A typically well-reasoned, well-stated comment from Heliotrope that I was given permission to elevate to post status. (No, it’s not because I’m lazy and want to watch ‘Gotham’ on Netflix. Who said that?). Peggy Noonan — who voted for Obama in 2008 because ‘Hope and Change’ — seems to have finally figured out why the voters are done with her and the Republicans who buy her cocktails.
Peggy Noonan nailed it as only she can when she is focused. This long except from her recent column may not seem to be about free speech, but it actually is:
We’re in a funny moment. Those who do politics for a living, some of them quite brilliant, are struggling to comprehend the central fact (of the) Republican primary race, while regular people have already absorbed what has happened and is happening.
There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.
The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.
I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.
They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.
Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.
One issue obviously roiling the U.S. and western Europe is immigration. It is THE issue of the moment, a real and concrete one but also a symbolic one: It stands for all the distance between governments and their citizens.
It is of course the issue that made Donald Trump.
Britain will probably leave the European Union over it. In truth immigration is one front in that battle, but it is the most salient because of the European refugee crisis and the failure of the protected class to address it realistically and in a way that offers safety to the unprotected.
If you are an unprotected American—one with limited resources and negligible access to power—you have absorbed some lessons from the past 20 years’ experience of illegal immigration. You know the Democrats won’t protect you and the Republicans won’t help you. Both parties refused to control the border. The Republicans were afraid of being called illiberal, racist, of losing a demographic for a generation. The Democrats wanted to keep the issue alive to use it as a wedge against the Republicans and to establish themselves as owners of the Hispanic vote.
Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration—its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing. But the protected did fine—more workers at lower wages. No effect of illegal immigration was likely to hurt them personally.
It was good for the protected. But the unprotected watched and saw. They realized the protected were not looking out for them, and they inferred that they were not looking out for the country, either.
The unprotected came to think they owed the establishment—another word for the protected—nothing, no particular loyalty, no old allegiance.
Mr. Trump came from that.
This business of “thought control” through manipulation of what you are free to say only by agreeing with the political correctness police has not gone down well well with the average “useful idiot” who is not eager to be a member of the useful idiot underclass.
I got a great chuckle from a “tweet” by Christina H. Sommers:
“Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering. #NationalOffendACollegeStudentDay”
Colleges seems to be hellbent on nursing any little pimple of an “offense” which appears to go against the Progressive agenda.
Therefore, “feminist dance therapy” wins out because it is part of the great cultural purge of the “impure” thinking which must be stomped out in order to reach the ideological purity that undergirds the glorious revolution of Progressivism.
It is Noonan’s “protected class” which is weaving the narrative. Their gated community lives do not want to mix with the hoi polloi on any terms which they do not control.
But now, much to their shock and awe, a vox populi is rising against the establishment and it scares the living bejesus out of the protected class. For them, it is Donald Trump who must be silenced. He is reckless. His brashness might throw the whole protected class in with the common trash. Think of it. Hillary and Bernie and lapdogs among the Repugnants are part of the passing scene for the establishment. Trump doesn’t play by any of the rules. If you look through the establishment looking glass, Trump is narcissistic. He is a bully. He is brash. He is a boor. He is histrionic. He is asocial. He lacks remorse. He is self-absorbed. He is shameless. He is self-serving. He plays by a different set of rules.[Note: does this remind you of Obama?]
Yeah, maybe so, but the “unprotected class” hears him and they smell an entirely different rose. So, maybe Trump is responding to the psychological state of his supporters. So, maybe a huge chunk of the population is nuts in the eyes of the establishment. Maybe the establishment knows it is losing its control of the little people. Maybe the welfare and the speech codes and the whole manipulation of the culture has suffered a transmission breakdown. Maybe the emperor establishment has no clothes and they have no place to hide. Maybe this is how actual revolutions begin.
What can I add to this?? I don’t know because the rest of Noonan’s column is behind a subscription wall, and I don’t feel like going to the trouble. But the thing about the Protected isn’t just their isolation, it’s their arrogance. The Republican Party was too arrogant to pay attention when voters were demanding that illegal immigration be stopped. It was like some bizarre Far Side cartoon where voters were screaming, “You have got to stop this illegal immigration. It’s killing us! Our kids are losing out on jobs to illegal workers. Illegal aliens are overwhelming our schools, our health care facilities, and our welfare systems. Illegal alien gangs are coming into our communities and committing crimes. You have got to stop this problem.” And what Republicans heard was, “So, we should sign on with the Democrats and make illegal immigration legal.”
It was arrogance that led the Republican Party to write off Donald Trump as a joke before the primaries; repeatedly predicting that he would rise and fade like Herman Cain or Sarah Palin, and once voters “came to their senses,” they would nominate someone “electable” like Jeb Bush or John Kasich. And when Trump started winning primaries, it was arrogance that kept his opponents in the race, even though they had no chance. They all arrogantly believed they were the one who should be nominated, and the anti-Trump vote got split 5 or six ways.
First they ignored him. Then, they laughed at him. Then, they fought him. If you’re familiar with the Gandhi cycle, you know what happens next.
After the way Republican majorities in the House and Senate have betrayed the people who voted for them, voters are sure Republicans are lying to them and planning to sell them out. They are willing to take a gamble that Donald Trump might not.