“Are Liberals Helping Trump?” The Sort of Question No One Ever Asked Republicans When Obama Was President

Articles like the NYT Are Liberals Helping Trump are standard operating procedure when it comes to Republicans. It’s always about their feelings and how it’s the job of progressives to be nice to them. Something that is never asked of Republicans.

Mr. Medford should be a natural ally for liberals trying to convince the country that Mr. Trump was a bad choice. But it is not working out that way. Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate — either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles — he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority.

“We’re backed into a corner,” said Mr. Medford, 46, whose business teaches people to be filmmakers. “There are at least some things about Trump I find to be defensible. But they are saying: ‘Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump.’ ”

He added: “I didn’t choose a side. They put me on one.”

No, Mr. Medford, you chose a side, all by yourself.

Blaming other people for his choices is convenient and immature. He’s the victim. Abandoning your stated beliefs because someone was mean to you on Facebook shows me the strength of your convictions. If you can walk away from issues you claim concern you because your feelings were hurt then your core beliefs are based on your convenience – they aren’t rooted in substance and I’d bet that those issues are ones you feel you deserve a cookie for supporting because they don’t affect you personally.

Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.

Oh please. I’m so tired of this argument. And it’s embarrassing how it’s been employed by liberals and conservatives.

Of course, moderate conservatives (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) ignore the policy contained in the protests. They don’t want to debate policy they can’t defend (or even know what the policy is), other than on an emotional level. Instead, they pretend that if only liberals/progressive were nicer to them we could change their minds. And articles like the one linked to above are never written about Republicans – no one ever says Republicans should be nicer to Dems.

And some progressives bought into this nonsense every time they lamented over the plight of white working class men while pointing blame at white women and minorities. For some reason, progressives had plenty of compassion and understanding for a certain group of Trump voters. And not only compassion – the speed in which some progressives blamed identity politics Civil Rights revealed the strength of their convictions, as well. It isn’t just “moderate conservatives” who feel they deserve a cookie.

And the idea that there’s a way to woo a group that left us due to civil rights, while maintaining civil rights, is utter nonsense. Dems lost that group decades ago. Let’s stop pretending we don’t know how to get them back. We know exactly how to get them back and who we’d need to throw under the bus to achieve this.

I scratch my head every time I hear progressives say “we need to appeal to the white working class men (It has to be men, right? Given that white Trump voting women have been consistently called out without a similar call for understanding.) while, at the same time, berating Dems who they call Republican-lite. Pick a side. Because it can’t be “we need to appeal to these Trump voters” and “Dems have to be and act like Dems”. Mainly because appealing to these Trump voters means adopting some unsavory Republican positions – mainly speaking specifically to white people while demonizing minority groups. And every time we call out “identity politics” (which is exactly the same thing as political correctness, btw – so congratulations if you’re using these R talking points! Good job!) we aren’t only wooing the un-wooable, we’re alienating our base.

But the real problem for these Trump supporters seems to be their love life.

Mr. Youngquist stayed in the closet for months about his support for Mr. Trump. He did not put a bumper sticker on his car, for fear it would be keyed. The only place he felt comfortable wearing his Make America Great Again hat was on a vacation in China. Even dating became difficult. Many people on Tinder have a warning on their profile: “Trump supporters swipe left” — meaning, get lost.

Hmmm… Mr. Youngquist voted for defunding Planned Parenthood and against reproductive rights for women and is now whining about not being able to get a date? Oh, the irony. Not to mention his sense of entitlement.

He came out a few days before the election. On election night, a friend posted on Facebook, “You are a disgusting human being.”

“They were making me want to support him more with how irrational they were being,” Mr. Youngquist said.

Okay. Progressives are irrational, but Mr. Youngquist’s decision to strengthen his support of Trump based on a FB conversation is logical? That’s a stunning disconnect. He, and Mr. Medford, are saying, be nice to me or I’ll be forced to vote against my true values!

And I’m not saying that being mean to someone won’t result in their planting their feet. It does. But that just brings us back to the question if being nice would work? If there feet are already planted and this behavior is just their excuse. That makes the most sense.

And wouldn’t ya know, Mr. Medford is having dating problems as well:

Late last year, he hit it off with a woman in New York he met online. They spent hours on the phone. They made plans for him to visit. But when he mentioned he had voted for Mr. Trump, she said she was embarrassed and didn’t know if she wanted him to come. (He eventually did, but she lied to her friends about his visiting.)

“It invalidated anything that’s good about me, just because of how I voted. Poof, it’s gone.”

Sorry, but it didn’t invalidate anything good about you, Mr. Medford. It revealed your values – and made her question who you really are and if you’d be compatible. It’s a “show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value” sort of thing. Elections have consequences, gentlemen. You don’t get to vote against reproductive issues and for a sexual predator and then complain women won’t date you. Next we’ll have KKK members whining about how black women won’t give them a chance – It invalidated anything that’s good about me, just because I wear a white hood. Poof, it’s gone.

Last spring there was an article going around that Dems welcome “pro-lifers” into the party. The suggestion was put forth by “pro-lifers” who were unhappy with Trump and stated there was common ground to be found between Dems and them. I asked this question on the FB post:

“Please explain the common ground to me. Let’s say that Dems go with this plan and then enact the proposal/compromise cited: Abortion illegal after 12 weeks. Then what? Pro-lifers say, “Okay, we’re good with abortion before 12 weeks? We won’t ask for more? Flesh this out for me, because I’m not seeing it happening that way.”

And the answer to my question was… crickets. Because there was no common ground. And there still isn’t.

14 comments on ““Are Liberals Helping Trump?” The Sort of Question No One Ever Asked Republicans When Obama Was President

  1. Thank you. This article was a joke, especially to those of us being harmed by 35’s policies.

  2. snewton929

    There is a critical point here. All the calls to find some way to appeal to “white working class men” are predicated on the idea that the goal of a more inclusive society for everybody must be set aside–at best deferred and delayed–because it was the insistence on the social and political equality of people of color, and women, and LGBTQ Americans, and people of all religions (or no religion) that cost the 2016 Presidential election.

    Even if that is true (and I’ll not argue the point again here), it doesn’t mean that people who believe in inclusion as an essential American value have to give up, back down, play nice, or capitulate. It means that they have to mobilize (Secretary Clinton did far worse with people of color than President Obama did, for example), and they have to win the argument on its merits.

    The biggest advantage that anti-Trump, anti-Pence, anti-Ryan, anti-McConnell, anti-GOP folks have going for them in 2018 and 2020 is not some nebulous sell-out appeal to the people who believe in Muslim bans from countries that the President doesn’t do business with, or who believe that the media is the enemy of the people, it’s the fact that Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Paul Ryan actually intend to keep their campaign promises.

    • There’s a definite split in the Dem party, and it shouldn’t exist, but the progressive call to white men is doing damage. For a year I have been reading threads like this:

      Sir James The Second ‏@JKH2 Feb 19

      • The Alt-Left basically threw the election so they could go on a camping trip and “rough it” but they dragged along people who have no homes.
      • They were eager and excited about forcing a revolution, but didn’t care that most of us have been fighting for decades. They threw us away.

      • Revolution is only exciting and fun for privileged ass white people. Everyone who is female, gay, poor has been fighting. We don’t like it.

      • We dont fight for attention, we do it for survival and opportunity. The alt left squandered a century of progress we earned for a petty beef

      • As long as I live I will never trust or rely on those people. I’m not saying I won’t work with them, but I wouldnt count on them for a thing

      • Any strategy that focus on building a larger team of weak players, rather than getting rid of bad referees (GOP voter suppression) will lose

      • We are in this mess because there are people too stupid to know how good they have it, and ones too racist to know how bad they have it here


      • If the Democratic Party hands control to the Bernie Wing, the progressive coalition (women, POC, LGBT) need to be thinking of OUR #DemExit

      That sentiment is really strong out there. I’m seeing the term the alt-left more and more – and that can’t be a good thing. We need to address it. Instead, for some bizarre reason, people are fighting over who will head the DNC. Look, I’m fine with Ellison or Perez, probably because I don’t really think this is as big of deal as some are making it. I also don’t think handing the DNC to the “Bernie Wing” is a bad idea. But… Is this really the fight we should be having? Will it make that big of a difference? I’m not seeing it. This is still the primary fight, which is still a waste of time. That said, we need to address this split. I’d suggest progressives stop the wooing (and excusing) of white men while blaming (and shaming) every other group. It’s become a problem.

  3. The problem with uniting with anti-Trump conservatives is obvious: Trump is our only point of agreement.

    However, it’s important to understand that the problem wasn’t the people voting for Trump — his numbers are almost the same as his predecessors’ numbers were. The problem was Democrats and left-leaning independents failing to vote, or failing to vote for Clinton.

    A pollster’s take:

    Short version, too many millennials voted third-party.

    For those of us who didn’t shy away from trying to understand the loss, cycling through the various explanations has been a useful exercise. Good luck with your purging-as-party-building strategy.

    • Purging, on both sides, is the problem I’ve pointed out – and one I’ve asked to address. What exactly do you call the compassionate treatment of white, male Trump voters and the calling out of white, female Trump voters and minority groups? That’s another form of purging.

  4. There has been a now-long-running misunderstanding about whom it is we’re trying to recapture. It’s not the hardcore Trump voter. It’s the otherwise reluctant former Democrats — a small subset of Trump voters. Those of us who pointed out that ignoring them completely helped contribute to the loss were instead described as wanting to remake the party to relegate minorities and women to the back of the bus.

    This is the epitome of straw-man argument — misinterpreting the point by extending it to the point of absurdity, also known as argument ad absurdum.

    • I’m not seeing the straw-man when you’ve written the following statements:

      @Susan: Then why didn’t you answer the question? Frankly, I’ve been told I’m not an ally of certain women, in which case I return the favor. Abortion rights have been moved to the bottom of my list of concerns. I’m tired of manning the barricades for 47% of white women.

      You also might want to work on your reading comprehension. I’ll be in DC Jan. 21, as I said, and I intend to ask this of my fellow marchers.

      Because if that’s not all they’re marching for, then why are they saying that’s all they’re marching for?


      Not a single complaint on that list has anything to do with the current situation. Not a single thing on that list is about Trump — it’s all about the Republican platform. We just ran against that and lost.

      I’m marching against Trump. Too bad none of you seem to get it. This isn’t about issues. This is about a government takeover by someone intent on using the government not in the name of the people but for himself.

      This is my point. This isn’t about your rights. This is about a fascist movement taking over the government.

      You people are going to be run over like possums in the road.

      BTW, by “moving to the bottom of the list” I meant that some of my donations to Planned Parenthood are going to be redirected. And yes, it has everything to do with women putting their goals ahead of mine, so I’m returning the favor.

      I’d say the above statements pretty much show you moving certain issues to the back of the bus.

    • That’s right Alby, close people off and not be open-minded, to the other side. You’d rather stick your head in the sand!.

  5. Given the Democratic Party’s routine betrayals on issues important to working Americans,… NAFTA, the Employee Free Choice Act, bankster bailouts. student loans, healthcare…….. Republicans have come to expect Democrats do Republican dirty work indefinitely.

  6. Of course you’re not. Everything finds its level. You’ve found yours.

    As I said, good luck to you and the 47%.

  7. It’s the otherwise reluctant former Democrats — a small subset of Trump voters.

    The thing is that reluctant former Democrats may be the only growth area for the GOP since Ronald Reagan. And largely because:

    Conservatives and Republicans don’t have a blind spot when it comes to race. They understand the power of race and they use it. It is mind-boggling to me how tough it is for progressives to have a conversation about race without them wanting to make it a conversation about class and economics.

    Which pretty much says Ya’ll need to come and get your boys — with data. Trump was able to capitalize on the “racial panic” of these white people (that includes some “reluctant Democrats” and HRC couldn’t make the sale with some of the younger people not subject to that racial panic.

    The fundamental bullshit of dismissing that 47% is that it wants to pretend that this 47% has no commonality with working class people, while ignoring that the 54% that is somehow more interesting was not animated by “working class” issues, but by racial ones.

  8. Steven Newton

    There are two distinct issues here: (1) resisting the creation of an authoritarian state (or, at least, the destruction of most of our governing institutions) and (2) building a political coalition capable of taking back at least one house of Congress in 2018 and the Presidency in 2020. They are two different issues, which is something Alby conveniently forgets.

    I think he’s dead wrong that you build a coalition to take back either the House or Senate in 2018 and the Presidency in 2020 by going after the non-existent reluctant former Democrats. You do it by (1) growing the voting electorate in spite of voter suppression strategies; and (2) keeping a relentless focus on the cost of this administration to the poor, the disfranchised, to women, to people of color, to immigrants, to Muslims, the LGBTQ Americans, to small business people, to environmentalists. The statistics say that these constituencies outnumber the Trumpkins and the Pence evangelicals … if they can be gotten to vote.

    To get them to vote you have to show them real harm, then real promise … not push their issues down to the bottom of the pile to set your hopes on the buyer’s remorse of a few percentage points of people who were willing to vote for a man they really knew was a nutcase all along because Hillary.

    • The speed in which civil rights issues were pushed down to the bottom of the pile and the selective blaming of certain groups surprised me. Even more surprising is… how many R talking points were employed.

      I worry about the split I see in Dems/progressives. It’s really falling along racial, gender, LGBTQ, and religious lines. We need to address that with honest conversation.

      And this really sums it up:

      “Conservatives and Republicans don’t have a blind spot when it comes to race. They understand the power of race and they use it. It is mind-boggling to me how tough it is for progressives to have a conversation about race without them wanting to make it a conversation about class and economics.”

      Joe Scarborough is the king of this sort of thing. He always separates civil rights from class and economics. I really don’t understand the either/or approach – this rigid approach to prioritizing issues when most economic and social issues dovetail beautifully.

  9. The speed in which civil rights issues were pushed down to the bottom of the pile and the selective blaming of certain groups surprised me.

    By reluctant Democrats, yes? People who usually vote for Democrats but who are waiting for these Dems to change their ways. These are usually people for whom civil rights issues don’t effect their working lives, either.

    Separating race from economic and class issues is all about preserving whiteness. Once you get all of them to see that not only are we all in the same boat, but that the 1% has recruited some of them to help perpetuate the injustice that lets the 1% survive, the pitchforks may appear.

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