Say it loud and say it proud, conservatives: We are victims now, and damn does it feel good!
Let’s make the most of it. The Victimized, in our culture, enjoy an exalted status. We lend them an almost unimpeachable moral authority, and they can use that authority to make almost any demand. To criticize Victims, according to our accepted rules of debate, is to endorse the circumstances in which they were victimized, and therefore a tacit endorsement of oppression. “Victim” is America’s word for Holy, and their advocates are our saints, imbued with the power of determining the limits of public discourse and starting “national conversations” in which only one side is allowed to speak.
America’s cultural obsession with Victimhood has, up to now, existed for the sole benefit of the left. But it’s not like the right hasn’t made bids for Victim status before. Right-wing activists have, on occasion, tried to say that they are Victims of “reverse discrimination” via Affirmative Action or institutionalized liberal bias. Much of the Tea Party tried to define itself as a Victimized class of patriotic, hard-working, God-fearing Americans who had been taxed to near-extinction by big government.
Their rhetoric deliberately imitated the left’s and, although conservatives were able to ape their opponents’ shrill proclamations of outrage, the media still proved unwilling to view a movement dominated by white, middle-class Republicans as authentic Victims.