Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Susan Allen | Liberal extremism cost Clinton win

Published:Saturday | November 12, 2016 | 11:00 AMSusan Allen
Former President Bill Clinton embraces his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine applauds in New York last Wednesday, where she conceded her defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election.

I was not totally surprised by the Trump victory last Tuesday night for two reasons - the economic and the cultural.

On the economic front, I think the income insecurity and general financial malaise felt by those whose working lives have been disrupted by the globalisation of labour and the advancement of technology in the workplace is real.

One just has to think back to the worldwide anti-globalisation protests in 1999 to recognise that while the educated technocrats were making deals, ordinary people sensed that there was something rotten in Denmark. They have since seen their jobs disappear as corporations naturally take advantage of the efficiency brought by access to global labour markets and organise their businesses in a globalised context, as technology now permits.

The complexities of global trade agreements are difficult to explain to the common man and woman who lose jobs as a result, and it was easier to blame the Mexicans and other immigrants. No one bothered to explain that cheap Mexican farm labour means affordable fruit and vegetables for ordinary Americans; only rich liberal vegetarians would be able to afford fruit and vegetables if American farmers had to pay blue-collar white men to pick produce.

And so protectionist, anti-immigration talk won the day.

On the cultural front, a majority of Trump voters wanted conservative values to inform appointments to the Supreme Court. I think the well-educated liberals who populate the media, polling organisations and the Democratic Party were living in an ideological echo chamber for so long that they forgot that ordinary dwellers of middle America - that great mass of land between the two coasts - do not share their cultural views on abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action and a host of issues dear to the progressive liberals. In fact, the echo-chamber media liberals inhabit drowns out opposing views as anti-woman, homophobic or racist, with the result that the liberals have ended up taking the most extreme stances on these issues.

For example, during the debate, the only mention Hillary Clinton made about abortion was to defend late-term abortions. I consider myself a reasonable pro-choice woman, but I was aghast when I heard her comments defending late-term abortion as a quasi-right. Why not just defend the majority of abortions that are first-trimester procedures sought by clearly desperate women and leave the very rare medically complex late-term procedures out of the discussion?

Pro-lifers bait pro-choice liberals by highlighting the more gruesome aspects of late-term abortion and liberals take the bait and defend it as a right, when it might be more politically astute to regard late-term abortions as medically complex issues best left to medical men and women and defend the right of the majority of women to seek safe abortions in the first trimester in the rare circumstances when they choose to.

 

VILIFYING PEOPLE

 

When Hillary defended late-term abortions, what Middle America heard was that Hillary Clinton defends killing near-term babies, not that Hillary Clinton supports the rights of women to choose their reproductive future.

On the issue of gay rights, I do not believe that the ordinary religious man or woman of Middle America believes in gay marriage or in gay couples adopting children, or having children through artificial means. And vilifying people who hold these views as homophobic does not change their minds; it only alienates them.

So, when the Supreme Court gave gays the right to marry, many people found the idea offensive, but perhaps never gave it much thought until gay people started reporting mom-and-pop bakers who refuse to make gay wedding cakes to government regulators, who promptly fined them more than $135,000.

Since this incident, I am sure this mom-and-pop baker has been going to church and sharing what from their point of view was the $135,000 price they had to pay for their inability to defend their religious rights with their church family and online. I would imagine they concluded, not unreasonably, that the gays do not only want to defend their rights to same-sex marriage but they want to force others to support this new right immediately and unquestioningly, notwithstanding a 2,000-year Christian history, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Did the gay couple really have to report the mom-and-pop bakery to regulators? I would be willing to bet that this couple have people in their own families that are not on board with gay marriage. Couldn't they, in their joyful pre-marriage state of mind, give mom-and-pop baker a piece of their mind and go to a large bakery chain less likely to question a cake for a gay wedding?

Why report them, expose them to a large fine just because they have not come on board with a newly minted right granted by the Supreme Court? When men and women of Middle America hear stories like these, they think, not unreasonably, that the issue of gay rights has got out of hand.

Similarly, ech-chamber liberals have no idea that when they push the right of transgenders to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex they identify as, what mothers of young girls in Middle America hear is that they want to put men - and perverted men, too, since this is the tack many ordinary people take on transgender men - in the bathroom with 'my young daughter'.

The US Supreme Court will, in my view, head in a new direction, and it will be very interesting to see where worldwide gay activists turn when the US Supreme Court, the veritable guardian of gay rights, changes its mind and reverses itself on gay marriage, abortion and other issues that liberals care about.

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