In the post-election analyses, the liberal elite, led by the holy trinity of The New York Times — Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd — just about lost its mind denouncing the return of medieval primitivism. As usual, Dowd achieved the highest level of hysteria, cursing the Republicans for pandering to “isolationism, nativism, chauvinism, puritanism and religious fanaticism” in their unfailing drive to “summon our nasty devils.”
- Charles Krauthammer
It would seem, now that Republicans have the validation of this past election to fall back on, that now is the time to piss and moan about how Liberals have demonized them. Of course, how conveniently they have forgotten how easily they attempted to paint Liberals as godless heathens.
In 1994, when the Gingrich revolution swept Republicans into power, ending 40 years of Democratic hegemony, the mainstream press needed to account for this inversion of the Perfect Order of Things. A myth was born. Explained the USA Today headline: “Angry White Men: Their votes turned the tide for the GOP.”
Overnight, the revolution of the Angry White Male became conventional wisdom. In the 10 years before the 1994 election, there were 56 Nexis mentions of angry white men in the media. In the next seven months, there were more than 1,400.
At the time, I looked into this story line — and found not a scintilla of evidence to support the claim. Nonetheless, it was a necessary invention, a way for the liberal elite to delegitimize a conservative victory. And even better, a way to assuage their moral vanity: You never lose because your ideas are sclerotic or your positions retrograde, but because your opponent appealed to the baser instincts of mankind.
Plus ca change … Ten years and another stunning Democratic defeat later, and liberals are at it again. The Angry White Male has been transmuted into the Bigoted Christian Redneck.
Part of the problem here is that labels are an easy way out. They allow one to marginalize and dismiss their opponents, and it sure beats having to construct and deliver a coherent argument for your point of view.
Let’s look at reality here, though. Who has been willing to enshrine discrimination as legal precedent? Eleven states, after all, approved anti-gay marriage referendums on Election Day. It wasn’t Liberals.
Who has been willing (and determined) to push their narrow-minded faith-based agenda down the throats of the entire country, regardless of anyone’s beliefs? It wasn’t Liberals. Before anyone begins accusing us of narrow-mindedness, they might just want to take a look in the mirror.
Who has displayed an appalling willingness to ignore the Constitutionally-mandated separation of Church and State? Before we start beating the drums against Liberals for their percieved shortcomings, you might want to keep in mind that winning may give Conservatives the right to gloat and condemn Liberals, but it does not make them right. It just means they won…and yes, the narrow-minded, bigoted, Right-wing zealots can now paint themselves as “Men of the People”. A wolf can wear sheep’s clothing, but it is still a wolf.
Liberals are not simply going to limp away with our tails between our legs. The fight is just beginning, and Conservatives clearly do not like being called out. Deal with it, y’all. Not all of us are going to being marching in lockstep.