I watched the reaction of the Liberal (in the American sense) keyboard warriors to Donald Trump’s election with interest. Everyone who had voted for him was wrong-headed; it was (only) because the Democrats had the wrong candidate; and anyway the good guys were cheated by the electoral college.
That’s all very comforting, but it shows that peculiar Liberal disdain and unwillingness to learn that means they lose an awful lot of elections to supposedly less educated people. How about just considering that it was nothing to do with any of that?
Could it actually be that Liberals just don’t know how to win? Could it actually be that they are inferior campaigners, out-thought and our-strategised at every turn by their Conservative opponents? Could it be that their naive and frankly lazy view that elections can be won and influence can be gained only through the power of rational argument is completely flawed? Could it be that Liberals lack a fundamental understanding of what motivates people? Could it even simply be that Liberals lack passion, do not work hard or smart enough, and are not actually “fired up” after all?
Could it even be that Liberals aren’t half as clever or rational as they think they are?
There is also, perhaps, a fundamental intellectual flaw in modern Liberalism, as outlined here by David Goodhart.
On my recent trip to the States there was only one person I met who was convinced the election was rigged. He told me the Russians would hack the computers to show Trump had won Ohio and he would thus be fraudulently elected. He was a college-educated Clinton voter.
Let that sink in, Liberals.
It means you can be just as tribal (and just as pre-disposed to shaping the evidence to your own views rather than the other way around) as anyone else.
Liberal commentators told me, quite vehemently, that my tweet above was nonsense on the basis it was “not backed by any reputable pollsters”, even though it was basic common sense. Even after the last 18 months, Liberals (and by extension much of the media) would rather put their faith in pollsters than actually get out and speak to people.
Could it be that it is time for a fundamental rethink? Maybe our campaign techniques aren’t as clever or modern as we think they are; maybe our communications are over-complex or even just shambolic; maybe we are simply not motivated enough to put the work in? If we are as clever as we think we are, we would at least consider each of these points before just condemning our opponents as unthinking bigots.
By the way, it is absolutely right for Liberals to be completely furious about what happened on 23 June and 8 November – and at the setbacks to international cooperation, women’s rights and basic human compassion which have accompanied these defeats. That fury should never be forgotten and should drive us
All of which means it’s time to stop moaning and start winning.
That means need to learn from where it has gone wrong, put it right, and maybe even get out and meet a few Conservatives to see if we can persuade them to join our side for the greater good rather than demeaning them from behind a keyboard.
And remember, as a wise Liberal once said, “We do these things not because they are easy…”