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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Turn It Off

New England, New York, and the West Coast are the only true strongholds for Clinton supporters. Within those regions, there is nowhere, with the possible exception of some cities in Massachusetts and Vermont, that had stronger support for Hillary than some parts of Brooklyn, New York. David Marcus has written an interesting essay on Brooklyn in the days after. He writes about grocery shopping in a local 'organic' store in Red Hook, Brooklyn:
The mood in the store was glum. As in most of Brooklyn, people stared ahead, moving slowly, still in shock from the political earthquake of Tuesday night.

After getting our Brazilian Arabica ground for drip (I know, I should really use a French Press), Libby and I walked towards the organic maple syrup. That’s when it started. I suppose there had been music playing in the store, but I hadn’t noticed until a familiar guitar lick pierced the air and a soft voice said, “Turn it up.”

Libby and I both stopped and looked at each other. “Seriously?” said my wife, a very disappointed Clinton supporter. She started gripping her soft Tomme Crayeuse a little too hard. By the time Ronnie Van Zant’s drawl started in with “Big wheels keep on turnin’,” everyone in the store was standing in shock. Brows were furrowed, people mumbled to each other. The song seemed to get louder as one of those New York moments happened, when everyone was thinking the exact the same thing.
In a faux pas to end all faux pas, the store was playing "Sweet Home Alabama"—a song from Trump country. The progressives, to a shopper, were mortified.

Marcus continues:
As the election grew near, confidence was overflowing. A big victory was on the horizon for Lena Dunham and the new Brooklyn. This ground zero for upscale progressivism was ready for a party; white male supremacism was about to be crushed beneath a professional high heel.

Fittingly, perhaps, the only exception to Clinton mania in Brooklyn was in the southern part of the borough. In Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, big trucks could be seen with “Hillary for Prison” and “Make America Great Again” detailed on their back windows. This is not the Brooklyn of “Girls” or “The Slap.” It is the Brooklyn of “Blue Bloods,” the home of cops and firemen, plumbers and construction workers immune to the appeal of a President Clinton. These are people who listen to Skynyrd, and not ironically.
There is an arrogance and condescension among many progressives that is palpable among those who do not buy into their world view. Its presence has been greatly magnified by their reaction to the presidential election results, and although abating just a bit, Democrats and progressive can't seem to let it go.

Again, from Marcus:
Along with being called deplorable, Trump’s supporters (of which I was not one) have been treated in a way that is rare in American politics, and deeply troubling. The campaign that emerged from Brooklyn didn’t just attack the politics of people who don’t live in big cities. It attacked their entire way of life, and promised it was dying.

When the angry older woman with the anti-Trump button [Love Trumps Hate] asked the clerk to turn off the song, the younger woman looked at her sympathetically and said, “I don’t know how.” In that moment, something seemed to click.

Of course, this woman thought that “Sweet Home Alabama” could just be turned off. After all, we can block out things we disagree with. We can unfriend people on Facebook, block them on Twitter, and decide not to let their negativity be a part of lives. For many progressives, this is the key to wellness.

But turning off Skynyrd doesn’t make it go away. Somewhere in the land where the stars still shine, it plays on, whether you hear it or not. The shock and despair in Brooklyn over Hillary Clinton’s unfathomable defeat comes in no small part because her denizens refused to hear the rumblings of an America they chose to ignore.
I have written many times about the statue of three monkeys—one with hands over his eyes, another with hands over his ears, and the last with hands over his mouth. Marcus' tale of the grocery store is a metaphor for the first two monkeys—Democrats refused to see and absolutely refused to listen. Now, they apply the last monkey with hands over his mouth not to themselves (they're very willing to speak), but rather to stifle the speech of those who disagree with their narrative. Just 'turn it off' ... except they can't.