The intensity of the hatred for a newly elected president faced by Donald Trump is equaled only by the reaction of the Confederacy to the election of Abraham Lincoln. That ended up in civil war, a precedent that one hopes will not be equaled. But there has been a remarkable fury at people who do not shun Trump: boycotts of a company whose shareholder contributed to a PAC supporting Trump, attempts to pressure the president of a historically black college to prevent its marching band from performing at the inaugural, and hateful rhetoric at Hollywood awards ceremonies. With much more to come.
A useful perspective is to regard this as a religious conflict. Cults behave exactly the way the left is behaving when a member leaves the fold. And remember that Donald Trump used to be a member in good standing of the Democrat cultural machine. He even had a show on NBC, a mainstay of the left, in addition to being a generous contributor to many Democrats.
An anonymous poster on Reddit offers an interesting take on the religious nature of the conflict (strong language warning). “NotJaffo” writes:
Why is Hollywood (in particular) freaking out so badly over Trump?First, because he's a Republican who might actually do the things he said he wanted to do. But second, because this is the first cultural victory the right has scored since Reagan stumbled into one in the '80s.The left is used to losing political battles. They scream and cry over these but they don't truly panic, because they know that as long as they maintain their hammerlock on the culture, Republicans can't really change anything.Blue Team Progressivism is a church, offering you moral superiority and a path to spiritual enlightenment. As a church it's got a lot going for it. It runs religious programming on television, all day every day. Every modern primetime program is like a left-wing Andy Griffith show, reinforcing lessons of inclusion, tolerance, feminism, and anti-racism.Watching a 90-pound Sci-Fi heroine beat up a room full of giant evil men is as satisfying to the left as John Wayne westerns were for the right.The Blue Church controls the HR department, so even if you don't go to church, you have to act like a loyal churchgoer in every way that matters while you're on the clock. And off the clock, on any kind of public social media platform.Jon Stewart and John Oliver are basically TV preachers. Watching them gives the same sense of quiet superiority your grandma gets from watching The 700 Club. The messages are constantly reinforced, providing that lovely dopamine hit, like an angel's voice whispering, "You're right, you're better, you're winning."Hollywood award shows are like church talent shows - the skits and jokes aren't really funny, but it's fun to look at the pretty girls, and you're all on the same team.
The interesting point is that until now:
Red Conservativism is a business, selling a set of political products. They don't make you feel good, they don't appeal to your morality or your spiritual sense of self, but sometimes you really NEED one of their core products like security, jobs, or national defense. Their appeals to "freedom" and "family values" ring hollow these days, but when people are flying planes into buildings, you need a strong member of Conservatism, Inc. in the big chair.
And now this unequal match has changed:
For the first time in decades, voters explicitly rejected the Blue Church, defying hours of daily cultural programming, years of indoctrination from the schools, and dozens of explicit warnings from HR.We've been trained since childhood to obey the pretty people on TV, but for the first time in decades, that didn't work.Donald Trump won because flyover America wants their culture back, and Blue Team has not been rejected like that before.The younger ones have grown up in an environment where Blue Faith assumptions cannot even be questioned, except anonymously by the bad kids on Twitter.But now the bad kids are getting bolder, posting funny memes that make you laugh even though John Oliver would not approve, like passing crude dirty pictures under the table in Sunday School.Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.
Donald Trump is not peddling a religion, but he is peddling a counterculture that challenges the “Blue Faith,” as NotJaffo aptly labels it. And that is the basis of panic.
And that's what Meryl Streep is really scared of. She's not truly aware of it, just like fluttering housewives couldn't really understand the counterculture threat in 1968. But they feel that something is changing in their safe little world, and they know they have to fight it, because this threat isn't just passing pointless budget resolutions and selling pointless platitudes about family values - these guys mean business, and they're fighting on her turf.
The global warming religion has already folded itself into the Trump hater cult. The question facing us now is how to deprogram cult members.