Why Were Liberals so Surprised?

Truth be told, the world was surprised by the election results and not just liberals. Work colleagues of mine were literally crying last Wednesday morning.  Ivy league schools were canceling exams for students so that they could deal with the emotional terror of the outcome.  There is violence and protests in the streets, albeit only in a hand-full of cities nationwide.  From watching the media, I would have thought that Clinton had the election in the bag with no serious threat of losing to Trump.  All of the major polls and predictors agreed that Hillary would win… But the opposite happened.  and it was not just the presidency.  Congress maintained a Republican majority and most states shifted right. This does not make sense if you live in an big city, are a college student, watch mainstream media, are on social media or work with academics.  All of the aforementioned settings have created unhealthy echo-chambers consisting of the ideologically homogeneous. Diversity is not present… that is- thought diversity is not present.

People are calling this a result of racism when the white vote is nearly split every election.  In fact, Trump received less of the white vote than Mitt Romney did in 2012.  If we are measuring votes along racial lines then we have to point out the fact that Hillary did not do very well among minorities compared to Obama. That could have lost her the election!  Trump received less total votes than Romney and still beat Hillary.  The question many are asking is, did Trump win or did Hillary lose?  One thing is for sure, the liberal elites lost. In a piece from reason.com called Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash What every liberal who didn’t see this coming needs to understand,  Robby Soave explains,

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

 

He continues

I have tried to call attention to this issue for years. I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing. And ever since Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the GOP presidential primaries, I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it…

Soave then describes political correctness as a symptom of the lefts overreach during the Obama administration by saying,

…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.

My liberal critics rolled their eyes when I complained about political correctness. I hope they see things a little more clearly now. The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly. It punished them for not being woke enough. It called them racists. It said their video games were sexist.

Walter Russell Mead,  in a piece in the Wall Street Journal also attempts to point out the reason trump won when he says,

Social scientists and urban intellectuals have been predicting the death of Jacksonian America since the turn of the 20th century. Urbanization and immigration were the forces that observers like Woodrow Wilson and Walter Lippmann hoped would transform American popular culture into something less antagonistic to the rule of technocratic intellectuals ensconced in a powerful federal bureaucracy. This did not work out as planned.

It is too simple to say that economic discontent was responsible for the political insurrection that over the past year has upended the Bush and Clinton dynasties as well as the Republican establishment and Democratic electoral hopes. When liberal politicians talk eagerly about a future where whites will no longer be the majority in the U.S., Jacksonians hear a declaration of war, a plan to deprive them of power in their own country. Democratic support for identity politics among every group in the country except for heterosexual white males has strengthened a sense among Jacksonians, both male and female, that their values and their identity are under determined attack.

People can endlessly evaluate the election results and they can point to demographics and data to explain what happened.  There is probably some benefit to understanding this information- to understanding why people vote the way they do. Personally, I don’t care what color, gender, gender-identity, creed, or national origin you are. There are timeless principles that are true of all people at all times – we were all created equal, were were endowed by our creator with unalienable rights, the just powers of the government derives from the consent of the governed, etc…  The amount of estrogen, testosterone, melanin  you have or where you were born does not change that and I could give a rats ass if you are white or male (I am a white male if you hadn’t guessed already). My allegiance is to these ideals and to no man.

This election put forward two people who were both unqualified for the role of POTUS.  For many on the conservative right, it was a season of soul searching as they faced a nearly impossible decision- do I choose a wildcard whose character flaws outweigh that of what made many of us to call for impeachment of Bill Clinton following the Lewinsky scandal? Or do I choose a corrupt career politician whose radical policies are known and antagonistic toward religious freedom and the pro-life ideals?  How do you choose in that scenario?  Well, there were other options and predictably, I have already seen those on the left blaming the loss on those in their own party who voted third party.  The same would have been said of conservatives who voted third party if they would have lost.  People need someone to blame and there is plenty of blame being thrown around these days.

But we should try to come together as a country and avoid the radical Calls for secession in West Coast states and similar stories that the media just eats up.

I will say that there is a realization on the left that there is a lack of thought diversity specifically on college campuses has been identified.  For example an article in the Harvard Crimson titled, “Elephant and Man at Harvard” explains

As students and professors continue to take stock of the results of Tuesday’s election, the ideological uniformity of much of Harvard’s population will no doubt dominate campus conversation. Honing in on Harvard’s undergraduates, The Crimson’s pre-election survey affirmed—to an extent—the College’s reputation as a liberal bastion. … the survey points to an overall lack of ideological diversity that should concern faculty, administrators, and students alike, especially at this moment in our history.

The most glaring ideological diversity deficit among undergraduates is the relatively small number of students who identify as conservative.

Another article, from the Cornell Daily Sun, written last fall similarly describes the political atmosphere on the university campus  when it says,

Of the nearly $600,000 Cornell’s faculty donated to political candidates or parties in the past four years, over 96 percent has gone to fund Democratic campaigns, while only 15 of the 323 donors gave to conservative causes.

The article goes on,

Prof. Richard Bensel, government, said a “historical trend” explains a declining number of conservatives in Cornell’s faculty.

“In the late 19th and early 20th century, there were far more conservative professors than liberals in elite universities — although it was still not nearly as slanted as it is today,” he said. “This switched around the New Deal.”

He also conceded that in today’s climate, “a lot of the time conservative professors don’t want to work here.” Prof. Emeritus Isaac Kramnick, government, explained that there were one or two conservative professors in the government department in the 1960s and 1970s, but both had already left.

Diversity of thought is lacking according to the article when it explains,

While Cornell pursues diversity in its student body and in certain aspects of its faculty, many students and professors who saw these statistics said they were concerned about Cornell’s professed diversity of thought.

It is not just Harvard and Cornell that have such a wide disparity.  In an article by the Chronicle of Higher Education titled, Yes, You’re Right, Colleges Are Liberal Bubbles. Here’s the Data., the author reveals,

Campuses tend to be viewed as enclaves of liberalism — bubbles or oases, depending on your view, set apart from the rest of America.

In the counties that are home to public flagship universities, only nine favored Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton, according to a Chronicle analysis of voting data. In the 49 counties included in the analysis, Mrs. Clinton beat Mr. Trump, on average, by about 18 percentage points. In counties with a public flagship, the percentage of voters favoring Mrs. Clinton was 11 points, on average, higher than her statewide percentage.

The data also revealed,

And in some cases, while states may have swung toward the Republicans since the 2012 election, the counties with flagship universities swung the other direction. Mr. Trump improved on Mitt Romney’s Republican win in North Carolina, for instance, carrying the state by 3.8 points, compared to Mr. Romney’s 2.2-point victory. At the same time, Orange County voted even more solidly Democratic than it did four years earlier.

I recommend viewing the charts from this data analysis in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The implications of this data are staggering.  We must continue to ask why the world of academia and university campuses are so out of step with the rest of America. We must continue to encourage conservatives to become more engaged in these settings and not withdraw.  Colleges give us the next generation of leaders and they have been liberal for a long time.  I think much of the issue is a result of peer pressure and wanting to assimilate to the university environment.  Many students would like to fit in and be seen as in-step with their peers and professors.  When they leave, however, and start paying taxes and get married and start having children, reality sets in and they may shed many of their professed beliefs from their college years.

I have written HERE about how the liberal student is stunted in their intellectual growth by not being exposed to real contrary viewpoints.  These universities, which have been described by Dennis Prager as “liberal seminaries” are not doing the students or our country a favor by preaching and encouraging left-wing dogma. Conservative students who survive the university are better prepared to articulate their worldview and defend their beliefs.

Lessons

There are a few lessons that can be taken away from this election cycle- 1. be skeptical of the media, 2. you never know who is truly going to win an election so actually vote AND for who you want to win, and 3. “Never invest power in government that you would feel uncomfortable leaving in the hands of your worst opponent.” (found here)

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