so that you can keep your poor folks from getting one while everyone else goes to a blue state. The other court decisions will be all pro-business. You are an employee, you are not a capitalist.

Your children will probably not want to retire to Florida, your grandchildren will not have the option.

Trump lacks any skills in government, the remnants of the republican establishment is now out there picking over the carcass of the presidency, by the inauguration the only thing he will have left is a nice house and a twitter account that allows him to rant from the bathroom at night.

The security agencies do not trust Trump, they seem to believe him to be unstable for some reason, and what do you think they have been doing to plan for him? Do you think that they have been investigating where all his investment money is coming from? Do you think that all the Russian and Chinese’s money that props him up does not come with a price? It would be a shame if things like that were to get out, why it could be a high crime or misdemeanor.

Now tell me again why the Democrats have to change their strategy?

#33 Comment By Josh On November 14, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

I’m from Western PA. I did what a lot of people form where I’m from did and I moved out to the big city because it was an alienating place. And it’s not overt bigotry that was alienating, but just a practiced indifference.

It is very hard to have any conversations with my family members when race is a factor. They have internalized that being a racist is “bad” so the reflex to any conversation on racial issues is to shut it down. Those conversations get very, very vigorously policed.

I’m no-SJW. My family aren’t alt-right reactionaries. And I know in reverse situations, the exact same policing happens going in the opposite direction. Even still, finding any way of talking about this stuff that doesn’t immediately shove the emotional barometer to unbearable is difficult. I don’t know how to do it. So the conversations don’t happen.

#34 Comment By Brendan from Oz On November 14, 2016 @ 8:31 pm

“The bear- post 1968 liberal cultural support- knows that it’s up to 48% of the society in 48 years. In the summer/fall of 2018 it likely becomes an absolute majority. In the fall of 2020 it won’t be humored by conservatives of any stripe. It knows its strength now. ”

Maybe if you think in terms of race, sexual orientation and the like it will become a majority.

But the real majority is Class – working class, middle-class becoming working class/disposable and the poor who aren’t working. That number is increasing (and will be well over 50% when the robots – who do not vote – take over) and may be learning it still has some strength at the ballot box, if nowhere else.

PC folk who think in terms of race, sexual orientation and gender will always be baffled and infuriated by people of those Identities who vote against the PC Elite.

#35 Comment By SmartiCat On November 14, 2016 @ 9:09 pm

With respects to the Reason article that quoted Bill Maher as “apologizing” for the past rhetoric about the racist linkage between McCain and Romney:

It’s not a secret that the Republican Party has trafficked on white “racial anxieties” (if not out and out racism) since the “Great Realignment” of the 70’s and 80’s of the South and the white working class to the GOP. Ronald Reagan initiated his campaign of “States Rights” in Philadelphia, MS, which “just so happened” to be the setting for racial violence during the Civil Rights era. It was also not inaccurate to frame the rhetoric voiced by McCain’s VP nominee (and since it was *his* nominee he shares some of the responsibility) Sarah Palin in her campaign rallies where she alluded to a “Real America” that was most definitely defined in her supporters’ minds as “White America”, and the eliminationist rhetoric against the “Left” and of course directed at Obama himself as a supposed “Manchurian Candidate” who was the harbinger of the end of “White America”, a sentiment repeated and amplified throughout conservative media post-2008 election and throughout pretty much the duration of the Obama presidency. Romney also pushed the anti-immigration sentiment with the “self deportation” comments, and of course the thinly veiled comments he made in several instances about Black voters wanting “Free Stuff” (to be paid for by White Folks).

Look, the fact is that the GOP has attracted an almost entirely white constituency for years. It’s not “hysteria” or “political correctness” to wonder what it is, exactly, in the GOP platform and messaging that seems so racially divisive in its supporters. Trump did not come out of nowhere, he was more or less the product of years of conservative media and GOP messaging on lines of white racial “anxieties” that came to a head with some other supporting factors.

At the same time, I do agree some aspects of culture and universities need to tone down the absolutist rhetoric going the other direction, and be more accepting and supportive of divergent viewpoints, but that’s not a message that a respectable university needs to accommodate the more extremist rhetoric of conservative talk radio/alt-right sites as an “equal” POV in terms of its legitimacy, or even the dilution of science with religious beliefs.

In other words, yes there’s some room for movement on the issue of absolutist “political correctness” but let’s not pretend there isn’t some basis for it that comes from a long history of “conservatism” and the Right.

#36 Comment By SmartiCat On November 14, 2016 @ 9:18 pm

Just a follow up thought? How, exactly, do Trump supporters believe that a President Trump will “destroy” political correctness? What laws or actions could a President legitimately take, within the bounds of the First Amendment, that would sufficiently curtail political correctness as expressed in quasi-private (or even public) colleges and universities, media and other outlets where supposedly “the left” is suppressing conservative expression? Like his claim that he will end the “War on Christmas” and everyone will be saying “Merry Christmas”.. how?

#37 Comment By Brendan from Oz On November 14, 2016 @ 11:58 pm

“Just a follow up thought? How, exactly, do Trump supporters believe that a President Trump will “destroy” political correctness?”

Start with Media Ownership laws, as indicated in the campaign with the massive corporate conglomerate on the cards. Education policy and funding are also useful, as the SJWs know – agree with us or we de-fund. Don’t employ folk with degrees in Diversity but nothing useful.

It’s a long way back, but the way things were done before global elite mismanagement disrupted everything is obviously possible.

#38 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On November 15, 2016 @ 10:04 am

As someone who’s been a lifelong Democrat who didn’t vote for the Democrat for President for the first time in my life, I pray quietly that the party assimilates this wisdom, but I strongly suspect they will not. It’s too hard; much harder than looking at the popular vote and concluding that nothing really needs to change, we just need to, say, get rid of the electoral college, or push the same policies, ONLY LOUDER THIS TIME.

I’m a socially conservative (increasingly so as I grow older) economic populist; either party could win me over for the long haul moving forward, but only if they change. As it stands, I’ll vote for whoever embraces authentic populism first, starting with anti-trust enforcement actions against banks (especially against banks), cable companies and big pharma. I am cautiously (and probably foolishly) hopeful about the Trump administration, but it has not escaped me that the GOP Congress stands for a very different set of policies than what Trump campaigned on. We’ll see what happens.

#39 Comment By Laurelhurst On November 15, 2016 @ 10:24 am

Not to monopolize the thread with the inner conflict of One random guy, but I forgot to mention that you’ve made a convert, of sorts, Rod. This election and its outcome has convinced me that all the time I spend thinking about politics is mostly wasted. I spent months reading articles by pundits and reporters who were just as ignorant as me. Time to turn away from the circus, which only going to anger and degrade me, and look to my home and neighborhood. Time to read your new book!

#40 Comment By Dustin Etter On November 15, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

The message I got from this is that the Left wishes to more carefully craft their condescension. Sprinkling sugar on …. doesn’t make it taste better.

Modern racism is at root resentment. Its not some belief in the superiority genes. The racial epithets we use are the same, but they represent something different now. They come from manufactured fault lines. Bred by what some perceive as favorable treatment to certain groups. The worst part is, is that the resentment goes both ways. It’s not just race versus race either. It’s trans vs cis. It’s urban vs rural.

Its more culturalism than it is racism.

We can argue against the old racism, but culturalism will be whole new pair of shoes. No amount of repackaging and softening of the Liberal approach will change that.

#41 Comment By SmartiCat On November 15, 2016 @ 9:05 pm

BTW – while you’re reveling in liberal tears, here is what is happening with Your New Republican Government, as the price for “crushing” annoying PC culture:


Yes, Paul Ryan and the Republican Congress plans to make into reality their vision of privatizing Medicare. I can’t recall if that was on the campaign agenda this year or not (hint: not), but I’m pretty sure that the majority of Trump’s voters did not vote for a privatization of Medicare for any age cohort. So yes, enjoy your potential Supreme Court nominee, which may, or may not, result in any changes for “Christian Rights”, or the proverbial Middle Finger at liberals and PC, and more largely a complete and utter fail on Trump’s promise to repatriate jobs (prediction: Trump will sign TPP in addition to not repealing NAFTA!) because what you’re going to get is massive tax cuts for the wealthy accompanied by massive program cuts, particularly to one of the few programs that is universally popular, because it is “universal”, until Paul Ryan gets his hands on it and reshapes it into a voucher for private insurance that fails to keep up with health care cost inflation. For the most expensive to insure market to boot. Ha. It’s actually the worst of Obamacare as while Obamacare was subsidized private insurance it also took into account inflation, and only for a segmented market.

Shall I add that Trump is planning to staff his administration with Wall Street insiders, GWB era neo-cons and lobbyists to boot? So much for “draining the swamp”.. jokes on who?

Votes have consequences, and we are beginning to see what they will be in reality. Sorry white working and middle class. Maybe this will be the shot in the arm you need to pay attention and start actually, ya know, voting your interests for items that actually have legislative solutions versus “principles” and “resentment”. And, oh yes, Republicans and their voters will own this one. 100%. Enjoy!

Side note: This will be the gold plated opportunity given to Democrats to actually revamp their appeal to working and middle class white voters who now will be given stark consequences for their “revolution”, Democrats should not let this slide and instead should dig in and make this a 50 state “universal” campaign against the already failing Trump campaign promises coupled with the non-mandated Republican Congressional priorities.

No “culture war” needed, here is an issue that will surely unite right and left, urban and rural, all races. Take it Dems!

#42 Comment By SmartiCat On November 15, 2016 @ 9:19 pm

RE: Brendan from Oz

Those are minute gestures. The culture of “PC” lives on in media non-executive branch touchable by those measures – how can you force, say, HBO to remove gay friendly content? Or music artists to refrain from GLBT/inclusive messaging in their music? Or Apple Corp from enforcing diversity and inclusion as part of its corporate culture, and using its massive wallet to influence that in the markets? Or Facebook/Twitter/Instagram “rallies” in support of various causes that trend “progressive”? Etc. And popular and social media is much more powerful to public perception than the broadcast news, which, be honest, is pretty vanilla and neutral on these topics.

Higher ed funding, you may have something there. But also be honest, how much does the average person come into contact with the campus culture of the University? I know right wing media loves to blow up occasions of some possible over-blown “sensitivity” movement, but how does that actually translate into the daily life in Peoria?

What I’m saying is the cultural zeitgeist in favor of more progressive views on religion, GLBT, racial politics will live on despite whatever interventions a President Trump can make at the federal level regarding funding. Because these attitudes live outside college campuses and FCC controlled media, even if you were to somehow impact relatively isolated campus culture. What I’m saying is Trump sold a bill of goods on this promise to “crush” PC, because there is actually very little he can do to affect it outside of a popular *cultural* movement (which is not reflected by the electoral college), and the potential is you may have incentivized a more fervent force of PC that will strengthen in reaction to “Trump Culture” given some more concrete observances of anti-minority incidents going on.

#43 Comment By Brendan from Oz On November 16, 2016 @ 8:21 pm

“Those are minute gestures. The culture of “PC” lives on in media non-executive branch touchable by those measures – how can you force, say, HBO to remove gay friendly content? Or music artists to refrain from GLBT/inclusive messaging in their music? Or Apple Corp from enforcing diversity and inclusion as part of its corporate culture, and using its massive wallet to influence that in the markets? …”

Nothing to do with anything I said, which was that it would be a long way back. If education is altered to teach Logic, history and so forth instead of Identity Politics and Sophistry, it will still take years.

How popular is the PC entertainment? Music doesn’t make nearly as much money or have the effect on culture that it once did now it has been corporatized. None of the Hollywood PC pap is very popular so they make Superhero movies. No bunch of messed up kids can form a band and rock the world, so no one cares about that stuff anymore.

No need to pass laws: let the market see what happens if non-PC fare is produced and – what if it made money? Was popular? made it onto TV? Market forces, if allowed to be free, might have more force than you think.

It’s as long way back. But not impossible, given the idiocy the SJWs really believe.

#44 Comment By Bill Brewer On November 18, 2016 @ 10:25 am

To put it bluntly, Liberals (Leftists) are sociopathic is there inability to perceive the full range of moral reasoning and feeling; and like all sociopaths, (1) they are totally blind to this defect in their hearts and souls and (2) they actually consider themselves to be superior in the very thing they lack.

Dealing with them is much like bearing with a person who is tone deaf yet thinks himself a great singer or a color-blind person who thinks himself especially good at coordinating wardrobes.