Donald Trump/ Hillary Clinton · The Regressive, Elitist, Violent Left

The sneering response to Trump’s victory reveals exactly why he won

For mine, the sneering, elitist response towards Trump’s historic victory, will reaffirm future emphasis of Left movements to shift away from the ideas and attitudes of ordinary people. And as I alluded to in an earlier piece, this will be a godsend for conservative movements across the West.

“The sneering response to Trump’s victory reveals exactly why he won”, The Spectator, November 9 2016:

If you want to know why Trump won, just look at the response to his winning. The lofty contempt for ‘low information’ Americans. The barely concealed disgust for the rednecks and cretins of ‘flyover’ America who are apparently racist and misogynistic and homophobic. The haughty sneering at the vulgar, moneyed American political system and how it has allowed a wealthy candidate to poison the little people’s mushy, malleable minds. The suggestion that American women, more than 40 per cent of whom are thought to have voted for Trump, suffer from internalised misogyny: that is, they don’t know their own minds, the poor dears. The hysterical, borderline apocalyptic claims that the world is now infernally screwed because ‘our candidate’, the good, pure person, didn’t get in.

This response to Trump’s victory reveals why Trump was victorious. Because those who do politics these days — the political establishment, the media, the academy, the celeb set — are so contemptuous of ordinary people, so hateful of the herd, so convinced that the mass of society cannot be trusted to make political decisions, and now those ordinary people have given their response to such top-down sneering and prejudice.

Oh, the irony of observers denouncing Middle America as a seething hotbed of hatred even as they hatefully libel it a dumb and ugly mob. Having turned America’s ‘left behind’ into the butt of every clever East Coast joke, and the target of every handwringing newspaper article about America’s dark heart and its strange, Bible-toting inhabitants, the political and cultural establishment can’t now be surprised that so many of those people have turned around and said… well, it begins with F and ends with U.

The respectable set’s allergy to Trump is fundamentally an allergy to the idea of democracy itself. To them, Trump’s rise confirms the folly of asking the ignorant, the everyday, the non-subscribers to the New York Times, to decide on important political matters. They’re explicit about this now. In the run-up to election day, big-name commentators wondered out loud if democracy is all it’s cracked up to be. Trump’s ascendancy showed we need better checks and balances on ‘the passions of the mob’, said Andrew Sullivan. We should ‘cool and restrain [these] temporary populist passions’, he said, and refuse to allow ‘feeling, emotion’ to override ‘reasoned deliberation’. The little folks only feel and wail, you see, and it’s down to the grown-ups in the system to think coolly on their behalf.

Elsewhere, a writer for the New York Times asked Americans to consider installing a monarchy, which could rise above the ‘toxic partisanship’ of party politics — that is, above open, swirling, demos-stuffed political debate. In a new book called ‘Against Democracy’ — says it all — Georgetown philosopher Jason Brennan argues for an epistocracy, an ‘aristocracy of the wise’, who might decide political matters for those of us who are ‘low information’ (ie. stupid). This echoes the anti-democratic turn of liberals in the 2000s, when it was argued that daft, Bush-backing Americans increasingly made decisions, ‘not with their linear, logical left brain, but with their lizard, more emotional right brain’, in Arianna Huffington’s words. Such vile contempt for the political, democratic capacities of the ordinary person has been in great evidence following Trump’s win — across Twitter and in apocalypse-tinged instant responses — and it is likely to intensify. Anti-Trump will morph more explicitly into anti-democracy.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same kind of pleb-fearing horror that greeted the Brexit result four months ago. ‘Why elections are bad for democracy’, a headline in the Guardian said. The people are deluded and it is the task of those with ‘reason and expertise’ to ‘un-delude’ them, said a writer for Foreign Policy. ‘What if democracy doesn’t work? What if it never has and never will?’, wondered a pained George Monbiot. Boom. That’s it. The secret and not-so-secret cry of the elites and the experts and the observers over both Brexit and Trump is precisely that: ‘What if democracy doesn’t work?’ It’s not so much Trump they fear as the system that allowed him to get to the White House: that pesky, ridiculous system where we must ask ordinary people — shudder — what they think should happen in the nation.

The anti-Brexit anti-democrats claimed they were merely opposed to using rough, simplistic referendums to decide on huge matters. That kind of democracy is too direct, they said. Yet now they’re raging over the election of Trump via a far more complicated, tempered democratic system. That’s because — and I know this is strong, but I’m sure it’s correct — it is democracy itself that they hate. Not referendums, not Ukip’s blather, not only direct democracy, but democracy as an idea. Against democracy — so many of them are now. It is the engagement of the throng in political life that they fear. It is the people — ordinary, working, non-PhD-holding people — whom they dread and disdain. It is what got Trump to the White House — the right of all adults, even the dumb ones, to decide about politics — that gives them sleepless nights

This nasty, reactionary turn against democracy by so many of the well-educated both explains the victory of Trump, which neatly doubles up as a slap in the face of the establishment, and confirms why democracy is more important today than it has ever been. Because it really would be folly, madness in fact, to let an elite that so little understands ordinary people, and in fact loathes them, to run society unilaterally. Now that would be dangerous, more dangerous than Trump.

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43 thoughts on “The sneering response to Trump’s victory reveals exactly why he won

  1. Thank you for your “liking” my post, “Ayn Rand, Trump and the Conservatives, and Abortion,” to my blog, After Aristotle (http://afteraristotle.net/). I worry, however, that you might not like some of the other things I find myself saying. We’ll see. But I’ll keep reading you.

    I do have a bit of a response to your post. You spoke of the “lofty contempt for ‘low information’ Americans.” I take your point that those Americans are fully informed on the stagnation or even regression of their economic circumstances. On the other hand, I hope that you would not take it as an illustration of “lofty contempt” if one were to express regret that many voters, whether of the left, the right, or the center, are “low information” voters or even “disinformation” voters.

    1. Of course some voters on each side are low information. But the contempt overwhelmingly and disproportionately came for trump voters and in the aftermath when they said that there is no such thing as a good trump
      Voter etc.

    2. Well, I’m not so sure that the bad behavior comes more from the liberal or democratic side; a quick perusal of the comments on your blog picks up, e.g., “lunatic liberals.” I think it would take a serious bit of social science to determine who is the less polite.

      It remains that, on the other hand, only losers can be sore losers.

    3. Ok well fair enough if you think that. It would be good if those left of centre showed a tad more respect, but should they continue on status quo they’ll keep losing, so it suits me!

  2. Outstanding! Great article! You should hear the lunatic leftists here in Crazifornia beside themselves with grief that the Queen of Corruption, their beloved Old Hitlery, actually LOST the election! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  3. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across
    a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and let me tell
    you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about.

    Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  4. You’re right about our “limousine liberals” (in the Clintons’ case, Learjet liberals) sneering at white working class people. Doubt this? Ask yourself what single class in the U.S. can be safely and nastily joked about? The question answers itself. The corporate Democrats’ (and their water carriers’ in the corporate media) contempt could hardly be plainer.

    The response of the PC left to Clinton’s electoral debacle has been, in large part, to demonize white working class people even further, with many pundits claiming that Clinton’s defeat was due to sexism or even to racism — including “racism” in the large number of counties in states (notably Wisconsin) that Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012.

    Both political party establishments here are servants of the corporations, and large numbers of people realize it and are enraged by it. A great many people who have been screwed over economically (wages have been stagnant for decades; 6 million lost their homes and 7 million lost their jobs in the recession) voted for Trump simply as a way of saying “Fuck you!” to the political establishment. To dismiss them all as being racists or misogynists is profoundly insulting, not to mention a convenient excuse for refusing to examine the real reasons Clinton lost.

  5. How interesting that this article makes even grander generalizations about the supposed “sneer” of those who oppose the morbid candidacy of Donald Trump. Case one: consider the supposed “Christian” followers who, in supposed humility before their God, so ironically lack the conscience to abide by the tenets of their own faith as a measure of character. Instead they dismiss Trump’s very public reputation for misogyny as a “necessary evil” through which God is working to achieve some “greater good.” What you are witnessing is not a sneer, therefore, but the ardent resistance to the whorish manner in which so many conservatives are willing to behave in order to “win the day.” And yet, the putrid corruption behind his campaign, we are now learning, includes interference in the American election by Russian hackers and its government. What happened to the conservative dislike for that regime? Poof. It’s gone because it supports the equally whorish aims of gaining political power. And also, the illegal support by the FBI? Don’t you distrust government as a rule? So where is your complaint that a government agency would act with such roguishness? And there’s more: including public displays by Nazi and racist groups who support Trump. Yet conservatives share their bed willingly with these morality rapists because, you know, you’re still married to a “higher cause.” It’s so very demonstrative that conservatives around the world claim to hold the higher ground and for years have been the ones sneering at liberal efforts to deliver civil rights as guaranteed by law. And when those rights are achieved, undermining them by subterfuge, often cloaked in the massive ugliness of religion twisted to these purposes. These are the real sneers against humanity. Conservatism anachronism and patriarchal rule, racism by writ of scripture and holding constitutions down as if they were tracing maps for childlike drawings. These are your sneering legacies. So STFU about what’s happening in America. Your “traditions” are asceticism and anti-intellectualism. Blocking science based on ignorance, and pursing discrimination out of fear. Your ugly lack of conscience is exposed.

    1. Thank you Christopher. You speak for me as well. When I first discovered Aussie was following me, I took a look at his blog posts. Each time they are more troublesome than the last. I wish there were a way to block him as I really don’t need the added antagonism to an already difficult to maneuver new, not-normal. It’s all going to get much worse before it gets better. A new world war has begun, I’m afraid.

    2. As I understand it WordPress allows me to be Public or Private, but does not provide a way to Block an Individual. However, you can easily stop Following me by simply click off Follow in your Reader. That will automatically turn to Not Following or Unfollow or whatever. I don’t think you have the slightest interest in the theme of my blog and clearly, I do not find yours edifying, so do it. I will be grateful. Thanking you in advance.

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