One of the biggest problems I noticed during the election was the refusal of people on the left to take the views of Trump voters seriously. There was this idea, especially among Hillary fans, that there was no way Trump was being taken seriously by anyone and that his election to the White House was impossible. This line of thought was being confirmed daily by pollsters, pundits and liberal comedy shows- all of whom were eventually proven wrong when Trump was made President Elect. I warned Hillary fans here after the primary to take Trump seriously. Uncertainty was very high in this election, but Hillary fans seemed so sure. Look where that got us.
I used to watch liberal comedy shows and most recently was a fan of Bill Maher’s show on HBO. Now I do not watch any. This is partly because I have always been committed to exiting the bubble in which I have my opinions confirmed repeatedly in favor of finding places where I can have my opinions challenged. I have conservative friends, I listen to both conservative talk radio and NPR, I read conservative and libertarian news sources and I follow well known conservatives on Twitter. I even follow Donald Trump. This is not to say that I live in a conservative bubble either. Obviously, many of my friends are liberals and I read a ton of left leaning material. It is just important to me that I am not locked in a safe space where I can not hear the opposition.
One thing I noticed about liberal comedy shows is that they reconfirm your preexisting ideas and belittle all opposing views. As I said, belittling opposing views was a major problem during the 2016 election. Through liberal comedy shows, the way liberals consume other media and the way liberals typically socialize you confine yourself to a problematic bubble where you are never challenged and never have to question your own beliefs. This plays a trick on your mind where you always think you are right.
The idea that we should live in a bubble where our ideas are never challenged is wildly problematic. The world should not and does not work like that. And, that is partly how we ended up with President Elect Trump. I am not arguing that all views are valid or that all of the views held by Trump voters are valid, but that it is important to at least consider all views. Had the left considered the fact that this was an anti-establishment election early during the primary when Bernie and Trump were surging, perhaps the Democratic Party would have picked a different candidate than Hillary. It is clear to me that Hillary was the wrong candidate. Is it clear to you yet?
I realize the idea of having a safe space to share your views and experiences sounds comfortable, but it is a trap. We need to exit our safe spaces immediately. Free speech is a hallmark of our society and I would hate to see freedom of speech encroached upon in favor of closed off conversations with like minded individuals. We must have our opinions challenged- not dismissed, but challenged for sure. Otherwise, living in a bubble, you walk into many situations with blinders on. And, isn’t that what ended up happening to the left? We were blindsided by a Trump presidency and now have to spend at least four years fighting to make sure that it is not a total disaster. I would have preferred to avoid that situation altogether.
So, exit your safe space. Go find a conservative friend. Stop getting your news from liberal comedy shows. Follow a few Republicans on Twitter. And, do more to put yourself in a position where you have your opinions challenged. We have to understand the opposition if we are to debate them successfully. Our blindness to Trump’s momentum got us into this mess. Let us not remain blind for the next four years.