Last Wednesday morning, I, along with millions of other Americans woke up pondering the same question: how did we get here? I’ve spent a few days reflecting on what went wrong, and I think us liberals have to share some of the blame. I’ll explain.
People tend to debate politics in an echo chamber. By that, I mean people of like minds tend to come together to complain about political issues. I’m guilty of debating in an echo chamber, as are most of us, including conservatives. But I’ve learned so much about where others are coming from by talking about the election with people sitting across the political aisle.
I’m concerned about the political echo chamber because it caused liberals to ignore the voices of conservatives. They poisoned the water for moderates by ignoring some of their legitimate concerns. Don’t misconstrue this opinion though—it’s great to “debate” among friends. But many people debated in impassioned echo chambers before taking to social media to call conservative Trump voters “racists,” “misogynists,” “deplorables,” and the like.
That really offended a lot of moderates.
Liberals who espouse ideals of inclusivity essentially told conservative America that their concerns (e.g. job losses in energy, abortion, etc.) and their voices on those matters were not important. Moreover, our attitudes conveyed a belief that their concerns about keeping jobs, supporting their families, and living according to their faith were just excuses to be racist. Call it racism, but a lot of Trump voters were just really nervous about growing American debt, losing their jobs to green energy, and watching fetuses “die” in direct opposition to their religious beliefs. None of that sounds very racist to me.
Liberal America berates conservative Christian America for “pushing” its beliefs on others. But when liberal America brashly pushed its agenda on conservatives, that was completely fine. Debating in an echo chamber empowered a certain level of political sanctimony that took things too far for (almost—check the popular vote) a majority of Americans.
This echo chamber is so divisive. We don’t have to agree. Everyone has their issues that are important to them. That another does not prioritize issues in the same order that I do does not necessarily make them stupid, uniformed, racist, or misogynistic. It makes them a human standing in different shoes from me. Liberal America needs to recognize that we took it too far, and that it got us four years with Donald Trump. We were defeated so badly that we have no choice but to beg for conservatives to listen to our concerns now. Funny how that feels.
Those angry about the outcome of this election need to take the defeat humbly and as a lesson in civility. This comment is not an indictment of liberal views. Rather, this me taking a step back and asking what went wrong. Call me what you want, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion, or…?