And it’s a waste of time to even try.
It’s certainly wonderful to think that “all we need to do is find ways to constructively disagree with each other,” and think that this would solve most, if not all, of our problems. But there’s a tremendous difficulty with applying this to the modern ideological divide between Right and Left, the “reactionary” (true or otherwise) and the progressive. The difficulties lie in that this line of thinking implies that there are two sides which actually want rational discussion and a settling of differences rationally. Yet, there are not.
Indeed, what the Left wants is precisely the opposite of this. The progressive Left has not, does not, and never will seek some sort of accommodation with its ideological enemies. Instead, the Left seeks to acquire for itself the institutional and social power to silence its enemies. Ultimately, this proclivity stems from the very nature of what drives the “progressive idea,” which is that the “arc of history” is always bending towards the advancement of what the Left believes is “progress.” Since this trend is inexorable, there is no need, ultimately, to compromise with the Right, merely find various ways to outlast them and hasten their demise. This sort of thinking is responsible for everything from doxxing to the gulags and explains why progressivism is the single greatest evil that this world has ever seen.
At the risk of sounding like a progressive myself, one of the overarching problems with the modern world – which includes the worldview of the “classically liberal, libertarian” soft centre – is that it still holds onto essentially bourgeois attitudes about social and civic participation. These attitudes include notions of fair play, the “marketplace of ideas,” approaching consensus through reasonable discussion and the free and open exchange of ideas, and so forth. To the average American and Westerner, these all sound like pretty straightforward goals.
But they are not goals which the progressive Left shares. Indeed, the Left has absolutely no desire to see a “free and open exchange of ideas” because when that happens, they lose. When stacked against virtually any alternative, progressivism has a horrible track record, and deep down inside they know this. This is why they spend so much effort using institutional power to suppressed dissenters from their orthodoxy. It’s why when they do appear to be engaging with ideological competitors, it nearly always takes the form of screaming about “fascism,” “racism,” or some other slur designed to signal to their fellows the presence of an enemy, much like the moaning of a brain-dead zombie in a horror movie.
From the progressive Left/SJW perspective, there is literally NO advantage to actually having open and honest dialogue with those on the Right about any topic, and especially not with the genuine-but-currently-dissident Right. They know that when they engage us in the “marketplace of ideas,” they lose. All that can happen for them is to see defections from their ranks and to lose their grip on institutional power. So why would they ever accede to an open exchange build about “rules of fairness,” if they don’t have to?
The short answer is, “they won’t.” So why would we ever expect them to?
With all that stipulated—because it’s, y’know, true—what course of action is left to us, besides shooting them all in their fucking empty heads? Which all brings us ’round to this.
The Democrats’ behavior after 2016 is not mass delusion or mass hysteria or Trump Derangement Syndrome, or any of the other psychobabble explanations that dominate our political commentary. My first career was as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and I am not impressed with spraying around clinical terms as a substitute for looking at what is in front of us. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a colorful description for political behavior. It is not an analysis of what causes it.
The derangement we are facing is not Orange Man Bad; it is America Bad.
Before Trump was a gleam in their eye, Democrats saw themselves as the only morally valid people in the country. They don’t want individual rights anymore, only group rights. They want Republicans and dissenting liberals to be silenced. Silencing is too good for us—they want us publicly shamed, if need be physically attacked, and any contrary ideas hounded out of the public and the private square.
Democrats hate our electoral system as unjust because it doesn’t deliver to them guaranteed victory. All their efforts towards 2020 will be focused on changing our election laws and norms. They don’t want the electoral college, which guards against domination of the country by politically narrow urban population centers.
They don’t want any safeguards against voter fraud. In fact, they want to legalize a broad highway to fraud, voter “harvesting.” Paid political operatives go door to door, picking up unused mail-in ballots (sent out without request if Democrats have their way), fill them in for the Democrat candidate, and voilà, the Democrats win. They just rolled out the beta test in Orange County, and it flipped long-time red districts blue.
To win in 2020, Democrats will commit every voter scam and fraud ever invented and they are in the process of inventing a whole lot of new ones. Intimidation and moral grandstanding are keys to success for them, hence, attacking Republicans who dare to wear a Trump hat, put up a yard sign, or put a bumper sticker on their car. They will stop the census from asking about citizenship, because illegal voters on the population rolls gives California alone six seats in Congress they would not otherwise have, robbing those seats from more rural, more Republican states.
Social justice, like all Marxist ideologies, believes the ends justify the means. Democrats have no shame that they lied for two years, pretending that a farrago of clumsy lies whipped up by Russian agents for Hillary Clinton was a valid reason to investigate a sitting president. They need hatred of Trump to unify their disparate voting blocks and whip up the frenzy necessary to cover over their unpopular, radical policies.
Naked political power is the driving force behind our culture wars, and behind the weird war on President Trump. It has little to do with his specific policies, let alone his tweets and his pugnacious personality, except that Trump’s counterpunching and toughness have allowed him to survive. John McCain and Mitt Romney didn’t drive them crazy because they caved without a fight. Trump drives Democrats crazy because he won, and because he won’t give in or give up.
That Trump keeps doing a fantastic job on the economy and foreign affairs makes them scared of voters liking what they see, hence they become more determined to take him out by dirtying him up with hysteria. It’s a tactic they use to propagandize low information voters, and suburban moms who don’t like conflict. So Democrats will cause nonstop noise, anger, and conflict, out of thin air if necessary.
It’s not derangement, it’s war.
She’s perfectly correct, in every last detail. But I still maintain that there’s no reason that, in some cases at least, it can’t be both. In support of that argument, please allow me to present Exhibit A:
On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller, stating that Mueller played by the book, “and greatness sometimes means not doing everything by the book.”
Maher said, “Trump calls the Mueller report ‘the crazy Mueller report,’ and in a way, he’s right. Because it’s over 400 pages detailing terrible crimes by a corrupt president, yet Mueller does not prosecute.”
He later added, “I get it. Mueller’s a Boy Scout, a straight arrow. He played it by the book. But you may have noticed, for the past three years, we'[ve] kinda been off book, and greatness sometimes means not doing everything by the book…Sometimes it comes down to you. The attorney general is corrupt. The Congress is dysfunctional. What good is leaving a roadmap for impeachment if you know a tribal, party-before-country Republican Senate will never remove the president? Bob, your trail of breadcrumbs isn’t good enough. We’re not that smart anymore.”
Well, some of us definitely aren’t.