Some of the post-election editorials by The Oklahoman, which actually didn’t support president-elect Donald Trump, have been marked by a warped, snarky edge criticizing liberals and progressive activists. It’s suffocating to be open-minded here.
The instinct that many women feel to protect their bodies against their future President is reasonable. https://t.co/0TU4qHrHRY
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) November 25, 2016
The most recent example of such an editorial was published today under the headline “Liberals unnerved by sudden role reversal,” which uses sweeping generalizations and cites minor legal cases instead of deploying the type of evidence-based argumentation you might expect from a large metropolitan daily newspaper.
The editorial makes the point that liberals have been taking people’s rights away from them in recent years, citing two cases where people were accused of discriminating against people based their religious beliefs. One case involved the owners of an Oregon bakery who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The other case involved The Little Sisters of the Poor, a charity group, which was threatened with a fine because it refused to “distribute”—that’s the word used by The Oklahoman—birth control.
Both cases were about rights, true, but they were about the rights of people—liberal or conservative—to receive particular services whatever their religious views. The cases and their outcomes were vastly different as well. The bakery was fined for its obvious discriminatory actions. All it had to do was bake a cake, but the owners chose to make a stand. The Littler Sisters of the Poor actually WON the right to refuse to offer birth control to their employees through insurance as mandated by regulation. Note, again, the use of the word “distribute” by The Oklahoman.
The only thing that really connects the two case is how some people think religion gives them rights above the law, and that there should be no separation between church and state. Yet this is how The Oklahoman editorial views the two incidents:
There numerous examples of government officials seeking to destroy Americans for their political and personal beliefs. It’s just that most of those incidents have involved liberal politicians seeking to brutalize conservatives.
Note the hyperbolic words “destroy” and “brutalize.” Note as well that the two cases don’t hinge on the liberal/conservative dichotomy. People who identify as gay can be conservative in a political sense. Religious people, even Catholics, can and do take birth control.
The commentary’s wide-sweeping and really just plain weird generalizations are yet another example of the sloppy thinking and writing that appears on the newspaper’s editorial page. The Little Sisters of the Poor case, for example, showed the country’s legal system actually worked in favor of its position, not the opposite. So The Oklahoman editorial used a case, which was the exact opposite of their intended argument, to try to prove a point about, well, about nothing.
The editorial’s meanderings led to the conclusion that liberals won’t have much to worry about under a Donald Trump presidency unlike like those poor brutalized conservatives under the President Barack Obama administration. Here’s the conclusion about liberal “alarm” over Trump’s election:
Safe to say, such alarm isn’t based on any actual threat voiced by serious conservatives, but on liberals’ fears that conservatives are now in a position to give as good as they’ve been getting.
With Republicans now in control of the federal government, I think it’s safe to argue that programs such as Medicare and Social Security will be under attack along with same-sex marriage and any laws preventing discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Our health care system will most likely become an even more profit-oriented system, leaving millions of people without adequate medical care. Trump’s racist and sexist rhetoric has and will trickle down to the alt-right in this country and embolden a movement based on hate. Rules and regulations protecting our environment will get revisited and changed to help businesses make more money. The earthquakes will keep coming in Oklahoma, folks. If liberals are “unnerved,” then those are the reasons for it.
The Oklahoman editorial’s arguments are based on minor and ambiguous cases in the past, and totally neglect the obvious structural changes or attempts at structural changes coming down the road from conservatives in at least the next two years. Everyone should be unnerved by what’s going to happen next in this country. Everyone.