A critique on the liberal reaction

October 12, 2018

Trump’s victory over Clinton was the shot heard around the world. It was a distressing astonishment to some and a triumph for others. Quickly, the reigning ideology was becoming a breed of Republicanism that had not been thoroughly considered in the liberal mainstream before this presidential race, and the liberal movement as a whole was ushered into an age of defensiveness as a result of this event. Liberal voters and spokespeople alike were now reacting to a slew of statements, events and policy with a justified outrage.

Our outrage came from watching much of what we had worked to create throughout the Obama presidency be undone with an efficiency that blindsided people on both sides of the spectrum. It came from the injustices that we work to minimize being both disregarded and aggravated by the new government.

And it came from seeing those who we perceive to have all the socioeconomic power and influence getting more power and influence. While these motivations for outrage are gross generalizations, I believe it does speak to many of those who identify themselves as liberals.

That motivation is the point at which I feel much of the left has disregarded the other perspective. While the policies that this government produces end up benefiting those with more power and influence and hurting those with less, its supporters are not predominantly those with the most power and the most influence.

The demographic that the left has neglected is the less educated, working class, white Republican. It is a class who has felt suppressed by condescending liberal thought throughout the Obama administration. This seemingly fringe or extreme republican ideology took over the Republican base as a result of festering emotions.

This likely does not serve as a valid justification for the Republicans’ alienating views to many liberals. It is a suppression that many minority groups have been forced to deal with on a much deeper level.

Nevertheless, we need to accept that we have inadvertently played a role in bringing about this warped form of Republicanism through the way that we have established liberal culture, not just for us to be able to acknowledge our mistakes in the way we interacted with other perspectives in the past, but also in order for us to learn moving forward.

Politically, we are now in the same situation that the less educated, working class, white Republicans were throughout the last administration. We want a change, so we take our pleas for change out on the people that brought Trump into power.

But Trump supporters are used to being hated by liberals; it is how they developed this perspective in the first place. If we truly want a change, we need to do what hasn’t been done and listen. In no way am I saying we need to change our views, but what I am saying is that the way we conduct our discourse with other perspectives needs to change. The more respectful we are in the way we treat the views of Trump supporters, the faster we will see the anger dissipate followed by more amicable perspectives represented among governmental officials.

Respect is not something that will be easy to give to an ideology that is so clearly and openly alienating and exclusive. But if we continue reacting to the Trumpian emotion the way that we have been, we will find ourselves playing directly into that same stagnation that got Trump his presidency in the first place.

Menu Title