A Vote Against Cultural Radicalism
The shock of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has provided pundits around the world with a fresh round of material to dissect. The bulk of the analysis is centering on the question of why pollsters and others were taken by surprise by the historic event.
The answers have included: shame among voters to admit they would be casting a ballot for the Republican candidate; the gap between the number of registered Democrats and those who actually went out to vote; the hostility of the mainstream press to the billionaire businessman, which colored their coverage; and the Washington establishment’s cluelessness about the genuine disillusionment of large swaths of the public outside the elite “bubble.”
What is conspicuously absent from the discussion, however, is the role that popular culture played in ushering Trump into the White House, to the horror of many and huge relief of those who tipped the scale in his favor against Hillary Clinton.
I am not referring to the fact that the president-elect owns flashy buildings and starred in the reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” Those are merely the reason that he was a known entity — a celebrity with name-and-face recognition and money of his own to jump-start his utterly unlikely bid for the highest office in the land.
The popular culture I am talking about is the liberalism-gone-haywire that has not only characterized the last eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, but has been shoved down the throats of the populace. In circles naturally prone to obtuse ideology and feelings of ill-deserved entitlement – such as in academia and Hollywood – this has been a comfortable fit. And since most of the people who occupy those realms need not ever really contemplate what it’s like to have to make an ordinary living, they welcome anything that threatens to unravel the society whose demise they champion. Well, in theory, that is, since not one of the best and the brightest among them would be partaking of the great gifts of prosperity and liberty they enjoy without the free market and other American success stories they profess to hate.
But the citizens who live in the real world, full of financial and other struggles — such as worrying more about keeping their kids alive than about whether they will get into Harvard — know full well that the bill of goods being sold to them by the Left does nothing but prevent them from achieving what used to be called the “American dream.” For them, liberalism has been a nightmare from every perspective.
They are angry that their patriotism, religion, ideas about men and women, common sense about good and evil – when it comes to bullies in the schoolyard and Islamist terrorists in their neighborhoods and abroad – are under perpetual assault by people whose condescension knows no bounds.
They are irritated that they cannot watch even innocuous comedies without being fed the message that their values are skewed.
They are furious that they have no recourse when the source of their livelihood suddenly disappears as a result of pressure from environmentalists pointing to junk science as an excuse to hold the rights of plants and animals in higher esteem than those of human beings.
They are outraged at being berated for teaching their kids both to strive for excellence and victory, and to accept that life involves overcoming disappointment and failure.
And they are totally fed up with having to worry that every little thing they say or do is construed as offensive or racist.
Yes, things have gone too far in the United States, and the electorate decided to pull the pendulum back in the other direction. Trump vowed he would help them do that. Whether he delivers on this promise remains to be seen. But the very fact that college professors across US campuses excused their distraught students from classes on Wednesday, to enable them to nurse their wounds over the election explains its outcome in a nutshell.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.