With the inauguration of President Trump behind us, now is a good time to compare this inauguration to those of previous presidents and examine why the left is now so routinely resorting to violence.
A friend wondered why this election cycle – and, indeed, the past eight years of the Obama presidency – featured so much leftist violence, protesting and destruction. From Occupy Wall Street burning American flags and defecating on police cars for reasons even they were not able to explain, to the riots, killing and looting of Ferguson and Baltimore, American liberals have devolved into a peculiar collection of bullies physically attacking people and destroying random property, to include their own neighborhoods.
Obama’s inaugurations never involved conservatives attacking attendees, burning flags, smashing storefronts, destroying public property or blocking traffic. The left owns violence in 21st century political discourse. Ironic, as they claim to be tolerant and open-minded. Their violent outbursts are even more remarkable as they have become commonplace during the presidency of a liberal Democrat.
Not that there have been no accusations of violence by conservatives. But most, if not all, of those accusations turned out to be hoaxes. The silly “Trump supporters attacked me!” stories are so predictable and follow such a specific liberal narrative that they are amusing to read. It is always a guilty pleasure when the follow-up report comes out that the accuser has been arrested after admitting making up the story.
So why has the left moved away from debating political differences over the past few years and moved almost exclusively to threats of violence and physical brutality? Is it because their positions cannot be debated rationally? For the past eight years (and since the 1960s, in some cases) leftist positions on social, economic, foreign and domestic policies have been implemented at every level of government with catastrophic results. Liberals cannot point to the success of their policies. The best they can do is argue about who is to blame for their failures.
On matters where it is difficult or impossible to pin the blame for their policies’ failures on conservatives, the fallback position has been to hurl a slur at anyone pointing out the obvious failure, such as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” “islamophobe” or the generic catch-all “bigot.”
As the left has forced conservatives to cave and agree to liberal positions, or liberals have been able to implement their own agendas, American culture has lurched further and further to the left in every area. At every step, the liberal nuclear weapon in any discussion has been to accuse those disagreeing with them of being a racist or having some other evil motive specific to the discussion.
For the past half-century or so, this tactic of the left has worked extraordinarily well.
For instance, you may hold the position that the federal school lunch program should not be expanded to cover other meals because it is tremendously expensive, not the duty of the schools to feed children and has the effect of absolving parents of responsibility for their own kids. All of these are plausible, rational positions that could be debated regarding appropriateness or truthfulness. But there is no need for a liberal to debate the matter when they can simply accuse you of being a racist who hates black children. The discussion immediately shifts to you defending yourself by trying to prove that you are not, in fact, a racist. The entire discussion is turned to something completely unrelated to the original question (from the merits of expanding the federal school lunch program to whether or not you are a racist), and the leftist has automatically won the debate because they only have to relax while you try to disprove an attack on your character and motivations.
This pattern is also employed by the left in other matters, such as accusing someone of sexism and hating women for opposing abortion or accusing others of islamophobia for pointing out difficulties with Muslim immigration.
On a side note: An accusation of racism is, itself, a racial slur. It is an accusation used by the left only against white people. The purpose of calling someone a racist is to dehumanize, marginalize and silence the target of that slur. End sidebar.
Something has happened over the past several years, though. The left’s never-ending use of these worn-out attacks on the character and motivations of those who disagree with them has caused them to lose their effect. Where liberals had for decades been able to use those accusations like a bit in a horse’s mouth to select which candidates conservatives would nominate, force submission on liberal positions and use the Washington establishment media to make conservatives defend themselves from personal attacks, it is suddenly not working.
During the 2016 election cycle a critical mass was reached of Americans who refused to be bullied or distracted by these previously crippling insults. Major media have been in stunned disbelief since Donald Trump announced his candidacy that they were unable to destroy a GOP candidate or control voters. They seem unable to fathom that so few people are convinced by their name-calling and hyperbole or, worse yet, that they themselves are now openly mocked.
At the ground level, since liberals have lost the ability to win any and every political discussion by hurling a slur, they are simply resorting to the next level in political interaction: violence and physical intimidation. Since most liberal positions are by their very nature emotional instead of rational, it stands to reason that our liberal friends would not resort to a rational discussion of their positions once their practice of hurling slurs stopped working as the automatic game winner.
Violence is all they have left.