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Arrogance on the left

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I am increasingly alarmed by the demonizing of Republicans by urban progressives. An article on Page A17 of Friday’s New York Times explains the issue clearly. The more progressives express outrage about Trump, the more 40 percent of the populace hardens their support him. An article in Friday’s Times on the web by Charles Sykes (If Liberals Hate Him, Trump Must be Doing Something Right) notes that anti-anti-Trump sentiment is driving Conservative support for Trump.

It is abundantly clear that people act on the basis of their emotion-based world view, and use reason to rationalize their position. The harder you attack those you disagree with and confront them with your facts, the stronger they resist changing. Only when reality smacks them in the face does it register, and then it’s usually too late.

The parallels between the present situation and that leading up the Civil War are striking. The South was clearly wrong in supporting slavery, but that did not prevent them from fighting to the death to defend it, and to continue suppressing blacks for more than a century after.

If progressives want to make changes, they need to recognize that Trump is a master of steering public opinion, and by constantly irritating progressives, he is hardening up his base. The situation may already be out of control, but if you are a progressive, you can do your part by turning off Stephen Colbert, John Cleese and their ilk, staying tuned to what the other side says and believes, exercising compassion, and continuing to uphold principles of justice and democracy. Outrage is appropriate; ranting makes things worse.

Gordon Tully

27 comments

THE TRUTH May 14, 2017 at 10:08 am

The Russian President Dump has the lowest approval ratings of any president in history at such an early stage. The writer of this letter to the editor is only stating his opinion and not fact. Its pretty simple his opinion is wrong. Dump needs to be impeached and tried for treason.

Maria Alarcon May 14, 2017 at 10:37 am

From the headline, I was surprised that this article was even published…..then after reading it, it made sense. For a minute there, I almost thought they allowed a Trump supporter to actually comment! How silly of me.
Keep digging, liberals…..keep digging. You never learn.

Wineshine May 14, 2017 at 11:46 am

Gordon, I believe you were way too generous in your assertion there’s reason and rationale involved with their thinking. I believe that the media is almost single-handedly responsible for what we’re seeing today. Without much thought, the left hears idiotic messages like “fascist regime” and “Trump is Hitler” and they run with it. Herd mentality at it’s finest.

Paul Lanning May 14, 2017 at 11:47 am

The only “other side” is the stubborn nihilistic insistence that facts don’t matter. Trump is a swindler who lied throughout the campaign, and continues to lie.
We have:
Government-promoted indifference to the needy
Economic injustice
Warmongering
Denial of overwhelming global scientific consensus
Racism
Misogyny
Legislation based on political expediency rather than public needs
Prisons for profit
And more. There’s no justification for any of it, and we need to change it.

Piet Marks May 14, 2017 at 12:31 pm

From George Orwell’s 1984….as emblazoned on the Ministry of Truth

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

“Nuff Said.

Luke May 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm

It’s not arrogance to stick to your principles like fact-based truth, support for science, respect of journalism and its access to information, and rejecting blatant lies. How are liberals arrogant but conservatives aren’t? It’s interesting how liberals are portrayed by conservatives as expressing their superiority, when conservatives look down on liberals. Trump is the worst kind of used-car salesman. To him, everyone and everything he wants is “great” and grandiose, while he rejects principles based on honesty, integrity, facts, and science. So yes, it’s understandable how the media, worldwide, continues to report about his embarrassing antics.

Mike McGuire May 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Gordon

Just a point of clarification. The Civil War was not fought about slavery. Slavery was only the vehicle that highlighted the issue at hand – States Rights vs Federal Rights. While slavery was clearly wrong I don’t believe Southerns “fought to the death” for slavery. They fought for States rights as outlined in the Consitution. This is an on-going struggle to this day – Federal Government over reach – as we continue to drift toward socialism. I believe the majority of Americans prefer democracy to socialism.

If you dig deep enough on most of the controversial issues today, and look through the prism of freedom vs. control, the differences become clear and you begin to see that the controversial issue of the moment is a symptom, not the cause.

That might be why our liberal universities don’t require American history be taught as a requisite to obtain a degree in history.

Paul Cantor May 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Lessons from Hitler’s Rise
Christopher R. Browning
April 20, 2017 New York Review of Books

Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939
by Volker Ullrich, translated from the German by Jefferson Chase
Knopf, 998 pp., $40.00

“When the original German edition of Volker Ullrich’s new biography, Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939, was published in 2013, the current political situation in the United States was not remotely conceivable… n early 2017 it is impossible for an American to read the newly published English translation of this book outside the shadow cast by our new presidentTo begin I would stipulate emphatically that Trump is not Hitler and the American Republic in the early twenty-first century is not Weimar. There are many stark differences between both the men and the historical conditions in which they ascended to power. Nonetheless there are sufficient areas of similarity in some regards to make the book chilling and insightful reading about not just the past but also the present…The experience of Americans in recent years has not been one of sequential, nationwide disasters but of uneven suffering. After two protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a barely avoided total economic meltdown in 2008–2009, many Americans have enjoyed a return to comfort, security, and even prosperity, while wealth has continued to concentrate at the top. But for the sector of the population that provides the vast bulk of the recruits to our professional army, the endlessly repeated tours of duty, the inconclusive outcomes of the wars they fought, and the escalating chaos in and threat of terror from the Middle East are disheartening and demoralizing. For industrial workers and miners whose jobs have been lost to automation, globalization, and growing environmental consciousness, the post-2008 economic stagnation has meant an inescapable descent into underemployment, drastically lowered living standards, and little prospect of recovering their lost status and income. For the first time, the life expectancy of middle-aged white Americans without a college education has significantly shortened, above all because of “diseases of despair,” especially alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide. For social conservatives whose predominately white and Christian milieu and deference to male dominance were both taken for granted and perceived as inherent in shaping American identity, the demographic rise and political activism of nonwhite minorities, the emergence of women’s rights, and the transformation of societal attitudes toward homosexuality, especially among the younger generation, have been surprising and to many dismaying. The division of society into what the ill-fated John Edwards once called the “two Americas” has intensified. One optimistically sees America as functional and progressing, while the other pessimistically sees America as dysfunctional and declining. However unequal in severity the situations in the two countries were, large numbers of Germans and Americans perceived multiple crises of political gridlock, economic failure, humiliation abroad, and cultural-moral decay at home. Both Hitler and Trump proclaimed their countries to be “losers,” offered themselves as the sole solution to these crises, and pledged a return to the glories of an imagined golden past. Hitler promised a great “renewal” in Germany, Trump to “make America great again.” Both men defied old norms and invented unprecedented ways of waging their political campaigns. Both men developed a charismatic relationship with their “base” that centered on large rallies. Both emphasized their “outsider” status and railed against the establishment, privileged elites, and corrupt special interests. Both voiced grievances against enemies (Hitler’s “November criminals” and “Jewish Bolsheviks,” Trump’s “Mexican rapists,” “radical Islamic terror,” and the “dishonest” press). And both men benefited from being seriously underestimated by experts and rivals.”

ALSO:

https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2017/01/donald-trump-and-the-monty-hall-problem/
“as Christopher H. Achen and Larry M. Bartels, point out in their recently published book, Democracy for Realists: “The desire for a strong leader who can identify domestic enemies and who promises to do something about them without worrying overmuch about legalities––those germs, mutated to fit the particular local subcultures, are latent in every democratic electorate, waiting for sufficiently widespread human suffering to provide conditions for their explosive spread.” Hence, Donald Trump was elected President on a promise to bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding, create a Muslim registry, deport undocumented immigrants who have lived and worked in our country for years and treat our relations with other countries as a zero sum game. What is the rational response to those threats? The rational response is to protect those being scapegoated while explaining to others how scapegoating makes us less safe and materially worse off. That is the response favored by Stand Up Norwalk, an organization consisting of Norwalk residents that can be reached at [email protected].” Send us an email if you are interested in getting our resolution passed. (see the Alarming Times article below https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2017/05/alarming-times/)

Gordon Tully May 14, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Nearly everyone missed my point. I am very much against Trump and believe we need to fight Trumpism with all the tools at our disposal, but ad hominem attacks against those who support him are counterproductive, as they only harden their support.

We have descended into two warring camps, each of whom is convinced them have facts on their side. In my opinion, more of the facts on the progressive side are in harmony with reality, but that cuts no ice whatsoever with conservatives. Demonizing your opponents undermines your humanity. They are people, many of whom are suffering terribly.

If Democrats behave like a well-off, well-educated, self-satisfied urban elite, dissing Trump supporters, why should they want to vote for Democrats?

Basically my message is to come off your high horse and act empathetically toward the victims of the Republican kleptocracy. Calling them “stupid” as does John Cleese is disgusting.

As for the Civil War, it was an economic issue. Slaves constituted almost all the capital of slave-holders. The only way they could protect their assets was to reject the humanity of slaves so they could justify using them as assets. If the North had dealt with this issue instead of demonizing slave-holders as inhuman, the outcome might have been very different.

Victor Cavallo May 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm

In case y’all haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of the second civil war, Sacramento is the capital of the new secessionist confederacy and Maxine Waters is it’s president. This time we good guys should just let them go.

Bryan Meek May 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

The sky is not falling and that is where the left loses most credibility. Like the faux outrage at wars and violence that didn’t exist for the past eight years. Like the tin foil hat insistence that Trump is a Russian agent when for the past eight years there were real violations of our sovereighnty in the Paris and Iran deals that were never ratified by the Senate. How Comey was public enemy #1 for the left during the campaign, but now some sort of victim. I could go on and Trump wasn’t my first choice, but it’s not really arrogance as much as it is hypocrisy that people I know can’t stand.

Donald May 14, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Let us say what is true. Trump is ….
END OF STORY.
Editor’s note: This comment has been modified to comply with the comments policy, which prohibits insulting other commenters.

srb1228 May 14, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Despite all the rhetoric from the WSJ and others that Trump rightfully fired Comey because he shouldn’t have spoken out last year before the election and in July, can you imagine what the right would’ve done if Hillary were elected and fired Comey? They would’ve been calling for her head…now imagine if she fired him while he was investigating her? There are some Republicans who are speaking out; David Frum, Brett Stephens, David Brooks and a load of ex-Bush men but sadly there are loads of Republican’s suffering from cognitive dissonance. No question in my mind that they would’ve supported Mussolini in 1924 and Hitler in 1933–would’ve found the same lame excuses

Paul Lanning May 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Trump’s supporters knew that he BOASTED about being a sexual predator! Yet they voted for him!

Trump supporters who’ve paid enough attention to note that his healthcare promises were false still stand by him..even if they stand to lose benefits!

Trump could walk out onto 5th Avenue, whip out a pistol, open fire on random passersby, and still retain these voters’ approval. People are in his camp for a variety of reasons, but they won’t budge, and they have no coherent message beyond dissatisfaction with the fate wrought upon them by unresponsive U.S. governance.

Mike McGuire May 14, 2017 at 11:10 pm

Nancy

I’m really taken aback that comments as posted by Donald would be allowed. Some of the other stuff is disrespectful but this goes too far and tarnishes the NoN reputation.

Peter Franz May 15, 2017 at 7:56 am

To the author’s point, until you hear the reasons of why a black woman, or a muslim man voted for Trump, you may not understand all the larger reasons for distrust of Washington. Now, obviously Trump is the perfect man to make the swamp swampier, not less so, but that’s another story.

Trump’s time will come and go. I think the longer term question is once that ends, now what? Are we divided by more that one man? Of course we are. What are we doing to solve our rather large educational deficit to the rest of the modern world? What are we doing to solve our obvious racial divide? These unsolved problems will continue to fester.

The answer of the future of American won’t be decided by Americans. The changing global economy isn’t going to be stopped by Trump or any american politician. America’s xenophobia is our great weakness as much as the “USA, USA” chanters love to think it’s our strength.

Danny May 15, 2017 at 10:26 am

I for one, am I proud gay man who voted for President Donald J. Trump. Although I might not agree with all he is doing, there are core values that led me to filling in the circle next to his name on Election Day.

I historically vote Democrat across the board, but couldn’t take another 8 years of “Obama” softening this country with safe spaces in our colleges/universities and causing a racial divide during HIS administration.

And I find it hysterical that the LGBTQ community wants acceptance and equality, but will crucify me for having an opinion that doesn’t align with theirs. Why can’t they accept me for who I am? SMH Hypocrisy at its finest.

PS: The silent majority has spoken, including liberals who were fed up like me and voted Trump!

Donna May 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

I agree with Gordon Tully that a lack of empathy and compassion for those who supported Trump, however wrong-headed we may think their decision was, continues to dog progressives. Trump is a terrible president. He cannot wrap his head around the unwritten requirement of presidential gravitas. But there is exceptional arrogance on the left. Loud liberal voices kept pushing for things like full amnesty for illegal aliens and expanded entry visas for refugees without considering that the burden for absorbing new residents tends to fall disproportionately in blue collar, lower and middle income areas. It was the definition of tone-deaf behavior. The left allowed identify politics to take center stage and completely forgot that most voters had bigger things to worry about than safeguarding the rights of relatively small interest groups. Right or wrong, many voters believed they were being given short shrift and that benefits were accruing to the loud voices of the few while the softer voices of the many were ignored. And what happened? Trump won.

Paul Lanning May 15, 2017 at 1:25 pm

The burden for EVERYTHING falls upon lower and middle-income citizens, and Republican legislators favor increasing that burden by reducing the social safety net so as to pay for wrongheaded wars while further exacerbating America’s unacceptable economic imbalance.

To vote for a presidential candidate whose party alignment signals a readiness to sign off on laws that will hurt you suggests an unwillingness or inability to consider the facts..and that same unwillingness remains as impenetrable today as it was last November.

People who need help deserve to get it, but the surest way for them not to be helped is for them to unthinkingly wage a huge ongoing battle against the very citizens who favor assisting them.

Donna May 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Paul Lanning, the people I referred to in my post are above the social safety net. There are programs and tax relief for those at the bottom. People in the middle and lower middle who do not qualify for social subsidies get squeezed. So no there aren’t safety nets for them. And they feel they’re being taken for granted and taken advantage of to provide social safety nets for others. Hence the resentment and disaffection of the working class against the Democratic Party.

Paul Lanning May 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Yes, those who have precious little are forced to help prop up those who have nothing–because the rich don’t have to pay their share. But electing an incompetent immoral psychopath and then defending his destructive actions makes things worse.

The Republicans’ health act will cause low-earners to pay more & get less, or possibly have to drop their coverage altogether.

Republican lawmakers continually yearn for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, cuts that would affect all wage-earners.

And both parties have failed equally to encourage education programs that would train unemployed workers to handle the tens of millions of computer jobs that are currently vacant for lack of qualified applicants.

By refusing to consider these and other facts, Trump’s supporters damage themselves.

Joe May 16, 2017 at 6:08 am

Yes Donald won, get over it.

I finally found something that Bernie Sanders and I agree upon. The facism is coming from the left not the right. There is very little difference between Nazi’s during books and the UCal students being prohibited from bringing Anne Coulter on campus.

Donald Trump is a reaction to America being subject to 8 years of an incompetant left wing Kook. Our mid west was destroyed by idiotic trade policies. Our low skilled jobs were taken by illegal aliens not paying taxes but using out services.

It will all even out. Connecticut will go back to being a mix of parties instead of just the communist left. Out budgets will become balanced and those seeking to “capture” political gains will be poorer. The middle class will become more middle.

The rich are often on the left end of the spectrum pledging to give all their money to charity when they pass. Despite huge wealth they are a tiny fraction of transactional wealth. Meaning that even if you tax all of their money it won’t make a dent in the operating costs of the country.

To be blunt the left is driven by an idiotic inability to do math. We have already promised the wealth of generations to come to pay current costs. There is no more to take for current consumption. Health care for all requires closed borders. The truths are self evident!

Ryan May 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Proud Trump supporter. The lies and deceit of the last eight years will haunt us and the world for long after The Donald is gone

Michael McGuire May 16, 2017 at 12:58 pm

@ Paul Lanning

Social Security and Medicare, if not modified, will bankrupt the US like the union deals are doing to CT now.

Obama care squeezed the life out of small business owners and middle/working class since those groups were unorganized and had no one looking out for them. Just one of the reasons independents voted for Trump.

You should also check your facts.

From the Tax Policy Center – On average, those in the bottom 40% of the income spectrum do not pay federal taxes and actually end up getting money from the government. Meanwhile, the richest 20% of Americans (those making more than $111,000 per year), pay the most in income taxes, forking over nearly 87% of all the income tax collected by Uncle Sam.

Sobering –

anna russo May 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

“no sir, I did not have sex with that woman.” “president” Clinton…

yup, lying UNDER OATH as PRESIDENT of the USA is immediate cause for impeachment but did ANY liberal leftist stomp their feet, cause riots, disrupt businesses and attack other people because of this major injustice? NOPE.

Did the “women” of the US stand up and take Monica’s side as a woman? NOPE.

Hypocrites.

Donna May 18, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Lying about one’s private life, even under oath, is a little different from having complete indifference to the truth. My concern with Trump is not that he is willfully lying, colluding, obstructing, etc. It is that Trump leaves disaster in his wake seemingly out of sheer ignorance and complete disinterest in information. Add to that a robust desire for affirmation from any corner, no matter how far beneath him (Billy Bush, Access Hollywood anyone?), and you have a needy clown with the reckless zeal of a Depression Era Flim Flam Man. To make matters worse, he’s our president. Yeah, give me Bill Clinton any day of the week over a buffoon.

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NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.