You know, I think I speak for all Americans regardless of political affiliation when I say that I’ve missed former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. While I disagreed with probably 99% of what she would say at the podium, she was at least quicker on her feet than her protege. However, Karine Jean-Pierre has provided countless content for my articles, so I thank her.
I’ve been curious about how Jen’s been doing at her new home at MSNBC, and right on cue, i saw her on a panel interview with The Brookings Institution’s senior fellow Shadi Hamid.
There to promote an upcoming event at the liberal-leaning think tank, he discussed how liberals could cope in a world with those who disagree with them.
Interestingly, we live in a world where people need to be reminded that they must learn to continue on when there are those roaming this Earth with different views than you. But alas, here we are.
Just take a watch, and you’ll get an unvarnished glimpse of what the left thinks of their fellow countrymen:
Brookings’ @shadihamid: “There’s, what, 74 million Trump supporters, voters? We can’t just wish them away … So then we have to find a way to live with them even if we think they’re bad people, even if we think they’re a threat to everything we hold dear.” pic.twitter.com/ilvpgasWDc
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 14, 2022
Good old Jen Psaki brought up the prospect that we might end up having to put up with yet another term with Donald Trump or someone like him in office, trembling to think what kind of a world that would be like! So anyway, she asked Mr. Hamid:
“What lessons should Americans take from what has happened around the world if there are extentive years of a government in place whose fighting against democracy and fighting against fundamental rights.”
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Oh brother. Mr. Hamid obliges her overly dramatic question, supporting the validity of it by invoking the recent election in Italy of the dreaded Giorgia Meloni, often compared to Benito Mussolini, stating rather accurately that:
“…that person will have come to power through elections.”
This is meant to be nicer to Trump supporters, but it's still a guy named Shadi Hamid treating Trump voters as interlopers that the "real Americans" just have to tolerate. https://t.co/8YY9W4gFyq
— Scott Greer 6’2” IQ 187 (@ScottMGreer) October 14, 2022
What?! Say it isn’t so? So the people’s will in a fair election might opt to vote for a conservative politician in a free country? Whoa, whoa, whoa, we should investigate this further.
Now if I’m going to be honest, I agree with the fundamentals of what Mr. Hamid says next. He rightly and gently explains to the MSNBC pundits:
“We have to accept that people that we completely disagree with are sometimes going to win.”
He goes on to kick them in the gut with the following:
“There’s, what, 74 million Trump supporters, voters? We can’t just wish them away…so then we have to find a way to live with them even if we think they’re bad people, even if we think they’re a threat to everything we hold dear.”
You can literally hear the dismay from Jen and the others when he said that. Seriously I’ve watched the clip about seven times; you can hear it.
And here is where Mr. Hamid brings up a chilling question and one that I think some on the left would answer in a very dark sort of way:
“What’s the other option that’s in front of us?”
We’re not far right. We’re populist/nationalists who reject socialism, communism & Marxism. We believe in limited government, individual freedoms, family, faith & capitalism.
— Donine (@ms_fiberlicious) October 14, 2022
Mr. Hamid is hosting an event next week at The Brookings Institution titled ‘The Problem with Democracy: Islam, Liberalism, and American Foreign Policy.’ During this discussion next week, Mr. Hamid will discuss his concept of ‘Democratic Minimalism.’
On the Brookings website, ‘Democratic Minimalism’ is described as:
“decoupling Democracy and Liberalism when the two are in tension.”
Clear as mud? I thought so. You’re in luck, though, because I’m a political science and theory nerd, so I’ll break down what this argument is all about.
To understand democratic minimalism, you first have to go over other concepts like democratic liberalism and liberalism in general. Liberalism is probably not what you think it is; it’s not just a bunch of dudes walking around with man buns and women wearing hats shaped like female genitalia protesting this or that.
Liberalism is the concept that individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise should be promoted and that the difference of opinions is something to be respected and leads to new ideas. Today we call it “classical liberalism” to denote this ideology, most famously promoted by luminaries like Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and others.
It’s not American “liberalism,” as defined by the Democrat Party.
So let’s add democratic governance to that bad boy and see what we get.
This is one of the key arguments I make in my new book. We have to learn how to respect democratic outcomes even if we perceive them as a threat to everything we hold dear. That's the test.https://t.co/vgitXQV7ob pic.twitter.com/QcliYpolWo
— Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) October 14, 2022
Democratic liberalism is still probably not what you think; there are no man buns here, well, maybe a few man buns. Democratic liberalism is the idea that the people have power and are active participants in the governance of their country, within the classical liberal framework of values.
So what is democratic minimalism? It might sound appealing for someone like me who lives a minimalist lifestyle, but it’s really not, although you could compare it.
My husband and I like to live pretty small; we prefer to spend our money on experiences versus things, and compared to other families, we own very little. Democratic minimalism strips democracy down to its bare bones, keeping it to guaranteeing elections… and that’s it.
I haven’t received my invitation to Mr. Hamid’s event yet; it must still be in the mail, but from what I can gather, Mr. Hamid would argue that when a society is experiencing some political strife, the protections of liberalism should be removed. A focus solely on free elections and that’s all should be instituted.
Sounds ridiculous? It is because you can’t have free elections without all that other pesky civil liberty stuff.
"MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic." -Joe Biden September 1, 2022. https://t.co/Gc1Ovc4loU
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) October 14, 2022
The Real Problem Isn’t Democracy
The problem that we have isn’t our form of democracy; the problem we have is that we have lost the ability to tolerate one another and to hold certain truths sacred. People like those on MSNBC are terrified of people like Ms. Meloni in Italy because she believes that people shouldn’t have to apologize for their identity, including conservatives.
I’m a woman, a mother, I believe in God, I love my country, I’m a veteran, a Republican, I’m white, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for it or hide any of it. However, I also shouldn’t be judged as either good or bad solely based on those aspects of my identity.
While Mr. Hamid made some excellent points, I have to take issue with his idea that democratic minimalism is a realistic answer to what ails us. Instead, I would argue that we need to stop labeling each other as evil or fascists and learn to have constructive debates.
But which party is it again, Jen, that calls their opponents evil and fascists? I’m not sure I remember; maybe you can remind me. Or perhaps I should ask Ms. Jean-Pierre.
After defending calling Republicans "semi-fascists," and "MAGA extremists," Karine Jean-Pierre says "this is not about one political party." pic.twitter.com/4KYKmB4fs3
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 1, 2022
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