On March 4, 2017 I wrote A Voice Of Otherizing Reason discussing a New York Times editorial by Nicholas Kristof. Kristoff’s article was an apparently sincere attempt by a progressive journalist to provoke a modicum of empathy for the poor deplorables that dared to vote for Donald Trump. I wrote:
By all means, take the link and read the whole thing, where you will find Kristof exhorting the faithful to take pity on the poor deplorables, who, after all, can’t help themselves, so hobbled are they by their multitude of prejudices, character faults, and inbred intellectual disabilities
It’s touching, in an irredeemable sort of way, really. To save you a bit of time, Kristof ends:
‘Go ahead and denounce Trump’s lies and bigotry. Stand firm against his disastrous policies. But please don’t practice his trick of ‘otherizing’ people into stick-figure caricatures, slurring vast groups as hopeless bigots. We’re all complicated, and stereotypes are not helpful — including when they’re of Trump supporters.
It was actually touching, in a morally superior, condescending sort of way. After all, it must be nearly impossibly difficult for the self-imagined elite to climb down from their Olympian heights to attempt to understand and bestow their precious pity upon such lowly, barely sentient beings.
Bless his heart, thereafter Kristoff actually journeyed into the heart of darkness. He traveled to deepest, darkest flyover country, and spoke with the benighted denizens thereof. Yes, gentle readers, he actually went to—wait for it—OKLAHOMA! (Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains, where the wavin’ wheat…) The horror. He writes:
When I write about people struggling with addictions or homelessness, liberals exude sympathy while conservatives respond with snarling hostility to losers who make ‘bad choices.
“Snarling hostility?” Remember, gentle readers, this is the opening sentence of an article urging progressives to think a bit more kindly about conservatives, actually, about any and everyone that does not think exactly like them. It’s an interesting phenomenon that the media rediscovers the homeless, legions of them, only when a Republican occupies the White House. The same is true of addicts, but to a somewhat lesser degree as they are not nearly as sympathetic. In discussing such things, I’ve never seen any non-progressive display anything resembling snarling hostility, though they do tend to believe one’s choices in life have consequences.
When I write about voters who supported President Trump, it’s the reverse: Now it’s liberals who respond with venom, hoping that Trump voters suffer for their bad choice.
‘I absolutely despise these people,’ one woman tweeted at me after I interviewed Trump voters. ‘Truly the worst of humanity. To hell with every one of them.’
Maybe we all need a little more empathy?
Ya think? Ah the tolerance, acceptance, inclusiveness and understanding of superior beings. If only everyone could have such exalted sensibilities…
I wrote my last column from Oklahoma, highlighting voters who had supported Trump and now find that he wants to cut programs that had helped them. One woman had recovered from a rape with the help of a women’s center that stands to lose funding, another said that she would sit home and die without a job program facing cutbacks, and so on. Yet every one of them was still behind Trump — and that infuriated my readers.
‘I’m just going to say it,’ tweeted Bridgette. ‘I hate these people. They are stupid and selfish. Screw them. Lose your jobs, sit home and die.’
Another: ‘ALL Trump voters are racist and deplorable. They’ll never vote Democratic. We should never pander to the Trumpites. We’re not a party for racists.
Heart warming, isn’t it? One of the most useful and gratifying parts of this age of “resistance,” is progressives are, without reservation or concealment, demonstrating exactly who they are. They are also demonstrating what they’ve always believed, specifically, they have nothing but contempt for the Constitution, republican democracy in general, and those that embrace both. But Kristoff isn’t like that–is he?
The torrent of venom was, to me, as misplaced as the support for Trump from struggling Oklahomans. I’m afraid that Trump’s craziness is proving infectious, making Democrats crazy with rage that actually impedes a progressive agenda.
Sure, Trump is crazy, but Democrat’s anti-American, anti-democracy, anti-constitution, spittle-slinging hatred is his fault, that, and of course, the subhumans that voted for him. But nothing, even righteous hatred of Americans, must be allowed to get in the way of “a progressive agenda.”
One problem with the Democratic anger is that it stereotypes a vast and contradictory group of 63 million people. Sure, there were racists and misogynists in their ranks, but that doesn’t mean that every Trump voter was a white supremacist. While it wasn’t apparent from reading the column, one of the Trump voters I quoted was black, and another was Latino. Of course, millions of Trump voters were members of minorities or had previously voted for Barack Obama.
See? Kristoff is actually being kind. Why, I’ll bet as much of 1-2% of that 63 million aren’t white supremacists! Why, at least one black and Latino voted for Trump, as hard as that is to believe. Don’t they know what’s in their own best interests? Kristoff knows what is in the interest of progressivism:
The blunt truth is that if we care about a progressive agenda, we simply can’t write off 46 percent of the electorate. If there is to be movement on mass incarceration, on electoral reform, on women’s health, on child care, on inequality, on access to good education, on climate change, then progressives need to win more congressional and legislative seats around the country. To win over Trump voters isn’t normalizing extremism, but a strategy to combat it.
A progressive view of Trump voters…
Kristoff reveals his true colors: the only good American is a progressive. Only by being convinced of, and accepting the gospel of progressivism, can others become decent, loving, tolerant people. His list of good things is equally revealing. “Mass incarceration:” this is the idea that black people particularly convicted of felonies should not be jailed, and if jailed must be released because racism. The fact that black people commit crimes far out of proportion to their numbers in the population is irrelevant, as is the fact that the majority of their victims are other black people. Electoral reform? Doing away with any law that makes vote fraud more difficult. Women’s health? Abortion. No woman in America is denied health care. The law requires, at the least, that anyone seeking care in a hospital emergency room be given it. This includes women.
Child care? I suppose this is government-funded (that’s taxpayer funded) freebies. “Inequality?” That’s pretty broad, but inevitably requires preferences of all kinds and voluminous governmental handouts. “Access to good education?” Interesting, is it not, that the worst public schools in America tend to be in states and cities that have, for decades, been entirely controlled by Democrats. How can it be that Democrat strongholds are such cesspools of racism, intolerance and inequality? “Climate change?” That’s nothing more than massive income redistribution aimed at establishing and maintaining a permanent and indestructible Democrat majority. Only by making all of America progressive can we stop the evil tendency to re-establish the rule of law, truly equal justice for all, and respect for the Constitution. See why we have to get rid of Trump?
Nothing I’ve written since the election has engendered more anger from people who usually agree with me than my periodic assertions that Trump voters are human, too.
Well of course! Non-progressives—fly-over country Americans–human? Insanity!
Democrats didn’t do enough do address this suffering, so Trump won working-class voters — because he at least faked empathy for struggling workers. He sold these voters a clunker, and now he’s already beginning to betray them. His assault on Obamacare would devastate many working-class families by reducing availability of treatment for substance abuse. As I see it, Trump rode to the White House on a distress that his policies will magnify.
Kristoff’s delusion is truly jaw-dropping. Here is a man professing to reach out to the stupidity and evil that is the non-progressive, people too deficient in every way to understand what is best for them, yet he, like the foot soldiers of the resistance, cannot bring themselves to admit why Donald Trump was elected. I’ll address this in more detail in a moment, but it’s rather difficult to imagine how making health care actually affordable equals distress. Consider the middle class family who not only did not gain $2500 as Mr. Obama promised, who not only did not get to keep their insurance, or their doctor, but who have seen their premiums skyrocket, their deductibles rise to levels that make it impossible to use the grotesquely over-priced—unaffordable—insure Obamacare provides, and who, very soon indeed, will have only a single choice of insurers and policies—or none—and one sees the very definition of distress. Obamacare is in a death spiral. How can that be invisible to Kristoff? Trump is betraying Americans? By actually keeping his campaign promises? If this be betrayal, I’ll have a double helping please waiter!
So by all means stand up to Trump, point out that he’s a charlatan and resist his initiatives. But remember that social progress means winning over voters in flyover country, and that it’s difficult to recruit voters whom you’re simultaneously castigating as despicable, bigoted imbeciles.
True, they are despicable, bigoted imbeciles, but we shouldn’t castigate them as such. Not because doing so is hateful and reflects poorly—if accurately—on the character of the castigators, but because it stands in the way of ultimate political power and the glory that is progressivism. Now if we can just figure out a way to call them despicable, bigoted imbeciles, but not in a way they’d notice, being imbeciles and all, and then they’ll vote with us!
It’s virtually an Onion parody, isn’t it gentle readers, but with an ugly, hateful edge normally missing from such parodies. Why would such people vote for Trump? Why can’t progressives see anyone that doesn’t walk in ideological lockstep with them as human?
But aren’t you doing the same thing Mr. Manor? Aren’t you painting all progressives with the same brush? Only if Kristoff is entirely wrong about the nature of progressivism and progressives. Only if NYT readers subscribe because they are non-believers in progressivism. I merely allow Kristoff’s own words and assumptions to speak for him—and progressives. He, from the summit of Mount New York Times, hands down the tablets to the faithful, and his recitation of their beliefs and hatred are not, by any means, contested or rejected by them. On the contrary, he is a progressive mirror; he reflects them.
As I’ve often written, the fundamental problem is progressivism is un-falsifiability. By its very nature, by the purity and brilliance of its intellectual evangelists, by the decency, tolerance, inclusiveness and empathy of its adherents, it is infallible. It cannot be wrong.
Therefore, when Hillary Clinton lost there was existential crisis for progressives. It could not be! Yet it happened! There was, therefore, a binary choice. The loss could not be denied, and progressivism could not possibly be wrong—it could not fail—so there must be other reasons, sinister, despicable, bigoted reasons for the impossible.
This is Alinskyite, textbook progressivism. When a progressive policy—like Detroit—fails, it cannot possibly be due to a failure of progressive ideology or policy. Take the “assault weapon” ban in the Clinton gun control legislation. After ten years, the law sunset. It had accomplished absolutely nothing. No reduction in crime, no reduction in accidents, the sun shone no less brightly when it expired, and the oceans remained within their boundaries. How could it have failed to accomplish the wonders its evangelists swore would accrue?
Because progressivism cannot fail, it didn’t fail. The problem was not enough money was spent. It wasn’t in effect long enough for its wonders to be apparent to all. Make it permanent, and then you’d see unimagined wonders! It wasn’t enforced with sufficient fervor. It wasn’t a complete, absolute ban with mandatory confiscation. Non-progressives were allowed to speak against it and to point out its failure that couldn’t be a failure. Worst of all, non-progressives were allowed to exist. If only they could be exterminated, or forced to see and embrace the one, true political faith, all would be well.
Thus do millions refuse to accept the result of the election, because the result inevitably points to the failure of progressivism, and progressivism cannot fail.
So, Trump cheated. Russians! Recounts! Flip faithless electors! Non-progressives were tricked! Russians! Melania Trump is a whore! Russians! Trump had an incestuous relationship with his daughter! Russians! Etc. into eternity.
Hillary’s loss couldn’t possibly be because Americans were sick of Obama and progressivism. If couldn’t be because Obamacare was a fraud from the start, a complete lie designed to fail to force Americans to accept a single payer system. It couldn’t be because Hillary was a terrible human being, and a terrible candidate who ran a terrible campaign. It couldn’t be because Hillary campaigned on destroying the First and Second Amendments. It couldn’t be because Hillary called about half of the American electorate vile names. It couldn’t be because leaks from the computers of Hillary’s campaign staff and supporters showed them to be cruel, vicious, and ugly haters of most Americans, yet oh so in love with themselves. It couldn’t be because the weaponizing of the IRS, FBI, our intelligence apparatus, and innumerable other federal agencies became so obvious and outrageous it could no longer be hidden or denied.
It couldn’t be because Trump promised to restore the rule of law. It couldn’t be because Trump gleefully breached the boundaries of the political correctness forced down American’s throats for decades. It couldn’t be because Trump promised to overturn much of what Obama had done: progressivism. It couldn’t be because Trump promised to enforce immigration law, and to restore fidelity to the Constitution. It couldn’t be because Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices beholden not to political ideology, but the Constitution. It couldn’t be that voters were voting far more against Hillary and progressivism than for Donald Trump. And of course, it couldn’t be because most of the media not only stopped pretending to be honest and non-partisan, but became unashamed and cruelly aggressive cheerleaders for Clinton and progressivism.
Progressivism, after all, is un-falsifiable. It cannot be wrong.
Americans—those that revere the Constitution and willingly practice republican democracy because they recognize it as the best form of government ever invented, imperfect as it is—go about their lives. They recognize they will not always win every election. They know every policy they favor will not be enacted, and many will be watered down. They know people of poor character, even serial liars and narcissists will, upon occasion, attain high office. But they also know such things too will pass, and they’ll have a chance, once again, to see their ideology enacted. They do not scream “resistance!” assault non-believers, commit arson, destruction of property and other crimes. They do not block highways, scream racist slogans and attack speakers they want to suppress; they do not try to prevent others from speaking. They merely want to be left alone, and are more than willing to extend the same courtesy to others.
Above all, they take others as they find them, and judge them by the content of their character.
And then, there is Nicholas Kristoff and the New York Times, the rest of the media, and those he so obviously believes share precisely the same beliefs, including uniform disdain, even hatred, for Americans.
Progressivism, after all, is un-falsifiable. It cannot be wrong.
One can, however, be sure Kristoff knows the people to whom he speaks.