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

Monday, February 13, 2017

No Trump Clause

For just a moment, think of yourself as a 20-something who is looking for roommates in a major urban area. You use your favorite app or jump on Craig's List and read:
ROOMMATE WANTED: Two open-minded women looking for a roommate to share expenses and adventures. Nice neighborhood, nicer apartment. If you're tolerant and fun, please let us know. No Trump supporters need apply.
What the NYT calls the "NO Trump clause" has become increasingly common over recent months. It certainly isn't wrong for roommates to pick those they want to live with, but it seems pretty intolerant to assume that someone's political preference would preclude even a conversation to see if interests outside politics might coincide.

For the Left in the Trump era, it seems that there is no life outside politics. Kevin Williamson writes:
Earlier this week, I expressed what seemed to me an unobjectionable opinion: that politics has a place, that politics should be kept in its place, and that happy and healthy people and societies have lives that are separate from politics. The response was dispiriting but also illuminating ...

[An] objection came from a correspondent who demanded: “What if politics greatly impacts every facet of your life?” That would be an excellent question if it came from some poor serf living in one of the states our American progressives so admire, such as Cuba or Venezuela, where almost every aspect of life is under political discipline, where government controls whether you eat — and, indeed, whether you breathe. But if you live in the United States and politics greatly impacts every facet of your life, you have mental problems, or you are a politician. (But I repeat myself.)
In the big intrusive government (B.I.G.) world of the Left, politics does in fact control every aspect of one's life. That's because BIG is intended to control every aspect of your life and politicians (progressive, of course) control politics. That is the problem.

As the Left continues its seemingly never-ending hysteria over Trump, the people around him, the nominees he proposes, the policies he suggests and the words he uses, you'd think that all of these things "impact every facet of one's life." But everyday life goes on—job, family, friends ... even your search for a roommate.

The anti-Trumpers are the first to tell you that tolerance, love, open-mindedness, and acceptance of others are dominant aspects of their lives. Yet none of those things seem to matter when they encounter someone with a differing political view. As Williamson noted, to many on the Left, everything is political, and when the politics bends out of their immediate control, there is a level on anger that is astonishing. He continues:
But, as Robin Hanson put it, politics isn’t about policy.

What it is about is tribe, which is what makes all that conflation of racism and bigotry with political difference so amusing. Political prejudice is not the moral equivalent of racial prejudice, but they operate in very similar ways, as anybody who ever has spent much time around a genuine racist or anti-Semite knows. Taxes too high? Blame the blacks. Not making enough money? Blame the Mexicans. Foreign policy seem overwhelmingly complex? Blame the Jews. Whataburger gave you a full-on corn-syrup Coke instead of a Diet Coke? Blame the blacks, Mexicans, Jews, subcontinental immigrants . . . somebody. Racism and anti-Semitism are metaphysical creeds, and those who adhere to these creeds see the work of the agents of evil everywhere. For them, there is no world outside race and racism.
If the last sentence of this paragraph sounds vaguely analogous to the rantings of some Democrats over the past few months; if everyone who has a different political view is a racist or a bigot or a white supremacist, if every appointee is vaguely evil, if every tweet or side comment is one small step towards a authoritarian future, then you just might begin to understand that prejudice cuts both ways—and although some don't realize it, it's prejudice that drives many of the actions of the so-called "#resistance."


Even some Democrats are beginning to push back against the outrage machine that spawns things like the No Trump Clause. Allan Richarz comments:
With so much outrage and so little time, what is a socially conscious progressive to do? If the reactions post-election are any indication, the answer is to adopt a preening, self-righteous sense of moral outrage — an extremely counterproductive approach for those opposing the likes of Donald Trump et al.

If Democrats and progressives wish to serve as credible opposition over the next four to eight years, it is necessary to drop the self-promoting outrage theater popular among activists and develop a more mature, fact-driven approach.

The histrionics in response to President Trump’s election have been, in a word, unseemly. I’m not talking about the laudable Women’s Marches or demonstrations against Trump’s immigration executive order, but the angst-ridden thought-pieces on mothers “paralyzed” at the thought of raising a son in Trump’s America. The help lines for college students unable to deal with Trump-voting relatives at family gatherings. All against a backdrop of perma-apoplexy on social media in which privileged, upper-middle-class white college students unironically take on the affectations of one living in Nazi Germany ...

In the rush to become the most ideologically pure progressive in the room, all sense of perspective is lost. There is a tendency to see Trump as a crude caricature — an intemperate, thin-skinned, incompetent neo-Nazi bully. Much how Democrats “misunderestimated” George W. Bush as a Texas rube, there is similar peril in this myopic view of Trump. This is particularly true considering Trump’s penchant for tweaking critics, ability to carefully curate controversy and his often deft manipulation of the media.
Many Democrats are becoming the boy who cried wolf—tiresome ideologues who tell us the apocalypse has come or is coming. And when it doesn't, people simply stop listening.