It’s been a tough year for the “liberal elite”. What with the Brexit vote, the Trump election and the death of many of our musical heroes. 2016 has not been a good year for those of us who hope for a more progressive and inclusive society.
Let me put on record that “liberal elite” is the dumbest smear I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I’ve been called Populist, Lefty Loony, Open Borders Lunatic and many more colourful and nasty things, but calling someone “elite” as a smear is the most (oxy)moronic thing yet.
“Hey you, you’re better informed than me, up yours!” is not really a put down. It’s more a declaration that the disenfranchised have decided that they reason for their disenfranchisement is self-important liberals. They have a very valid point, up to a point. Liberals are guilty in thinking that just because their own circle of influence (echo chamber) thinks the same as they do, then the rest of the world does to.
Liberals have championed change quicker than many people have wanted. Liberals have lost sight of getting buy in and THEN ushering in progressive changes. Liberals have exuded a sense of knowing what’s best and not taken time to consider the fears, real or imagined, by large parts of the population.
You might imagine the Trump election has obliterated that Liberal world view and sense of intellectual smugness . But you’d be wrong. Despite calling every major event/election wrong over the past year the Liberal Ideology, rather than look at its flaws, has decided to blame everyone else for being stupid.
Worse, they are still pretending they were right in their wrongs. Less than a week after the Trump victory, we are hearing “liberals” saying idiotic things like “Trump is moderating“, “He’s rolling back on his election promises” and only this morning I was told “He’s moving back toward the political middle ground”.
Pardon me for one second, but are you insane?
President Elect Trump, has appointed Steve Bannon, Anti-Semite and CEO of Breitbart (the thinking Klansman’s favourite new source) as his chief strategist. He has a Vice President elect in Mike Pence, who believes homosexuality can be cured with “conversion therapy. Trump is already looking to appoint a Conservative Judge to the Supreme Court, in order to repeal Roe vs Wade. Yet, our “Liberal Elite” are reassuring us (and perhaps more themselves) with assertions that the Trump Presidency won’t be that bad after all.
Mike Pence thinks “evolution is a theory” and that the “fundamental truth” is “that God created the heavens and the Earth, the seas and all that’s in them.” Donald Trump thinks “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Moderating modernity maybe…
As someone who has correctly been called a Liberal, but has constantly called out the effects of the The Age of Austerity on people, I accept how wrong I was. I was wrong in thinking Trump could not win. I underestimated the depths of anti-establishment feelings (even as someone who has anti-establishment sympathies myself) and listened too much to my own echo chamber of Liberal reassurance. If this acknowledgement of how wrong I was proves anything, it proves the Liberal Elite smear is a myth.
BUT, if the commentariat/media/social media/academia etc continue to normalise Trumps outrageous views and preach tolerance of his intolerance, then it also proves that echo chambers are more dangerous than ever imagined. Locked away in our comfort-zone bubbles, ignoring reality, is not helping create a world of inclusion. Sending a tweet is not activism. By the time we wake up to our shortcomings and peek outside, it might be too late to stop the march of illiberal immorality.
Tony Groves November 2016
June -22nd- 2016: The UK will vote Remain
November -8th- 2016: The US will vote Clinton
May 2018: There’s no way President Trump will fire those Nukes!
October 2028: I’m not doing what that monkey tells me!