Hillary Clinton's snobbery shines through yet again
We've written before that Hillary Clinton, the two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate, should leave the public stage. The video clip nearby shows Mrs. Clinton instead finding new and even more cringe-worthy ways of reminding people why they sent her packing in November 2016.
"If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won," said Hillary Clinton this weekend at a speech in Mumbai. "I win the coast....I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, 'Make America Great Again,' was looking backwards."
Clinton goes on to explain that Trump's message was: "You didn't like black people getting rights, you don't like women, you know, getting jobs. You...see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is, I'm going to solve it."
Were Clinton alone in harboring these sentiments, we could put it off to her bitterness at losing what she believed was a sure thing. But those sentiments aren't her's alone. They are part of a wider, more corrosive, change in attitude gripping the left: smugness.
As this item in Vox noted, smug liberalism has been growing, and getting worse, for some time:
...by the 1990s the better part of the working class wanted nothing to do with the word liberal. What remained of the American progressive elite was left to puzzle: What happened to our coalition?
Why did they abandon us?
What's the matter with Kansas?
The smug style arose to answer these questions. It provided an answer so simple and so emotionally satisfying that its success was perhaps inevitable: the theory that conservatism, and particularly the kind embraced by those out there in the country, was not a political ideology at all.
The trouble is that stupid hicks don't know what's good for them. They're getting conned by right-wingers and tent revivalists until they believe all the lies that've made them so wrong. They don't know any better. That's why they're voting against their own self-interest.
As anybody who has gone through a particularly nasty breakup knows, disdain cultivated in the aftermath of a divide quickly exceeds the original grievance. You lose somebody. You blame them. Soon, the blame is reason enough to keep them at a distance, the excuse to drive them even further away.
Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Financial incentive compounded this tendency — there is money, after all, in reassuring the bitter. Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style. It began in humor, and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that its opponents were, before anything else, stupid. The smug liberal found relief in ridiculing them.
And they still do. Which is a big problem for liberals who hope to extend their political reach beyond faculty lounges and Hillary Clinton speeches:
The smug style did not arise by accident, and it cannot be abolished with a little self-reproach. So long as liberals cannot find common cause with the larger section of the American working class, they will search for reasons to justify that failure. They will resent them. They will find, over and over, how easy it is to justify abandoning them further. They will choose the smug style.
We have no idea whether Democrats will find a way out of their smug cul de sac. And we really don't care if they do -- the more they recoil from the rest of us, the more the rest of us can get done.
But we say again: Mrs. Clinton, time to go. Your presence, whether it's here or abroad, only serves to remind so many why they were so glad -- even relieved -- to see you lose (again).