Personally, I find the tribalism associated with mass protest narcissistic, nauseating, ineffectual and frequently calamitously ill-informed. The Women’s March on Washington, a celebrity-endorsed event planned for the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, was, it seems, backed by a who’s-who of far-left organizations, including scores of groups financed by billionaire George Soros. Watching a few of the events around the world, they all seemed to be following a well-schooled narrative, shaped by the Left who implant the delusion that Trump is going to invade their uteruses and redefine how they choose to use them. Realistically, the organisers whose agenda is by no means loving, peaceful or inclusive, rode the wave of disappointment that their girl didn’t win and they don’t approve of the replacement because he uses immoderate and often combative language.
It’s been instructive to watch how a simple narrative has been systematically hijacked so that almost everyone can latch on to one or other of many and varied grievances, both fictional and factual. Linda Sarsour helped organize the Women’s March on Washington. She is a Muslim civil rights activist who opposes Zionism and has connections to family members who are supposedly imprisoned in Israel. The poster girl for the enlightened Muslim left is an influential endorser of the BDS movement hence a perfect rock-thrower at the phenomenon that is the new occupant of the Oval Office.
In deeming Donald Trump to be unfit to hold public office, in distorting what he says and does and then turning him into a monster on the basis of those distortions, his opponents are setting themselves against the very democratic system they supposedly wish to defend and are themselves unleashing the hatred and violence they affect to despise. What is more worrying is the sense of entitlement they feel.
The reason for such disproportionate, indeed almost pathological behaviour is obvious. Left-wing “progressives” regard themselves as the elect who alone are qualified to wield power. This breathtaking, almost Promethean hubris has arisen because, schooled in 70s social science and political rhetoric, university teachers in the West have taught their children well and they obediently trot out the Marxist platitudes of their mentors, often with woeful ignorance of the relationship between cause and effect. They alone know how society must be refashioned to bring about the transformation of human nature and the utopia of universal equality. The fact that they have now lost power is not just a setback. It simply cannot be allowed to happen.
I watched a hilarious video of an Australian presenter as he interviewed protesters in London as they milled about, waving placards with mostly meaningless slogans on them. Most were unable to sensibly defend why they were there and what exactly they were protesting about. If the presenter pressed them to explain themselves, most could not, managing only a few parroted slogans about misogyny and abortion rights. If he probed more deeply they shuffled off, declining to engage him further. Unpicking some of the organising principles and closing my ears to the primal screams, I sensed little more than a gigantic wave of carefully orchestrated rage but with its fair share of internal strife since the knock-on effect was to divide by grievance groups. Who should speak first, and who needs to be quiet? White women need to sit down and shut up. Muslims, especially if they wear a hijab, can speak. Black lesbian women should have priority. They get a voice. Privileged people (i.e., everyone who isn’t me) don’t, thus I have no right to open my mouth.
There has to be a more civilised way to express an opinion than Madonna’s colourful profanities in her role as spokesperson for the masses. She’s worth millions, and this apparently gives her something to say that’s worth hearing. Nothing said about the millions of women who slid into poverty over the last eight years, instead, we got this: “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House … But I know that this won’t change anything.” Metaphor or not, collecting approbation from the hip millenials has done her ratings no harm.
The 45th POTUS isn’t the most cultured ballerina onstage. Yes, he has a lot to learn about politics and, more importantly, diplomacy. It may turn out that Trump is not fit for office since it remains to be seen whether he’ll listen to good advice. In the meantime people in funny hats should just sit down for a while. If you’re offended, get over yourselves.