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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Politics of Vilification

The rhetorical excesses by Donald Trump in reaction to the rhetorical excesses of members of The Squad are getting increasingly ugly. For decades, the Left has felt comfortable labeling conservatives as "nazis" or "murderers" or "racists" or "deplorables" or any of a number of vicious epithets that characterize them as morally defective. With the election of Donald Trump, the Dems ran into a GOP politician who doesn't do the gentlemanly thing when confronted with one or more of those epithets, and turns the other cheek. For better or worse, Trump is unafraid to punch back, driving the Left to every greater levels of Trump Derangement and outright hysteria.

By using their own tactics again them, Donald Trump has sunk to the same level as the Left—encouraging his supporters to chant "send her back" after accurately accusing Ilhan Omar, a sitting Congresswoman, of decidedly anti-American and Anti-Semitic statements and positions. Omar is not a person to be admired and certainly a legitimate target for harsh criticism. But Trump has also done something else. By using their own tactics against them. Trump has forced many Leftists to take off their masks—you know the mask that would have us all believe that they and they alone are inclusive, understanding, broadminded, liberal and otherwise tolerant. With their now tedious accusations of "racist-white supremacist" against people with a different point of view, they have demonstrated that they are none of those things.

Richard Fernandez expands on this:
By forcing the pace, Trump obviously hopes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her companions will blurt out their unvarnished reactions in velocity veritas and it seems to be working. Despite the unpleasantness, the result has been clarity: Washington has laid all the ugly cards on the table, for once the capital is free of artifice and every seething emotion is on display. The choices are stark even if they are not very edifying.

What a scene it presents. On the one hand is a group of people who think America is the source of all evil that should spend the rest of its historical existence atoning for the mischief it has loosed in the world. On the other hand is a group who believe that for all its faults it is the greatest country in the world and that those who want to destroy it should go back to Somalia. Whichever point of view you subscribe to (or neither) it's hard to deny that these factions have existed for some time and are only now coming to grips in the open.
"Clarity" is the realization (based on things like the Kavanaugh hearings and the non-stop verbal assaults by members of The Squad) that the Democrats are not now, nor have they ever been, the center of virtue. The GOP is flawed, for sure, but no more flawed than the Dems. And it's that realization that then focuses the 2020 election on actual achievements and results, not promises of a utopian society in which the powerful are hobbled and everything else is 'free.'

Steve Cortez discusses the Politics of Vilification:
I appeared on CNN Monday night to discuss the firestorm over the president’s caustic tweets last weekend criticizing the four most progressive members of the House of Representatives. I deemed the tweets illogical and shrill, and said so on Twitter and on Anderson Cooper’s show. I also pointed out that the overreaction from Democratic politicians and their media allies revealed a hysterical attempt to castigate the president as prejudiced. I cited the incredibly incendiary accusation of my CNN colleague Wajahat Ali who retweeted an article and its headline: “Trump is a racist. If you still support him, so are you.”

Such an immense and broad condemnation of tens of millions of Americans represents, itself, an intensely bigoted tactic. After all, utterly dismissing wide swaths of our society just because they do not share prescribed political preferences represents a wholesale effort to delegitimize and dehumanize; it’s a classic tactic to “otherize,” to borrow a term from the left. Paradoxically, liberals like Ali unveil their own inherent and systemic bigotry by belittling their fellow citizens, merely on the grounds of policy differences. Rather than engage and debate and persuade, the intolerant left chooses the politics of vilification. Their rash judgment deems the “unwashed rabble” of our America First movement as deplorables and racists, simpletons unworthy of real consideration.
Democrats don't seem to understand that members of the general public sense the condescension that permeates much of the rhetoric that comes from Democratic presidential candidates, congressional leadership and, of course, many hard-left members (exemplified by The Squad), and react accordingly. The Dems also seem to be incapable of recognizing that their ideological positions are just that—one point of view among many. They are not anointed with supernatural wisdom nor are they immune from criticism.

Whether they realize it or not, the Dem's self-appointed spokeswomen, The Squad, through their spoken words and tweets that continuously criticize the United States, its military and law enforcement agencies as racist and worse, have a policy agenda that could be called 'Hate America.' That's not an agenda that will sell well politically, even if those on the hard-Left think it will.

Liz Shield writes:
The average American doesn't hate America, so "Hate America" is a tough platform to sell in order to mobilize people against Trump. Regular people don't like being told they are racists, Nazis, homophobic, bigoted privileged folk who achieved their success on the backs of oppressing minorities. It's offensive. Especially coming from a gaggle of ladies who have achieved significant political power. All this talk about Trump being divisive, all this talk about putting a Democrat in the presidency to unify the country, is just complete and total garbage.
Some Democrats and even a few of their most-recognized supporters in the media have begun to realize this. It will be interesting to see whether they stand-up to the Politics of Vilification and say, "Enough!"