Summary: Much will depend in the next four years on America’s ability to resist Trump. The Left could play a large role, but its response so far suggests that it will not be able to. Two recent articles show why this seems likely. Also, see the fascinating rebuttal posted at Lawyers, Guns, and Money!
People often characterize a political movement by looking at the odd and foolish among them, and examine their reactions to events for insights to the movement’s core beliefs. That’s foolish. Instead look to the best of them. For examples on the Left, look at Lawyers, Guns, and Money. See Erik Loomis’ (Asst Prof of History at the U or RI) essay “Dumbasses of America“, which illustrates why the Left has lost so much of its influence in America, and might be unable to effectively resist Trump.
“The genre of “let’s talk to idiotic white voters who support Trump even though he will decimate their lives” is already more stale than bread baked on November 8. However, it does lead to the occasional special anecdote that truly sums up the stupidity of many white people.“
Many of these “idiotic white voters”, or their parents, voted for Democrats in the past — and can again in the future. Turn to another post to see what the Left finds objectionable in them: “Trump Voters. Again.” by Beth Spencer (aka vacuumslayer, an an artist). She comments on “I’m a Silicon Valley liberal, and I traveled across the country to interview 100 Trump supporters — here’s what I learned” by Sam Altman. Here are the excerpts from the interview, and Spencer’s comment.
“You all can defeat Trump next time, but not if you keep mocking us, refusing to listen to us, and cutting us out. It’s Republicans, not Democrats, who will take Trump down.”
Spencer: “In other words, “we’ll vote for someone we dislike and even find unfit for office out of spite.” INCREDIBLE.” Is it incredible that people will not vote for a party whose key people mock them and refuse to listen to them? No, it is not incredible. It quite natural. It’s politics.
“He is anti-abortion.”
Spencer: “It’s also a tacit admission that many Trump supporters are avid misogynists.” So against abortion = misogynist. But 40% of women believe abortion should be “illegal in all or most cases” — and 33% of conservative/moderate democrats, and even 12% of liberal democrats, oppose abortion. See the Pew poll for details. This is the kind of litmus test that fractures a political party, and makes it a minority party for a generation.
“He is anti-immigration. Note: This sentiment came up a lot. The most surprising takeaway for me is how little it seemed to be driven by economic concerns, and how much it was driven by fears about ‘losing our culture,’ “safety,’ ‘community,’ and a general Us-vs.-Them mentality.”
Spencer: “They’re racists and xenophobes.” Just like FDR and his Democrats, who not only zeroed out immigration but also concluded the expulsion of a million or so Mexicans (including Mexican-American citizens) across the border. A recent Gallup poll found 48% of Americans are dissatisfied with immigration levels (another 5% are dissatisfied and want more of it).
Especially note the people talking about preserving their culture. When did the Left decide that was a bad thing, even illegitimate? Why do Americans not have a right to defend their culture? Who gets to rule such things illegitimate? Certainly the Left gets to advance their cultural preferences, and is not shy about forcing them on others using government power.
Update: another example
Here is a sad example of incestuous amplification, people talking with like-minded people — believing that those who disagree with them are dumb or evil — so that their perspectives slowly drift out into space, Here is Scott Lemieux’s (instructor in political science, SUNY Albany) opening line in a post about Neil Gorsuch. Lemieux’s commentary is usually brilliant, but like so many on the Left he appears disoriented since Trump’s election. How many Americans outside the far-Left will find this reasonable, or even understandable? Is this effective politics?
“Hmm, let’s check in on the man the president installed by the FBI and the 19th century slave power chose to nominate for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court:”
See other examples in the posts listed below in the For More Information section.
Update: A rebuttal at Lawyers, Guns, and Money!
Feel the logic at LGM: I’m a “clownish performative centrist”. This is both juvenile and pretentious. Calling those who disagree with you a “performative centrist” is in-group jargon, even cult-like, with no meaning or logic to outsiders — demonstrating how the Left has become politically ineffective. If I figure out what a “performative centrist” is, I will put it on my business card. It sounds good!
Might this be the future of the Left in America? Click to enlarge.
This is the modern Left. Intolerant and absolutist. It’s their way or the highway. Disagreement with them means your views are illegitimate (e.g., racist, sexist) and you might be insane (e.g., xenophobic). It makes them look more like a cult than a successful political movement. They are a gift to the 1% and their servants in Washington.
This goes to the heart of our situation: both the Left and Right have become disconnected from reality — and turned on us in the middle (details here). America might be facing the greatest domestic challenge since the Great Depression: Trump’s win revealed the hollowness of US politics. Stronger leaders will exploit this. How Left and Right respond to this will define American politics for many years to come.
The future of Left and Right in America?
For More Information
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about ways to reform America, about Trump and the new populism, and especially these about the Left’s reaction to Trump…
- Politics in modern America: A users’ guide for journalists and reformers.
- Can the Left adapt to the Trump era? Watch their climate activists for clues.
- The Left goes hysterical over Trump, giving him a free ride as President.
- The Left sees President Trump and goes mad.
- The Left steps across a line and embraces political violence.
- New research predicts a just and logical result to violent anti-Trump protests.
- See the Left’s mad response to Team Trump (they’re plutocrats, not fascists).
Recommended books about the weakness of the Left.
For a better understanding of our situation, see Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank and Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred by John Lukacs.