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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Age of Liberal Unreason

...In the Obama years, a cottage industry developed around the revelation that the president’s grassroots opponents had some nutty views that they freely confessed to pollsters. The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling routinely flattered the left with partisan drivel; for example, asking Republicans whether they wanted to bomb the fictional Middle Eastern city in the Disney film Aladdin or if Hillary Clinton personally murdered Vince Foster. There is no policy relevance to this kind of polling, but it does satisfy a desire among liberals to perceive themselves more tethered to reason and logic than their opponents. A nonpartisan firm, YouGov, has shattered that comforting liberal self-conception in a recent survey that showed 52 percent of Democrats believe Russia tampered with the “vote tallies” in order to get Donald Trump elected. There is no evidence to support this opinion, but there are plenty of news outlets lending it credence.

“The NSA Chief says Russia hacked the 2016 election,” declared the Mother Jonesheadline. “Obama vows to hit back at Russia over election hacks,” the Financial Times echoed. “Trump, mocking claim that Russia hacked the election, at odds with GOP,” read the New York Times headline. And on and on. The notion that “Russia hacked the election” may be shorthand to describe Russian-linked espionage efforts that revealed private Democratic communications to the public, but it’s also maliciously misleading. It fuels an effort, led by irresponsible liberals like former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, to convey to her devotees that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president.

Those are her words. On Monday, Stein declared her intention to go to Washington D.C. on January 20 to “Occupy” the inauguration. Her mission will be “sending a message to Trump that we reject his illegitimate presidency from the very start.” A reasonable political movement would have no part of anything associated with this woman; not after she managed to convince thousands of bereft liberals to contribute nearly ten million dollars to a recount in swing states. That effort was well-funded despite the fact she won less than a percent of the popular vote nationally and admitted the overabundance of funds would be directed wherever she wanted.

Stein, a regular contributor on the Kremlin-funded network RT and Vladimir Putin’s guest of honor at the network’s anniversary gala, may seem an odd channel for anti-Trump sentiment. Yet the idea of “resistance” to Trump is so popular among a cast of liberals convinced that they are the final bulwark against a fascist takeover of the United States that anyone who caters to this fancy enjoys purchase...

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