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

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Gentry Liberals

It is, I think, silly to make too much of the nasty commentary and clearly partisan viciousness that occurred during the White House Correspondents Dinner this past week. After all, if you consider the audience, it was predictable. The editors of the Wall Street Journal noted:
Michelle Wolf [the commedienne who attacked Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a very personal way] merely gave them what she no doubt assumed, with ample reason, the correspondents wanted. She comes from a network and recent style of comedy that specialize in attacking the politics and values of half the country.

Much—not all—of the press corps has responded to Donald Trump’s surprising victory not by trying to understand it, much less report on it with any balance. Instead they have treated it like an alien invasion that must be repelled, and anyone associated with it as deserving disdain, ridicule or worse. Any reporter who doesn’t follow this herd of contempt is expelled from polite media company. Ms. Wolf was merely putting a cruder face on what she reads every day.
Indeed. Ms. Wolf is a reflection of a broader attitude exemplified by most progressive Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media, who not only attack Trump but approximately half of all citizens who voted for him. Secretly, or maybe not so secretly, they truly do view (in word and tone) such people as "deplorables."

I get that Trump (through his tone and words) drives them to levels of derangement that are unprecedented, and I also recognize that almost every serious writer has tried to examine the reasons why. Progressives would tell us that it's because Trump is a "racist," or a "bigot" or "anti-immigrant," or ... but those have become throwaway epithets that are increasingly meaningless or more accurately, labels for anyone who disagrees with the progressive world view.

In an opinion piece written way back in January of 2017, Glen Reynolds, began to dissect Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). In the 15 months since that time, those who supported Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders have gone from sadness to anger to blame to hysteria and now to full blown derangement. Whether it's the leadership of the Democratic party, their hard-left base, their trained hamsters in the media (many of whom were in attendance at the WHCD) , or bureaucratic holdovers from the Obama administration, it's crazy behavior and finger pointing all-day, every day.

It's always dangerous to play armchair psychiatrist, but the behavior of the TDS crowd is so extreme and unrelenting that it worth trying to understand what drives it. Here's Reynold's 15-month old take. It still resonates today:
It’s been nearly two months since the election, and Democrats and leftists still haven’t settled down. The campus safe spaces and cry-ins immediately after the votes were counted were bad enough. But the craziness is still going on.

Why are they so upset? I think it’s because of status anxiety. Our privileged, college-educated left — what Joel Kotkin calls the gentry liberals — feels that its preeminent position in American society is under threat. And people care a lot about status.

What’s more, the people who seem to be lashing out the most are, in fact, just those gentry liberals: academics, entertainers, pundits, low-level tech types, and so on. As journalism professor Mark Grabowski reported, another academic texted him on election night: "Oh my God! We will be the ones ostracized if he wins."

Maybe we shouldn’t “ostracize” people based on whether their candidate wins, but in a way this professor was right: A Trump victory is a blow to the status of the people who thought Hillary Clinton was their candidate — one that they feel even more deeply because gentry liberals, having been raised on the principle that the personal is political, seem to take politics pretty personally.
Gentry liberals tell us that Trump is a MONSTER—a racist, misogynist, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim white supremacist who is also an authoritarian fool. Given that, they tell us, their anger and #Resistance is justified.

But how do those same gentry liberals account for the simple reality that under the "monster's" leadership the following things have happened: (1) many African Americans and Latinos are thriving in a growing economy, (2) blue collar people are experiencing rising wages and more money in their paychecks, (3) woman are benefiting from a growing market for good jobs, (4) cities are safer as illegal immigrant gangs like MS-13 are rounded up, (5) controls on immigration reduce the likelihood of imported Islamic terror incidents, (6) the world, after eight years of chaos, is slowly gravitating toward slightly greater stability.

Because the 6-point reality noted in the preceding paragraph does not fit their narrative, gentry liberals simply reject it despite clear evidence that it is happening. They believe that their mantra —Trump is a MONSTER — justifies their hysteria and derangement.

But the MONSTER argument simply doesn't wash. Trump is crass. His style is often offensive. He doesn't fit the mold of a typical president. But his accomplishments cannot be ignored or minimized. He. Is. Not A. Monster.

The only monstrous aspect of all of this is the gentry liberals' hysterical accusations and behavior, and their seeming inability to recognize that their viciousness does nothing to improve the political landscape. They are, in fact, a lot like the boy who cried wolf. If at some point in the future they actually encounter truly monstrous policies or leaders, their voices will be dismissed. After all, who really wants to listen to a hysteric.