Just a couple of quick thoughts today about our political discourse and how people view each other politically.
I have a very good friend who is much more liberal than I am but other than that is a wonderful person. But I watch how he has fallen into the trap that so many liberals and Democrats have allowed themselves to become. Obviously he does not like President Trump and was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton. I can respect that and admit that he views how the country should be run differently than I do. But he has now taken to denigrating Trump in the worst ways and anyone that tries to defend the President or any of his policies is, in his words, “normalizing” a President that is not normal. I am not sure what he is actually suggesting but I get the sense that he had decided that the President is not mentally sound.
Now I will be the first to admit that President Trump has some idiosyncrasies that can be annoying. We all have them and we notice them when other people display their traits while we ignore our own. To each of us we are “normal” and others are odd. I wish President Trump would put the phone down and close his twitter account. I wish that he would remove a few people from his staff that I don’t believe serve him well. But those would be representative of my idiosyncrasies and so they would appear normal to me.
But the fact remains that Donald Trump won the Presidency and I think this is the root of my friend’s problem. This was an election that the Democrats thought they had in the bag and they are still wringing their hands in frustration that they did not win the Presidency and retake control of the Senate. Part of that is being played out in the Senate with the Democrat’s actions towards the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Any suggestion that he is unqualified is simply, well, not normal.
Most political experts look at the nation as a whole and come to the conclusion that the country, politically, is just right of center. In other words they are moderately conservative. I think that is true because as we get a bit older we tend to be more conservative in our thinking and actions. We become more risk adverse. But liberals and Democrats are tightly clustered in large urban areas and this becomes a bubble for them. They are surrounded by like-minded thought and it serves to reconfirm they are right and everyone else in the nation is wrong, or not normal to use the word I keep hearing. Anyone that looks at a political map of the country sees right away that the blue political parts are on the coasts and in urban centers. The rest of the nation is red. If you track it by landmass it is overwhelmingly red.
The Democrat Party seems headed to the far left and is dominated by liberal white, highly educated urban dwellers and minorities from inner cities. Because so many are well educated they begin to believe that they know better on what policies should be pursued and view anyone disagreeing as simply not smart enough to understand. Hence we see the terms like “redneck states”, “fly over states” and the like. They like big government because it generally works for them and gives them a sense of security. But as the last election showed it does not always translate into winning elections.
I don’t want to suggest that there are not people on the right that are equally as zealous. There are and they can be just as annoying as those on the left. They don’t like compromise and the far left does not like compromise and that leaves us with what we have in Congress today: Gridlock.
But if I had to ascribe to one side a more heightened sense of entitlement I would allow that to fall clearly on the liberal side of the equation. Most conservatives would just like to have smaller government and be left alone to live their lives. Most liberals believe that government should play a large role in people’s lives and they want to tell you how you should live your life. That is why my friend keeps saying that if I support anything that President Trump is doing I am trying to “normalize” him. My counter to that is define what is normal. There are a lot of abnormal people in my family but of course I believe I am the normal one. In reality I don’t believe that there is any true normal since we are all different but the one thing I am sure of is that pretending that anyone that does not believe as you do is not normal is definitely not normal.