I have noticed less and less cockiness from my conservative friends on social media. Indeed, some have left the forum entirely. Among many who have stayed, however, there is a sense of victimization – maybe persecution is a better word – in what I see online in the days since Donald Trump has been elected and taken office.
I am too timid to copy and paste examples even after covering names and images, but I hope my experience is common enough where you do not need my examples to understand the point. Just log on and take a look.
Recently a friend posted a meme featuring a why-can’t-we-all-get-along quote from Dave Matthews. The laments that followed in the comments would have been unthinkable 12 months ago. One person blamed Barack Obama for creating the “Us vs. Them” conflict through a process of indoctrination using the schools, media, and something vaguely called “the social constructs” (cf. Richard Dawkins) that turn against people who want to think outside the box.
That is bewildering. Even funny.
Another blamed the mainstream media for perpetuating the “Us vs. Them” tension. He sums it up simply: “Perpetuated by the mainstream media. Promoted by the mainstream media. Instigated and formulated by the MSM.” Perhaps this person has a problem with the media doing its job and calling a spade a spade, however, this person also ended his post with an exclamation point: “Let’s call a spade a spade.”
Sadly, among the problems with meaningful discourse today, is the tenuous relationship people have with facts…or even alternative facts. For some people, just not agreeing with a fact is enough to make it false. Quite literally.
Let’s review a couple things. First, who is president right now? It isn’t Barack Obama. It is Donald Trump. If Obama is the reason why we cannot get along, is he also the reason why Carrier saved a few hundred jobs in Indiana? Should we be sending Barack a thank you card for pushing the Dow over 20,000? Come on, this sort of blame game is trite. It misses the bigger point anyway. If President Barack Obama were so good at indoctrinating people into seeing things his way, why did he have so much trouble promoting his political agenda? Why did we have so many people giving Trump what Trump thinks is a historic victory?!
And the mainstream media canard. Hahaha! Oh, good lord, it is precisely the act of calling a spade a spade that rankles a thin-skinned Donald Trump and cows his supporters. They are offended by facts.
I find it quaint that conservatives try to co-opt the bullied underdog. We see it happening with indignation among conservative leaders who whine about “obstruction” when the right made obstruction its raison d’etre for eight freaking years!
So cry me a river. Not buying it. The difference doesn’t necessarily boil down about opinions of who is right and who is wrong, but it does most certainly stand on who has been more faithful to facts, reason, and integrity in recent years. On that ground, conservatives – however befuddled, fooled, or sheepish they may be now – have no place to claim. Besides, I am not convinced one can be the victim of his own misdeeds. Tragic heroes the right is not.