An Angry Letter to Liberals
No! No! No! No! Liberals are not responsible for Donald Trump’s election. Since November 9th, I can’t open a paper, read a political blog or watch a show without hearing someone talk about how the coastal liberals are out of touch with either working class people or the white working class or white males. Has anyone who says this even been watching politics for the last three decades?
Liberals have continually been sucker punched by conservatives since Ronald Reagan became president. Here are the titles of some books by conservative mouthpiece Ann Coulter: Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America, How to Talk To a Liberal (if you must), Never Trust a Liberal Over 3, Liberal Lies…Liberal Treachery…Etc.. Then, there is the most famous quote about liberals that made the rounds when Howard Dean was running for President: “Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs.” There may be the odd similarly hyperbolic book by a liberal that criticizes conservatives, but there are no liberal equivalents to Coulter, Limbaugh, anyone on the FOX channel, Drudge, Breitbart, etc. But somehow, WE are the ones who are out of touch with conservative America. As if they have tried so hard to work with us, but WE just look down at them. I call bull shit, and unless you are a liberal who is regularly abusive and offensive toward conservatives, I insist that you stop buying in to and repeating this idiotic meme.
Instead, stand up for yourselves, dammit! Why can liberals drink lattes, eat sushi and drive Volvos? Because we live in communities and states that are the economic engines of the US. We work hard, we excel, we are educated, we are creative, and we contribute a lot more to the advancement of our country than the states that voted for Trump. Now conservatives and Trump supporters would scream that my statement is a perfect example of liberal elitism. But it is not. It is just true. But don’t take my word for it. An article titled “Another Clinton-Trump Divide: High out-put America vs. Low Out-put America cites “The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America’s economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2,600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country’s output — just a little more than one-third of the nation’s economic activity.”
So why, liberals, are you parroting this meme that our lack of understanding of some demographic is the reason Trump won? We actually got it right. Liberals supported Bernie Sanders in overwhelming numbers. This election was about voters showing the establishment politicians that we are fed up with the direction of the country. Trump was the Republican anti-establishment candidate, and the establishment fought him tooth and nail, but Republican voters chose him anyway. Our version of that was Sanders. But the Democratic Party (with its pre-primary super-delegates, its shenanigans around voting and the convention, and its vilification of Sanders supporters) made sure the establishment candidate won the nomination. So, the next time someone says it is liberals who are out of touch, don’t take it. It was the Democratic Party leadership that is, to this day, out of touch. Liberals tried their best (and still are by supporting Keith Ellison for DNC Chair) to elect a leader who DID care about the middle class, who REALLY understood the pain and disenfranchisement of the working class, and who was authentic when talking about the issues that are important to the vast majority of Americans. Liberals supported Bernie Sanders, a candidate who appealed to lots of Trump supporters. Don’t forget it!
I wish I had the time and money to track down where this “liberals are out of touch” meme started because I bet it came from a conservative. Why? Because the majority of Americans support liberal policies like an increased minimum wage, health care for all, social safety-net programs for the poor, and cleaner environments — programs that benefit the very people we are supposed to be ignoring or unconcerned with — while Republicans and conservatives fight those programs tooth and nail. While liberals are calling for medicare for all, Republicans are going to end Obamacare; while liberals want to expand social security and tie the rising cost of living to social security increases, Republican/conservatives are constantly trying to end the program. Pick a policy. Liberals want to expand benefits or rights to as many people as possible, while Republicans/conservatives are busy taking away rights and excluding people from the political process. And the majority of Americans agree with liberals; they just can’t bear it when such policies are called liberal because the right has vilified the word liberal for so long, America can’t think straight when it is used. Liberal states have a higher standard of living than conservative states on almost every metric. Conservative governors and legislators are so busy trying to control women and their vaginas that they can’t bother to pass legislation that helps their constituents, so their states are way down on the list when it comes to education, health, economic security, life expectancy, child mortality (well, they are high on the list for this one), and …you get the point. It isn’t liberals who are out of touch with working class and middle class America. It is the vast majority of our legislators, mostly Republican, who are.
Liberals, can you not see that, once again, we are being blamed for the results of Republican policies? Republicans obstructed government for the last 8 years, but Obama is at fault for the nation’s troubles? Republicans lied us into a war that resulted in the formation of ISIS, JUST LIKE THE ELITE LIBERALS predicted it would, but Obama is blamed for it? Watch FOX channel for 5 minutes and you will find that liberals are the cause of every evil in the world despite the fact that we haven’t had political power, even in the Democratic Party, since the Carter Administration, and some would argue since Franklin Roosevelt.
Liberals, this meme that you have just accepted as you slink away with your tail between your legs to go and reflect on how you can better reach out to real America (and yeah, have you forgotten that liberals have been told we are not real Americans?) is simply an advance attack by Republicans who are already laying the groundwork for the next election. The Sanders revolution was just a little too close for comfort for them, and they see that liberal ideas were actually embraced by plenty of Americans who chose not to vote in this election and by many eventual Trump voters. The map of America based on millennial voters was awash in blue. Given the right candidate, those voters will show up in droves, so it is absolutely vital for Republicans to crush us now, before we even start talking about Elizabeth Warren or some other liberal who has truly been on the side of working Americans their whole lives. Republicans understand that when people have things like security, they are less easily manipulated by fear. Trump won the presidency with 26% of the eligible votes. He lost the national vote. And that was with about 45% of the public sitting this one out. Republicans understand that if they are to keep power, they must make liberals think they did something wrong. Don’t buy into it
There is a lot of talk about reflection and resistance. Sure, reflect and resist. We have made mistakes and must reflect on what we can differently next time (voting would be my first suggestion). But Trump’s election and the unleashed power of the Republicans have changed everything. We live in a different world now, and our reflections and resistance will require complete new tactics. We absolutely must change how we interact with our government and fellow citizens. More on that next week.