This article was later published in Areo Magazine (December 24th)
A butterfly attempting to reenter the cocoon. A baby trying to crawl back into the womb. A person trying to push toothpaste back into its tube. To view these things would be to view something less absurd than watching Democrats and fellow leftists return to their pre-election delusions after such a rude awakening in November.
There are a plethora of reasons for why we lost in 2016: We've betrayed labor unions and the middle class; our "liberal" politicians have schmoozed with the very people that played a role in causing the 2008 financial crisis; we've refused to condemn the Trans-Pacific Partnership in our platform; we've made no secret of our rigging the presidential primary; and we've tried to distract people from our economic and ethical spinelessness by taking up the annoying causes of identity politics, which claims to be about "unity" while dividing everyone into a thousand little groups and pitting them against each other.
But this article isn't about what we've done to lose.
What this article is really about is blatant liberal ear-plugging.
The tendency among the Left to believe that we can do no wrong.
The defeat of our horrendous candidate has been blamed on a foreign power, bigots, fake news, the electoral college, and on the list goes. But we haven't considered the painfully obvious truth that we were defeated because we've lost touch with the people we claim to care about— the blue collar worker, and more broadly, the American middle class. To face that truth would be too painful for us. It is too painful for us.
Instead we would rather pretend that Russia hacking and leaking DNC emails cost us the election. Never mind the fact that if there was no corruption in the DNC primary to begin with, there would not have been a scandal to leak. No that's not the point, Democrats say. The point is that it's Russia's fault we lost for revealing how corrupt we are. Apparently another "red scare" is more preferable to the Democratic Party than figuring out what's wrong with itself and making the necessary changes.
Furthermore, we Democrats would rather pretend that the fact that we lost traditionally Democratic states that haven't been lost since the 80s (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) isn't anything to be concerned or reflective about. Everything we're doing is just fine. Really. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
As a piece in this month's issue of The Economist states, "The Western intelligentsia, snug in its echo-chamber, has done a dismal job of understanding what is going on, either dismissing populists as cranks or demonizing them as racists." But the reason why Western intelligentsia (which is overwhelmingly to the Left) has done a "dismal job of understanding" is because when you tell yourself that you're on "the right side of history" all the time, there really isn't any room for you to do any wrong. Other people— in this case the American electorate— just have to "catch up" to you. What appalling elitism.
And lest you doubt that this is the current attitude among the majority of the Democratic Party, consider the reelection of Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader just under a month ago, and what she had to say when John Dickerson of Face The Nation asked her if Democrats wanted a new direction for the party in the wake of Trump's victory: "I don’t think people want a new direction." It's genuinely hard for me to decide which is more depressing— her answer, or the fact that her answer is probably true.
And so into 2017 we liberals proceed with our unbearable arrogance and snobbery. Into 2017 we tread, still carrying the baggage of the belief that we have a monopoly on moral high ground. Into the new year we march with the belief that the electorate only needs to be lectured more, only needs to be told what to do by rich celebrities more, only needs to be belittled by social media outrage-outlets more. That nothing is wrong with us except that we're "just not getting through"... oh and those damn Russians! The belief that eventually the Proles will awaken to their troglodyte rejection of our "diversity" (a shallow diversity of course, not the threatening diversity of the intellectual stripe).
Then when the next election comes around— and we lose again— we'll shake our heads just like we've done this time, all come to the agreement that our American brothers and sisters still have more "catching up" to do, and we'll elect Nancy I'm-a-robot-with-a-smile-plastered-on-my-face Pelosi as House Minority Leader for the third goddamn time. Because, true to our mascot, we currently really are a bunch of jackasses. The extreme right has won here in America, it's on the rise in Europe, and meanwhile the Left refuses to entertain the notion that it could be wrong about its strategies or even on a political issue or two, thereby forfeiting any chance of reaching a base they need but have deemed "deplorable".
I'm so mad I could burn a Debbie Wasserman Schultz effigy.
Oh, and P.S. to every progressive writer on the internet (if what I'm about to say doesn't apply to you, tell someone it does apply to): Stop writing about how "Trump won because of, like, white privluge and misojuhnayyy, like yeah" and talk to a fucking farmer, or veteran, or steelworker. You might be amazed at how much more good that would actually do our side than pontificating on the "underlying prejudices" of people you— let's admit— never hang out with and don't know at all, because they're not within a ten-mile radius of a campus or Starbucks.
Oh, and another P.S., P.S.S. (I guess): Can we please stop trying to make Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote over Donald Trump a "proof" that the Democratic Party is just fine? It's not fine. Her entire popular vote lead over Donald Trump came from California. Which means we Democrats should not feel reassured that we're not losing our working class union base, because believe me guys, we definitely are. Also, we didn't have a problem with the electoral college before the election, so our sudden outcry to abolish it after the election— while not a bad idea— makes us look like whining crybaby sore losers. It isn't helping our chances for 2018 or 2020. We really need to learn to be noble in our losses.