I think much of the recent overwrought activities of the far-left or SJW or whatever moniker one wishes to apply to such folks is due to the success of the liberal project in America over the last 8 to 10 years. Obama, whatever one thinks of him, was kind of like the 60’s New Left finally coming to power. A friend of mine pilloried me for suggesting that Obama’s tenure would be the “faculty lounge presidency.”
So many valued goals of the liberal left were met during BHO’s tenure. DADT was sent to the trash bin of history. Gay men and women and the transgendered can now serve openly in the U.S. military. Same-sex marriage was realized. Obamacare, for all of its shortcomings, was a striking move away from the employer-provided model of health insurance that had dominated for six decades. Had there been a different composition of the Democratic caucus in the Congress, single-payer healthcare might’ve become a reality.
These were goals that had been dreamed of in academia for many years. Mr. Obama was the hope for so much. Obviously he fell far short of instituting some of the other prized objectives of the left-card check and cap-and-trade to name two.
In some ways the liberal left became drunk of that success. They believed that social progress was going to keep moving in a straight line and that there wouldn’t be setbacks. That the GOP was so poisonous in its profile with minorities that it would never win the White House again. That through speech codes and the like that they could stamp out all the ugly and disagreeable things they encountered.
November 8, 2016 should’ve been a wake-up call to the so-called hard-left. Political correctness took a beating. The people running the Justice Department and other agencies are now more concerned with minority participation in crime than with police brutality. There have been repeated attempts to push all manner of regressive laws and rules that would give freedom to discriminate under the guise of religious freedom. These things are a reaction to how some on the left overplayed their hands during the last administration.
Repressing thought from either the right-wing or left-wing perspective only creates anger and division. The right has simply had to depend on racists, sexists and religious fundamentalists so long in order to win elections that I think they are beyond salvaging. The Dems need to become the big tent party again. Don’t talk down to those who support 80% of your agenda over the other 20%. Hear what voters are saying. One of the great things about America is that we usually come to a rough consensus through dialogue and debate. Most folks are decent and have a good reservoir of common sense.
Social justice is a great goal but when it become married to policing language and trying to squelch expression of contrary ideas, that probably isn’t going to end well. Several Democratic politicians were attacked for saying that all lives matter during the last election cycle. Such attacks are worse than counterproductive. They strike the average person as absolutely insane. Cultural Marxism is not conducive to a healthy body politic. It will only harden tribalistic instincts. A year ago on the Federalist website there was a cautionary piece about the beginnings of a white-pride movement. Even such a far gone right-wing source as that realized that when something of that nature comes into being in any substantive form it will split society into racial and ethnic blocs that won’t feel the need to cooperate and coexist. Lo and behold, white nationalism burst onto the scene about six months ago, right after the election and intensified up until the inauguration.