2019.06.29 Knee Jerk Liberalism
An article in NYT by Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof, titled, "Stop the Knee-Jerk Liberalism That Hurts Its Own Cause", shows how tone deaf he and the Times are (the Times owns the opinion by running it). His point is, "If Trump turns progressives into intolerant agents of incivility, then we have lost our souls". In his fevered imagination, the regressive illiberal left suddenly popped into existence on Nov 8th 2016 in a reaction to Trump's election. In real life, the idea of knee-jerk liberalism (and the term) goes back to 1921. Donald Trump won the 2016 election, not in a vacuum, but in the context of the caustic left: Hillary's deplorable comments while the DNC paid thugs to assault people at Trump's rally's, Obama abusing the CIA/FBI/IRS to attack conservatives and spy on Trump -- not to mention his championing the Occupy movement, Black Lives matter, and MoveOn/ThinkProgress/Soros funded sock-puppetry that had been going on since the 1990's. The entire Democratic platform is about mischaracterizing the other side, being intolerant agents of incivility, and knee jerk reactions that sees the solution to every problem as robbing from taxpayers to fund a poorly thought out and worse implemented big-government solution.
The good news is this was at least an attempt to admit a few of the myriad ways that the left, Universities and the NYT has become illiberal. The bad news is that it was delusionally self-absorbed to not recognize that this was not a new phenomenon. The lefts attacks on Ronald Reagan in 1980s helped cement that while I was far to the left of Reagan, I wanted to get as far, far away from those caustic leftist hypocrites as I could. And they got worse from there. From misremembering everything Reagan did or didn't do, to defending our rapist-in-chief (Bill Clinton), to having apoplexy because Bush did what Democrats demanded on the house floor that he do, and invade Iraq. To their delusional fawning over Obama, and unwillingness to admit his style and actions did more harm to their causes like Healthcare, or eviscerating Democrats from State and Local government and purging the moderates from the party. To now their perpetual histrionics over everything Trump does -- not matter how reasonable, or how for the cause/issue the left was, just days before Trump said it was a good idea.
Trump hasn't turned progressives into intolerant agents of incivility... he exposed it by reflecting their tone/style. And that's why they hate him so much. He will use all their favored techniques: lie (exaggerate) with impunity, disregard facts he doesn't like, and create his own histories. He's like the Howard Zinn, Barack Obama, or Nancy Pelosi of the right. I don't like Trump's style because of some of those things... but if he can force the left to do what it has failed to do since the civil war, and be introspective and admit their sides flaws, then he's worth it. But so far, he has only exposed the lefts hypocrisy and double standards to those paying attention.