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

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Perils of Pauline

It was a mere four years ago and progressives were experiencing heady days. Their candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton had manipulated the DNC and the primaries to ensure that she would be the Democrat presidential candidate. At the same time, the media was clandestinely promoting someone named Donald Trump, hoping that he would become the weakest of potential GOP candidates and then get trounced by HRC. Throughout the summer and fall, hundreds of political polls indicated that Hillary would beat any GOP candidate, but more important, that she would demolish Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, and life would be ... well ... progressive. The Obama era would continue, this time with a woman.

It didn't work out that way, and you'd think that at least a few progressives might be getting a feeling of deja vu. But progressives are, if nothing else, prone to fantasy thinking. To wit, they believe that:
  • the virus will defeat Trump so long as we keep the economy and the schools shut down, so we'll adopt positions that are in favor of both; 
  • unemployment is awful because of the shut-down, but it's a small price to pay to defeat the evil Trump, so we'll continue to promote positions that keep unemployment high;
  • it's worth sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt among the masses, as long as they translate that into fear, uncertainty and doubt about Trump;
  • there's nothing wrong with a little socialism to rid the country of ... well, just about everything we don't like about the country;
  • Biden is a clear-thinking moderate, despite his inability to string three extemporaneous, coherent sentences together, but he'll win, and then progressives will convince him to go hard-left;
  • the polls look great—Trump is gonna lose.
Conservative firebrand, Kurt Schlichter (read the whole thing) has a somewhat different take. He wonders why the progressives who cried and even wailed on the night of the 2016 election haven't recognized that they were lied to then, and it's possible they're being lied to now.
The Trump people are annoyed, and they intend to vote. You [progressives] smile, confident in the polls telling you that Joe Biden, whose basement dwelling really has nothing to do with his obvious decline, is way ahead. Sure, that happened last time, but this time the polls are dead on. They have to be, right? You can’t imagine that someone, in this environment of vitriol against dissenters that you support, might hesitate to admit to a stranger on the phone an inclination to vote for the guy who is literally Hitler.

You can console yourself that all the people and all the outlets telling you exactly what you want to hear are telling you the truth. But somewhere inside your noggin there’s that nagging voice whispering the troubling question: “Am I being lied to again?” 

It’s Pauline Kael’s* world, and you’re living in it.
Like Pauline, most progressives don't know and certainly don't regularly associate with very many "deplorables." In fact, they often refuse to even listen to opinions that conflict with their own, shutting down any discussion by becoming agitated or in the extreme, reverting to an ad hominem attack on the person offering an opposing opinion. After all, once you call someone a "racist" or suggest that their opinion is worthless because of "white privilege," any meaningful discussion is over.

Deplorables, on the other hand, cannot escape being inundated with progressive thought—from the mass media, from the entertainment industry, from academia, from many government agencies, from major corporations, and increasingly, even from the scientific community. Deplorables have no choice but to listen, but they don't have to agree with what they hear. 

Push back is coming ... again.

*  Kael was a film critic, living in New York, who in 1972 is claimed to have said, "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."