Bursting the Myth of the ‘Liberal Bubble’
Meryl Streepís speech calling out Donald Trump has reawakened accusations of a “liberal bubble.” As told by conservative pundits, liberals insulate themselves and are utterly disconnected from the way other Americans live.
It strikes me as an unfair criticism for an ideology that represents so many different types of people. The Democratic Party is famously diverse, standing up for the rights of people who are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, gay, straight, cisgender, transgender, white, black, Asian, Latino, native-born, immigrant and refugee.
How is it even possible for a political affiliation that sides with so many different groups of people to be confined to a single bubble?
With that in mind, itís worth examining who is making the accusations of a liberal bubble. Itís hard to miss that these claims come from one particular demographic of peopleÖ perhaps what you might refer to as a bubble.
Whoís really in the bubble?
If†anyone exists†in a bubble, itís a large portion of American conservatives. Specifically, Iím indicating the rural, white, Evangelical Americans that compromise the plurality of the United States population, as well as the vast majority of Republican voters.
When you look at the political issues this group by-and-large stands for, they consist of stances against people with other lifestyles. Iím talking anti-gay rights, anti-Muslim, anti-Black Lives Matter, anti-immigrantÖ itís a general opposition to all people who donít live their lives in a remarkably similar manner to themselves.
What really solidifies this group as existing in a bubble, though, is the underlying desire for an American monoculture. Religious freedom is a top priority, so long as that religion is Christianity. A country built on immigration is now opposed to immigrants, particularly those with darker skin tones. ďPatriotismĒ has come to mean thinking the exact same way they do, while other thoughts for improving the country are anti-American.
Admittedly, liberals could do a much better job reaching out to people who identify with this particular bubble. At the same time, the left shouldnít have to abandon marginalized people to pick up seats in Congress, particularly when the Constitution exists to protect the minority from the will of the majority.
The left hasnít created a bubble that excludes the rural, Christian whites. More accurately, the right has intentionally developed its own bubble to extract itself to avoid the American melting pot mentality.
Trumpís in a bubble, too, although a separate one
Donald Trump did not conduct a lot of outreach during his campaign, instead focusing almost exclusively on the people within this bubble. It was a risky strategy, but one that proved to be successful.
The media has credited Trumpís victory with his ability to talk to Middle America in a way that liberals couldnít, which is true because the left wasnít willing to make it seem like the whites in this bubble are the only demographic that matters.
Trump may have catered to this bubble for the sake of votes, but donít mistake that for meaning that he is part of their bubble. Trump was born into extreme wealth and has spent his life associating with corporations and the 1%. The eliteís inability Ė or unwillingness, maybe Ė to understand the plight of people without loads of money puts them in a bubble of their own.
To see which bubble Trump identifies with, just check out the cabinet he chose even after pledging to ďdrain the swamp.Ē He assembled the richest team†of people to run the country ever, people who want to extend tax breaks to the rich and favors to corporate entities.
Itís the 1% who really needs its bubble burst, but so long as working class conservatives insist on keeping a bubble around themselves, average American citizens will lack the collective clout necessary to defeat the oligarchy. It is a pity.
Photo Credit: Vladimir Agafonkin