Although the left has done very well motivating its base, on closer examination it is pretty obvious that progressives don’t understand human nature very well at all. Sure, they figured out that most everyone likes getting free stuff, but they overlooked the fact that somebody somewhere has to work to earn all that free stuff they like giving away. This is why they can endorse socialism as a viable economic choice even though it has never worked anywhere.
Progressives also ignore a much more dangerous aspect about human nature – how people react to being attacked. Basically, hatred spawns hatred in return. Progressives may believe their politics of division is the best path to power, but it’s basically just a “blame game” tactic that will ultimately have disastrous consequences. We are already experiencing some of these.
The Civil Rights movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. succeeded because he did not resort to hateful rhetoric or violent tactics to promote his cause. Contrast his approach to current civil right activist groups calling for “dead cops,” and protest demonstrations turning into riots in places like Ferguson and Baltimore. Those angry people have been told by the left that all their problems are the fault of white racism, greedy rich people, or selfish Republicans. While this may give progressives the huge majority of the minority vote it has also led increasing division in our society. Black racism is now more common than white racism. Things like “polar bear hunting” and “flash mob” attacks in places like Philadelphia are examples of what happens as a result of the divisive and hateful rhetoric of progressives. Throw in the increasingly violent behavior of leftist groups like Antifa and the problem becomes even more serious.
Inevitably, given human nature, there will be a backlash because of this. The problem for the Left is that unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany those being targeted by groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa are not massively outnumbered by their attackers. Neither are they powerless. While the left can try to explain the violence in Charlottesville as a justified reaction to a white nationalist demonstration the fact is that attacks groups like Trump supporters, conservatives, and supporters of police. These groups are being targeted with violence solely because of their political beliefs or skin color. The vast majority of Trump supporters are not racists. Neither are the majority of whites nor the majority of police. Progressives can cite white privilege and preach about police brutality all they want, but when any sub-group is constantly attacked by a different factions hard feelings are going to increase. This only escalates resentment and animosity between them.
The left doesn’t seem to understand that not only does hate beget hate, but violence begets more violence in return. Bad behavior by one side increases the chances of bad behavior by the other side. Right now there is far more bad behavior by the left than the right. Instead of trying to intimidate conservatives and traditional Americans with Brown Shirt tactics the left would be better off adopting Martin Luther King Jr.’s model of persuasion. Shouting down free speech or calling it hate speech does nothing to change minds or influence others.
Donald Trump was never “my guy.” My vote and the votes of many others were ultimately anti-Hillary votes. But calling people deplorable and ascribing hateful motivations for their values isn’t making them any more likely to reject their core beliefs. When they see the hateful behavior and vicious attacks by the left and the media on President Trump (And anyone who agrees with him.) for instance, it makes them more likely, not less likely to support him. The more often they are attacked violently the more likely it will result in a violent reaction. If progressive had a better grasp of human nature they would realize that.
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