Liberals worry a lot. While confident of ultimate success, most nevertheless acknowledge that the way forward is strewn with obstacles.. Persistent racism, a resurgent right wing, unrestrained corporate self-interest, a political system rigid and rigged, increasing inequality of wealth – all these imperil Liberal dreams. Accordingly, Liberals get frustrated to the point that they may be willing to place others in jeopardy, sacrifice them if it could result in advancing their agenda.
Consider the following:
• Roy Moore represents all that is repellent to Liberals – a Southern conservative, a religious zealot, an enemy of social diversity and individual freedom and, beyond that, an accused sexual predator. To their thinking, he is strikingly unfit to be a United States Senator. Yet, some see the advantage of having him there. His presence they reason, cannot but undermine any remaining Republican claims to moral authority, highlight Evangelical hypocrisies and erode confidence in the Republican establishment – all worthy objectives. The fact that he will be an embarrassment to the Senate, a venerable institution deserving of respect, will be overlooked. Such short-term indignities are to be accepted in order to humiliate the opposition and by doing so help advance the larger Liberal cause.
• Let them eliminate Obamacare, this flawed but forward looking health insurance program, even though millions will, as a consequence, be harmed. Watch Emergency Rooms be overrun, nursing home residents lose Medicaid funding, premiums go sky high for individuals with pre-existing conditions, parents lose coverage for children under 26 living at home, and innovative health delivery programs cease. With so many vital services and supports removed its unlikely individuals will remain silent. Consider that such destabilization will lead to popular protest and mobilization, a development Liberals enthusiastically support.
• Let the new tax plan that further enriches the wealthy play out, unlikely as it is to fulfill the promises of its Republican sponsors, either with regard to GNP growth or wage advances. Rather it will bring distress to those unable to deduct student loan interest, medical expenses, mortgage interest, state and local taxes, etc. Ask why the GNP remains stagnant and note that middle class benefits will be meager or non-existent – not surprising since the true intent of the “reform” was to provide generous gifts to those needing them least.
• Liberals will take comfort in the fact that few if any of Trump’s policies will help those very folks who voted for him and currently support him. Were they not deceived now that they see him filling the swamp with the very people he claimed to revile and who they thought he’d send packing?
• Liberals will grin but bear it as key government offices remain vacant while able and experienced officials depart. At the same time high level posts are filled with inexperienced individuals, mostly committed to undoing the progress achieved over the course of many years.
Yes, Liberals can be vindictive and mean-spirited by seeming to wish for outcomes that come at the expense of others. Because many Liberals are often comfortably situated and lead relatively secure lives there is the danger of complacency or even indifference to the pain and dislocation of others. That this suffering may lead to progress is to allow the ends to justify the means, a perverse calculus unworthy of those otherwise well meaning.