The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Facts Won

Over the next few weeks, we'll all read a variety of post mortem accounts of why Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton to take the presidency. Some will be thoughtful assessments of the aftermath, but many will be unhinged rants with little grounding in reality.

In the aftermath of Clinton's defeat, left-leaning commentators have already suggested that they no longer understand their country. After all, how could its citizens vote for a man who encompasses every "ism" that they can use to stigmatize someone who doesn't agree with their world view? Thomas Friedman of The New York Times has become overwrought, writing:
With Donald Trump now elected president, I have more fear than I’ve ever had in my 63 years that we could do just that — break our country, that we could become so irreparably divided that our national government will not function.
And this from an unhinged assessment by David Remnick in The New Yorker:
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.
Take a few deep breaths, Tom and Dave, your anxiety will pass and the nation will survive.

It appears that every pro-Hillary commentator along with her trained hamsters in the media is looking outward for someone to blame—it's the "deplorables," it's James Comey, it's complacency among Clinton's supporters, it's misogyny, it's "irreparable divisions," it's "white supremacy," it's "fear," it's anything but what it really is.

Richard Fernandez comments:
What beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election wasn't Donald Trump's well-oiled machinery, American bigotry or the Republican Party. It was ... "the facts" ... Hillary's real enemy was Obama's real record of failure added to her own. Low-wage growth, a disastrous foreign policy, a catastrophic Obamacare, and numerous scandals to name a few weighed down on her like an anvil heavier than any insult that Donald Trump could lay upon her.

It's important for progressives to realize this, for they are even now casting about for something to blame. Paul Krugman tweeted: "I truly thought I knew my country better than it turns out I did. I have warned that we could become a failed state, but didn't realize ..." Realize what? That the electorate wouldn't notice the last administration's debacles?

It seems difficult to believe now, but the political establishment actually believed that enough spin, a sufficiently slick Narrative, an overwhelming number of celebrity endorsements, and enough psychological manipulation could triumph over reality. That enough thrust could make a barn door fly. The idea was that the Narrative could beat the Facts, both now and however often it was called upon to do so.

The Hillary machine went up against the facts and the facts won.
Sadly, progressives refused to examine the facts that represented real-world results as they began to pile up throughout Obama's eight years. They actually believed that, say, the "Iran Deal" would lead to peace, or that Obamacare was an overall success, or that Benghazi was simply an unfortunate incident. The facts say otherwise and ... "the facts won."

I honestly don't mean to be cruel, but the Democrats have evolved into a political party that believes it's own bullshit. And that, maybe more than any extrinsic cause, was their political undoing. Regardless of how many times their policies fail, Democrats never seem to adapt, never modify their approach. Their solution to all things is bigger and bigger government, more and more taxes, and recently, vicious stigmatization of anyone who opposes their core believes (e.g., see Remnick's earlier comment in this post). Their approach to all external threats is to de-emphasize and/or ignore them, hoping they'll vanish. They never do. And because their trained hamsters in the media parrot their beliefs, they live in a self-imposed echo chamber. The result is the historic political upset we just witnessed.

Fernandez concludes with this comment:
Put not your trust in princes it is said, though some princes are better than others. Rely rather on factual success. If there's one lesson the last years should have taught everyone it is that the biggest victim of a lie are those who tell it -- and believe it themselves. Never corrupt your database. It may lead you over the cliff in the end. Yet there is in recent events an element of grace. Other countries learn this harsh lesson only through pain, tears and bloodshed. America may have learned it in a relatively painless political exercise.
It's been a "harsh lesson" for the Dems. I can only wonder whether they'll actually learn from it.

Anti-trump protests "spontaneously" arise in some cities. Celebrities are beside themselves with revulsion. Posters on Instagram display black images. Facebook is on fire with angst and anger. A commenter, "Cellec", at The Belmont Club wrote this: "As we speak, the absolute despair of the left is palpable. It's as if they suddenly don't know where (or if) they fit into reality."

As I've written many times, the left often moves through the looking glass, into a fantasy of their own making. When the reality and fantasy collide, reality has a way of winning. Just like Donald Trump did.


And this from Hollywood writer and celeb Aaron Sorkin, published in Vanity Fair (the name of the publication is particularly apt). He's the guy who wrote the wildly popular fairy tale, The West Wing—the one about a make-believe president who did everything right, who reached out, who had superior ethics, who really, really, really cared—I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. He writes the following "open letter" to his daughters:
Sorkin Girls,

Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from. That’s a terrible feeling for a father. I won’t sugarcoat it—this is truly horrible. It’s hardly the first time my candidate didn’t win (in fact it’s the sixth time) but it is the first time that a thoroughly incompetent pig with dangerous ideas, a serious psychiatric disorder, no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn has.

And it wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life (or are the reason for their way of life) have been given cause to celebrate. Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere. Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being “the fresh voice of an outsider” who’s going to “shake things up.” (Did anyone bother to ask how? Is he going to re-arrange the chairs in the Roosevelt Room?)
... and on and on and on.

Gosh, what a clever, insightful, deep commentary. I'm sure that Sorkin, sitting high on his elevated moral perch, sends his kids to public schools in LA, rides mass transit, visits Compton regularly, lives in the slums of Beverly Hills, and never, ever takes more than 5 times the salary of the lowliest grip on his TV sets. I'm sure he counsels them to appreciate the opinions of others., except, of course, when they are counter to his own.

After all ... he's a man of the Left, so he has the unquestioned moral authority to assign the labels "white nationalist" or "racist" or "buffoon" to anyone—anyone!—who voted for Donald Trump. Adam Sorkin, a man who writes TV make-believe for a living has the unmitigated gall to lecture the "deplorables" (through a letter to his daughters, of course) about how bad they are for disagreeing with his world view. Let's see, his daughters are white women, right? And since more than half (52%) of that category voted for Trump, I have to wonder whether  his daughters, when grown, might follow the majority of woman in their demographic. Never! Those woman are just white nationalists—Aaron Sorkin tells me so.

But then again, he's a member of the Hollywood glitterati, so he must be right ... except when he's not. Which, I suspect, is just about all the time.