Is This the End of 'Liberalism' in the USA?
Militant leftist extremists have taken over a large swath of the Left.
Have you noticed how unhinged many liberals have become since Donald Trump won the presidency? Of course you have; you can’t miss something as extensive and crazy as Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Many leftists, perhaps most, reside moderately to the left of the political center; but we’ll focus here on the radicals who hang on by their fingernails to the left-most fringe of the political spectrum, about to slip off into undisputed madness.
These leftmost folks — let’s call ‘em what they are: militant leftist extremists — have disentangled themselves from the general rules of common courtesy and civility where some may properly disagree with the ideas of others in a polite and accepting manner. These radicals aren’t just disagreeable but are becoming more militant and demanding. They want not to persuade others to their ideas, but to force their acceptance.
Protesting is protected speech in the U.S., and we honor that right. But increasingly these militant leftist extremist protests turn to assault and destruction in their infantile temper tantrums, and then they have the gall to name-call and demonize the rest of us. Demonstrating the character of those radicals, a Trump golf course in California and his Washington hotel were recently vandalized. And if leftists think some group deserves special consideration and you don’t agree, you are called racist, misogynist, Nazi, fascist, immigrant-hater, etc.
And now, things are happening that are so bizarre as to be accurately described as deliberately dishonest. California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters actually said on MSNBC’s “Hardball” four days before the inauguration that Trump ought to be impeached. She implied that Trump received campaign information from Russia, such as the names he called Hillary Clinton and others, and therefore he should be impeached after he becomes president.
On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” David Wright attributed the timing of Trump’s U.S. Attorney purge to Fox News host Sean Hannity, noting the purge occurred one day after Hannity called for it on TV. These requested resignations are standard operating procedure when any new president is of a different political party than his predecessor. Bill Clinton and Janet Reno fired 93 attorneys compared to Trump’s 46. Any network news reporter worth his salt knows this. Yet somehow because Hannity mentioned it on his show shortly before it occurred, it was Hannity who “ordered” the action, and Trump wouldn’t have done it otherwise. Fake news anyone?
And it’s much worse than those examples. Some leftists have sunk to a level below mere opposition. It’s anti-Americanism — not the loyal opposition, but the disloyal political enemy. Among the more serious infractions is that appointees and holdovers from the previous administration apparently have leaked sensitive information to the media, which have eagerly reported these things, potentially breaking more laws and even committing treason.
While this behavior has been on the increase for a while, the election of Donald Trump has been like a dose of steroids, as if his election lifts the barriers to illegal and unethical behavior. People seem to have forgotten that, like him or not, Trump is the duly elected president, and while much of the opposition merely makes things more difficult for him, some of it puts the nation’s stability at risk.
Shelby Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, evaluates these changes in liberalism as follows: “The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos.”
Steele remembers how things were during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, “when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity,” and bemoans today’s leftist marches, which he described as “marked by incoherence and downright lunacy — hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism. All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?”
He continues, “Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all — liberal and conservative alike — know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. Bigotry exists, but it is far down on the list of problems that minorities now face.” Reaching back into his own experiences, he notes, “I grew up black in segregated America, where it was hard to find an open door. It’s harder now for young blacks to find a closed one.”
Calling current militant leftist extremists “an anachronism,” Steele goes on to explain that what we have today is not liberalism, but “moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism.” And he concludes with the post mortem: “Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.”
But that corruption can still win if it’s not thoroughly opposed and stopped in its tracks.