Why do they hate us so much?
I ask myself this question on a daily basis. I’m one of those masochistic, liberal weirdos who likes to look through the posts on Breitbart News every day and read the often unhinged and hateful comments. For me, it’s important to know what the other side is thinking, and in this case, the other side is thinking some pretty gruesome things. Breitbart News, as you may know, has become a disinformation service, feeding misleading red meat to the angry carnivores of Trumpland to devour. And they devour it with gusto.
Go ahead. Take a look and see for yourself. Pick any article at random. It could be a piece about the need for a border wall to protect us from violent illegals or a completely unsubstantiated story intimating that Hillary Clinton is a murderer or head of a child-porn ring. Now look at the comments. Prepare to be disturbed and perhaps a little frightened. You will find a lot more than merely disagreement with the ideas of liberals. You will find vicious, bile-filled vitriol directed at “libtards” and “snowflakes” and not so subtle suggestions that that we are not American in the way that these patriotic, cheerleaders for Trump and traditional values are American. You will also find plenty of talk about taking the country back from us Commie, terrorist-loving scumbags and thinly veiled references to their guns and the willingness to use them should the time come.
It seems absurd to say it, but there is now a large percentage of America that views us (liberals) – also Americans who love our country and just want to be allowed to live and work and love in peace – as the enemy. Just like ISIS. As far as they are concerned, we are actively trying to destroy the country they love.
I say this because it seems very one-sided to me. We disagree with those on the right but we don’t want them dead or suffering. We actually want the best for them. We want them to live happy, fulfilled lives with wonderful jobs and opportunity for them and their families. We want them to be able to freely express their opinions, even when we disagree with those opinions vehemently. On the other hand, comments on Breitbart posts are filled with the joy in “delicious liberal tears” and having our “noses rubbed in it” and that it’s our time to “suffer now.” It’s gotten to the point that I always look at any new person I meet with suspicion. Are they one of “them” that despises me and everything I believe in?
How did we ever get to this place?
The talking point among members of Trump’s rabid cult is that it began with Obama. President Obama, the story goes, used race at every opportunity to beat good, working class Americans over the head and divide us into camps. He and the elite left used “political correctness” as a cudgel to silence those with traditional values and tried to shove the homosexual agenda down the throats of those whose religion told them that homosexuality was a sin. The problem, of course, with this theory is that racism and homophobia in this country predate the Obama administration by at least a couple of hundred years.
No, the conning of America began with right-wing radio. Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage and Sean Hannity became rich selling the uneducated white working and middle classes on the idea that their very real economic and loss of identity and power troubles were due to uncontrolled immigration, increasing women’s rights and the rampant immorality of the LGBTQ community. They created the “straw-man” argument that political correctness was the true enemy of freedom, rather than the racism, homophobia, and civil rights abuses that PC culture was attempting, imperfectly and overzealously at times, to correct. They then declared that the near-traitorous left had created the myth of “climate change” as a plot to eliminate jobs and destroy economic growth.
The corporate propaganda inherent in these lies was obvious to anyone who could follow the money of these snake-oil salesman and charlatans, but to many white Americans, who were suddenly not living nearly as well as their parents or grandparents had, it was all too easy and convenient to believe.
Fox News then took this model and turned it into the multi-billion-dollar monolith it is today. In recent years, Breitbart News has come along and nearly perfected the art, posting nothing but stories of violent crime committed by immigrants, political correctness run amok and the “out of touch” political views of Hollywood’s crazy lefties. All these forces have been fueling the anger of white Americans for going on twenty-five years now, to the point that anyone who disagrees with them is a traitor or a commie or in league with terrorists and, increasingly, less than human beings. Trump’s son, Eric, even remarked this week that critics of his father were “not even human beings.”
So where do we go from here?
This is a question I very much wish I knew the answer to. I hate to say it but it appears that a certain segment of the population may be lost to us forever. Much to my surprise, Trump’s most aggressive followers, and there are millions of them, seem prepared to follow their hero and leader right off a cliff, if necessary. There is nothing that he can do, no act so disreputable or heinous, that they will not jump to his defense. No amount of logic or factual evidence will ever deter them from their mission. My feeling is that people have seen themselves as losers for a very long time. Because of Trump they are winners now and are not going to let that go very easily or get tired of winning any time soon. Even when Trump is inevitably impeached, I fear they will follow him blindly into the abyss.
My only hope is, when this happens, we can avoid a full-blown civil war.