In the 2016 election, the Left and the media (pardon the redundancy) tried to push the same old buttons they have pushed successfully in the past. “Pussy grab: MISOGYNIST!!!” But it didn’t work, and indeed a majority of white women voted for Trump. “Mexican judge: RACIST!” That didn’t work either. Etc.
So they doubled and tripled down and called him openly racist, poisonously racist, explicitly racist, overtly racist, viciously racist, etc., etc., as if the proliferation of adverbs would save the failing rhetoric.
White voters, finally fed up after decades of this garbage, simply ignored it and voted for him anyway. This has occasioned a panic terror on the left as they realize that their magic spell is no longer working. And that, in the last quarter-century, they have become so dependent on it that they literally have forgotten how to make an argument. Quick, argue for your environmental policies! “Uh… pollution disproportionately affects the Third World, so if you’re not a hard-core eco-nut you’re RACIST!” Argue for higher welfare spending! “Uh… women are disproportionately dependent on welfare, so if you want less of it you’re MISOGYNIST!” Etc. And now that these verbal behaviors (you can’t call them arguments) are no longer effective, the Left sees their utter helplessness in the face of white resistance… which the Left themselves created.
The image of the 2016 election (and indeed 2016 all over the western world) is the image of a Leftist frantically pushing a big button labelled “Bigotry Shaming” and screaming in terror because it isn’t working.
“You’re supposed to shut up and retreat in shame when I press this button!” he shrieks at a no-longer-amused white populace. So he pushes it with increasing speed and force, hoping to get one last victory from it… to no avail. The bullets are no longer having an effect. Terminator-like, Trump supporters just ignore the bullets as they bounce off, and continue to advance.
In the comments at Vox Popoli, “wreckage” says
The Left wanted politics dominated by identity. They worked for decades to obtain it; they worked hard, diligently, and courageously, [well, I don’t know about “courageously” – N.] and they destroyed anyone who dissented, without mercy or compromise.
Now they’ve got it.
ONLY now are they beginning to wonder if identity, zealotry, and ruthlessness were the right things to be normalizing.
Well… it’s too late.
As Richard Fernandez notes, right-wing constituencies are now starting to behave the way that left-wing constituencies have behaved for decades:
The really shocking thing about 2016 is that the public was far more radicalized than the pundits and pollsters — and politicians — anticipated. This mental state accounts for the curious reaction of Trump’s supporters to his gaffes. They ignore them and double down on their assertions. In other words they are acting just like left-wing publics have acted for years.
Xenosystems quotes this and adds, “Suddenly both sides want to hurt the enemy (rather than that being an exclusively leftist thing) — and all hell breaks loose. Welcome to 2016.”
The Left’s beginning to get an inkling that war isn’t so fun when the other side actually fights back.
Mary: Is the worm turning, Mr. Randall?
Will Randall: The worm has turned and is now packing an uzi.