So much for the tolerant left!
Many polls involving partisan politics produce mirror-image effects where left and right oppose each other in roughly equal shares. Not this time. The segment of Republicans who say that a friend’s vote for Hillary would strain their relationship is a measly 13 percent, a little more than a third the number of Democrats who say that a friend’s vote for Trump would do the same. Why the imbalance?
Three possibilities. One: There’s a sore-loser effect. Republicans bear Democratic friends no grudge because they won the election. Democrats do bear Republican friends a grudge because they lost. The left has to live with Trump for four years while the right is free from Clinton. No wonder one side has harder feelings than the other.
Two: The left is less tolerant of partisan disagreement because it assigns to its political beliefs the same moral weight that the right typically assigns to religion. Granted, that’s a simplification — there are many religious Democrats, albeit fewer than there are religious Republicans — but there’s a reason why campus Savonarolas feel impelled to extirpate interlopers like Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, and Ben Shapiro. The left’s favorite candidate has taken to measuring Republican legislation in terms of how many 9/11s it’s equivalent to, for fark’s sake. The right simply seems to offend the left more deeply than vice versa.
Three, the most Democrat-friendly spin: Trump is so uniquely odious a character (the “Access Hollywood” tape, the sexual assault allegations, a million other embarrassing moments) and his flaws are so intensely magnified by the media that of course one’s decision to vote for him will horrify Democrats. All I’d say to that is … have you ever talked to a Republican about Hillary Clinton? Some of them believe she’s guilty of serial murder. It’s frankly miraculous that only 13 percent of GOPers say a vote for Hillary would risk fracturing a friendship.
Okay, one more possibility: Maybe … the left is just deeply stupid? Here’s their new slogan for the midterms, which required months of focus groups and internal deliberations:
I shouldve corrected this immediately; I've deleted original tweet. Full slogan is "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages"
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) July 20, 2017
Yes, yes. It does sound a bit like the Papa John’s motto.
A final note on the poll. One can’t help noticing that college-educated Democrats are way more likely than lesser educated ones to consider a Trump vote a potential dealbreaker among friends. There’s undoubtedly a class component to that. It’s fine for the hoi polloi to revel in Trump’s demagoguery, but for an educated person to respond to it? Unforgivable. Why, it’s not just a betrayal of Enlightenment values, it’s in horribly poor taste.