By Michael Lesher – Originally at OffGuardian– Published Nov 10, 2020 FRN
Ever since Election Day, the self-righteous hate parade has been marching its way across liberal media.
Too much support for Donald Trump!
Even amid general declarations of a Biden victory, liberal angst – and snobbish posturing – darken nearly every op-ed, “news analysis,” social media post and Twitter storm in which the Right Thinkers pontificate about the election returns.
And their message is always pretty much the same: too many Americans just don’t get it. Even after months of patient lectures from Right Thinkers, assuring us all that Donald Trump is personally responsible for every American evil from slavery to the latest respiratory virus, tens of millions of the dumb clucks actually voted for him! Whatever is the world coming to?
Well, trust the liberals to have an answer ready. If substantial majorities in dozens of states across the nation still prefer The Donald to Jolly Joe, it can only mean one thing: Americans are no good.
“[T]he outsize support Trump has continued to receive exposes America’s ‘soul’ for what it is,” lamented Andre M. Perry for the Brookings Institution the morning after the election. Brittney Cooper, a professor at Rutgers University, intoned on the same day – before many of the ballots had even been counted! – that “Donald Trump is the fault of white people. His rise is a direct result of white people’s collective rejection of the progress that the Obama era signaled.” In an equally vindictive temper, the Boston Globe cited “Black voters” who found widespread support for Trump to be proof of “the country’s failure to decisively reject racist policy,” a phenomenon they found “disappointing but not surprising.”
And so it went.
Now, if you yourself are one of those liberals who celebrated the Biden campaign as a “battle for the nation’s soul” (to borrow the old plagiarist’s own saccharine phrase), and if you’ve stumbled onto this column on your way to the more flattering and insular world of the New York Times editorial page, please allow me just a few words before you go.
No, I did not vote for Donald Trump. But I did expect him to poll even more successfully than he actually did this time around. And my reasons had precious little to do with liberal virtue-signaling.
Because the real secret of Trump’s popularity isn’t any of the things liberals are moaning about from their agenda-setting cenacles. What drives the Trump phenomenon is the hypocritical refusal of those same liberals to recognize, let alone to confess, the extent of their betrayal of American working people – and their inability to hear the public’s fury even when it’s shouted at them by millions of voices at a time.
Shall I prove it?
Do you claim to revile Trump’s racism, Mr. Liberal? Then why did you insist on nominating, as the antidote to him, a man whose first great political project was to fight racial desegregation, who went out of his way to praise Strom Thurmond – Mr. “Massive Resistance” himself – for sending lots of black people to prison, and who consistently supported a program of mass incarceration aimed primarily at minorities?
Did you find Trump “divisive”? Then why did you cheer from the sidelines as your counterparts in Great Britain smeared and demonized the most stubbornly non-discriminatory politician in recent history (Jeremy Corbyn), and nod approvingly when liberal pundits applied the “racist” label to supporters of Bernie Sanders here in the U.S., simply because he happens to be a white male?
You say you hate Trump for attacking the “free press”? Well, where has the vaunted liberal establishment been throughout the persecution of Julian Assange – the worst attack on press freedom in decades? Where was that establishment’s respect for honest journalism while, for three years, it screamed its support for Russiagate, probably the silliest conspiracy theory in recent Washington history, and vilified skeptics as everything from agents of the Kremlin to closet Trumpists?
Yes, you say there are questions of “character” at stake. And you claim to be horrified at the allegations of sexual harassment Trump has collected over the years. But do you remember what happened when Tara Reade publicized similar accusations against Joe Biden? The liberal media had a field day excoriating her, questioning her motives, impugning her character; and Biden walked away unscathed, even nabbing the “proud and excited” endorsement of the feckless National Organization for Women. So much for “character.”
Trump, you add, is “authoritarian”? Maybe so. But what do you call the police state tactics unleashed by more than forty state governors – and celebrated by the Democratic Party leadership – that have included suspending legislatures, quashing civil liberties, ruling by “emergency” decrees and confining huge numbers of people in what amounts to house arrest? What have liberals done to oppose this massive attack on democracy? They’ve done nothing.
Yes, they did speak up when protesters objected to the theft of their rights: they called them right-wing lunatics and enemies of science. Why wasn’t such contempt for political dissent an example of “authoritarianism”? Could it be because Trump didn’t say it?
And wasn’t it those same liberals who proved their attachment to democracy by sabotaging the Bernie Sanders campaign – once it began to look as though he might actually emerge from the primaries as the front-runner? Did any liberals protest when Democratic Party leaders bullied each of the contenders to drop out of the race to ensure that the notably unpopular Biden would be the only available alternative to Trump? Isn’t it an “authoritarian” political structure that dictates to the voters what their choices are, instead of letting the public decide for itself?
Ah, but Trump professed too close a relationship to Russia to be fully trusted – is that it? Yet Joe Biden has boasted of his fealty to Israel – a state whose meddling in American politics makes other countries look like amateurs by comparison. And not a single establishment liberal or mainstream media outlet that I can think of accused him of disloyalty for taking such a stand.
I know, I know. In good liberal circles, one doesn’t mention such things. Joe Biden is the Democratic Party establishment’s chosen messiah to save the world from the Orange-Haired Menace. So we mustn’t even notice his incorrigible lying, his rotten political history, his obvious disdain for political dissent, his equally obvious mental decline – not even his choice of an unprincipled civil rights buster and police-violence enabler as a “progressive” running mate.
But while liberals may manage not to see the obvious, they haven’t succeeded in blinding the entire American electorate. And so, unsurprisingly, the voters are behaving more sensibly than the pundits who sanctimoniously chastise them. They have looked at the real Joe Biden, and they have had the inevitable, natural reaction.
You liberals would have done the same – if you’d been half as honest.
“Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds,” wrote Julien Benda in The Treason of the Intellectuals barely a century ago. Just as Republicans have used the 2020 campaign to smear all opponents as dangerous subversives, the Democrats have made a Trumpless White House an end that justifies any means – including media censorship, economic blackmail, and a full-throttle assault on civil liberties under the pretext of protecting the nation’s “health” – while simultaneously rejecting their own voters’ demands for Medicare for All.
And all this has been spiced with hypocrisy rank enough to have embarrassed Tartuffe himself – as the Democrats pose as the enemies of “hate” while execrating every voter who can’t swallow their bilge as either a racist, an idiot, a Nazi sympathizer or a potential mass murderer.
“I feel like leaving this country,” wrote one liberal I know on Facebook, deploring an America in which so many people could still cast ballots for The Donald.
And I want to tell him: you are mistaken, my friend. You and your fellow liberals aren’t just on the brink of leaving the country. You turned your back on its people a long time ago.
And if you don’t know that, they do.
Better awaken – and soon. Otherwise, by the time you finally start caring about the people you never bothered to think of as your equals, they may not be in any mood to listen to you.