WHY ARE WE LIBERALS HATED SO MUCH?
SHORT ANSWER: DECADES OF IDENTITY POLITICS AND PROPAGANDA
The horror show that was the 2016 election will be examined and reexamined for years, and depending on how bad things get, quite likely decades to come. There were, of course, a lot of factors: Cultural change, economic change, racism, liberal complacency after Barack Obama, the FBI manipulating the election, the Russian government manipulating the election, hatred of feminism and so on.
If you’ve never tuned into Rush Limbaugh (or Michael Savage or Alex Jones) then you might not know that any American who believes that some people are poor through no fault of their own, that African Americans still suffer from the effects of racism, that the United Nations is a good – if not terribly effective – organization, that Common Core actually makes sense, or that multiculturalism is actually a good thing, then – as a liberal or even a moderate with liberal tendencies - you may not fully grasp your tenuous place in American society now that the election of 2016 is over. We are, as a subgroup of the American quilt, the lowest form of life on the planet. The veritable spawn of Satan. Commies to the core. To be rounded up just like Muslims and sent to the gas chambers.
If you think that this is not how the Trump supporters view you or if you feel as if I am exaggerating or using hyperbole to make a point, you are dead wrong. There was nothing so palpable as the full throated roar of the Trumpettes against everything we liberals stand for during this election season. You saw it in their rallies. You saw it on television with the Trump surrogates. You saw it in Trump’s “policies.” You see it in his Cabinet picks. There is in all of this a strong, simple, direct message: the Culture War has shifted its focus to the War on Liberals. No more pussy footing around. We are the enemy.
Oh, not necessarily a war against us individual liberals per se, but a more general dismantling of everything we’ve worked for over the past decades: equal rights, clean air, clean water, clean energy, women’s rights equal pay, government regulation, gun control, prison reform, etc. But now the likelihood of all these advances being turned back is greatly enhanced. Not, however, by the election of Donald Trump but what’s turning out to be an unholy alliance between Trump and Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI). This affiliation is not very surprising. Trump had no overriding ideology or political agenda and much of what he was proposing (trade restrictions, nuclear proliferation, abortion) was diametrically opposed to Republican orthodoxy. Into this vacuum steps Ryan, the Sam Brownback of the House of Representatives, with his “Reform Conservatism,” as he terms it, designed to destroy Social Security, Medicate and the ACA. In Trump he has the perfect empty vessel in which to pour this ideological purity that will make the lives of millions upon millions of Americans poorer and harder if enacted. And there is nothing stopping Ryan, his Freedom Caucus enablers and Republican henchmen from succeeding.
Perhaps this is what needs to happen. Maybe America needs this kind of social disaster to realize how destructive conservative social and economic policies really are. Combined with Trump’s seeming ignorance of the workings of the economy, foreign affairs, international relations, the plight of real Americans, we could be in for one of the worst periods in American history. All brought to us by decades of liberal hatred. Hatred based not on fact, not on data, not on substance but based on pure and simple hate propaganda. The organizational purveyors of this liberal hatred are vast in number and range from “reputable” think tanks like the heritage Foundation and so-called “non-partisan” ones like Judicial Watch, but, for my money, Rush Limbaugh is the best example of this consistent drumbeat of anti-liberal, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific propaganda in existence today. In the pithy words of Rush, “Liberals Are Destroying America.” He says this every single day. He’s been saying it for over two decades. He has no basis in fact for this conclusion but it is is exactly the kind of emotional, bereft of reality rhetorical appeal that Donald Trump used so brilliantly in rounding up his supporters across the country and bringing them to his anti-liberal cause.
The success of Donald Trump was the final success of three decades of conservative and Republican propaganda warfare against liberals and liberalism. They hate us not for what we espouse – multi-culturalism, equal rights, the welfare state, social security, Medicare, Medicaid - although these are the answers you will receive when you ask “why,” but these, are in fact, many of the same liberal social features that they too rely on. They hate us because they have been offered us liberals as sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered on the altar of ideological purity because they can’t find anyone else to blame for their plight. Without the vast web of right wing connected organizations directing their animosity, their angst, their hatred against us, they might have recognized that it’s the very same cabal of conservative think tanks and politicians that have actually done then a great deal of harm. But they have been distracted by the lies, the half-truths, the propaganda for so long now, they cannot even conceive of a different cause for their pain. It’s really as simple as that.
And, of course, the reason why we must fight back, must not “normalize” Trump, must not allow Ryan to destroy our social safety net, is because if we do not then we might find ourselves being sent to whatever the 21st Century equivalent of Hitler’s concentration camps and gas ovens might be instituted under an authoritarian Trump/Ryan regime.
The above Rush video clip should sound familiar to you. Rush's anti-liberal, anti-elite, anti-intellectual rants served as the basis of Trump's entire campaign.
Have a Great Day!