'Triggered' liberals busy preaching PC dogma, as poor struggle to survive on America's mean streets
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
Once upon a time in America, being a Democrat and a liberal actually meant something. It meant, as well as other things, advocating on behalf of economic outcasts who, for one reason or another, tumbled through the gaping cracks of a dog-eat-dog capitalist system that is not known for taking prisoners.
In his 1957 book ‘America as a Civilization,’ the late journalist Max Lerner described a liberal as someone who has “a passion for battle – against the ‘octopus’ of the big corporations… for wage-and-hour legislation, for women’s rights, for social security.”
Those days of true political activism are long gone.
The “passion for battle” associated with liberals flickered to life for a brief, brave moment during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, where the battle cry “We are the 99 percent!” put the one percent richest Americans on notice that the street was fed up with wage inequality and workplace abuses. That sudden groundswell of grassroots dissent, however, mysteriously vanished just as quickly as it arose. In its place, the liberals have embraced a radically progressive agenda that remains dangerously at odds with their traditional allegiances.Also on rt.com I am a trans woman – but I think this woke world has gone too far
Today, under the big tent of liberalism, every conceivable cause celebre is hoisted up for the social justice mob, who, like a pack of piranhas at lunchtime, engage in a weird, emotion-fueled contest where the winner is decided by who rants and raves the loudest. These are essentially narcissistic vanity games played out in full view of the global electronic coliseum known as social media. Orwell would certainly have appreciated these 15-minute hate sessions as proof of his prescience.
Tragically, these circus spectacles are happening at the very moment in American history when corporations – no longer under a minimal amount of democratic control by labor unions or government legislation as they were in the past - have achieved an unprecedented level of power and influence. The result has not gone unnoticed. Today, US wages remain stagnant, while tens of millions of Americans and their families struggle to survive at or below the poverty line. Yet the liberals remain oddly fixated on outrageous and unprecedented social and cultural experiments.
Liberals lose the plot
Take for example the spate of nervous hand-wringing over gender pronoun usage. This is one of those ‘issues’ that would not have become an issue unless a handful of radicals, in cooperation with a fawning lapdog media, insisted day and night that it was an issue. For the uninitiated, a gender neutral or gender inclusive pronoun is a pronoun, according to the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin, “which does not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed.” If you have no idea what that means, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone.
Nevertheless, this apparent fatal flaw in the language of King James – who, as one of those progenitors of oppressive white patriarchy (another liberal bogeyman), lacked the necessary foresight to anticipate future university gender courses – was duly fixed by the blessed ‘woke’ among us. Anyone who wishes to memorize the dozens of new pronouns that have been added to the English language, lest you be accosted by the campus police, may do so here.
Gender Neutral Pronouns: What they are & how to use them 👌Click here to watch the full video ➡️ https://t.co/PjSEJChbwn#wetheinternettv#equalopportunityoffenders#genderpronounspic.twitter.com/LCWzJEb1dY— We the Internet TV (@WeTheInternetTV) July 18, 2019
Another example of modern liberalism gone stark-raving mad – mind you, there are literally hundreds of examples to choose from – is exemplified by the debate over gender-neutral toilets, itself a manifestation of the left’s newfound obsessiveness with identity politics.
“The battleground of the new progressivism is identity,” writes George Packer, in a rare candid look at modern liberal tendencies, in the Atlantic. “That’s the historical source of exclusion and injustice that demands redress.”
Packer went on to describe one particular “bathroom crisis” that hit his child’s elementary school.
“A girl in second grade had switched to using male pronouns, adopted the initial Q as a first name, and began dressing in boys’ clothes,” Packer explained. “Q also used the boys’ bathroom, which led to problems with other boys.”
Following a meeting with the principal, the staff promised to find an acceptable solution.
“Within two years,” Packer said, “almost every bathroom in the school… had become gender-neutral".
Incredibly, all that work was the result of a single second-grader who somehow came to the conclusion that she was a boy. In my day, we called those girls ‘tomboys,’ and they played sports alongside the males and that was the end of the story. Today, some parents believe that such children – sometimes as young as seven- or eight-years-old – must be placed on the fast-track for ‘gender transitioning.’
The main question, however, is what exactly went wrong with liberalism? Why does it give so much attention to PC issues at the same time that thousands of impoverished Americans, camped out in urban areas, barely registers a blip on their ultra-sensitive radar.
Seattle is trying to figure out how to clean poop off their streets but A Democrat Councilman doesn’t like the idea of using a pressure washer hose because it reminds him of hoses used against civil rights activists...You can’t make this stuff up. Insane.https://t.co/fxqdvmRYa2— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 27, 2019
In California, the hedonistic capital of the free and libertine, residents are lashing out against thousands of homeless people who have erected tent cities across the state. That is certainly ironic, especially considering that California has extended protections to immigrants who enter the United States illegally.
The New York Times described how some neighborhoods are grappling with the situation: “Residents of a street in San Francisco recently installed boulders on the sidewalk to deter people from erecting tents and sleeping there. In Los Angeles, homeowners have installed prickly plants for the same purpose.” Does that sound like the liberal way?
Once again, it’s hard not to notice the stark dichotomy between the liberal reaction to a single ‘transgender boy’ and how his school district went out of its way to help him use the toilet of his choice, and that of thousands of homeless people on the streets of San Francisco who would be grateful just for a warm place to sleep at night.
Have the liberals become reluctant about assisting the needy and homeless because the cause does not carry the whiff of profit? That may not be so cynical a reason as it may first sound. After all, many people – and not least of all executives of pharmaceutical companies – stand to gain a fortune from transgender cases, for example, which force patients into a lifelong relationship with the medical industry. Homelessness, on the other hand, only exacts a tremendous burden on the public purse. That could just be the unspoken reason so few ‘social justice warriors’ pontificate on the poverty issue. It just doesn’t have the same ‘optics’ as other burning issues do.
Imagine the tremendous change liberals could make if they, once again, devoted the same amount of passion and energy into fighting for the wellbeing of the poor and marginalized as they do over PC-related issues. I dare say America’s increasingly squalid streets would live up to its superpower status. After all, a country is only as strong as its weakest link.
It’s time the liberals come to grips with the real issues affecting the greatest number of Americans, like poverty and inequality, instead of paying lip service to issues that have been overhyped and sensationalized by the media on behalf of an infinitesimal fraction of the population, and not least of all the corporations.
American voters – even the poor ones – deserve much better.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.