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Friday, March 31, 2023

Let’s talk about Liberals — capital L — in the way people like Tomi Lahren and Bill O’Reilly refer to them. Perhaps the most common critique of Liberals is how overly sensitive they are, clamoring for political correctness and safe spaces. We’re familiar with Brown University’s backlash for having a ‘safe space’ full of coloring books and bubbles after a campus debate on rape culture, and conversely, the uproar following the University of Chicago’s decision to release an email saying they were not in favor of trigger warnings and safe spaces. But we’re not here to debate the validity of these safe spaces. We’re going to analyze the claim that conservatives keep going back to — that Liberals are awful because they are oversensitive — and refute it with one, big counterpoint: our current President- elect, Donald Trump.

Criticism of presidential candidates isn’t unique to this election cycle alone. There has always been a commotion, ranging from relevant criticisms about a candidate’s qualifications and plans, to more childish and irrelevant insults about birth certificates and a resemblance to the Zodiac Killer. As long as there has been an available outlet, supporters have been sending zingers to the opposing candidate (a notable example being a cartoon of Grover Cleveland and his illegitimate child circulating the papers during the 1884 election cycle.)

But candidates and established politicians are familiar with criticism and humorous jabs. During the 2008 election, “Saturday Night Live” had a eld day with Tina Fey’s impersonation of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who even got a laugh out of it, since she had once dressed as Fey for Halloween. On the other side of the political spectrum, claims that President Barack Obama’s birthplace was outside the U.S. have been circulating since he started campaigning. In response, at a 2011 press conference, President Obama released a video of his birth — a clip from the opening scene of “The Lion King.”

This past year’s election cycle and its aftermath have shown a different type of candidate: one who doesn’t take kindly to criticism. It’s seen in reactions to political analyst commentary, “Saturday Night Live” sketches and Golden Globes acceptance speeches. Perhaps that’s what the people want though. After all, the president-elect’s prime selling point is that he says what’s on his mind, and damn anyone who makes fun of his hair or questions his policies. In response to the “SNL” sketches, President- elect Trump took to Twitter and tweeted how “totally biased (and) not funny” they were. In response to Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech, in which she eloquently expressed her concerns about Trump, he hopped on Twitter again, blaming “liberal Hollywood” and the “over-rated actress” — though in 2015, he had called her one of his favorites, but who’s checking? Once again, maybe this is the type of candidate Americans want. His supporters are big fans of people who complain about criticism and jump to social media every time they decide something is wrong.

But wait, isn’t this the same exact criticism that Trump sup- porters have of Liberals: that they complain too much, are easily insulted and are overly sensitive? How can it be that they rally behind a candidate who vividly demonstrates the exact same behavior they condemn? It’s hypocritical for Trump supporters to idolize the president-elect’s quickness to anger and oversensitivity when those are the same abhorrent traits they attribute to Liberals. If you’re going to pick a behavior to mock, make sure it’s not your candidate’s quintessential character trait.

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