Slate Writer: Trump’s Win Shattered White Liberals’ Illusions That This Country’s Not ‘Unjust, Racist, Sexist’

December 30th, 2016 5:32 PM

It seems that so much happened in 2016 that some major developments were hardly noticed. For example, L.V. Anderson of Slate suggested in a Thursday post that this was the year in which a large portion of the left suddenly was forced to realize that America sucks.

“After Trump’s election, it is more or less impossible to believe that we are making meaningful progress,” wrote Anderson. “White liberals who woke up horrified on Nov. 9 weren’t horrified because the world had suddenly changed -- we were horrified because the scales had finally fallen from our eyes, and we could at least see our unjust, racist, sexist country for what it is. The next president will not be a woman, the makeup of the Supreme Court will not shift toward progressivism, and we are not jolly passengers on a cruise ship sailing toward an era of tolerance, justice, and respect for the dignity and rights of all.”

White liberals, then, now are on the same page as those who already had a low opinion of the U.S.A.:

To be disillusioned you have to have some faith -- in institutions, in progress, in human decency -- to begin with. There are plenty of Americans who never had such faith, or who lost it at an early age. Black people who have seen members of their community shot by police and imprisoned under flimsy pretenses, undocumented immigrants…trans people…Muslims…are among the many groups who largely shrugged their shoulders at all the white liberal weeping and gnashing of teeth after the election and said, “Well, what did you expect?”

Anderson concluded, “Disillusionment in and of itself is not a virtue. (If anything, it’s a sign that someone has been estranged from reality for too long.) But if any good does come out of the political events of 2016, it will be when privileged liberals take their shattered sense of complacency and use it as fuel for all the work that needs to be done.”