The dangers of treating our politicians like heroes…
By: Hayden Cunningham
Politics has always seen the idolization of leaders. But in the age of identity politics, that problem has gotten worse. Too often are leaders praised not because of their actions, but because of their words and the symbolism they hold. This is a serious problem that leads to hypocrisy and violent discourse.
Republicans have had a serious problem with the idolization of Donald Trump. Trump was seen as a voice for the “silent majority.” Moderate Republicans wear MAGA hats and radical right voters believe that Trump secretly won the 2020 election (without any evidence to support this claim). This idolization has caused serious division among the Republican Party, and it’s one of the reasons Trump lost the election in the first place. Those on the right who are concerned about Trump’s personality and character were less inclined to vote for him.
In 2016, many Republicans who were unsure of Trump reluctantly voted for him because he was “the lesser of two evils.” As the idolization of him continued, 2020 did not see the same reaction from moderate Republicans. Those who are center-right had a difficult time ignoring his rhetoric and voting policy over personality (even though that is what all voters should be doing). This is because he was without criticism by many on the right. Donald Trump governed surprisingly Conservative, and his policies were very pleasing to those that voted for him. But when Republican Party members and organizations like Turning Point USA and Fox News refuse to acknowledge any of his flaws, it discourages voters who are trying to address all factors of a candidate.
The left sets a different standard for the leaders they choose to promote. In their eyes, everything is about identity politics. People are viewed not as individual, but as a part of a group. Those groups are categorized by sex, race, and sexual orientation. Supporters of this idea have their “preferred pronouns” and “BLM” in their social media bios. Too many people want to be viewed by the group they are in.
Take Kamala Harris, for example. She was specifically chosen to be Vice-President because she was black and because she was a woman. Joe Biden explicitly said that was his criteria for selecting a running-mate. Biden knew that millions of voters would check his name on the ballot because of a black female candidate. Harris won her candidacy for V.P. and is now called a role model for women since she is the first female Vice-President.
Except nothing about Kamala Harris should be inspiring to women. Harris got her job as a District Attorney in California because she had a sexual relationship with the Mayor of San Francisco (who was married at the time). She then went on to have a D.A. record where she imprisoned black men for minor marijuana possession, and used prisoners as labor. But none of this matters. Harris is idolized by the left simply because she is black and a woman. In their eyes, it means she is double-oppressed because she is a minority in terms of race and sex.
After putting people in groups, the Democratic Party says their selected politician represents everyone in that group. You could argue that this practice is racist. Democrats believe that a black candidate represents all black people. They don’t think about the fact that communities can relate to any candidate regardless of background. Instead of treating people like individuals, politics is now tribal. Americans have accepted this. What we need to accept is that there is no virtue or value in prioritizing physical diversity.
These reasons were why Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012. Voters were told that if they did not vote for him, it’s because they were racist. When that worked, they nominated Hillary Clinton in 2016. Once again, they told voters that if they did not vote for her, it is because they were sexist. The only reason that didn’t work is because Hillary was a historically bad candidate with decades of scandals and corruption. Still, videos on election night and Trump’s inauguration day showed Democrats crying and screaming. (If you ever cry for your candidate losing, you need to take a step back from politics and work on your personal life.)
Joe Biden did not see the same level of idolization as his colleagues. But his election victory wasn’t just based on Kamala Harris’ idolization; the left can villainize leaders just as much as they idolize them. Joe Biden, the oldest President in U.S. history, was elected simply because he wasn’t Donald Trump. Former President Trump suffered attacks from the media that compared him to Hitler and white supremacists. This tactic convinced many moderate Republicans to completely ignore political policy and vote for Joe Biden simply in opposition to Trump’s personality (again, this is a very dangerous way to vote). “At least Biden doesn’t write mean tweets.” Well your transparency from the Executive Branch is gone. At least with Trump, we knew what he was thinking at all times. With Biden, every statement is carefully written by someone other than him. Who knows what’s happening now.
The left accused him of rigging the 2016 election, they impeached him twice, and as soon as he left office they asked the country for unity and healing. Idolization breeds hypocrisy. When you idolize a leader, you ignore their hypocrisy.
“Unity and healing” is the biggest hypocrisy of politics. The Democratic Party spent four years under President Trump kicking and screaming at everything he did. They called his supporters deplorables and racists. They accused the right of invoking insurrection but they can’t even condemn ANTIFA extremists that spent the entire summer of 2020 rioting. Then, President Biden comes into office and gives in inauguration speech saying he promises “to work for those who voted for me as well as those who didn’t.” Don’t waste your time listening to politicians for false hope. Cliché’s about unity will come out of their mouths every day when they have power, but as soon as they lose it they go right back to insults and attacks.
Hypocrisy is rampant in American politics right now. Here are a few examples:
The left’s hypocrisy
Young democrats claim to be the “resistance” to fight federal power, but they fail to realize that they’re in the majority. You have been tricked into believing that the leaders you idolize are actually there to help “the little guy.” Almost every news network, all of Hollywood, and big tech are all siding with the radical left. What about that is fighting “the man?” Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will outright censor and ban disagreeing viewpoints that they deem “dangerous.” Can’t you admit that having one viewpoint dominate media is wrong, even if it’s a viewpoint you agree with?
Do democrats really believe that their party is fighting the rich? They are the rich. Joe Biden’s election was funded by Wall Street. Just look at the recent GameStop stock event, for example. When Redditors formed a plan to attack hedge funds, the Biden administration (and Elizabeth Warren) tried to shut it down. Why do you think that every major corporation expresses a leftist agenda? They’re holding hands with politicians of the Democratic Party.
Instead of calling the party leaders out for their corruption, democrats worship their leaders for immutable characteristics. You claim that the religious right uses religion as a scam to make money, but look at the way your leaders act. Politics is your religion.
ADVICE To the left: stop treating politics like religion
Democratic leaders are worshipped like a religious clergy. The party that seemingly has a distain for religion is the one that looks to politics as an answer to life’s questions. With that, comes intense idolization. Michelle Obama is loved by the public. Anthony Fauci is now a pop-culture figure with modeling gigs and a children’s book about his life. Greta Thunberg was championed as a voice for climate change. Anthony Cuomo is praise by the media, and his loyalist supporters were calling themselves “Cuomo-sexual.” George Floyd had monuments built after him, and was compared to Jesus in the courtroom. He was praised by Nancy Pelosi, who thanked him for sacrificing his life.
Except Michelle Obama was an unelected person trying to be a part of policy-making and had a book deal when her biggest success was being married to a President. Anthony Fauci is a doctor who misled the American public. Greta Thunberg was making speeches as a child who knew nothing about science. Governor Cuomo passed COVID-19 policies that ended up killing elderly residents of nursing homes, and he is also under an investigation for sexual harassment. And George Floyd’s comparisons to Jesus are extremely inaccurate and downright insulting to Christians.
When you worship a leader, you ignore their flaws. Politicians know that they are no longer being held accountable. Authoritarianism rises because of this, and that’s the very thing you claim to be against. Stop using politics to fulfill your desire for a sense of belonging in a community.
The Right’s Hypocrisy
Republicans will complain about the radicalism of the left, but won’t actually do anything. Republican politicians are so worried about losing votes, that they are too afraid to take a firm stance that upholds Conservative values. Use Caitlyn Jenner as an example. Jenner is running as a Republican candidate for the Governor of California. Jenner is transgender; he is a man who thinks he is a woman. The transgender issue shouldn’t even be a debate because there are scientifically clear rights and wrongs. Instead of being consistent with their stance on transgenderism, many ‘conservatives’ are applauding Jenner’s bid for Governor. They care more about “growing the party” than upholding the values that created the party in the first place.
Republican voters let this happen. They let their party ignore conservative principles. They also sit through an onslaught of attacks from the left. Democratic leaders call republicans racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. So where are the protests? Where are the every day republican voters speaking out against the radicalism and insults of the left?
Advice To the right: stop searching for a political savior
Republican voters are constantly looking for someone that can be their voice. We saw in 2016 that Donald Trump won because of a “silent majority” that felt Trump would fight for them. This is where the right has a flaw that the left doesn’t have; stop looking for someone to speak for you and just speak for yourself.
The politicians in power today don’t like you if you’re on the right. Our government is too big and is overran with corrupt bureaucrats who have a distaste for the working class of this country. It is time Republicans stop sitting around and waiting for a Donald Trump or a Ron DeSantis to step forward and speak on behalf of them. Republicans need to speak for themselves. If the White House or Congress is attempting to ram through radical policy, take action. Peacefully protest, call your representatives, etc. The right tried this under Obama with the Tea Party movement, but what was the outcome?
In fact, what has the outcome been from any Republican action in the last two decades? What did President Trump do in office that will have a lasting impact? Better yet, what’s the last Republican policy passed that was a huge step forward for conservatism? If all you can say is tax cuts, that’s a problem.
It’s time for Conservatives to be actual Conservatives. Instead of sitting back and complaining about the radicalism in government and the lack of character in the Republican Party, then do something about it.
At the end of the day, everyone needs to realize that whoever is elected President shouldn’t be effecting your daily life. If both sides are going to idolize their leaders, then why not just diminish the power of leaders altogether?
Both parties need to stop looking for a unifying figure that can take office and unite the country. Politicians make a living off of social unrest and hatred between the two parties. If we want unity, we must unify ourselves.