You’re Not Helping Yourselves, Liberals


Demonstrators protest against U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, outside the Trump Tower building in midtown Manhattan in New York March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Every police car torched, every blocked freeway, every petition to secede from the union is a vindication of President-elect Donald J. Trump.

You’re proving his point, liberals. He campaigned against political institutions that have begun to take themselves far too seriously. He campaigned against suffocating political correctness. When you respond to his lawful election by lashing out, by throwing a national tantrum, you’re just feeding his fire.

If we held the election again today, after Americans witnessed this reaction of the American left, I’m not so sure Trump wouldn’t win the popular vote too.

This attitude, my liberal friends, is at the center of Trump’s rise to prominence.

My post-election newspaper column pointed out that Americans are tried of the American left treating everyone who disagrees with them as though they were an evil bigot. It elicited quite a response, including dozens of people calling me a racist on social media (apparently without a hint of irony), and multiple letters to the editor.

The gist of the reaction seems to be that the left is justified in its reaction because Trump and/or the American right really is racist, etc., etc.

They don’t get it. So let me try to use someone else’s words to illustrate the point. Specifically these words from Ben, a reader of The Atlantic, who like me is not a Trump supporter but can understand why millions supported him:

The far left took a gamble that calling half the country racist, backwoods, bigoted hicks wouldn’t unite them under literally any alternate flag. It said, “If you aren’t 100 percent with us, you are 100 percent evil” without considering that inevitably this would result in absolutely no motivation for anyone on the right to shift even a little to the left. Give people the impression that you will hate them the same or nearly so for voting Jeb Bush as compared to voting for Trump, and where is the motivation to be socially acceptable with Jeb?

The far left took the gamble, and the moderate left backed them up with a range of active support and silence. And somebody popped up who said whatever he wanted. People called him a racist bigot idiot who wouldn’t fit in in San Francisco, and it bounced off. So he’s a racist and a bigot for real. You think people wouldn’t envy his bulletproof vest?

If the left had been responsible with its dominance of culture, media, and social mores, this would have been an easy win for them—more than that, Trump would have never been possible. I would have liked that. At the same time, it’s hard to feel guilty when I see a lot of people who just got done saying “We will destroy everything you believe in and make it impossible to be anything but us” for years and now finding out it backfired.

This is it in a nutshell.

The left has boxed itself in by defining deviation from their political orthodoxies as not just philosophically or factually wrong, but downright evil.

In politics you win by adding people to your movement, not subtracting. The left subtracted itself right out of the White House.