Monday, May 2, 2016

Last Call For Sully's Return

Andrew Sullivan, now at New York Magazine, makes his return to long form columns in a completely non-triumphant fashion.  The subject of course is the rise of The Donald, and as usual none of the blame for his rise is dealt to any media folks, and especially not anyone named Trump or Sullivan.

There's a lot there, in the same way a catering-sized party tray of fruitcake is "a lot there", but it boils down to two things.  First, it's all the liberals' fault:

For the white working class, having had their morals roundly mocked, their religion deemed primitive, and their economic prospects decimated, now find their very gender and race, indeed the very way they talk about reality, described as a kind of problem for the nation to overcome. This is just one aspect of what Trump has masterfully signaled as “political correctness” run amok, or what might be better described as the newly rigid progressive passion for racial and sexual equality of outcome, rather than the liberal aspiration to mere equality of opportunity.
Much of the newly energized left has come to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to “check his privilege” by students at Ivy League colleges. Even if you agree that the privilege exists, it’s hard not to empathize with the object of this disdain. These working-class communities, already alienated, hear — how can they not? — the glib and easy dismissals of “white straight men” as the ultimate source of all our woes. They smell the condescension and the broad generalizations about them — all of which would be repellent if directed at racial minorities — and see themselves, in Hoffer’s words, “disinherited and injured by an unjust order of things.” 
And so they wait, and they steam, and they lash out.

And second, because it's all the liberals' fault, they are the ones who have to fix it.

And so those Democrats who are gleefully predicting a Clinton landslide in November need to both check their complacency and understand that the Trump question really isn’t a cause for partisan Schadenfreude anymore. It’s much more dangerous than that. Those still backing the demagogue of the left, Bernie Sanders, might want to reflect that their critique of Clinton’s experience and expertise — and their facile conflation of that with corruption — is only playing into Trump’s hands. That it will fall to Clinton to temper her party’s ambitions will be uncomfortable to watch, since her willingness to compromise and equivocate is precisely what many Americans find so distrustful. And yet she may soon be all we have left to counter the threat. She needs to grasp the lethality of her foe, moderate the kind of identity politics that unwittingly empowers him, make an unapologetic case that experience and moderation are not vices, address much more directly the anxieties of the white working class—and Democrats must listen.

Not that anyone should be surprised that Sullivan is squarely in the "Mean liberals were mean to white men and this is your fault!" camp, because that's been his battle cry for years now, but this is egregious even for him.  It takes a lot of misused skill to say so little with so many words, but there you are.

He does go on to say that Republicans have to do whatever they can to stop Trump, but then goes right back to saying that Mean Liberal Elitists who have victimized white guys will probably be okay in a Trump presidency and don't really care enough to stop him.

That Sully thinks Republicans want to stop Trump and that liberals don't want to stop him indicated just how much of a blockhead he still is.

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