Whether in domestic or foreign affairs, a staple in the modern left’s playbook is shaming. Despite its ineffectiveness, this tactic continues to be used.
In response to Russia, Iran, and Syria’s involvement in the bombing of Aleppo, United States ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said: “Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin? That just creeps you out a little bit?”
Russia and Iran have both asserted their dominance in Syria and the U.S’s effort to arm and train rebels has failed. The Obama administration has deployed shame instead of troops and according to the liberal publication Mic, it is “powerful.”
This same plan of attack was used by Democrats domestically. Mic similarly described actor George Takei’s July plea to Latino voters to vote against Trump or we’ll have internment camps as “powerful.” The Hillary Clinton campaign and supportive journalists thought that they could shame American voters into not supporting Donald Trump. Whether it was Alicia Machado, Khizr Khan, or any of the several women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by Trump, the message was you should be ashamed to support Trump.
There seems to be two clear obstacles to success for the left’s shaming attempts. At one level, is the ridiculousness of the political ideology that embraces transgenderism and bashes “slut shaming,” trying to tell people they should be ashamed. The other and possibly more important factor making shaming attempts from the Democrats ineffective is an obvious hypocrisy.
During the electoral college vote in Wisconsin Monday, liberal protesters chanted “shame,” while one irate lady screamed, ‘This is my America!” According to the protesters, Wisconsin electors presumably should be ashamed for following America’s laws and the will of the people. The shameful act here is certainly not trying to subvert American democracy.
And let’s go back to ambassador Power’s attempt to shame Russia, Iran, and Syria for killing civilians in bombings. From what moral high ground do Power and the United States stand? According to Brown University, “Approximately 165,000 civilians have died from direct war related violence caused by the US, its allies, the Iraqi military and police, and opposition forces from the time of the invasion through April 2015.”
Same goes for the left’s attempt to use guilt by association. In the days leading up to the election, The Washington Post, NBC, The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, and CNN all covered a two week old endorsement of Trump by a small KKK newspaper. But even though the press made sure that voters were informed that they would be viewed equally as a murderous white supremacist group, Trump still won.
This is likely due to voters seeing criticisms like this as silly and from 35,000 feet the press views it the same way. The Washington Post and CNN did not cover the Communist Party’s chairman’s support of Hillary Clinton. The press’s attempt to shame was also exposed in their efforts to frame Donald Trump as a sexual predator.
The New York Times covered sexual assault allegations against Trump with nothing but the accuser’s statement. They did not give any coverage to Leslie Milwee’s October statement that Bill Clinton had previously sexually assaulted her.
Shaming doesn’t work when you have plenty to be ashamed of yourself, and it especially doesn’t work in a society that has been subjected to the American left’s decades-long project to remove the concept of shame itself. For much of time, religious ideals were a moral center from which shame emanated, but now, according to the mainstream left, going to a church which follows the Bible is a no-no.
With the goalposts of what is shameful so rapidly moving, shame now serves more as a political tool and less as a moral compass.