There is a certain futility to talking about
people you never talk with.
The most outstanding feature of this article is its pervasive use of what I call “the liberal ‘we.'”
I first learned of this from observing my late father, of blessed memory. Dad was a liberal as to every issue with the sole exception of right-to-work laws. He often used the liberal “we” in expressing liberal opinions. I don’t recall that I have ever heard a conservative use it.
Just now, it occurs to me that this may reflect the neurosis ethnic-majority liberals are prone to; a presumption that one has power in areas where one actually has none; as for example in seeking to impose prosperity on folk who don’t want it.
Oxymornically, the liberal “we” includes neither “I” nor “you.” What it actually means is “they” — those Others, who are neither “I” nor “you.”
One is complaining about “them.“
The liberal “we” does not include “I,” the author or speaker. He or she is the one complaining, and is clearly free of the wrong about which she or he complains.
The liberal “we” does not include “you,” either, who are most likely likewise innocent of the wrong about which the speaker or author complains. Especially in our present world of safe spaces and echo chambers, “you” most likely already agree with the author — or else you wouldn’t be watching CNN.
So what of this “they,” whom the liberal “we” actually refers to?
There is a need to make “them” “you,” and talk directly with, not to, “them.”
This takes work that is likely to challenge one’s own prejudices. Chances are, “they” are far more diverse in their thinking than one has probably supposed. Chances are, “their” opinions are far more nuanced than what one can insult with a bumper sticker. In the end, “they” are HUMAN.
“Shut up and listen” talks with no one.