Democracy Is The Last Refuge Against False Liberalism
Liberalism has now turned to a dogma. One has to believe in it, submit to it unthinkingly and not forget to treat “the kafirs” with contempt.
Democracy in the last refuge against the liberal. But let us be clear-headed that democracy was the idea of the true liberal, in the actual sense of the word.
President Donald Trump in his inaugural address said, “Through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice”. Soaring thoughts delivered dourly, unlike the lifting oration of President Obama filled with imagery. But perhaps America needs some prose this time; the poetry just mesmerises away from assessing performance objectively.
Trump’s speech gave a sense that he was still in his combative campaign mode. He minced no words in attacking the Washington elites. That is quite understandable given that the left-liberal media continues to pound him relentlessly. Just hours before inauguration, CNN ran an absolutely cringe-worthy bit on who will take over if the Trump and Pence were assassinated in the ceremony. The media runs fake news on Trump’s past visit to Russia and at the same breath self-righteously proclaims itself as the guardian of republic. The Columbia Journalism Review pompously taunts Trump, “We not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers”.
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman wondered post Trump’s election that if America could be called a failed country! New York Times has appealed to the media and the intellectuals to up the game. American Union for Civil Liberties is asking for donations with slogans such as “See you in court!” and “Time to fight!”. Like the “Idea of India” debate that annoyed us in 2015, the “American values” debate has been let loose in the US. There were protests against Trump just a day after a massive mandate. The people in NY, SFO and LA did not agree to the choice of the white unwashed. They are the racist, sexist, anti-environmental xenophobic people. (All adjectives in the previous sentence are copyrighted to the liberal giant Bernie Sanders.)
Going forward, the left-liberal in America can borrow some ideas from their kindred spirits in India. With 44 seats in the Lok Sabha the Indian National Congress has used its ecosystem of media, intellectuals and assorted artists to stack up a reasonable opposition. Taking cue, American liberals can ask their soldiers to give back their purple hearts and a few intellectuals to give away the Presidential Medals of Freedom. They can organise protests at Yale (the hypersensitive “civility police” will be there to help) where, like in JNU, they may even get a mini-Mao like Kanhaiya Kumar. Of course the American liberals can bank on the “Gray Lady of the 8th Avenue" that will remain the “paper of record” while giving exclusive space to Hampton going limousine-liberals who are woefully out of touch.
The self-confessed liberals, in the US, India and elsewhere don’t actually believe in democracy. Let’s not be cagey about saying it. They believe in democracy when it suits them. Democracy is amazing if Obama is elected; it becomes the “rule of the mob” if it is Trump. The love authoritarians when it suits them. In India, the number of kids named Lenin and Stalin is proof enough. They are elitist opportunists who want to be in power. Their “liberal” ideas are just instruments to appropriate institutions. They attach no higher value to truth or justice. “Tolerance” is just word play. There is no consistency in preaching and practice in the the median liberal. Their feminism applies to Sabarimala but not to triple talaq. Slaying goats on Bakrid is ok while just taming bulls for Jallikattu is barbaric. Same system, but the bully doesn’t like the results. So it wrings its hands when cornered, and bullies more.
“Do you want Hitlers?!” will be the scream of faux outrage. The liberal elite think of people as sheep and always appeals to the “feelings”. “Where is the nuance?” they ask after they have robbed people of their dignities. Right wingers are thought to be too crude to even understand the word “nuance”; their missionary project is to chastise the barbarian and “guilt trip” him to submission.
Liberalism has now turned to a dogma. One has to believe in it, submit to it unthinkingly and not forget to treat “the kafirs” with contempt. Thus a jihad of the mind is announced. The non-liberal is not a pure human being. She should not be your roommate. She cannot be supported in a teacher board election however meritorious her CV is. Liberalism has a few famous holy books; but it thrives through the patron saints of the time that keep updating and nourishing it. Remember Thomas Piketty? If only they can believe in God to have one!
Given this known phenomenon of “elitist capture” it is important to strengthen democracy. It is the only tool prevent the Marie Antoinettes from clinging on to power. From the tea-vendor to the farmer it is the only path to true emancipation. So if there are less democratic institutions (like the Indian judiciary), it has to made more accountable to the people. Democracy in the last refuge against the liberal. But let us be clear-headed that democracy was the idea of the true liberal, in the actual sense of the word. Lest we confuse it with the verbal-terrorists that have just appropriated the label.
Left-liberal intolerance is getting body blows across democracies. Liberals lack the muster needed to reconsider their attitudes because some true soul searching would call for complete reengineering of their personalities. But, a gradual process of de-hypnotisation has been underway in India. Modi and RSS are no more the “scarecrows” that they were a few years before. But the attempts at maintaining that mental status quo go on unabated. PETA has been shown its place by the throngs in the Marina beach in Chennai. Hopefully this will be the beginning of restoration Liberalism to the true meaning.
Modi became “Prime Ministerial” as soon as he took office and hence been the great unifier. He has been secular and had focussed on the economic programs than anything else. Soon, President Trump would curb his warring instincts and seek to unify with his “America First” credo. Credit to Trump that he has assembled a stunningly talented team which we in India can only look at with envy. More importantly he has tweeted, “I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!” It is time to wish Trump and his “deplorables” from a fellow democracy, bon voyage!
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