Ever since the media declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, the Left has wanted those of us on the Right to understand two things: that they desperately wish to heal our national wounds and unite with us as one people, and also that we are vile, subhuman, barely sentient redneck scum. These two messages would seem to be in tension with each other, but it may only appear that way to me because I am myself barely sentient redneck scum.
Credit where it’s due, New York Times op-ed writer Wajahat Ali has found a way to merge these two apparently conflicting messages. In a Times piece that provides an extraordinarily clarifying look into the elitist left-wing mentality, Ali describes his attempts to “reach out” to Trump supporters and explained why he has now given up the effort.
It may be useful, before examining the article, to review one of Ali’s outreach efforts on CNN earlier in the year. In a segment with Don Lemon and Never Trump guru Rick Wilson, Ali performs his (rather poor) impression of a blue collar conservative, mocking them for not knowing how to spell or read a map. Here it is:
Some flaws in his outreach strategy may already be obvious. The Times piece sheds more light. Ali begins:
73 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. He doubled down on all his worst vices, and he was rewarded for it with 10 million more votes than he received in 2016. The majority of people of color rejected his cruelty and vulgarity. But along with others who voted for Joe Biden, we are now being lectured by a chorus of voices including Pete Buttigieg and Ian Bremmer, to “reach out” to Trump voters and “empathize” with their pain. This is the same advice that was given after Trump’s 2016 victory, and for nearly four years, I attempted to take it. Believe me, it’s not worth it.
Explaining that his Islamic faith calls him to “repel evil with good,” Ali said he tried to find common ground with Trump supporters. On second thought, perhaps labeling them “evil” to be “repelled” may not have been a good starting point for this project. Here’s how he went about it:
So in late 2016, I told my speaking agency to book me for events in the states where Trump won. I wanted to talk to the people the media calls “real Americans” from the “heartland,” — which is of course America’s synonym for white people, Trump’s most fervent base. Over the next four years I gave more than a dozen talks to universities, companies and a variety of faith-based communities.
My standard speech was about how to “build a multicultural coalition of the willing.” My message was that diverse communities, including white Trump supporters, could work together to create a future where all of our children would have an equal shot at the American dream.
So, for Ali, “reaching out” means delivering lectures on multiculturalism. This is what “empathizing” looks like, in his world. Namely, like a bunch of people sitting in chairs listening obediently while he explains things to them. And how did he know that the outreach failed?
Those in the audience who supported Trump came up to me and assured me they weren’t racist. They often said they’d enjoyed the talk, if not my politics. Still, not one told me they’d wavered in their support for him. Instead, they repeated conspiracy theories and Fox News talking points about “crooked Hillary.”
And if this wasn’t bad enough, Ali shares that he spent a whole hour and a half in a car with a Trump supporter, and even after the dumb rube had been exposed to Ali’s brilliance in such close quarters for that long, he still wouldn’t change his worldview:
In Ohio, I spent 90 minutes on a drive to the airport with a retired Trump supporter. We were cordial to each other, we made jokes and we shared stories about our families. But neither of us changed our outlook. “They’ll never take my guns. Ever,” he told me, explaining that his Facebook feed was filled with articles about how Clinton and Democrats would kill the Second Amendment and steal his guns. Although he didn’t like some of Trump’s “tone” and comments, he didn’t believe he was a racist “in his heart.”
You read that right. A retired man refused alter his deepest convictions based on a 90 minute conversation with a New York Times op-ed writer. Some people are just hopelessly stubborn, I suppose.
Ali concludes on a note that is as self-pitying as it is self-aggrandizing:
We cannot help people who refuse to help themselves. Trump is an extension of their id, their culture, their values, their greed. He is their defender and savior. His their blunt instrument. He is their destructive drug of choice. Don’t waste your time reaching out to Trump voters like I did.
…Just as in 2016, I don’t need Trump supporters to be humiliated to feel great again. I want them to have health insurance, decent paying jobs and security for their family. I do not want them to suffer, but I also refuse to spend any more time trying to understand and help the architects of my oppression.
I will move forward along with the majority who want progress, equality and justice for all Americans. If Trump supporters decide they want the same, they can always reach out to me. They know where to find me. Ahead of them.
It seems unlikely that a retiree from Ohio could be the “architect” of anyone’s oppression, much less the oppression of a wealthy metropolitan media pundit. But anything is possible in a mind clouded by its own sense of entitlement. We should be grateful for this opportunity to gaze into such a mind, as disorienting as the experience may be, because it tells us something important about the “unity” which the Left seeks.
As Ali makes clear, he is only interested in uniting with those who will give up their dirty habit of disagreeing with him. His idea of compromise is for the two sides to come together and agree that he is right about everything. Submission is a better word for the relationship he seeks. We can hardly be blamed for declining the invitation.
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The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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