To bolster its flagging belief system, Louisiana’s political left, even more enthusiastically than its national brethren, joined in the collective liberal meltdown after elections earlier this month swept Republicans to national power.
For decades, fact and logic have discredited liberalism as an ideology that validly understands the way the world works. This leaves its adherents only raw emotion on which to justify their beliefs. To stay in power, Democrats have exploited this in describing their opponents’ agenda with a number of visceral tropes that bear no resemblance to reality: a “war on women,” the return of Jim Crow, pogroms against homosexuals, exploitation of the masses, etc. Scare tactics, not reasoned discourse, became their main strategy to mobilize support.
The Marxian historic inevitability they attributed to their ideas’ triumph was seen as buttressed by President Barack Obama’s winning the White House for consecutive terms — conveniently ignoring that in this span his attempt to implement liberal policies produced the worst electoral showings by Democrats at the state level and in the U.S. House of Representatives since the 1920s. So, when loss of the presidency earlier this month to Republican Donald Trump shattered the illusion of transcendence, liberal political activists unsurprisingly nutted up.
Joining several other large cities with substantial Democratic majorities, New Orleans suffered through demonstrations rejecting the outcome, and raging against the imaginary oppression to come. Protesters asserted that Trump was not their president. Naturally enough: an ideology and party that draw political power from fear rather than reason will provoke such reactions from its adherents.
Of course, after Obama’s 2012 win, you didn’t find these brats or anyone else demonstrating against continuation of his policies; those achievements had reduced median family annual incomes by $2,500 since his first win, had produced the lowest workforce participation rate in decades, and had begun dramatically escalating health care costs for most Americans. Despite this policy assault on many in the public, four years ago none of the justifiably aggrieved spewed hate speech, defaced property, or obstructed traffic as happened earlier this month.
Moreover, none implied Obama’s victory greenlighted incivility towards certain people; there was a bogus claim concocted by a confused University of Louisiana at Lafayette student that Trump supporters assaulted her. While the political sympathies of the fake victim are unknown, liberalism’s caricature of its opponents, amplified uncritically by a compliant media, inspired her to fabricate such a tale.
However, Louisiana’s signal contribution to the post-election liberal crackup comes from state Democratic Party Chairwoman and state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson of New Orleans. While attending an interim legislative committee meeting, she happened onto a cake fashioned like a woman wearing a bikini; it was made by the wife of one GOP legislator for another’s birthday. Summoning her inner Carrie Nation, she defaced the confection and profanely chewed out the birthday boy for what she termed an offensive display. She later alleged, despite no proof of its existence, that another cake present represented a vagina.
Only a blind ideologue could impose her subjective standard of offense by using offensive language, initiating inappropriately aggressive action, and believing, if not manufacturing, an absurd claim corroborating her narrative. But all’s fair when it’s the degree of passion, not an argument’s quality, that matters in advancing your cause.
The same mentality was reflected in her endorsement of Democrat Marshall Jones for Congress in north Louisiana. She viciously said his opponent Republican state Rep. Mike Johnson “made a career of putting hate and bias at the top of his list” by defending religious freedom, a remark even Jones repudiated.
With liberalism’s fortunes definitively reversed, expect many more such instances of unhinged behavior from Louisiana’s left.
Jeff Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University Shreveport, where he teaches Louisiana Government. He is author of a blog about Louisiana politics at http://www.between-lines.com, where links to information in this column may be found. When the Louisiana Legislature is in session, he writes about legislation in it at http://www.laleglog.com. Follow him on Twitter @jsadowadvocate. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His views do not necessarily express those of his employer.
A bikini-clad birthday cake prompted an irate state senator – during a legislative hearing F…