Progressive mainstream news outlets- I apologize for the redundancy- are now largely (and openly) insulting Trump voters, calling them names, and urging Democrats to write them off as a permanent loss.
Frank Rich, the spectacularly unhinged former New York Times columnist who now scribbles for New York Magazine, illustrates this point when he derides what he terms “Hillbilly Chic.” Rich believes “pandering” to Trump voters is “another counterproductive detour into liberal guilt, self-flagellation, and political correctness,” and asks, “Might the time have at last come for Democrats to weaponize their anger instead of swallowing it?”
“Counterproductive detours into guilt, self-flagellation, and political correctness” are the defining characteristics of (modern-day) liberalism. “Might the time have at last come for Democrats to weaponize their anger instead of swallowing it?” That’s rich, Frank. Democrats have been weaponizing their anger for decades now, while expecting their constituents to swallow anything they say, no matter how outrageous. It has been Republicans who’ve historically played nice and swallowed their anger. This changed when Trump came around, and is a large part of the reason the left hates his guts. “I mean, the nerve! He talked back to us!”
Referring to Democrats, Rich says that “the party is a wreck.” He also believes Trump voters are now synonymous with the GOP, but states: “That makes it all the more a fool’s errand for Democrats to fudge or abandon their own values to cater to the white-identity politics of the hard-core, often self-sabotaging Trump voters who helped drive the country into a ditch on Election Day. If we are free to loathe Trump, we are free to loathe his most loyal voters, who have put the rest of us at risk.” Free to hate? Hmm.
Salon’s Conor Lynch says that when Democrats examine the election results they see “Large numbers of American people voting against their apparent interests because of their ignorance and cultural backwardness.” But, wait, there’s more! “After decades of watching millions of Americans vote for right-wing charlatans who advocated economic policies that serve the wealthy and screw everyone else, some liberals have basically given up on appealing to these perceived yokels, who seem to care more about criminalizing abortion and hoarding guns than obtaining health care and decent wages. They are dumb, credulous and often intolerant; so why should we—progressive, rational, forward-thinking liberals—sympathize or try to reason with them? Let them lose their health care; maybe they’ll learn something this time around (though we all know they won’t).”
That is one of the most telling- and frightening- statements I’ve ever read, preposterous even for today’s inflexible, and astoundingly monolithic mainstream media. The Democrats see “large numbers of American people voting against their apparent interests because of their ignorance and cultural backwardness?” Talk about intolerance and hate speech! Where’s the nearest safe-room?! I demand that Conor Lynch and Salon be silenced immediately! Just maybe, Mr. Lynch, these “yokels” believe they are voting in their own self- interest, and you are too biased and close-minded to see it. More likely yet, they may believe that they are voting in the best interest of the country as a whole, irrespective of their own self-interest. That’s what has to happen if a democracy is to long survive. The Founders cautioned that a democratic republic is only fit for a moral people, and is “entirely unsuited to any other,” and this is exactly what they meant. People who vote not simply for their own benefit, but for what is best for the polity.
Quaint beliefs like that are anathema to today’s Democratic Party, a party that thrives only on class warfare, divisiveness, resentment and entitlement.
A party that is entirely unsuitable to a democratic republic.
And any semblance of morality.