Trump’s surprising win in 2016 led to a wide proliferation of myths about why the Democrats lost. As I’ve been saying since Day 1, most of those pithy analyses are ludicrous, and I am glad that at least now, six months in, some professional commentators are waking up to the reality that there is no point in courting the elusive Trump Voter. Still, many of these myths persist. Today’s entry into the Trump Era Hot Takes Hall of Fame is the myth of progressives having “no ideas”.
Popular (official?) historiography of the 2016 Election has coagulated around the idea that Trump’s win represented a rebuke to the elites, liberals, “social justice warriors”, college professors, college students, Hollywood, feminists, scientists, artists, immigrants and basically anyone who doesn’t fit the increasingly narrow definition of a Real American — rural or small-town, white, Christian, poorly educated and poor or middle-class.
Over the ensuing months, think pieces multiplied calling on liberals to be more willing to “learn” and “listen”, and be more cognizant of the pain and anger of the the good people who populate America’s “heartland,” simple folk who have long been left behind and forgotten by the jet-set. Trump, we are told, is the result of “elites” ignoring the concerns of “ordinary Americans” who rot away in their ghost towns, devastated by the departure of sweet, sweet manufacturing jobs for China, India and Mexico, or else small businesses groaning under onerous regulations that won’t let an Honest Job Creater cut baby formula with melamine, like they do in China. Here is a good example , which talks about the resentment that the country has towards the city, the working class towards the professional class, those experiencing “economic anxiety” towards those who worry about police shootings. (It’s an early piece, but it’s a very good representation of the Liberal Remorse that we’ve been seeing.) Even Rawstory, a commie rag if there ever was one, republished one of those off of Quora via Newsweek. (“If the progressive movement in the United States does not learn to engage and speak to the people that disagree with its tenets without making them feel like backwards simpletons, it will never move forward without then having to take two steps back,” says the author after describing his father — his example of a Trump Voter — as a muscle-headed backward simpleton who decidedly isn’t interested in a dialogue with someone who embraces ideas different from his. “If progressives do not learn to create fresh common ground and alliances with those whom they are told hate them and all they represent,” continues the author, after describing how much his father utterly hates anyone who is a liberal, gay, person of color or immigrant.)
With only a couple of days to go before the election, I look back on this unspeakably hideous political season, and I realize its main theme in public discourse (other than that email nonsense) was how badly progressives like me fail to understand/appreciate/love the Trump voter. In spite of copious coverage, people who are voting Trump are deemed forgotten and ignored by the elitist media. And so in the spirit of the times, I’d like to add the following three items to this election’s installment of Six Things I Want Every Politically Opinionated Person To Take To Heart: Read more…