“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Probably not Einstein
It’s an overused and oft misattributed quote, but it’s applicable to many real-life situations. And it is especially applicable in these crazy, post-election times.
Even before the election, the Left (or Regressive Left, to be fair to those who this doesn’t apply to) was entrenched in a campaign of public shaming, tantrum throwing and political violence. Who was their target? Anyone they deemed a racist or bigot. This could range from actual Nazis to a man spreading his legs a little too far on the subway. Tactics used by the Regressives include slander, posting to Tumblr and banning conservative speakers from campuses.
In the run up to the election, this sentiment and its related actions were amplified and focused towards Donald Trump and his supporters. Anything he said remotely related to race, gender or nationality was construed as being racist, sexist and xenophobic, respectively. And those that supported him were lumped in and labeled the same, regardless of their reasoning for endorsement.
Now, my goal here isn’t to defend Trump, his supporters or anyone that was called a bigot by a Leftist. Some of them might actually be racists, even Trump himself. But the fact of the matter is this: these tactics DID NOT WORK.
Trump is now president. The Clinton’s have to find a new sector to terrorize. The Alt-Right is now further embedded in the national psyche. And Pepe the Frog is your god now.
But seriously, all of this moaning, hand wringing, finger pointing and Salon article writing did nothing to bring about their goals. Instead, it has done the opposite. So you would think that, given these results, Leftists would start to sing a new tune. They’d come up with a different approach, one that didn’t involve belittling everyone that disagreed with them and pissing off every rational thinker. Not a chance.
Instead, the Left has proceeded to turn the metaphorical amplifier up to 11. Anyone who voted for Trump is a White Nationalist. Anyone who voted 3rd party is a privileged white male. Do you think that the electoral college is an effective way to prevent a “tyranny of the majority”? Congratulations, you’re a racist!
The Left and their media outlets have doubled down on their divisive tactics and have further alienated those that voted against them. And all of it under the banner of “tolerance” and riding on platitudes like “love trumps hate.” Is it loving to accuse your neighbor of being a fascist for exercising his right to vote? On top of that, they have likely created more of the people they supposedly despise because of a little something called labeling theory.
Now, some of you may be thinking that I’m a hypocrite because I’m using my own label of “insane” on the broad category of Leftists. But I’m not. I’m only talking about the people engaging in this behavior, which Islam reformer and anti-extremist Maajid Nawaz termed, “the Regressive Left.” And secondly, this insanity could only be a temporary condition. If these people want to regain their intellectual integrity and actually fight for real social justice, they need to do the following:
- Stop shouting down those who disagree with them and running away to “safe spaces”.
- Stop overusing the terms racist, bigot, sexist, Islamaphobe and homophobe.
- Realize that identity politics is divisive and hurts those it pretends to help.
- Empathize with those who have different worldviews than you, even if they voted for the guy you don’t like.
- Confront people who actually have despicable views with the force of your ideas and not with violence.
If the Left can heed this advice, maybe, just maybe, we can start to heal the divide in this country and restore its sanity.