The Hypocrisy of Us, Educated Liberals
This year has been unforgiving. First, there was Brexit, and then there was the election of Donald Trump for President of the United States. Nassim Nicholas Taleb described this phenomenon delicately in Black Swan. Notably, our ability to predict events of great magnitude is slim to none. Each and every one of us who believed with unequivocal certainty that Hillary Clinton would win this election was blinded by institutional cockiness and persuasive lies.
My generation of educated liberals is now forced to look themselves in the mirror. Perhaps we are not as smart as we think we are. Perhaps our belief systems have been hijacked by the unrepresentative polls and the baseless statistics that were floating around our Facebook News Feeds. Perhaps we’re to blame for our complacency. Perhaps we should have denounced the Democratic National Committee’s bias against Bernie Sanders. Perhaps he’d be the President right now, actually.
The streets of Philadelphia were cold last week. The energy was heavy — the lightness of life disappeared. Laughs didn’t come easily. I haven’t seen a comparable number of people crying in such a short period of time.
And us, educated liberals, have already found ways to brush Donald Trump’s presidency under the rug. Have we been educated to rationalize all the bad things that happen to us or have we been educated to think? Have we descended to a level of servitude that renders us powerless vis-à-vis the political and media establishments that were demolished by a man who glorifies sexism, misogyny, and racism?
Some events have been fruitful. There were protests across the country — in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, and practically everywhere in California, just to name a few.
Although these acts of activism have helped unsettle the dust, the class of educated liberals have not truly budged. They’ve pronounced discontent with the result the elections, but they’ve juxtaposed this affect with shallow quotes from MLK. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
But what we should face is the unfortunate truth that, by remaining passive, we add extra layers of soil and dirt onto his grave. We sabotage his work and those of all progressive thinkers and doers who helped us get here in the first place. We’re content with being part-time citizens and part-time consumers of valueless information.
Let us face it — we exist in a space where predictions about the future are worthless. They’re hopeless means of comfort and naïve guides. There are only a handful of ways in which we can look into the future. Action and understanding of the other quickly come to mind.
Donald Trump has taken over our lives, our places of conversation, our homes, and our personal spaces. Donald Trump has kicked our hopes for a better future aside and spat on the values we cherish. He has treated women like objects. He has ridiculed people with disabilities. He has disrespected Latin-Americans, Blacks, Muslims, and foreigners. He has taken the side of Neo-Nazis and fascists. He has made all of us — educated liberals — look like fools. Donald Trump has pointed the middle finger to the world. And he’s about to walk into the White House with no regrets.
He may want to reside part-time in the White House and sleep in his penthouse in Manhattan. But, as a friend of all of those who judge him as unfit to be President, I promise to sleep with one eye open until he vacates American government. I will jump on every opportunity I have to fight, march, and denounce his oppression.
Walls exist within and between us. To denote them as “bubbles” is too soft of a stance. False beliefs and naive reliance on institutional “knowledge” numb us from thinking critically and understanding the truth about America and the rest of the world. Rigid boundaries, cement highways, and concrete edifices separate us from what is truly happening in the world.
Let us come together in deconstructing these false separations with brutal honesty, creative gestures, and relentless optimism.
I could’ve been you and you could’ve been me. For this reason and this reason only, never should we legitimize our entitlements. Never should we say that we deserve anything more than the person standing next to us. We’ve been hypocrites for far too long.