Liberals can get strangely honest on camera after an electoral defeat. On MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday morning, the guests were two liberals, former Newsweek and New Yorker editor Tina Brown and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.
But Ruehl wondered if Donald Trump won because political correctness and a fear of social media ostracism causes voters to silence themselves about the burdens of government mandates like family leave and ObamaCare.
RUEHL: Could the polls have been wrong because so many of us are afraid to say what matters? In terms of political correctness, if you run a small business -- I mean a lawyer, an architect, when you say “Guess what? I can't afford to give the five people who work for me if they're women, I can’t afford to give them 20 weeks maternity leave.” Or “Obamacare might help the rest of the country, but in my business, if I have 20 people working for me, it might put me out of business.” Were we afraid to admit that we can’t afford to help everyone?
BROWN: Actually, I think the biggest problem is you’re afraid to discuss it --
BROWN: – because of the velocity of social media attack when you really try to have a conversation about anything like that. I've often said actually as an employer myself that nobody really wants to talk about is “How do we manage all of this time off for people?
BROWN: If you have a small business, it's very hard. You can't have half the staff not there when you've got seven or eight --
RUEHL: You can't afford it!
BROWN: It’s something no one wants to talk about. It just has to be discussed. It's not like there's no solutions for it or there’s no strategies for it. We can't ignore it.
RUEHL: We want to help people but we want to survive first.
Bruni blamed all liberals for the Trump win. It was telling when openly gay Bruni added transgender bathroom fights to the mix, when The New York Times was especially flagrant in comparing people to Jim Crow segregationists on that issue.
BRUNI: You know, we're all somewhat to blame. When people are silenced, when they simply want to say I don't agree with Obamacare, I don't agree with transgender bathrooms -- if they feel like saying that immediately gets them branded whether it's on social media or by people talking in the studio, . This gets them branded a bigot, a deplorable. They're going to see, and they’re going to find some sort of outlet for that seething and the outlet is Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States.
BROWN: It was exactly the same in Brexit. I remember being in the U.K a lot, and hearing almost like a secret conversation, which was this anxiety about immigration. If you that raise conversation in any way publicly, you were a racist, you were a xenophobe. And if you can't he a conversation, it boils underneath and it explodes. It’s very dangerous.
Liberals suffocating speech -- it's very dangerous. You'll only hear that on MSNBC when the trauma from a loss is still fresh and painful.