Enjoy the lack of self-awareness found in the most popular Progressive comments to a Times op-ed warning against the dangers of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
One of the joys in life during the Trump era is watching Progressives decompensate and self-destruct. All their rhetoric about inclusiveness, spiritual generosity, intellectual superiority has always been merely a thin veneer covering vicious insanity. Trump, bless his heart, stripped that veneer and now we’re getting Progressives, like Nature itself, “red in tooth and claw With ravine.” Nowhere is this slavering fury better displayed than in the comments to a Sunday New York Times op-ed telling them that they’re harming themselves with the unbridled Trump Derangement Syndrome.
In the op-ed, Gerard Alexander, a PolySci professor at University of Virginia, has some hard truths for Progressives. He describes their behavior and predicts an inevitable backfire:
I know many liberals, and two of them really are my best friends. Liberals make good movies and television shows. Their idealism has been an inspiration for me and many others. Many liberals are very smart. But they are not as smart, or as persuasive, as they think.
And a backlash against liberals — a backlash that most liberals don’t seem to realize they’re causing — is going to get President Trump re-elected.
Liberals dominate the entertainment industry, many of the most influential news sources and America’s universities. This means that people with progressive leanings are everywhere in the public eye — and are also on the college campuses attended by many people’s children or grandkids. These platforms come with a lot of power to express values, confer credibility and celebrity and start national conversations that others really can’t ignore.
But this makes liberals feel more powerful than they are. Or, more accurately, this kind of power is double-edged. Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be. In exercising their power, they regularly not only persuade and attract but also annoy and repel.
Racist is pretty much the most damning label that can be slapped on anyone in America today, which means it should be applied firmly and carefully. Yet some people have cavalierly leveled the charge against huge numbers of Americans — specifically, the more than 60 million people who voted for Mr. Trump.
Within just a few years, many liberals went from starting to talk about microaggressions to suggesting that it is racist even to question whether microaggressions are that important. “Gender identity disorder” was considered a form of mental illness until recently, but today anyone hesitant about transgender women using the ladies’ room is labeled a bigot. Liberals denounce “cultural appropriation” without, in many cases, doing the work of persuading people that there is anything wrong with, say, a teenager not of Chinese descent wearing a Chinese-style dress to prom or eating at a burrito cart run by two non-Latino women.
This judgmental tendency became stronger during the administration of President Barack Obama, though not necessarily because of anything Mr. Obama did. Feeling increasingly emboldened, liberals were more convinced than ever that conservatives were their intellectual and even moral inferiors. Discourses and theories once confined to academia were transmitted into workaday liberal political thinking, and college campuses — which many take to be what a world run by liberals would look like — seemed increasingly intolerant of free inquiry.
Self-righteousness can also get things wrong. Especially with the possibility of Mr. Trump’s re-election, many liberals seem primed to write off nearly half the country as irredeemable. Admittedly, the president doesn’t make it easy. As a candidate, Mr. Trump made derogatory comments about Mexicans, and as president described some African countries with a vulgar epithet. But it is an unjustified leap to conclude that anyone who supports him in any way is racist, just as it would be a leap to say that anyone who supported Hillary Clinton was racist because she once made veiled references to “superpredators.”
Liberals are trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle. When they use their positions in American culture to lecture, judge and disdain, they push more people into an opposing coalition that liberals are increasingly prone to think of as deplorable. That only validates their own worst prejudices about the other America.
It’s a well-stated thesis: You’re incredibly nasty about half the American population, nastiness is seldom persuasive, and you may find yourself facing a backlash you hate, in the form of four more years of Trump (not to mention a stalled blue wave in the 2018 midterms). I recommend reading the article because it makes a lot of sense, but the real joy comes from reading the comments.
I should note that I did not read the more than 1,700 comments. Instead, I scrolled through those comments that New York Times readers (i.e., Progressives) deemed the most best. What’s so funny is that Alexander’s message — don’t be so nasty because you harm your own cause — bypassed both writers and readers completely. In the most popular comment of them all, the author simply cannot understand how Hillary’s popularity didn’t soar after she rightly called half of Americans “deplorable”: [Read more…]