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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vote Shaming

As progressives continue their grieving process, some are ramping up their unhinged rhetoric directed at people who voted for Donald Trump. Here's an example from Jessica Valenti in the left-wing newspaper, The Guardian:
Trump voters sure are sensitive lately. They’re upset that the cast of the hit play Hamilton made a statement to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, and that the audience booed him. They’re displeased that their vote is costing them relationships with family and friends. And for some reason not entirely clear to me, they’re unhappy with Starbucks and decided to demonstrate as much by … buying lots of coffee at Starbucks.

The same people who wear shirts that read “fuck your feelings” and rail against “political correctness” seem to believe that there should be no social consequences for their vote. I keep hearing calls for empathy and healing, civility and polite discourse. As if supporting a man who would fill his administration with white nationalists and misogynists is something to simply agree to disagree on.

Absolutely not. You don’t get to vote for a person who brags about sexual assault and expect that the women in your life will just shrug their shoulders. You don’t get to play the victim when people unfriend you on Facebook, as if being disliked for supporting a bigot is somehow worse than the suffering that marginalized people will endure under Trump. And you certainly do not get to enjoy a performance by people of color and those in the LGBT community without remark or protest when you enact policies and stoke hatred that put those very people’s lives in danger.

Being socially ostracized for supporting Trump is not an infringement of your rights, it’s a reasonable response by those of us who are disgusted, anxious, and afraid. I was recently accused by a writer of “vote shaming” – but there’s nothing wrong with being made to feel ashamed for doing something shameful.
Okaaay, then. Let's see if we can deconstruct this stuff. Ms. Valenti seems to feel that civility after a political loss is essential, but only for those who disagree with progressive thinking. During Obama's years, any criticism, no matter how justified, was often labeled as uncivil or "racist." Hmmm. There's a word you've probably heard one or twice in recent weeks. But now, Ms. Valenti suggests that civility after a political loss can be jettisoned proudly. After all, "deplorables" must undergo "vote shaming."

What Valenti and her many progressive friends seem incapable of understanding is that Trump's victory was in large part a rejection of Democrat governance over the past eight years. Tens of millions of people voted against progressive governance, not for Trump. In essence, the voters have given the the Dems a "timeout" — sent to their room to ponder why it is that their big government model was rejected as ineffective, arrogant, and wasteful. And like the small children who are generally the victims of a timeouts, the Dems sit in their room pouting, punching their pillow, and otherwise blaming anyone but themselves for their predicament.

Jason Willick comments on this when he writes:
Both Brexit and Trump were manifestations of cascading failures of the governing elites of the Western world, who pushed too hard for universalistic values and grew fundamentally disconnected from their populations. Saving liberalism will require elite introspection and a deeper understanding of our current crisis of governance. Self-satisfied assurances that anti-establishment voters are clueless—that they didn’t understand the significance of their vote and will now change their minds, or that they could be educated if social media sites simply promoted the right news outlets—are borderline suicidal.
But if you believe Ms. Valenti, "introspection" is unnecessary and Trump voters are "clueless" or something worse, so vote shaming is the way to go.

As the tantrum continues, progressives inadvertently indicate that they are in service of the "governing elitists" who are "disconnected from their populations." Gee, and here I thought this was all about empathy with "the masses" and speaking truth to power.