Perfect Enemies, Redux

A New York Times article asks Are Liberals Helping Trump? by declaring, “Agree with us 100% or you are morally bankrupt.”

Well, yes.

Times national correspondent Sabrina Tavernise writes:

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. …

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. …

“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.”

I believe “identity politics” should not be construed here to mean support for equal rights for minorities, as progressives would claim, but rather what they have delivered in practice, which Daphne Patai characterized as the proliferation of oppressed identities so that “the game is openly played in hiring and even in the exercise of free speech—who is entitled to teach, to speak, to pose challenges, and who had better shut up if lacking the requisite identity.”

Along similar lines, The student Left’s culture of intolerance is creating a new generation of conservatives. But I’d quibble with the author, Charlie Peters, and suggest that it’s not so much that the student left has abandoned support for free speech as that they never really favored it to begin with, at least for their ideological opponents. The 1960’s campus Free Speech Movement was about allowing leftwing organizing. Once the left became dominant in university administrations and hegemonic on faculties, there was no longer any need for the ruse.

9 Comments for “Perfect Enemies, Redux”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    But I’d quibble with the author, Charlie Peters, and suggests that it’s not so much that the student left has abandoned support for free speech as that they never really favored it to begin with, at least for their ideological opponents.

    That’s a bit much of a stereotype. I’ve encountered warped wacko campus leftist who were open to the expression of all ideas. They just liked being mean.

    Reply
  2. posted by TJ on

    Trump KGB Inc. will sink or swim on its own merits. The far left actually has very little influence among the nation or even among most liberal minded people.

    The far right – in contrast – has far more influence, especially given the makeup of Trump KGB Inc.

    Freedom of speech is alive and well on public Univetsities in America. Unfortunately, young people look at say, Talk Radio or Reality TV and think thats how to have a debat

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    • posted by Jorge on

      I do not believe Donald Trump would have been elected on his particular third way platform, have such incredibly strong support among Republicans, or have such strong support among right-leaning moderates, if it were not for the influence of the far-left in frightening and angering the right. We believe that the far-left has incorporated its mindset into the mainstream left successfully enough to have a significant (and largely negative) influence in social policy and culture, popularizing a “Now! Right now!” and “Minorities first” aspect of mainstream liberalism that overwhelmingly favors base mobilization and pacification over coalition building. These mindsets have moved the Democratic party and liberalism as a whole significantly leftward and significantly away from the values of respect for diversity and respect for individual rights. Over time we have seen the following:

      *: This site covered the saga of a member of an anti-discrimination board responsible for fining one of those florists or bakers ran for political office. He lost so badly a reliably Democrat-held office flipped parties.

      *: I would mention an event out of Canada: one of the authors of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health’s Standards of Care was fired following accusations his university-based clinic practiced conversion therapy on transgender children.

      *: In Kansas, the state rewrote its laws to permit county clerks not to have to sign their names on marriage licenses after the Kim Davis, Christian Martyr incident. To recap, less than a year after the Supreme Court issued a ruling holding it unconstitutional for states to fail or refuse to recognize same sex marriages, Kim Davis was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses, claiming that her religion prohibited it.

      *: The Obama administration sued schools that changed their policies to accommodate transgender students, stating they were discriminatory and did not go far enough.

      *: In Houston, Texas, voters repealed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance over concerns that transgender protections would disrupt the segregation of the sexes in bathrooms.

      *: The University at California at Berkeley, birthplace of the campus free speech movement, had a riot over the appearance of “right wing provacateur” Milo Yiannopoulos visit as part of his “Dangerous F*****” tour.

      And this is just gay news. We’ve also seen gems like these:

      *: The Black Lives Matter movement inspires protesters who call for dead cops. What happens next? Dead cops.

      *: Hillary Clinton admits to playing the woman card in her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. The men vote for Trump.

      And most importantly:

      *: A radical Islam-inspired soldier goes on a shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas. The Obama administration calls it an act of “workplace violence.” Another person pledges allegiance to ISIS when doing the same in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Donald Trump says an Islamic terrorist targeted the LGBTQ community.

      That is not even counting the 20% of Bernie Sanders voters who voted for Trump.

      Eventually one reaches the point where one has to say that there are too many of a certain type of event for it to be an accident, a mistaken impression, or a coincidence. One has to conclude there is a pattern that one does not wish to have prevail.

      Reply
  3. posted by TJ on

    Trump KGB Inc ran a right-wing, nativist campaign. It wasnt centrist or third way.

    Hillary Clinton ran a centrist campaign, with support from Independents and moderate Republicans.

    Bernie Sanders ran a libertarian-left primary campaign

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  4. posted by Jorge on

    Sure it was.

    Nativism, first of all, is neither right-wing nor left-wing. The unions favor it in trade, while only paleoconservatism favors it in foreign policy.

    He alleged that Islamic terrorism had targeted LGBTQ people, and that he will protect the LGBTQ community from Islamic terrorism. A bit of a dog whistle on LGBT rights the Middle East (I don’t know if he intended it), but it was enough to signal a drawing from both liberal and conservative politics.

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    • posted by TJ on

      Trump KGB Inc. alledged that night club attack was part of an Islamic terrorist group without caring about the facts.

      The luantic gunman may have claimed ties to say ISIL, but it seemed much more like a lone luantic who was unable to deal with his own sexuality.

      At any rate, banning Muslim immigrants aint going to help LGBT Muslims and punishing all Muslims for the act of one unbalanced Muslim, doesnt meet basic standards of justice.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Trump KGB Inc. alledged that night club attack was part of an Islamic terrorist group without caring about the facts.

        That’s moot. He was right.

        At any rate, banning Muslim immigrants aint going to help LGBT Muslims and punishing all Muslims for the act of one unbalanced Muslim, doesnt meet basic standards of justice.

        Acts of terrorism are very dangerous to nations and communities.

        In any case, you are making a strawman argument. I gave two example of Islamic terrorism on US soil caused by “unbalanced” individuals within the past, say 8 years. I could name three without too much trouble. More easily if social or mental deviance were not a requirement.

        It is not simply about having an immigration policy, but the idea that immigrants are generally bad, possibly werewolves.

        Virulent racism against minority groups is neither right-wing nor left-wing, but it is somewhat apolitical. It appears among people of both political persuasions.

        Reply
  5. posted by TJ on

    “nativists” – the know nothings being the more famous in American electoral politics has been a right-wing movement.
    It is not simply about having an immigration policy, but the idea that immigrants are generally bad, possibly werewolves.

    The Know Nothing party focused its hatred at Catholics, as they were convinced that Catholics were a violent sort of people who were unfit for democratic life.

    Reply
  6. posted by JohnInCA on

    So we’re still clinging to the “Republicans/conservatives are never responsible for their own actions” meme?

    Reply

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