Posted in: Culture Wars & Censorship, Global Culture
Published on Nov 11, 2016 by Phyllis Chesler
Anti-Trump protesters don’t know what a real dictator is
Will every American who’s weeping, emotionally devastated and throwing up — please just get a grip?
It’s time to stop acting like we’re living through the Arab Spring. The protesters in the streets over Donald Trump’s victory aren’t dissidents rising up to demand free elections. They’re rising up to oppose a free election.
And Trump isn’t Mubarak, or any of the other dictators pushed out in the Arab Spring’s pro-democracy upheaval, despite the left’s increasing insistence that he is.
Even if you’re horrified by the outcome, a single presidential election is only one battle in a very long war. It may not even register as a “blip” in the eye of eternity.
Pendulums swing — and then they swing back again.
Also, as we used to say: “Organize, don’t agonize.” But I don’t hear that much lately among young American college students — or among grown American feminists.
Here’s the problem. What began as a righteous feminist concern for sexual harassment, rape, incest and domestic violence quickly morphed into an exaggerated concern for “safety” from foreign ideas, dissent and thought crimes.
This is precisely what is meant by the “closing of the Western mind” or the increasing totalitarianism of thought. This is a major tragedy even more serious than the election of a president who represents “everything” with which one disagrees.
Progressives, radicals and Democrats held their noses to vote for Hillary, despite her manifold character flaws and past business dealings, because they agreed with her symbolic statements about women’s rights, gay and transgender rights, climate change and health care, and because she reaffirmed America is a country of immigrants, and that the “welcome mat” is out for Muslims (but not so much for Christians) in flight from Middle East Muslim wars.
They wanted four more years of Obama-style governing: a biracial or female leader, someone “classy,” eloquent, arrogant, entitled. They were willing to overlook almost everything else.
Those who voted for Trump also held their noses in terms of his character and past business dealings because they agreed with his symbolic statements about fighting jihad, undoing ObamaCare and the Iran deal, bringing back jobs, becoming energy independent, vetting immigrants — especially Muslim immigrants — and supporting Israel.
True, to my chagrin, some Trump supporters may also have voted against the “girl,” not just against this girl. And a very small percentage of American Jews voted for him because of what he said about Israel — the symbol for Western democracy and stability in a region that has descended into barbarism and chaos.
These voters have been suffering Obama’s every high-handed executive order and fear the European-style demise of American power in the world. At the personal and psychological level, that’s equivalent to 1950s parents’ fear that they couldn’t prevent their kids from a nuclear winter.
I have no idea what Trump will actually do. Will he buddy up with Russian President Vladimir Putin more than with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Will he really pull manufacturing jobs back from China to America?
Will he make us energy independent during his first term? Will he start a nuclear war as opposed to deterring one? Will he ban the burqa in America and prevent female genital mutilation and honor-based violence among tribal, immigrant communities here? Will he continue to support Israel — even if a better deal comes along in terms of geo-political power or profit? Will he institute a revolutionary health-care plan that actually works?
We shall see. Yes, Trump is a rough character. But so are the Taliban, ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas — and that’s whom we’re up against. Let’s not forget who the real enemy is.
Phyllis Chesler is emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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