In the days since president-elect Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory, Trump-haters around the world find themselves all over the Kuebler-Ross model’s five stages of grief.
Pardon my schadenfreude.
Months of hubris and snark has been appropriately transcribed into tears, anger and denial. And now you, who got it so profoundly wrong, are busy conducting the postmortem with the finesse of a chainsaw.
You presume to tell us that Trump’s victory is because America is so misogynistic, so racist, so xenophobic or any other number of abusive and divisive slurs those on the left reach for when their ability to reason runs dry.
But this crude oversimplification is nonsense. Do you liberals not see the irony of generalizing Trump’s supporters as racist and sexist? Or do you not hold yourselves to any standard of consistency?
These kind of ad hominem sucker punches do not even deserve a response. But let’s give you a primer on where you went wrong. This is primarily addressed to those of you in 90 per cent of news media.
Let’s start with what we’ll call ‘narrative journalism’. This is your tendency to try and tell every story through the blinders of some over-arching plot which may or may not be relevant to the facts.
Those facts which don’t fit your narrative get ignored or minimized so you can keep writing and producing the first-draft of history as you think it should appear to future generations (or just to manipulate public opinion).
So when millions of white voters choose Trump, it’s ‘racism’, by doing this you try and stuff Trump’s supporters into a narrative of slavery, the KKK, and lynchings. It’s disgusting.
How do you explain the black, latino and asian voters who also chose Trump? How do you look these people in the face and lump them in with your “basket of deplorables”?
Trump made a noticeable effort to reach black voters and, arguably, it paid off in a small way. He got a small but proportionally greater amount of support from black voters than Mitt Romney did in 2012. And not just with black voters, but with Latino voters too.
And maybe if you in the press can stop this knee-jerk reaction of fear-mongering and smearing Republicans and Trump supporters as bigots, greater numbers of these people will be attracted to conservative policies. Or is that too frightening a prospect, because then it would be so much harder to win elections?
When Sarah Palin ran for vice-president in 2008 and millions of those whom you characterize as regressive and bigoted conservatives voted for her, she was just a wacko conservative to be mocked. Was she not ‘feminist’ enough for you?
But when Americans don’t vote for a female heir-to-the-establishment-throne candidate with a long string of shady activities jangling behind her, those same people are misogynistic ogres who are living proof that women are still being oppressed.
Or how about highly-educated Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway who just helped him get elected? What do you do with these facts? Do you just dismiss them as statistical outliers because they don’t fit your narrative?
Maybe if you had run with a Margaret Thatcher instead of a Hillary Clinton you would have your first female president, elected by those same voters you now dismiss as misogynistic.
Because of your obsession with narrative journalism you missed the groundswell of anger and resentment seething among the great-unwashed. The truth is that there isn’t one or two or even three simple reasons why voters rejected the media, the flashy celebrities and the establishment leaders in both parities – all of whom disturbingly coalesced together during this election campaign.
Sure, Trump’s anti-globalism and secure borders message resonated with many. But it was about so much more than that. It included former Bernie Sanders supporters, social conservatives, Tea Party types, and likely a long list of other people with their own grievances.
Some of these people are savory and others unsavory, but this misses the point. They all shared one thing: they were sick of being belittled and dismissed by so-called experts and they felt disconnected from the organs of power and influence. That sound you heard, was their collective roar and you are very unhappy.
So now democracy isn’t so great when you don’t get the result you wanted?
By irresponsibly labeling Trumps supporters with simple narrative-congruent smears you pumped oxygen on the already flaming tensions that have reached a decades-long climax under the presidency of Barack Obama.
But I want to know why you insist on dividing us like this. Is it because your tidy scripted narratives sell better? Well stop, because your constricting neo-marxist oppressor- versus-oppressed identity politics story line that you cram us all into divides us.
I don’t have all the answers, but I will tell you this. Spend more time in front of the mirror and less time baiting and belittling ordinary hard-working people. Talk less and do more to bring us together.