Progressive politicians like to assume that, on election day at least, blue-collar workers and urban progressives will bridge their differences, and make common cause to support leftist economic policies. This assumption might once have been warranted. But it certainly isn’t now—in large part because the intellectuals, activists and media pundits who present the most visible face of modern leftism are the same people openly attacking the values and cultural tastes of working and middle-class voters. And thanks to social media (and the caustic news-media culture that social media has encouraged and normalized), these attacks are no longer confined to dinner-party titterings and university lecture halls. Brigid Delaney, a senior writer for Guardian Australia, responded to Saturday’s election result with a column about how Australia has shown itself to be “rotten.” One well-known Australian feminist and op-ed writer, Clementine Ford, has been fond of Tweeting sentiments such as “All men are scum and must die.” Former Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, who also has served as a high-profile newspaper columnist, argues that even many mainstream political positions—such as expressing concern about the Chinese government’s rising regional influence—are a smokescreen for racism.Rotten. Scum, Racist. Yeah, that's all quite familiar. If you actually engage on social media, you're likely to be called all those things, whether you're Down Under or in a coffee shop in Linden Hills. Haters are more likely to let their freak flags fly these days and while it's no long astonishing to see it, the ferocity still can bring you up short.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
The same thing everywhere you go
Reporting from Australia, where the leftish Labor Party went down to an ignominious defeat over the weekend, Claire Lehmann sees some familiar behaviors: