By JR on Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Why the howls over Clinton's defeat?
We all know the vast contrast between the Republican reaction to Obamas's election and the Leftist reaction to Trump's election. Republicans reacted with quiet trepidation to the era of Obama while the Left reacted to Trump with nationwide howls of rage and florid symptoms of psychological distress. Why the difference?
Could it be that they regretted losing the hold over the rest of us that the labyrinthine array of rules and regulations fastened on us in the Obama era gave them? Do they regret a loss of power? No doubt they did regret that but the individual Leftist exercises little or none of that power so the election result does not personally threaten anything of that kind. And the election result did clearly generate a feeling of personal loss
At one level the answer to the question is clear. Leftist politics are emotion with just a slight overlay of rationality while in conservative politics rationality is dominant. Conservatives are interested in what works for the general betterment while Leftists think they can create a new Eden by passing laws. You have to be pretty simple-minded or deranged to think that.
And that brings us to what I think is the answer to the recent Leftist meltdown. Leftists believe so many improbable things that it takes constant psychological work to keep those beliefs alive. Beliefs such as: All men are equal; all men are brothers; there are no important differences between men and women; blacks are just like us only browner; The United Nations is the big hope for the future; you can force people to be good; Money grows on trees; it is justice to take money off someone who has earned it and give it to someone who has not earned it; the planet needs saving etc., etc. That summary puts their beliefs in an unvarnished way but their beliefs do boil down to that.
So having a burden of beliefs so at variance with reality cannot be easy. Reality is constantly undermining your beliefs. So you need all the help you can get to prop up your beliefs. And the BIG help you can get is social support: Having other people share those beliefs. And you can usually achieve that by being fussy about your company. Hang out with other Leftists only. And if you accidentally run into a conservative who wants to remind you of reality, you either shut him up or run away.
But Presidential elections can undermine those defences. It is such a high profile event and so engrossing for both sides that you have to notice the outcome. You may have to face the fact that not everyone agrees with you. When huge emotional energy is put in to getting a result that will confirm the dominance of your beliefs, an adverse result shatters a major support for those beliefs. The real world glares in at you. Try as you might, you cannot escape it. You have at last to face the possibility that you may be wrong in your passionately held beliefs.
Conservatives by contrast have a strong grip on reality and feel no need to hide from it so are not shaken to the core by obviously foolish beliefs in others. Conservatives KNEW that Mr Obama could not stop the seas rising and heal the earth -- and his election did nothing to undermine that knowledge. What caused ecstasy among the Left was simply seen as risibly silly by conservatives.
So the loss by Hillary cracked a lot of walls. It shouted at Leftists that their view of reality might be wrong and that those "Fascists" of the Republican party could be right.
But it was worse that that. Striking at their view of reality was bad enough but it also threatened their self-worth. Leftist beliefs are not random. They are carefully designed to convince the Leftist that he is good and kind and wise. So if you take his beliefs away from him you undermine his whole opinion of himself. He has to confront the possibility that he might be no better than those "Fascist" Republicans. And that is simply intolerable. It could mean that his entire life has taken a wrong direction. No wonder the Left were upset and enraged.
So the defeat of Clinton undermined desperately needed social support for their crazy beliefs. They still believe that only fools and evil people disagree with them but that belief has just taken a battering. They badly needed the government to tell them that they are right but now that has been snatched away from them -- JR.