The Failures of The Left

*This article is written by Luke Lindsley. It is reposted from his blog at lukelindsley.com, originally posted there on November 9, 2016.

Photo via Andrew Kelly

Last night was a spectacle to see unravel. Flipping through channel to channel, I watched as the mainstream media imploded attempting to reconcile their polling data with reality. In just a matter of hours the narrative had changed completely. The narrow path for Donald Trump to claim victory had mutated into Hillary Clinton needing a miracle. And then in a single moment it was over: Donald Trump became the 45th president elect of the United States.

As a reluctant Clinton supporter I’m greatly disappointed in the result, but I am not surprised. The extreme resentment for Hillary Clinton was blatantly obvious to anyone outside of the Hollywood, Wall Street and mainstream media bubble. She represented the essence of the status quo when the country was screaming for an outsider. The Democrats failure to elect Bernie Sanders as their nominee ultimately screwed them in the end. And that’s exactly what happened:

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Hillary Clinton received roughly 10 million less votes than Obama in 2008 and 6 million less votes than Obama in 2012. In addition, Clinton and Trump both received less votes than John McCain and Mitt Romney in previous years. There was clearly a lack of enthusiasm for both campaigns. Yet despite Clinton ultimately edging out Trump in the popular vote, it’s evident that the Democrats lost to themselves. Perhaps there is something to be said about an outdated electoral college system, but I digress.

Leftists have rightly highlighted the sexism, racism and bigotry throughout Trumps campaign, but have also failed to engage in these conversations honestly. Being critical of Black Lives Matter doesn’t make a person racist. Being critical of Third Wave Feminism doesn’t make a person sexist. Being critical of Islamic Terrorism doesn’t make a person an Islamophobe. The failure to distinguish between legitimate criticisms and true bigotry is a key factor in the rise of Trump and the platform he now has. Indeed, identity politics is a cancer to any political discourse.

Emotions are high as this 2 year long bitter campaign comes to a close, but Liberals now more than ever need to be rational and champions of reason. The election of Donald Trump in addition to Republican control of the House, Senate and Congress leaves the door wide open to massive changes these next two years. The Left must go through a rebirth in order to keep this new face of America in check.

The silver lining in all of this, ironically, is that Donald Trump is not a traditional republican. The man has no ideology and his policies have been all over the map from the beginning. There’s much reason to believe that his ideas will continue to change as he learns the secrets and intricacies of world politics. In this regard, I’m hopeful that the presidency can humble the narcissistic egomaniac and make for a survivable 4 years. Don’t hold your breath.

Jeremiah Morelock

Jeremiah Morelock

Jeremiah Morelock holds a Masters Degree in Sociology and teaches at Boston College. He is also the Director of the Critical Theory Research Network. His research focuses on political themes in biological horror and science fiction films. He is editor of Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism (forthcoming in 2018, University of Westminster).
Jeremiah Morelock

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