A New York Times contributor recently penned an op-ed that might perfectly illustrate how the progressive elites in the corporate press seek to portray those who support President Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Despite former Vice President Joe Biden’s call for unity, it is apparent that these folks have no intention of trying to unite with their fellow Americans.
Author Wajahat Ali wrote a remarkably disingenuous piece titled, “‘Reach Out to Trump Supporters,’ They Said. I Tried,” in which he details his efforts to supposedly reach out to conservatives to persuade them to abandon their support for the president. He begins the article by criticizing people on the left like Mayor Pete Buttigieg and author Ian Bremmer for arguing that people on the left should “reach out” to Trump voters in the spirit of unity.
“This is the same advice that was given after Mr. Trump’s 2016 victory, and for nearly four years I attempted to take it. Believe me, it’s not worth it,” Ali writes.
He then explains how he decided to take on a series of speaking engagements in states that Trump won in 2016. It is clear that from the get-go, his objective was to win over conservatives who supported the president. He writes:
“I really thought it might work. Growing up, I often talked about my Islamic faith with my non-Muslim friends, and I like to think that might have helped to inoculate them from the Islamophobic propaganda and conspiracy theories that later became popular. So I assumed I could win over some Trump supporters whose frustrations and grievances had been manipulated by those intent on seeing people like me as invaders intent on replacing them.”
Ali states that his “standard speech” was focused on how to “build a multicultural coalition of the willing” and this his overall point 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.”
Not so bad, right?
But then he states that he warned his audiences that “supporting white nationalism and Mr. Trump, in particular, would be self-destructive, an act of self-immolation, that will help neither their families nor America become great again.”
The fact that Ali doesn’t realize that accusing one’s audience of supporting white nationalism — especially when they don’t — isn’t exactly the most effective persuasion strategy. But it is an example of the far-left progressive’s tendency to try shaming their opposition into agreeing with them rather than engaging them in good faith.
He continues, noting that the conservatives in the audience treated him civilly:
“And I listened. Those in the audience who supported Mr. 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.’ Others made comments like: ‘You’re a good, moderate Muslim. How come others aren’t like you?’”
Okay, that last line is rather cringeworthy. Suggesting that most Muslims in the United States and elsewhere are not “moderate” like Ali isn’t exactly the best way to address an American Muslim. However, statements like these indicate a lack of education on the subject than actual animus towards those who practice Islam.
However, the fact that conservatives were friendly to him is a motif that repeated itself in Ali’s other examples. In the piece, he talks about how he spent a long drive to the airport with a 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 Mrs. Clinton and Democrats would kill the Second Amendment and steal his guns,” Ali writes.
Most interesting was the author’s account of his conversations with fellow Muslims who disagreed with Trump. He writes:
“Some love him for the tax cuts. Others listen only to Fox News, say ‘both sides’ are the same, or believe he hasn’t bombed Muslim countries. (They’re wrong.) Many believe they are the ‘good immigrants,’ as they chase whiteness and run away from Blackness, all the way to the suburbs. I can’t make people realize they have Black and brown skin and will never be accepted as white.”
Far-left progressives like Ali are so immersed in their echo chamber that they don’t even realize that accusing Trump-supporting Muslims of chasing “whiteness” is a godawful way of persuading them. It is an ignorant tactic that black Democrats also use on black conservatives.
As a black conservatarian, I can tell you that stupid remarks like this are met with scorn and derision, not a desire to understand. When a Democrat uses this asinine talking point on me, I don’t respect them. Indeed, I hold them in contempt because they are not serious people, which means they have no hope of persuading me.
The author seems to believe that since he could not convert any Trump supporters during his speaking engagements, it is useless to speak with them. He sees their refusal to accept Marx as their Lord and Savior as evidence that they are hopeless racists who love themselves some good ol’ fashioned white nationalism.
From reading his op-ed, one can easily tell that Ali was not acting in good faith when he decided to “reach out” to Trump supporters. His goal was to show that Trump supporters are hopeless. He’s obviously not a stupid person. There is no way he actually expected to convert a bunch of conservatives by giving speeches telling them that they are white nationalists.
He gives this away in his final paragraph when he writes: “Don’t waste your time reaching out to Trump voters as I did. Instead, invest your time organizing your community, registering new voters and supporting candidates who reflect progressive values that uplift everyone, not just those who wear MAGA hats, in local and state elections.”
Of course, this is not to say that none on the left are genuine in their efforts to reach across the aisle. But chances are, these folks aren’t the ones pushing for far-left radical policies. If there are folks on the left that could work with the right on some issues, it is the moderates who want actual solutions, not more government.
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