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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Posturing Progressivism

For those who are unfamiliar with it, is a website that presents news, commentary, and entertainment from a decided liberal-left perspective. It celebrates political correctness as the gospel, is humorless when anyone violates its worldview, even in jest, has a generally condescending attitude toward any neanderthal who disagrees with the Bernie Sanders crowd, and is otherwise activist in nature.

It was therefore somewhat surprising when Emmett Rensin published a serious piece at Vox that decried "... a smug style in American liberalism.” Rensin writes:
“It [liberalism] is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence — not really — but by the failure of half the country to know what’s good for them ...”

“Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat. That for every overpowered study finding superior liberal open-mindedness and intellect and knowledge, there is one to suggest that Republicans have the better of these qualities.”
After reading Rensin's piece, Kyle Smith of The New York Post (the antithesis of the Vox perspective) comments:
Ow. And: whoa. For Vox, this was the equivalent of John Travolta plunging that hypodermic of adrenaline directly into Uma Thurman’s heart in “Pulp Fiction.” Vox Is Making Sense! It was the second-biggest shock of the week.

Rensin calls out posturing progressivism for its “condescending, defensive sneer toward any person or movement outside of its consensus, dressed up as a monopoly on reason.” He notes that the base of the Democratic party morphed from working-class whites to an ungainly coalition of elite coastal professionals and minorities “largely excluded” from “decision-making.”

Rejected by their own core, the Democrats looked for excuses. It couldn’t be that their message was repellent to the masses. So they satisfied themselves with “the theory that conservatism, and particularly the kind embraced by those out there in the country, was not a political ideology at all. . . . Stupid hicks don’t know what’s good for them. They’re getting conned by right-wingers and tent revivalists until they believe all the lies that’ve made them so wrong. They don’t know any better. That’s why they’re voting against their own self-interest.”

That is a radical position (to progressives), albeit an obvious one (to everyone else), but Rensin goes a step farther and attacks the pope of the One True Church of Smug Liberalism, Jon Stewart, for advancing “the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that its opponents were, before anything else, stupid.” (Note to younger readers: Stewart’s “The Daily Show” is a formerly popular comedy-current affairs show to which liberals used to turn for instruction in how to think about politics.)

It is moderately brave, if 30 years tardy, of Rensin to say that what he calls the “Correct Culture” (i.e., what everyone else has been calling political correctness since before he was born) has “come to replace politics itself.” When Rensin decries “a politics that insists it has no ideology at all, only facts,” it’s impossible not to think of President Obama who, Rensin adds, this time only eight years tardily, that Obama embodied smugness when he offered no antidote for industrial job losses but instead dismissed disaffected working-class Americans as “bitter” folks who “cling to guns and religion.”
We're going to see a lot of liberal (and conservative) posturing during the coming months as Hillary Clinton battles Donald Trump or another GOP candidate. But I suspect that the Democrats' narrative will rely solely on political correctness, suggesting that: whatever GOP candidate emerges will be racist, homophobic, bigoted, for the "rich," warlike, anti-immigrant, you know the list. The disastrous results of the past eight years of Democratic governance will be avoided at all cost.

The Democrats are fielding a candidate that is demonstrably dishonest, very-likely corrupt, and undeniably incompetent. Yet, she will be praised as our next identity politics savior (Hillary is, after all, a woman and that's all that matters). And the neanderthal GOP—they're dumb and bigoted and ... well, I think I already said that.

An honest national conversation about a $15.00 minimum wage that will cause millions of hardworking teenagers and other low wage workers to lose their jobs (it's already happening in Seattle and other progressive havens), a healthcare plan (Obamacare) that has now entered a death spiral, or the Iran "deal" that will undoubtedly lead to a nuclear arms race in the most unstable region of the world, or a dozen other failures in Democrat leadership and control just won't happen.

Instead, the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media will laser focus on how hard the Dems will work for a "correct culture." All the other stuff? Those of us who have an different opinion must submit to the "correct culture" or be labelled with bad words. Gosh, you'd think that those of us who disagree are really, really stupid. After all, the "smug" Democrats tell you so.