Following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory last week, I was astonished to find several liberal friends reach out to me via social media and email.
The reason was primarily driven by abject terror. They were terrified of, well, I’m still not quite sure what they were terrified of. It seemed to be a generalized anxiety. In short, after years of insisting that everything any Republican said was a lie, they suddenly were “taking Donald Trump at his word”. Apparently, that meant there would be mass lynching of blacks, mass deportations of Mexicans, gays would be rounded up and put in re-education camps, and dogs and cats would be living together. Mass hysteria.
Oh, and then after years of pissing all over Israel, supporting the BDS movement, and cheering on anti-Semitic rhetoric in the colleges, they were suddenly concerned for Jews because President-elect Donald Trump hired Steve Bannon.
Depth psychologists would mansplain that the Democratic Party attracts individuals whose primary way of relating to the world is through feelings, while Conservatives attract those who primarily see the world through reason.
Feelings have no place in public policy. The Founders did not provide for Amendment 10-A, guaranteeing safe spaces for the offended. That’s because feelings are not something that can be legislated for or against, any more than stupidity can. Facts do not care if you are offended. If you don’t like it, turn it off, plug your ears, or take a walk.
Feelings, however, are absolutely essential in interpersonal relationships. In fact, our culture downplays their importance in that regard.
So I was put in a difficult position by my friends, who were asking for emotionally-centered discussions around politics. Or rather, to have their fears put to rest. Apparently, I’m some kind of expert on Trump because, well, I have no idea. I barely know anything about him or what kind of policies he’ll pursue. I guess I am valued for an analytical perspective, though.
So I told them what I thought about President-elect Donald Trump. In short, I repeated what I said two sentences above. I have no clue what he’ll do, and if I don’t know, and the smartest minds in the country don’t know, then how the Hell would a Democrat know?
So I said, “Write down all your fears in detail and put the list in a drawer. Come back to it every November 8 and see how many came true. I bet the total will be zero.”
They didn’t get it. They were still scared of some vague Boogeyman named Trump because of a bunch of nonsense he spouted as a political novice.
“Fear,” I explained, “is irrational. It controls you. It sends you spinning off in the worst directions. You need to figure out why you are afraid, not what you are afraid of, because last I heard, the President is not a king.”
I explained that abortion, gay marriage, and civil rights will never go away because the Supreme Court rarely reverses itself, and almost always on issues involving interpretation of the Constitution and its Amendments. Otherwise, it’ll take a Constitutional Amendment, a process the president has no part of. Any other rights in these areas are left to the States, and President-elect Trump has no say on those matters.
I asked why they always identify with the alleged “victim”? Why do they insist that women, Blacks, Hispanics, and gays cannot fend for themselves without government saving them? Have they considered that this attitude is sexist/racist/homophobic?
I suggested they needed to re-frame their perspective. “Put away your feelings for a little while. Activate your mind. Ask yourself some questions,” I said.
Have you ever read Thomas Sowell? Watched Milton Friedman’s videos? Watched a Prager University video? Viewed a class from Hillsdale College? Read The Federalist Papers? Hayek? “Free to Choose”? Allan Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind”? Mises’ “Human Action”? Read essays at The Heritage Foundation? Read a book on logical fallacies?
If not, why not? Why do you only absorb content from sources that align with your ideology?
Did you see any of the following movies: “The Lives of Others”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Brazil”, “The Truman Show”, “Man on a Tightrope”, “Red Dawn”, “Dallas Buyer’s Club”?
Did you notice these are all films about man’s freedom being strangled by a system or a government? Who did you root for and why?
Has it occurred to you that you have been lied to for decades, by Democrats and by the media?
Democrats said Ronald Reagan would start a nuclear war. Dan Rather said President Bush never served in the Texas Air Guard. Brian Williams said he was shot down in Iraq. You were told you can keep your doctor and your premiums will decline. You were told Obama would be assassinated by a racist. You were told the polls showed Hillary would win. You were told Hillary landed under sniper fire in Bosnia, that she was dead broke when she left the White House, and that Benghazi was the result of a YouTube video. You were told the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich.
Is it possible – possible -- that all this time, when a Conservative challenged you on your position that he may just have been right? That there actually is a “right” and a “wrong”? Is it possible – possible -- that you’ve spent so much time in the world of feelings that your mind has atrophied? That you haven’t truly challenged yourself intellectually?
Finally, do you know why I left liberalism?
Because the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, because feelings make for a terrible foundation to policy, and because I was tired of never being able to support any argument I made with logic, reason, or facts.
“Try it,” I said, “and watch the fear dissipate.”