to just09:15just let me enter a footnote but just in09:18a site09:20it was very interesting to watch who09:22pulled it off09:24when he establishes his first campaign09:26team09:28it’s proof axelrod and gibbs09:31they’re all white09:33then09:34he assembles the team of writers09:37he has eight writers09:39and lyd makes the point09:42they’re all white males09:46it’s very striking wouldn’t it strike09:48you09:50yes it has09:52of eight writers09:54eight09:56including09:57around three who just did comedy09:59sketches because he was going on like10:02you know the10:03washington press club comedy night you10:06know10:07he couldn’t find one black writer10:09through comedy yeah i think that was a10:11really interesting point that you made10:12that apparently none of the black10:14comedians kind of passed muster to join10:16to join the team and yes it’s something10:18that i you know people have commented on10:20and that you know as i listen to10:22the kind of10:24crooked media10:25podcast10:27family10:28where a whole lot of people are have10:30very lucrative careers now as the host10:32of positive america etc because they10:34were his speech writers10:37and thinking about10:38how none of those opportunities befall10:41any any black people or any women in10:42part because that’s not who barack obama10:45to keep around him and put words in his10:46mouth it’s really striking in his inner10:49circle there were two blacks10:51valerie jarrett10:53who for all intents and purposes might10:55as well have been white well why do you10:57say that professor finkelstein well10:58first of all11:00valerie jarrett just physically let’s11:02start with the physically okay but11:04that’s but never how race operates in11:06america okay okay let’s start there and11:09then say finish there11:12when her child was11:14born11:15the hospital administrator put the child11:18down as white11:19i went to law school with her child in11:21fact actually11:22one of the most notable moments of i was11:24very quiet one all year she was a year11:26or two ahead of me and one of the most11:29notable moments of my 1l experience was11:31a11:32professor feldman who’s in the news for11:33other reasons not so charmingly right11:36now uh called on her and called her mrs11:38gray which is about the biggest11:39impression i ever made on anybody in11:41that class11:45so11:46and she grew up11:48and actually her her mother when her11:50mother11:51gave birth to her the administrator put11:54down white so just at that level at that11:57level but you’re right it’s that’s you11:59can call it a trivial level because we12:01have the one drop rule12:03in the united states okay correct she12:05she had nothing to do with black people12:10why do you say that well because she was12:11the mascot for richard daley12:14when richard daley when she when the12:16richard daley administration came along12:18in chicago he appointed her on every12:21board12:22she was the head of the chicago housing12:24authority she was the head of the12:25chicago transit authority she was the12:28the head of the the chair of the stock12:30exchange they just used her for12:33everything when she was the head of then12:35she became part of this habitat company12:38a private public um co-op cooperative12:42she was12:43she was a one-person gentrification12:46machine so i think12:48all the black neighborhoods chicago but12:51that’s different12:52when i challenged the idea that you said12:54quote you know she has nothing to do12:56with black people but that’s those are12:58this is this is the thing you know i i13:00all i do is sit around critiquing13:01identity politics13:03but there’s a13:04but it’s a very13:05when she is the only representative of13:09black people in his inner circle13:12she is the only one except for reggie13:15love right i understand that but you13:17can’t that is not the same thing the13:19problem with valerie jarrett is that she13:22doesn’t have good politics that connect13:24with what the bulk of black voters want13:26and need not because she’s light-skinned13:29right that’s not the issue and not13:31because of what her personal connection13:33is no and it’s also not because you said13:35she has nothing to do with black people13:36i know nothing about her personal life13:38who she hangs out with how she grew up13:40or how much she has anything to do with13:42black people so what i’m i’m not13:43disagreeing with the substance of your13:45critique of valerie jarrett but i’m just13:47cautioning you to be careful especially13:49since you aren’t black frankly something13:52that that’s who he chose13:55it’s right something13:57if the leading intellect black13:59intellectual in the united states is i14:01think clearly hands down is cornell west14:04and it’s very striking that obama14:07couldn’t find any place for cornell west14:10in his administration that tells me14:12something14:14it tells me something but he finds a14:16place from valerie jarrett and the only14:18other person is reggie love and reggie14:22love it was just14:23he was the gopher14:25oh obama wants an exotic meal can you14:27get it for him obama needs a new pair of14:29shoes can you get it for him that’s how14:31reggie loved it i actually i i liked14:34reggie loves memoir because he didn’t14:36give14:37he used a memoir to talk about himself14:40which i i kind of like even though of14:42course there’s the praise for obama but14:44it tells you something i don’t know why14:46you wouldn’t want to see that14:48that the people i don’t need14:52i don’t think that you are hearing what14:53my criticism is14:56does it bother you that does it bother14:58you14:59that valerie jarrett sings the praises15:02of al sharpton15:04yes that is a substantive critique of15:06valerie jarrett valerie jarrett being15:09light skinned her daughter being15:11perceived as white as a kid it derails15:13the rest of your argument that’s the15:15point i’m trying to make15:16it’s not helpful no i’m i’m telling you15:19i’m telling you as someone who is15:22sympathetic to your argument and who is15:23perhaps the15:25person outside of15:27the reeds who has written most critique15:30of identity politics on the left that15:32there are aspects of what is written15:34here that even alienate me and force me15:38into a defensive posture that is15:40unnecessary15:42and you cannot you cannot you can choose15:44not to care professor finkelstein that’s15:46completely you’re right but we we could15:48be talking about15:49we could be talking about the15:51substantive things that we agree with15:53but we keep getting derailed because of15:56these kind of assigns that do wait i’m15:58sorry if i could just finish the15:59sentence16:00that do open you up to i think16:02legitimate criticism that this isn’t16:04about the substance but it’s about a16:06personal animus for barack obama and i16:10personally don’t have a personal animus16:12barack obama beyond the extent to which16:14he has failed to stand up for the16:15promises that he made to the american16:17people who are suffering16:18at a historic level right now and16:21particularly because he’s a black person16:22who traded on16:24his blackness in order to convince16:27people without a lot of substance as16:28you’ve written so persuasively16:30to invest in him and to trust him with16:34the future and the fate of the most16:36historically marginal you know one of16:37the most historically marginalized16:38groups in this country that is my beef16:40with barack obama but when you say16:42things like i don’t find him interesting16:44that’s fine you don’t have to i16:46personally find him to be very16:48interesting and deeply compelling and i16:50i mean like the whole phenomenon i find16:52to be fascinating16:53but the i it begs the question you know16:56why is it relevant whether you find them16:58interesting and i find them just16:59uninteresting i said i don’t think it’s17:01relevant but it comes up you end up you17:04said it i didn’t say it you said it and17:06those kinds of asides and those frogs17:08and detours i would put to you i would17:10put to you17:12set you up to be written off and set all17:14of your critique to be written off17:16as a personal vendetta as opposed to a17:19substantive analysis which i think is17:21very much here and that’s all that i it17:24is that i’m flagging17:25because17:26um17:28i don’t like17:29identity politics17:32why not17:33why17:34yeah i mean i don’t either but i want to17:36hear i’m interested in hearing17:38your17:38analysis because17:41i know enough young people17:44not from the elite schools17:47but17:48young people who are17:50struggling17:52very hard17:54now17:55i had a wonderful life17:58not in terms of professional success18:01but enable18:03in terms of being able to do with my18:05life18:06what i wanted to do18:08you set a goal as a child a youth18:11and then you18:13are able to realize it18:16i had a friend richard herskowitz18:19he loved film18:21he became a film uh impresario festivals18:24organizing festivals18:26larry spivak he was in the school band18:29the orchestra leader18:32he became the leader of the greenwich18:33orchestra18:35then there’s the whole slew who became18:37doctors18:38that was their goal and there were quite18:40a few just money in wall street18:43this generation18:47they18:49it’s the very rare person outside the 2018:52the 20 will make it18:54the 8018:55who i know18:58they’re not going to see anything in18:59their lives it’s very hard for me to19:01tell them that19:02i um19:04often they’re asking me what do you19:05think i should do where do you think i19:07should go19:08i don’t even know what to counsel19:09anymore19:11because i don’t see any prospects at all19:15so19:17to me19:18this identity politics19:21it’s a complete and total19:24diversion19:27from anything meaningful19:29and substantive19:32for the young people i know who are poor19:36who live four to a room19:39in new york19:40or four to an apartment in new york19:43who struggle each month19:46to make the rent19:48who keep down19:50three dead end jobs19:53with no job security no vacation no sick19:57benefits nothing nothing20:00and then20:01juxtaposed to that20:04is this idiotic20:06identity politics20:09which20:10so far as20:12the young people i know20:14has absolutely no meaning20:17no20:18substance20:20whatsoever20:22so i just want to make sure i understand20:24what you’re really20:25one last thought sure20:27it was very striking to me20:31the20:32juxtaposition of the obama campaign20:37with the bernie campaign20:39the obama campaign was just20:42elect obama it was just all focused on20:46electing this person president20:49the bernie campaign20:51was entirely focused on his platform20:55everybody the moment he thought bernie20:58you thought first medicare for all21:01student debt21:03abolish tuition21:05jobs21:06and infrastructure21:08it was an identity politics campaign21:12juxtaposed against21:15a class politics21:17it was a very in my opinion21:21a very striking juxtaposition21:25most people like bernie not because they21:27had any particular21:29affection for him21:31but because they trusted him they knew21:33this guy’s been in politics for 40 years21:35he’s been saying the same thing since21:37the 1970s21:39so they figured okay the guy is the real21:41thing he’s the real deal uh that’s the21:45kind of politics21:46that’s always interested me21:50i care i care about the fate of humanity21:53i do21:54i don’t much care about abram x candies21:57um21:59hair22:01it doesn’t much interest me22:04is uh22:06these are fashion shows22:08this is not scholarship22:10it’s not politics22:13it’s22:14tamika mallory doing cadillac22:17commercials22:19it’s22:20patrice coolers22:23buying her four homes and then taking22:25the money and run22:28it’s also22:30beyond the scam22:33it’s really destructive22:37i was out every night22:39during the george floyd demonstrations i22:41was the only one over there was nobody22:44over22:44[Music]22:45there was literally over 30 at the22:47demonstrations because it was jaren22:48covert22:50so i was the only one22:53not for my age cohort22:55for four decades22:58after 3522:59three decades23:01and what was most striking to me23:03a veteran as it were of demonstrations23:08i had never seen23:10such anger among the whites the young23:12white people23:15it was not this kind of no bless oblige23:18solidarity with black people no23:21it was solidarity23:23however23:25it was we’re all in this together23:29and it was very striking23:31let’s say the23:32uh barclays center23:35which is the big center in downtown23:37brooklyn23:38here were the cops lined up23:41and here were23:42the demonstrators23:45and23:46there would be the white women23:49and there was such a fierce23:52anger23:54they were screaming it was not the most23:56sophisticated23:58of the of slogans they were shouting24:00nypd sucked my dick nyc24:04so angry24:07and24:08you you could see24:10it was the rage against the machine24:14that the police were the symbols24:16of this whole24:18system24:21that left them with no future24:24a futureless future24:26and there was real potential there24:29it was real24:31black and white24:33solidarity24:35as i had never before seen it24:38and it was very24:40inspiring24:42to see it because it wasn’t fake it24:43wasn’t the martha’s vineyard24:47it wasn’t performing24:48it was real24:50because a lot of these kids you know how24:52do you find a place in new york there24:54are three people they need a roommate24:57so a person comes along they randomly24:59choose them there is like a co-op25:01screening you know what i mean25:03so you have25:05every different type living together25:08a black person a white person a gay25:10person the trans person through living25:12together25:13there was a real sense of25:15community there you know recognition25:17that blacks are getting shafted more25:19than25:19everybody else but we’re all getting25:22shafted by this system25:24and the identity politics wrecks all25:27that it destroys it25:30by25:31by25:32balkanizing25:34the25:36solidarity25:37creating this competitiveness25:40who is the most oppressed25:43among the group25:45who should get bumped to the head of the25:47queue25:48it’s such a destructive25:51politics25:52i was a maoist25:54in my youth i made many errors25:57i’m perfectly willing to26:00acknowledge them26:02but there are things about that period26:04that i look back and they make sense26:07mao’s famous slogan was unite the many26:09to defeat the few26:12unite the many to defeat the few26:15the slogan of identity politics is26:18disunite the many to enable the few26:21to create enough divisions26:23fragmentations26:25and so forth26:27uh it’s a very destructive26:30and at the end of course the whole26:32identity politics in the george floyd26:34demonstrations what do they what26:36happened instead of putting forth a26:39slogan which could have united people26:41the obvious slogan was26:43justice meaning justice against the cops26:45and jobs because all these people don’t26:47have work26:49instead of justice and jobs26:51it came to26:52pummeling26:54statues of26:55whomever they were pulling down26:58and if you were if you attended those27:00demonstrations i don’t know if you did27:03by the third week the first week it was27:0650 50 50 black 50 not black27:11by the third week it was about 80 10 8027:15white27:16the black people sort of27:18it wasn’t going anywhere and they27:20started to disappear27:22and then the whole craziness with the27:24statues started27:26and then the whole thing just fizzled27:27out27:29i had there right well i think that the27:30i mean there’s a lot to be said about27:32those protests and we’ve said some of it27:33on the show i would dispute that it27:35fizzled out i think that there were a27:36lot of things that happened there was27:38the media turned on the protests and27:41started characterizing them27:43as kind of unhinged and violent and that27:46the ongoing protests were direct27:49um27:50there was going to be a direct trade-off27:51between the george floyd27:54movement policing movement27:56and27:58joe biden’s electoral chances and that28:00deflated some energy out of it and there28:02was an unwillingness of figureheads as28:04you’ve pointed to to actually stick that28:06landing and create any real use it for28:09any real leverage in an electoral28:10context in the middle of a journal28:12election and there was a lot of there28:13was a lot going on there28:15but um i want to bring this back uh28:18to28:19the subject to hand and ask you then28:23in a broader critique of identity28:24politics why is it that you felt the28:27need to write a chapter on barack obama28:30especially if to your point the younger28:32generations let’s say the under 40 crowd28:35is pretty woke and hip to28:38the28:39failures of obama28:42and doesn’t need need the pitch who who28:44is this who is this for hey youtube28:47don’t forget this is a podcast to get28:49full episodes including ones that are28:51behind a pay wall go to patreon.com bad28:55faith podcast to get more episodes28:57please do subscribe to this channel hit28:59the notification bell and like this29:01video29:03
Why obvious lies make great propaganda
For leaders like Trump and Putin, telling big lies isn’t about persuasion — it’s about power.
Steve Bannon Is a Fan of Italy’s Donald Trump
He’s crisscrossing Europe because he believes it’s a bellwether for the United States. The scary thing is he could be right.
MILAN — Italy is a political laboratory. During the Cold War, the question was whether the United States could keep the Communists from power. Then Italy produced Silvio Berlusconi and scandal-ridden showman politics long before the United States elected Donald Trump. Now, on the eve of European Parliament elections likely to result in a rightist lurch, it has an anti-immigrant, populist government whose strongman, Matteo Salvini, known to his followers as “the Captain,” is the Continent’s most seductive exponent of the new illiberalism.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, has been close to Salvini for a while. That’s no surprise. Bannon is the foremost theorist and propagator of the global nationalist, anti-establishment backlash. He’s Trotsky to the Populist International. He sensed the disease eating at Western democracies — a globalized elite’s abandonment of the working class and the hinterland — before anyone. He spurred a revolt to make the invisible citizen visible and to save Western manufacturing jobs from what he calls the Chinese “totalitarian economic hegemon.”
Now Bannon is crisscrossing Europe ahead of the elections, held Thursday through next Sunday. He’s in Berlin one day, Paris the next. As he explained during several recent conversations and a meeting in New York, he believes that “Europe is six months to a year ahead of the United States on everything.” As with Brexit’s foreshadowing of Trump’s election, a victory for the right in Europe “will energize our base for 2020.” The notion of Wisconsin galvanized by Brussels may seem far-fetched, but then so did a President Trump.
Polls indicate that Salvini’s League party, transformed from a northern secessionist movement into the national face of the xenophobic right, will get over 30 percent of the Italian vote, up from 6.2 percent in 2014. Anti-immigrant and Euroskeptic parties look set to make the greatest gains, taking as many as 35 percent of the seats in Parliament, which influences European Union policy for more than a half-billion people. In France, Marine Le Pen’s nationalists are running neck-and-neck with President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-Europe party. In Britain, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has leapt ahead of the center-right and center-left.
Salvini, whose party formed a government a year ago with the out-with-the-old-order Five Star Movement, is a central figure in this shift. The coalition buried mainstream parties. He is, Bannon told me, “the most important guy on the stage right now — he’s charismatic, plain-spoken, and he understands the machinery of government. His rallies are as intense as Trump’s. Italy is the center of politics — a country that has embraced nationalism against globalism, shattered the stereotypes, blown past the old paradigm of left and right.”
For all the upheaval, I found Italy intact, still tempering transactional modernity with humanity, still finding in beauty consolation for dysfunction. The new right has learned from the past. It does not disappear people. It does not do mass militarization. It’s subtler.
- It scapegoats migrants,
- instills fear,
- glorifies an illusory past (what the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman called “retrotopia”),
- exalts machismo,
- mocks do-gooder liberalism and
- turns the angry drumbeat of social media into its hypnotic minute-by-minute mass rally.
Salvini, the suave savior, is everywhere other than in his interior minister’s office at Rome’s Viminale Palace. He’s out at rallies or at the local cafe in his trademark blue “Italia” sweatshirt. He’s at village fairs and conventions. He’s posting on Facebook up to 30 times a day to his 3.7 million followers, more than any other European politician. (Macron has 2.6 million followers.) He’s burnishing the profile of the tough young pol (he’s 46) who
- keeps migrants out,
- loosens gun laws,
- brandishes a sniper rifle and
- winks at Fascism —
all leavened with Mr.-Nice-Guy images of him sipping espresso or a Barolo.
His domination of the headlines is relentless. When, during my visit, a woman was gang raped near Viterbo, his call for “chemical castration” of the perpetrators led the news cycle for 24 hours. Like Trump, he’s a master of saying the unsayable to drown out the rest.
“I find Salvini repugnant, but he seems to have an incredible grip on society,” Nathalie Tocci, the director of Italy’s Institute of International Relations, told me. No wonder then that the European far-right has chosen Milan for its big pre-election rally, bringing together Salvini, Le Pen, Jörg Meuthen of the Alternative for Germany party and many other rightist figures.
A nationalist tide is still rising. “We need to mobilize,” Bannon told me. “This is not an era of persuasion, it’s an era of mobilization. People now move in tribes. Persuasion is highly overrated.”
Bannon gives the impression of a man trying vainly to keep up with the intergalactic speed of his thoughts. Ideas cascade. He offered me a snap dissection of American politics: blue-collar families were suckers: their sons and daughters went off to die in unwon wars; their equity evaporated with the 2008 meltdown, destroyed by “financial weapons of mass destruction”; their jobs migrated to China. All that was needed was somebody to adopt a new vernacular, say to heck with all that, and promise to stop “unlimited illegal immigration” and restore American greatness. His name was Trump. The rest is history.
In Europe, Bannon said, the backlash brew included several of these same factors. The “centralized government of Europe” and its austerity measures, uncontrolled immigration and the sense of people in the provinces that they were “disposable” produced the Salvini phenomenon and its look-alikes across the Continent.
“In Macron’s vision of a United States of Europe, Italy is South Carolina to France’s North Carolina,” Bannon told me. “But Italy wants to be Italy. It does not want to be South Carolina. The European Union has to be a union of nations.”
The fact is Italy is Italy, unmistakably so, with its high unemployment, stagnation, archaic public administration and chasm between the prosperous north (which Salvini’s League once wanted to turn into a secessionist state called Padania) and the southern Mezzogiorno. Salvini’s coalition has done nothing to solve these problems even as it has
- demonized immigrants,
- attacked an independent judiciary and
- extolled an “Italians first” nation.
A federal Europe remains a chimera, even if the euro crisis revealed the need for budgetary integration. Bannon’s vision of Brussels bureaucrats devouring national identity for breakfast is largely a straw-man argument, useful for making the European Union the focus of all 21st-century angst.
The union has delivered peace and stability. It’s the great miracle of the second half of the 20th century; no miracle ever marketed itself so badly. It has also suffered from ideological exhaustion, remoteness, division and the failure to agree on an effective shared immigration policy — opening the way for Salvini’s salvos to hit home in a country that is the first stop for many African migrants.
Salvini grew up in Milan in a middle-class family, dropped out of university, joined the League in its early days in the 1990s and was shaped by years working at Radio Padania where he would listen to Italians’ gripes. “What he heard was complaints about immigrants, Europe, the rich,” Emanuele Fiano, a center-left parliamentarian, told me. “He’s run with that and is now borderline dangerous.”
The danger is not exit from the European Union — the government has come to its senses over that — or some Fascist reincarnation. It’s what Fabrizio Barca, a former minister for territorial cohesion, called the “Orbanization of the country,” in a reference to Viktor Orban, the right-wing Hungarian leader. In other words, insidious domination through the evisceration of independent checks and balances, leading Salvini to the kind of stranglehold on power enjoyed by Orban (with a pat on the back from Trump) or by Vladimir Putin. “The European Union has been ineffective against Orban,” Barca noted. Worse, it has been feckless.
Another threat, as in Trump’s United States, is of moral collapse. “I am not a Fascist but. …” is a phrase increasingly heard in Italy, with some positive judgment on Mussolini to round off the sentence. Salvini, in the judgment of Claudio Gatti, whose book “The Demons of Salvini” was just published in Italian, is “post-Fascist” — he refines many of its methods for a 21st-century audience.
Barca told me the abandonment of rural areas — the closing of small hospitals, marginal train lines, high schools — lay behind Salvini’s rise. Almost 65 percent of Italian land and perhaps 25 percent of its population have been affected by these cuts. “Rural areas and the peripheries, the places where people feel like nobody, are home to the League and Five Star,” he said. To the people there, Salvini declares: I will defend you. He does not offer a dream. He offers protection — mainly against the concocted threat of migrants, whose numbers were in fact plummeting before he took office because of an agreement reached with Libya.
The great task before the parties of the center-left and center-right that will most likely be battered in this election is to reconnect. They must restore a sense of recognition to the forgotten of globalization. Pedro Sánchez, the socialist Spanish prime minister, just won an important electoral victory after pushing through a 22 percent rise in the minimum wage, the largest in Spain in 40 years. There’s a lesson there. The nationalist backlash is powerful, but pro-European liberal sentiment is still stronger. If European elections feel more important, it’s also because European identity is growing.
As for the curiously prescient Italian political laboratory, Bannon is investing in it. He’s established an “Academy for the Judeo-Christian West” in a 13th-century monastery outside Rome. Its courses, he told me, will include “history, aesthetics and just plain instruction in how to get stuff done, including facing up to pressure, mock TV interviews with someone from CNN or The Guardian ripping your face off.”
Bannon described himself as an admirer of George Soros — “his methods, not his ideology” — and the way Soros had built up “cadres” throughout Europe. The monastery is the nationalist response to Soros’s liberalism. There’s a war of ideas going on in Italy and the United States. To shun the fight is to lose it. I am firmly in the liberal camp, but to win it helps to know and strive to understand one’s adversary.
Liberals, You’re Not as Smart as You Think
And a backlash against liberals — a backlash that most liberals don’t seem to realize they’re causing — is going to get President Trump re-elected.
People often vote against things instead of voting for them: against ideas, candidates and parties. Democrats, like Republicans, appreciate this whenever they portray their opponents as negatively as possible. But members of political tribes seem to have trouble recognizing that they, too, can push people away and energize them to vote for the other side. Nowhere is this more on display today than in liberal control of the commanding heights of American culture.
.. Liberals dominate the entertainment industry, many of the most influential news sources and America’s universities. This means that people with progressive leanings are everywhere in the public eye — and are also on the college campuses attended by many people’s children or grandkids. These platforms come with a lot of power to express values, confer credibility and celebrity and start national conversations that others really can’t ignore.
But this makes liberals feel more powerful than they are. Or, more accurately, this kind of power is double-edged. Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be. In exercising their power, they regularly not only persuade and attract but also annoy and repel.
In fact, liberals may be more effective at causing resentment than in getting people to come their way. I’m not talking about the possibility that jokes at the 2011 correspondents’ association dinner may have pushed Mr. Trump to run for president to begin with. I mean that the “army of comedy” that Michael Moore thought would bring Mr. Trump down will instead be what builds him up in the minds of millions of voters.
.. Some liberals have gotten far out ahead of their fellow Americans but are nonetheless quick to criticize those who haven’t caught up with them.
.. Liberals denounce “cultural appropriation” without, in many cases, doing the work of persuading people that there is anything wrong with, say, a teenager not of Chinese descent wearing a Chinese-style dress to prom or eating at a burrito cart run by two non-Latino women.
.. Pressing a political view from the Oscar stage, declaring a conservative campus speaker unacceptable, flatly categorizing huge segments of the country as misguided — these reveal a tremendous intellectual and moral self-confidence that smacks of superiority. It’s one thing to police your own language and a very different one to police other people’s. The former can set an example. The latter is domineering.
.. This judgmental tendency became stronger during the administration of President Barack Obama, though not necessarily because of anything Mr. Obama did. Feeling increasingly emboldened, liberals were more convinced than ever that conservatives were their intellectual and even moral inferiors.
.. college campuses — which many take to be what a world run by liberals would look like — seemed increasingly intolerant of free inquiry.
.. It was during these years that the University of California included the phrase “America is the land of opportunity” on a list of discouraged microaggressions.
.. Champions of inclusion can watch what they say and explain what they’re doing without presuming to regulate what words come out of other people’s mouths. Campus activists can allow invited visitors to speak and then, after that event, hold a teach-in discussing what they disagree with. After the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states had to allow same-sex marriage, the fight, in some quarters, turned to pizza places unwilling to cater such weddings. Maybe don’t pick that fight?
.. Liberals can act as if they’re not so certain — and maybe actually not be so certain — that bigotry motivates people who disagree with them on issues like immigration.
.. Without sacrificing their principles, liberals can come across as more respectful of others. Self-righteousness is rarely attractive, and even more rarely rewarded.
.. many liberals seem primed to write off nearly half the country as irredeemable.
.. But it is an unjustified leap to conclude that anyone who supports him in any way is racist, just as it would be a leap to say that anyone who supported Hillary Clinton was racist because she once made veiled references to “superpredators.”
Liberals are trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle. When they use their positions in American culture to lecture, judge and disdain, they push more people into an opposing coalition that liberals are increasingly prone to think of as deplorable. That only validates their own worst prejudices about the other America.