We came, we partied, he won: Trump victory marks death & demise of US Liberalism
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge
Since much of the disbelief over Trump pulling an "upset" over Hillary Clinton has turned to reports of anti-Trump protests around the country, it seems like a good to discuss what for me is the most under-reported phenomenon of the 2016 presidential election: The death of the Liberal movement in America.
American Liberalism - and by extension, the Democratic Party - has not really passed away, per se, rather it has transmogrified into something completely strange, alien and, I believe, unsustainable as a political force. Sure, it was fun while the party lasted - legal marijuana, transgender bathrooms, same-sex marriages (I would like to emphasize that I am not necessarily casting judgment on those ideas per se, but rather questioning the logic behind introducing them in such rapid-fire succession). Too much of a good thing, too fast? That was the main reason, I believe, why the wheels finally came off the Democrat's coast-to-coast road trip.
In the last eight years of the Obama administration, Liberals have become obsessed with cultural over strictly political affairs. Concerned only with maximizing 'freedom of choice' for its increasingly hedonistic, self-serving adherents, they've done irreparable damage to the Liberal creed. In other words, the constitutionally guaranteed 'pursuit of happiness' in the cultural realm is the ultimate goal, and to hell with consideration for what's happening in the virtual world of politics and geopolitics.
In a nutshell, I believe that willful alienation largely explains why the Democratic Party not only lost the presidential election, not to mention both houses of Congress, but is quickly losing its relevance as a political entity. Unless the Democrats radically clean up their house, and place raw political issues above cultural exploits and experimentation, the party is over for them.
Dear Liberals, I ask you (and admittedly, not at the most opportune time, but let's face it, it will never be the right time), where were these tears of sorrow when hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East and Northern Africa were falling victim to Washington's belligerent foreign policy? Where were the solidarity marches when the people of Libya, who once upon a time had the most advanced medical and education system in Africa, were being crushed by a totally senseless attack by US, British and French forces to take out Muammar Gaddafi in 2011? Where is the outcry against the illegal and unconstitutional attack on Syria, which has provoked a mass exodus of desperate refugees seeking shelter in Europe and beyond? Although you desperately try to ignore it, your Democratic darling Hillary Clinton had a large hand in all of that global mayhem. And while that carnage was occurring, you were feverishly obsessed with utterly inane, hyper-liberal issues.
Calling Bob Dylan
By comparison, consider how Liberals from all walks of life raised up in fierce protest against the Vietnam War, for example. On December 19, 1964, the Student Peace Union helped coordinate the first nationwide protests against the Vietnam War that attracted thousands of demonstrators. In May, 1965, the so-called Vietnam Day Committee (VDC), a loose coalition of left-wing political, university and labor groups conducted a 35 hour long anti-Vietnam War protest at the University of California, Berkeley, which attracted almost 40,000 participants.
And here is a description of the famous May 1970 student strike at the University of Washington. "[A] national week of student strikes, organized in reaction to the expansion of the Vietnam War in Cambodia, the killings of student protesters at Kent State University, and 'to reconstitute the University as a center for organizing against the war in Southeast Asia.' Student activists called for a strike on May 4... and the next day six thousand students attended a strike rally and then marched off campus, charging onto the freeway, blocking traffic for hours as they marched downtown. For the next two weeks, the strike continued and with it several additional freeway marches and some window smashing demonstrations. The campus, the university district, capitol hill, and parts of downtown Seattle felt the effects of this extraordinary mobilization.
Nobody is condoning violence here, but it would be nice to see university students have even half the amount of passion for political issues - aside from when their favored candidate fails to enter the White House - that their academic antecedents demonstrated.
Meanwhile, can anybody name a single anti-war song on the hit charts today? Me neither. That's rather strange, isn't it, especially when we consider that US military adventures, which began under the Bush administration with the absolutely unjustified Iraq War 13 years ago, continue today under the sheep's clothing of the Obama administration with the destruction of Libya and the attempted destruction of Syria.
Here is Wikipedia's compilation of anti-Vietnam war songs, which number in the hundreds.
So exactly what have the Liberals been preoccupied with over the last 8 years of the Obama administration? Perhaps as a convenient way of distracting public attention from what the US military was up to overseas, the Obama administration tossed out some highly controversial smoke grenades, such as allowing men who suddenly "identify" themselves as being female - 'transgender' is the PC-accepted nomenclature here - to be legally permitted to use the ladies bathrooms, as well as locker rooms. Hello? Naturally, this incredibly controversial proposal, which aims to protect an infinitesimal segment of the population with total disregard for the absolute majority of women and children (as if suddenly everybody forgot there are sexual predators among us), has, in the words of Time magazine, turned into "America's latest civil rights fight."
Imagine that! As US soldiers are getting killed and wounded on overseas battlefields that most Americans could not find on a map, Liberals on the home-front are fighting over the right of a few confused men to use the women’s bathrooms and changing facilities at the local Wal-Mart. On top of that mountain of nuts, Liberals have also taken up cause with a number of other highly controversial, nationally divisive ideas, such as same-sex marriages, LGBT rights and the legalization of marijuana at the very worst of times.
Now, Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton are out on the streets, incensed that a billionaire real estate tycoon threatens to end their eight-year flight from reality. But had the Liberals in the Democratic Party pursued something higher than simply challenging the moral sensibilities of the status quo with an endless array of cultural experiments, perhaps Donald Trump would not be where he is today.
In short, American Liberals, ignoring their past legacy of resistance and protest, have nobody to blame but themselves and their proven preference for ignoring matters of real political urgency in favor of hyper-individualist pursuits and pleasures.
Now it's up to Trump to undo years of damage.
This article originally appeared, in shorter format, in Rethinking Russia.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.