Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Why the howls over Clinton's defeat?
We all know the vast contrast between the Republican reaction to Obamas's election and the Leftist reaction to Trump's election. Republicans reacted with quiet trepidation to the era of Obama while the Left reacted to Trump with nationwide howls of rage and florid symptoms of psychological distress. Why the difference?
Could it be that they regretted losing the hold over the rest of us that the labyrinthine array of rules and regulations fastened on us in the Obama era gave them? Do they regret a loss of power? No doubt they did regret that but the individual Leftist exercises little or none of that power so the election result does not personally threaten anything of that kind. And the election result did clearly generate a feeling of personal loss
At one level the answer to the question is clear. Leftist politics are emotion with just a slight overlay of rationality while in conservative politics rationality is dominant. Conservatives are interested in what works for the general betterment while Leftists think they can create a new Eden by passing laws. You have to be pretty simple-minded or deranged to think that.
And that brings us to what I think is the answer to the recent Leftist meltdown. Leftists believe so many improbable things that it takes constant psychological work to keep those beliefs alive. Beliefs such as: All men are equal; all men are brothers; there are no important differences between men and women; blacks are just like us only browner; The United Nations is the big hope for the future; you can force people to be good; Money grows on trees; it is justice to take money off someone who has earned it and give it to someone who has not earned it; the planet needs saving etc., etc. That summary puts their beliefs in an unvarnished way but their beliefs do boil down to that.
So having a burden of beliefs so at variance with reality cannot be easy. Reality is constantly undermining your beliefs. So you need all the help you can get to prop up your beliefs. And the BIG help you can get is social support: Having other people share those beliefs. And you can usually achieve that by being fussy about your company. Hang out with other Leftists only. And if you accidentally run into a conservative who wants to remind you of reality, you either shut him up or run away.
But Presidential elections can undermine those defences. It is such a high profile event and so engrossing for both sides that you have to notice the outcome. You may have to face the fact that not everyone agrees with you. When huge emotional energy is put in to getting a result that will confirm the dominance of your beliefs, an adverse result shatters a major support for those beliefs. The real world glares in at you. Try as you might, you cannot escape it. You have at last to face the possibility that you may be wrong in your passionately held beliefs.
Conservatives by contrast have a strong grip on reality and feel no need to hide from it so are not shaken to the core by obviously foolish beliefs in others. Conservatives KNEW that Mr Obama could not stop the seas rising and heal the earth -- and his election did nothing to undermine that knowledge. What caused ecstasy among the Left was simply seen as risibly silly by conservatives.
So the loss by Hillary cracked a lot of walls. It shouted at Leftists that their view of reality might be wrong and that those "Fascists" of the Republican party could be right.
But it was worse that that. Striking at their view of reality was bad enough but it also threatened their self-worth. Leftist beliefs are not random. They are carefully designed to convince the Leftist that he is good and kind and wise. So if you take his beliefs away from him you undermine his whole opinion of himself. He has to confront the possibility that he might be no better than those "Fascist" Republicans. And that is simply intolerable. It could mean that his entire life has taken a wrong direction. No wonder the Left were upset and enraged.
So the defeat of Clinton undermined desperately needed social support for their crazy beliefs. They still believe that only fools and evil people disagree with them but that belief has just taken a battering. They badly needed the government to tell them that they are right but now that has been snatched away from them -- JR.
A classic example of entrenched Leftist ignorance and avoidance of reality
They think they know it all when they in fact know very little. "Think Progress " is a major Leftist site but even its editor could not be bothered to check his facts. He just relied on simpilistic Leftist stereotypes in slamming Trump's pick for ambassador to China. He had clearly not bothered to check Branstad's qualifications for the job at all. If he had he would have found that Branstad is a personal friend of President Xi: A most appropriate appointment
Here we are a full month after the 2016 election, an election that provided what is roundly described as a "shock" to most people. Many people would pick through unexpected results in an effort to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Progressives are far too emotional for that.
Refusing to believe that anyone other than ignorant white bigots voted for Trump, the lefties have been doubling down on the thought-free condescension that practically dug their own electoral grave.
When it was announced that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad would be the new ambassador to China in the Trump administration, Think Progress editor Ian Millhiser had this response (he has since deleted the tweet, hence the tweet from someone with the screenshot):
Ah, there's that sneering leftist faux superiority, replete with a lily white guy complaining about whiteness.
Even his retraction was snotty:
"I deleted my tweet expressing concerns about the Branstad nomination as I've been convinced that my concern was not justified"
Millhiser's original response was based on nothing more than knee-jerk bigotry and laziness. The attitude that he feels he needed to be convinced clings to the smugness instead of admitting he was wrong.
Had be bothered to spend 13 seconds Googling, Millhiser could have found out precisely why Branstad was chosen.
The elitism that coastal media bubble types lord over everyone is unearned. They feel that they're intellectually superior to people who are forever outwitting them. After decades of pretending to "fight" for the common people, their masks have been peeled back to reveal an utter revulsion for those they claim to champion.
As so much of this election was about social media, I'll leave you with one more Twitter snapshot that indicates the Democrats and progressives haven't learned a thing:
Democrats Have Become the Old Fogeys of Politics -- Ideologically & Physically
When Nancy Pelosi (age 76) was reelected minority leader of the House of Representatives, I was scarcely surprised. As her colleagues well know, the net worth of this great spokeswoman for ending income inequality places her in the top one-tenth of one percent of the country. When your team's in trouble and you're completely out of ideas, the access to serious money, always important, suddenly becomes tantamount to a lifeline.
I bet they'd nominate George Soros (age 86) for president next time around, if he hadn't been born in Hungary. He's richer than Trump and you might as well go directly to the source for your cash flow, especially in tough times.
Regardless, there's no question their Democratic Party and its ideology -- liberal, progressive, whatever misnomer you want to choose -- are out of ideas, flat out. That is the secret behind the failure of the Hillary Clinton campaign that no one on the side nostalgically known as the Left -- once FDR's party of the working class, now the party of the coastal rich -- wants to admit. People, even her own staff, kept complaining that she didn't have a reason for running (see WikiLeaks) and that's because she didn't.
Bernie Sanders (age 75) had something of an idea -- "democratic" socialism -- but where has that ever worked? Considering what's going on in Europe these days, no one wants to advocate that bureaucratic nightmare with a straight face.
And speaking of Democratic Party fogeys and the coastal rich, how about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (69, can you believe it?) whose answer to his party's ideological doldrums appears to be "laser-aimed boycotts" at the The Venetian (not other Vegas properties -- gambling's okay with "Cap") because its owner, Sheldon Adelson, donated to Trump's campaign. And then there's Madonna (still only a spring 58), whose contribution to progressive political thought is to dress up like a clown and lambaste Trump by singing a Brittany Spears cover.
No wonder their party is in trouble. It's not just the paucity of a "bench." It's the paucity of a brain.
Besides the catastrophic, to Democrats, state of affairs that 32 legislatures and 33 governorships out of 50 are now Republican, not to mention the presidency, the Senate, and the House, the real problem for the Dems, the real difficulty in coming back, is they have nothing substantive to offer anymore.
They are, indeed, the old fogeys of politics, honed in the crucible of 1968 and seemingly stuck there for the last 48 years, never revising a single thought, not even now that Tom Hayden is dead, except for the short period when Newt Gingrich put an economic gun to Bill Clinton's head and things got better for a while.
All the Democrats have had to hold things together over that time is identity politics, the black vote, the brown vote, any other atomized vote you can think of. And now, gracias a Sr. Trump (yes, I deliberately/ironically chose Spanish), that may be headed for at least partial extinction. If Donald does even a decent job of what he's promised, bringing employment back to minority areas, he could end up with 35-40% of their 2020 vote, in which case "Adios al partido democratico." Democrats are the new Whigs. Good-bye, "Black Lives Matter." Hello, "Diamond and Silk."
Overstating? Maybe, but it's more than possible. Democrats, liberal, progressives, etc. don't have much in their quiver besides calling people racist and sexist -- which, as even they know, they did more than ever in the recent election and it failed. How many times can you go back to the well on that one? (Well, in their case, about fifty times a day, but the law of diminishing returns, I think we can all agree, has been setting in for some time. The "deplorables" accusation will likely go down as one of the most boneheaded remarks ever made by an American politician, certainly one with a degree from Yale - assuming that means anything.)
And wait until the gays discover that Donald pals around with Elton John and was more or less in favor of gay marriage a dozen or so years before Hillary and Obama "evolved" on the issue.
So what's left? Expanding the federal government? How's that working out? Ever try to drive into downtown D.C. from outside the Beltway on a weekday morning and drive home the opposite direction at night? Good luck! And you thought where the 405 meets the 110 was a parking lot? The nation's capital has become the new Los Angeles -- with lousy weather and no surfing. Enough already. Who's going to pay for this? (And what do these myriad government workers do all day when they arrive from their humungous commutes and finally plop down in front of their computers?)
My prediction -- starting about a year from now, maybe sooner, maybe already, the Democrats are going to try to do a flipflop with the Republicans, accusing Trump of over-spending, blowing up the deficit, everything they've been doing themselves for the last thirty to forty years. This is one Donald himself must watch out for, because he has Mr. Fixit tendencies and wants to get everything done. At some point, this could backfire, but for now, I'm with him. In fact, I can't wait. How many more days is it? Just think what short work "Mad Dog" Mattis (I know -- I'm not a Marine and I'm not supposed to call him that) will make of this.
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Posted by JR at 1:30 AM