Is Liberals’ Vanity Stronger Than Their Misery?

members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers—themselves desperately afraid of being downsized—are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for—someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots.

.. However I believe that the concept of truth is fundamental to human discourse, that it is the precondition of any genuine dialogue, and that real respect for other people requires an even greater respect for truth.

.. Rorty was paramount among those thinkers who advance their own opinion as immune to criticism, by pretending that it is not truth but consensus that counts, while defining the consensus in terms of people like themselves.

.. It never seems to occur to people like Rorty that people who disagree with them on cultural matters might be anything other than bigots.

.. because they have so stigmatized anyone to their right that they both don’t want to listen, and make the price of dissent so high that dissenters end up keeping their mouths shut for fear of losing their jobs or their positions.

.. Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob. Never mind that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t themselves onboard just five short years ago.

.. Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity

.. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has documented that conservatives understand the liberal mind better than liberals understand the conservative mind.

.. The basic reason is that liberals generally interpret all moral action in terms of Care and Fairness. Thus when conservatives think or behave in ways that violate what liberals believe is the Caring and Fair thing to have done, they can only figure that this is because conservatives Don’t Care and Aren’t Fair. In fact, Haidt says, there are other things going on in conservative moral reasoning, but liberals who strictly adhere to the Care/Fairness standards blind themselves to them.

.. A lot of people think there are only two genders—boy and girl. Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe they should change that view. Maybe it’s insensitive to the trans community. Maybe it even flies in the face of modern social psychology. But people think it. Political correctness is the social force that holds them in contempt for that, or punishes them outright.

.. The leftist drive to enforce a progressive social vision was relentless, and it happened too fast. I don’t say this because I’m opposed to that vision—like most members of the under-30 crowd, I have no problem with gender neutral pronouns—I say this because it inspired a backlash that gave us Trump.

.. Universities, newspapers, and political parties are not churches, but the people who run them think of them as institutional forms of secular religion

.. the liberal clerisy has just had a political version of the Ninety-Five Theses nailed to their wooden backsides by the American voter.

.. Donald Trump is not a moral or religious conservative, did not campaign as one, and is not likely to govern as one. The Religious Right did not win the culture war. To be opposed to political correctness is not the same thing as being a social conservative. Trump is right-wing, which is not the same thing as conservatism. Milo Yiannopoulos is the real face of Trumpism. Ralph Reed and all the old school Religious Right folks are just along for the ride, whether they know it or not.