Last week, I wrote that Trump supporters don't deserve a voice in America politics and now we have an emerging narrative on the right that confirms it: Liberals are being too mean to Trump supporters.
I kid you not.
The New York Times covered this renewed sense of being victimized:
Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right. In recent interviews, conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.
Are they serious with this? The right elected the single most unqualified candidate in American history who ran a campaign that was unabashedly racist, sexist and hate-filled, even by modern conservative standards. They voted for a man that so echoes Adolf Hitler that the comparisons are impossible to avoid. Public shaming is the least they can expect for inflicting Trump on the nation.
“They’re stonewalling everything that he’s doing because they’re just being babies about it,” said Patricia Melani, 56, a Jersey native who now lives here and attended her third Trump rally Saturday. “All the loudmouths? They need to let it go. Let it go. Shut their mouths and let the man do what he’s got to do. We all shut our mouths when Obama got in the second time around, okay? So that’s what really needs to be done.”
In the alternate reality Melani lives in, Republicans, Fox News, AM Hate Radio and right wing activists did not, in fact, wage a scorched earth campaign against Obama and every single thing he tried to do. They did not sue the administration repeatedly. The did not spread the worst kind of lies about the president. Republicans did not meet on the night of Obama's inauguration and plot to spend every second of every day obstructing his agenda. Therefor, liberals are baby loudmouths for not giving Trump a chance to enact his white nationalism.
There's a saying on the left: We'll give Trump exactly the same chance the right gave Obama. No more, no less.
But a lot of this horror at liberal resistance is the burning sense of entitlement the right feels. And, of course, white resentment:
Mrs. O’Connell is a registered Democrat. She voted for Bill Clinton twice. But she has drifted away from the party over what she said was a move from its middle-class economic roots toward identity politics. She remembers Mr. Clinton giving a speech about the dangers of illegal immigration. Mr. Trump was lambasted for offering some of the same ideas, she said.“
The Democratic Party has changed so much that I don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said. “These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics. It strengthens people’s resolve in wanting to support President Trump. It really does.”
It's guaranteed that O'Connell wouldn't consider herself a bigot but her words and actions say otherwise. As badly as Trump supporters want to disconnect Trump's overtly racist rhetoric from his presidency, they can't; the two are inextricably bound together. Take away Trump's overt white nationalism and all you're left with is an incoherent (and extremely phony) economic populism.
If you question the reality of this, consider the following: After running a campaign in which he blasted the rich as corrupt and evil, Trump immediately filled his Cabinet with millionaires and billionaires and started unraveling the regulations that kept them in check. Republicans literally made it legal for financial advisers to cheat their customers again. Yet, Trump's supporters are ignoring this because they're practically masturbating that Trump is trying to ban Muslims from entering the country. I'd sure love to hear how O'Connell can square that particular circle.
What the Times and Post are describing here is the wake up call I wrote about a week after the election:
Over the next several months, a slow dread and simmering rage is going to build on the right as they realize that there are still consequences for being a loud and proud bigot.
And here we are, just as predicted. The right assumed that this was their time to push aside all of Those People and reclaim their mantle as America's Chosen. Everyone else can either sit in the back of the bus or leave the country because they won and that's just how it is now.
But only a fool would expect to attack women's reproductive rights, Muslims, Latinos and others without mobilizing a significant percent of the country and having to answer for it. It's really really hard to justify white nationalism and misogyny without openly embracing the inherent bigotry involved. That leaves many "mainstream" conservatives in an impossible position. They recoil at the idea of being openly bigoted, but Trump's open bigotry is explicitly what attracts them to his banner. They could take ownership of this and drop the pretense of tolerance or they could admit they have a problem and walk away from Trump's ugliness. But that's the hard way. Instead, they've taken the easy route: Blaming liberals for calling them out on their hypocrisy. I wish I was surprised by this in the slightest but taking personal responsibility has never been a strong point for the conservative movement.
The anger the right feels will only grow as Trump continues to fail as a president due to his own incompetence. They will rage against the continuing and growing protests and they'll blame the left when Trump is inevitably forced from office on corruption or treason (or both) charges. This, in turn, will be used to justify the next scorched earth war against the next Democratic president in 2020. The only upside to this is that the white conservative vote continues to dwindle and their increased hostility and racism will turn away the very marginalized groups they'll need to stay politically relevant in the future.
It's almost enough to make one feel sorry for them. Almost.
There are 623 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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